""The West was sometimes criticized for adopting a Machiavellian posture during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war by hoping that neither side won outright, but such criticism was not warranted. A clear victory for either side would have been a disaster for the region and the world. The same approach is warranted in Syria: working to prevent either side from winning a total victory so that both sides will be more inclined to reach a compromise. To accomplish this, the United States and its allies must consider the use of unconventional warfare techniques undertaken directly by very small numbers of allied forces, not indigenous Syrian ones." "By carrying out small-scale unconventional warfare, the United States and its allies could work toward balancing the conflict and putting a fear into the Syrian regime that it might actually lose the civil war. At the same time, this strategy would not allow for independent military capacity-building by the opposition, which might give it the sense that it could win the war. Both sides must fear defeat.""