Members of the Syrian opposition presented the "The Day After" project for Syria's reorganization in Berlin last Tuesday. The concept had been elaborated under the auspices of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) for implementation in Syria once the Assad regime is overthrown. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) Some 45 opposition representatives of varied backgrounds participated. They met six times in the German capital to agree on common basic principles. The project was formally led by an "Executive Committee," planning to be registered as a "Non Profit Organization" in Brussels. The project lays out the framework for Syria's future state structure. It avowedly seeks to win over segments of the Syrian population, which, up to now, have been reluctant to join the opposition - for fear of a permanent civil war à la Iraq. This reorganization project is also aimed at convincing the world's public opinion that a stable Syrian state can be established after Assad is overthrown, according to the SWP , which facilitates an expansion of western support for the Syrian insurgents.
According to the SWP report, "leading technical experts have provided input and supported" the Syrian participants' deliberations in Berlin. The deliberations were focused on six policy fields: rule of law, transitional justice, reform of the security sector, electoral reform, draft constitution and economic restructuring. Most of these experts are members of various US institutions: Four are working for the government-financed United States Institute for Peace (USIP), which has co-organized "The Day After" project with the SWP. Several other experts had already previously been working in one way or another with USIP. The "technical experts" included not only a former US ambassador, but also Andrew Reynolds, an expert on constitutional law, who has temporarily worked under direct contract of the US State Department, most recently, not only as an advisor to the Afghan authorities, but also to the insurgents of the Libyan National Transitional Council. France was represented by an expert of the Centre d'Études et de Recherches Internationales (CÉRI), Great Britain by a London expert on international law and Germany by the SWP.
SWP emphasizes that participants in this project were also maintaining contact to other western activities concerning Syria, particularly the "working group" created by the "Friends of Syria," an arbitrary international alliance supporting the insurgents, which is drawing up plans for the reorganization of Syria's economy. The working group has an office in Berlin, chaired by a German and co-financed by the United Arab Emirates. The Emirati foreign minister was on hand in the German capital Tuesday for the presentation of "The Day After" and to consult with his German counterpart on the upcoming working group meeting, scheduled for early September. As is shown by the concept of "The Day After," the Syrian economy should be made compatible to the western market economy. The necessary training programs for the personnel are planned at international institutions as well as the creation of a more advantageous framework for private business enterprises. The authors place particular emphasis on the reconstruction of Syria's infrastructure.
Islamist, Open to the West
Alongside the total restructuring of the secret services, which offers exclusive influential options for the allies of Syria's future rulers, "The Day After" concept calls for the immediate abrogation and replacement of Syria's current constitution. According to the project, the 1950 constitution could serve as a transitional model. Specialized publications describe the 1950 Constitution as showing "a strongly Islamist tendency," which raises Islam quasi to the national religion," establishing thereby "Islamic legal opinion (...) as the basis for the entire Syrian jurisprudence." It is reported that within such a system, "the Christian minority suffers growing disadvantages." The founder of the Syrian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood was a member of the commission that established the 1950 Constitution. Currently, the Muslim Brotherhood's influence is again growing. Even though the 1950 Constitution provides for greater influence of a conservative variation of Islam, it also perceptibly shows a strong leaning toward the West. The German press reported in April 1954, following the most recent putsch, the 1950 Constitution "has again taken effect in Syria, which could signify a series of restrictions on foreign interests." "Particularly Syria" will have "numerous projects to implement." The country will, therefore "be really advantageous" for western companies.
Office in Istanbul
The next step, following the presentation of "The Day After" concept, according to the SWP, will be the opening of a temporary branch office in Istanbul. It will supervise the implementation of three sectors of the concept: in the sector of state security, or the implementation of the new state control, the establishment of new forces of repression, a transitional judiciary and its new legal system, to which the German ministry of justice has revealed its readiness to assist. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) The office will be known as the "Syrian Transition Support Network." Its task description points toward it becoming active already in those areas, where the insurgents have taken power, even before the government is overthrown.
The Next Ruling Class
US-American and British government agencies have already been training certain opposition activists, forming an "underground network" inside Syria, reported the British press last weekend. According to these reports, the network's initial function is subversive. Aimed at networking and supporting insurgents, they are being supplied all the vital equipment. But, above all, these activists are receiving instructions enabling them to take control of Syrian villages and cities as soon as possible. Because they are trained outside Syria and sent back into the country, there are now groups not only outside, but also inside Syria planning "for the day after", a US State Department spokesperson confirmed. The reports speak of a "multinational project to build Syria's next governing class." The American-British training is carried out in Istanbul, where - according to the SWP - a new office will be supervising the implementation of "The Day After" concept inside Syria. The German-American cooperation, which includes the espionage and military aspects of western activities against Syria (german-foreign-policy.com reported ) is also shaping the formation of the new Syrian ruling class.
Further information and background on Germany's policy toward Syria can be found here: War Threats against Syria, Iran's Achilles Heel, War Scenarios for Syria, War Scenarios for Syria (II), With the UN toward Escalation, Market Economy for Syria, The Yemenite Solution, Smuggle Supervisors, The Day After and The Day After (II).