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Syria 'Influence Game' Explores US Engagement With Iran

In an exclusive report, Barbara Slavin covers a "competitive influence" game meant to stretch the minds of the US military. The object of the game, she writes, was not to overthrow Assad, tame Hezbollah or stop Iran’s nuclear program, but to leverage US capabilities and alliances and better understand how the region’s many actors fit together.
"Chess of the Middle Ages" exhibit, made of gold, silver and other jewelry, is displayed during the "Junwex. Petersburg" jewelry exhibition in St. Petersburg, February 1, 2012. The exhibition presented the works of Russian and foreign jewellery producers. The exhibit costs about $50,000. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk  (RUSSIA - Tags: SOCIETY)

A year from now, the US, NATO and Arab allies will be patrolling a no-fly zone over a safe haven in northwestern Syria that is home to more than 1.5 million internally displaced Syrians and non-Syrian refugees.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while still in power in Damascus, will have been severely injured by a suicide bomber.

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