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I think that there are many issues that a nation such as Syria faces. In my mind, the number one issue though would have to be terrorism. So many nations have to face this issue, but I think that nations such as Syria are in a precarious situation because of it. Syria's geographic location in Asia Minor makes it prone to the challenges of terrorism. With this in mind, Syria needs to formulate a position on terrorism that A) is concurrent with the needs and demands of its citizens and B) is concurrent with the international community. The challenge for a nation like Syria is that if it professes to take a hard-line stance on terrorism and is embraced by the international community, it runs the risk of enduring some level of delegimitacy on a domestic front because the war on terror is so closely associated with being against those of the Arab speaking world. At the same time, if Syria is perceived as "soft" on terrorism, it runs to risk of international sanction and scrutiny, which economically and politically cannot be afforded. Implicit in this is how Syria deals with the state of Israel, and historically, tension abounds in that relationship. While there are many other issues that go along with this (petroleum needs, participation in the global community and globalized marketplace), I think that Syria's stand on terrorism reflects fundamental challenges.
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