Syria Defence and Security Industry Update Quarter 2 2012

  • March 2014
  • -
  • Business Monitor International
  • -
  • 83 pages

Includes 3 FREE quarterly updates

The first two months of 2012 has seen the internal unrest that erupted in Syria in 2011 steadily worsen, as
popular uprisings against several incumbent rulers swept across the North African and Mediterranean
region. What initially resembled a peaceful uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has
deteriorated into an open, violent insurrection. Determined opposition against Assad’s regime has taken
route in the country, particularly in and around Syria’s third-largest city of Homs.

Assad has followed two distinct approaches. On one hand, he has invited monitors from the Arab League
to visit the country and record the internal situation. Allied to this approach has been the occasional offer
of concessions to the opposition, regarding political reform. Assad’s other approach has been to deploy
his armed forces in an increasingly brutal crackdown against the opposition. This has the corresponding
effect of deepening the distrust of the opposition as regards offers of concessions. However, while in
Libya, Egypt and Syria popular opposition against local leaders sharply gathered momentum in 2011,
Assad may for the time being be able to withstand such a wave of popular discontent. Syria’s population
is a mix of ethnicities and religious persuasions. Minority groups in the country seem to have, so far,
remained either on the sidelines, or broadly supportive of Assad fearing the emerging political dominance
of a Sunni Muslim theocracy and potential victimisation should his regime fall.

Diplomatically, for now, Assad can count on support from Russia, China and Iran. Russia and China have
used their veto in the UN Security Council to block a resolution calling for Assad’s removal. The
relationship that Damascus enjoys with Moscow and Tehran may provide it with some short-term
support. Russia can use its veto as a diplomatic roadblock at the UN General Assembly to prevent
military action being authorised by the international body with a view to ending Assad’s repression of the
opposition. That said, while a UN Resolution provides an important legal legitimisation of the use of
force, it is not a prerequisite, and any military action that would almost certainly involve NATO,
significant Alliance members, the US or indeed all three of these actors, could potentially begin without
UN approval. Nevertheless, this brings political risks as recent events in Iraq and Kosovo have shown.

For the time being, Assad is banking that Russian support can provide him with a carte blanche at home
as regards crushing the opposition. However, should the violence continue, or should Assad heighten the
tempo and scope of his military operations against the opposition, this could have the paradoxical effect
of increasingly isolating his government on the international stage. Put simply, Moscow may come to the
conclusion that its support of Assad may become more trouble than it is worth, if this violence worsens.

As 2012 unfolds, the time for Assad to offer concessions may well have passed as the opposition,
disparate and fragmented as it is, seems united in its refusal to compromise and demands nothing less
than the full removal of Assad and his regime. The only immediate prospect of ending the worsening
violence in Syria is by the departure of Assad and the removal of his government. Without this occurring
in the short term, it remains impossible how a full-scale slide into open civil war can be avoided

Table Of Contents

Executive Summary ..... 5
Industry SWOT Analysis . 6
Syria Security SWOT ... 6
Syria Defence Industry Environment and Risk Analysis . 7
Syria Political Environment and Risk Analysis ... 8
Syria Economic Environment and Risk Analysis . 9
Syria Business Environment SWOT ... 10
World Political Outlook ... 11
Landmark Political Events Looming In 2012 . 11
World Flashpoints: Eurozone, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Korean Peninsula . 11
Data : Election Timetable, 2012 .. 16
United States .. 19
Russia 20
China . 21
Wild Cards To Watch . 22
Middle East Security Overview ... 25
The Middle East In A World Context 25
Challenges And Threats To Stability And Security..... 25
Regional Power Dynamics ..... 36
Nuclear Proliferation . 38
External Powers... 39
Scenarios For The Middle East.... 40
Security Risk Analysis ..... 42
BMI’s Security Ratings .... 42
Data : Middle East And Africa Defence And Security Ratings .... 42
Data : Middle East And North Africa State Vulnerability To Terrorism Index .... 43
Political Overview . 44
Domestic Politics . 44
Foreign Affairs .... 45
Russian-Chinese UN Veto To Exacerbate Conflict .... 47
Domestic Security Overview . 50
External Security Situation .... 52
Armed Forces And Government Spending . 54
Armed Forces 54
International Deployments ..... 59
Weapons Of Mass Destruction ..... 59

Industry Analysis ... 61
Imports ..... 62
Exports ..... 62
Procurement Trends And Developments .. 62

Market Projection Scenario ... 64
Armed Forces 64
Data : Syria’s Armed Forces, from 2000 to 2008 (’000 personnel, unless otherwise stated) . 64
Data : Syria’s Available Manpower For Military Services, from 2008 to 2016 (aged 16-49, unless otherwise stated) ... 64
Defence Expenditure .. 65
Data : Syria’s Government Defence Expenditure, from 2009 to 2016 ..... 65
Data : Syria’s Defence Expenditure Scenario - Changing % Of Gross Domestic Product, from 2008 to 2016 (US$mn) 66
Defence Trade 67
Key Risks To BMI’s Projection Scenario .... 67

Macroeconomic Data .. 67
Data : Syria - Gross Domestic Product By Expenditure Breakdown In USD Terms, from 2008 to 2016 (US$bn, unless otherwise stated) ... 69
Country Snapshot: Syria Demographic Data .... 71

Section I : Population . 71
Data : Demographic Indicators, 2005-2030 .. 71
Data : Rural/Urban Breakdown, 2005-2030 . 72

Section II : Education And Healthcare 72
Data : Education, from 2002 to 2005 72
Data : Vital Statistics, 2005-2030 72

Section III : Labour Industry And Spending Power .. 73
Data : Employment Indicators, 1999-2003 .... 73
Data : Consumer Expenditure, from 2000 to 2012 (US$) 73
Methodology ... 74
How We Generate Our Market Projections .... 74
Defence Market .. 74
Sources .... 75

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