An interesting article about the short-term interests of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah vis-a-vis Syria. I agree with the Russian aspect of the article, though think Iran is happy to be there for the long-term (after all, Syria effectively occupied Lebanon for 30 years).
The more interesting question I ask the ether, having read this article, is how a country recovers from devastating civil wars. It would be interesting to see a comparison of countries that have undergone civil wars in recent decades – Lebanon, the former Yugoslavia, even Vietnam. What factors in their post-conflict era helped peaceful reconstruction? What factors hindered this? Are there lessons on offer for al-Assad? For us in the West?