According to Michael J. Totten, the ruling class of Syria can never make peace with Israel on their own, as they are Alawites - a minority in Syria. If they make peace with Israel, they’ll be considered as traitors and the Sunni majority would revolt and drown the Alawites in blood.
Since it is Salvor Hardin, the following principles are relevant:
- “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right”
- “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”
The key is to save Assad’s face and convince the Sunni in Syria that by making peace with Israel, Assad really does them good rather than being a traitor.
The plan would be as follows.
- A pretext for starting hostilities against Syria could be its hosting and supporting the Hamas leaders, who are opposed to release of Gilad Shalit for free.
- Hostile action would be to demonstrate power and ruthlessness by bombing some critical infrastructure, such as irrigation dams or key bridges. However, the hostilities are to be sufficiently surgical that there’ll be no casualties or bodily harm to people.
- The next step would be to prevent reconstruction of the destroyed infrastructure as long as there is state of war between Syria and Israel.
- Once Syria capitulates and agrees to make peace with Israel and has accepted the humiliation of peace without the Golan Heights returned to it, Israel would extend economic aid to Syria in order to repair and upgrade the infrastructure destroyed during the hostilities. See below.
The biggest problem in carrying out the above plan is international public opinion. One way to counter it is to earmark few billion dollars for rebuilding Syria once there is peace, and arrange for those companies (presumably, French ones) which currently have construction contracts in Syria and are in position to get reconstruction contracts (for rebuilding Syria) to pull ropes and arrange for public relations so that there’ll be support for Israel’s actions.