"...What can be done? Creation of an alternative political grouping is always tempting but unlikely to yield markedly different results. The Coalition never had significant influence over militant groups, and there is little reason to believe any other opposition body could overcome the geopolitical obstacles it has faced. Rather, the focus should be on realistic changes that take account of present circumstances: Gulf states that will persist in helping the armed opposition; rebel factions that will continue to fight; and a U.S. administration that is increasingly invested in the “Geneva II” political process. In particular:
- the opposition’s foreign state backers ought to drastically improve their coor-dination, especially on the military front;
- this should be accompanied by efforts to limit alternative channels of material and logistical support; notably, Gulf states need to rein in private funding, and Turkey needs to do more to disrupt the influx of foreign fighters and fundraisers across its southern border;
- to enhance its presence on the ground, the Coalition should seek a direct role in providing basic services in rebel-controlled areas ...
- the Coalition and its backers need to develop an effective strategy to deal with the urgent threat posed by jihadi groups. Besides progress in the above three realms, this necessitates enhancing civil society initiatives and activist networks; and
- its qualms regarding the Geneva II process notwithstanding, the Coalition ought to come up with a realistic strategy toward what remains the best hope for ending the war. This should entail, for example, reaching internal consensus on workable negotiation parameters..."