Syria : adjusting to the new world order
The advent of the New World Order has challenged Syria's role in the Middle East. Traditionally viewed as a pariah state, and a Soviet satellite, Syria's future looked uncertain. Syria, however, has been able to accommodate the transformation in the world order. The New World Order amounted to a redistribution of global power. The transmutation of Soviet power towards the US culminated in a unipolar world order. The withdrawal of Soviet support through the advent of the New World Order threatened Syria's quest for regional hegemony. Existing in a state of anarchy, the co-ordinates of Syria's foreign policy have been founded upon the principles of self-help, national security, and national interest. These principles have found their expression through Syria's intractable struggle with Israel. Syrian foreign policy has been determined by two factors: primarily, by the international political system, and secondarily, by the influence of domestic politics. Omni balancing provides an explanatory model for foreign policy behaviour that bridges the divide between the determinants of the international political system and the influences of the domestic arena. Following a rational policy, the Syrian state was compelled to realign with the US- led world order, in order to pursue regional hegemony. It was able to display its accommodation of the New World Order by joining the US-led coalition forces in the liberation of Kuwait in 1990/1991. Syria's adjustment to the New World Order was rewarded with a place in the post-war regional order, and a central role in the Madrid Peace Conference.