The group has essentially guaranteed itself a victory by coopting opponents and shuffling electoral districts, but the West can still contain the damage by pressing Beirut on economic reforms.
Assad's track record indicates that he will likely continue challenging the chemical redline, and that additional strikes and other pressures may be necessary to deter him from doing so.
Through Moscow meetings and public statements, Israeli officials have made clear that Iranian weapons facilities in Lebanon are a game changer, so escalation is quite possible if Tehran ignores their warnings.
A former National Security Council director spells out how Washington should follow up on its efforts to deter Assad's atrocities, keeping in mind that a broad campaign to 'solve' the Syria conflict would be futile in the near term.
Tehran and its allies will test U.S. and Israeli limits again, requiring deterrent responses that are tough, consistent, and paired with political reassurances to allies.