In recent Syrian international and domestic news, the United Nations official released an estimated death toll from the Syrian Civil War. In over a decade, over 350,000 individuals have died; the UN High Commissioner specifically notes “ we have compiled a list of 350,209 identified individuals killed in the conflict in Syria between March 2011 to March 2021,”. Such statistics do not even take the number of missing persons into account. Interestingly, there has already been an international dispute over these estimations; this largely is attributable to the United Nations’ ceasing of actively counting deaths from the conflict in January 2014 because of the arduous, seemingly “impossible” nature of the task. 

This recent revelation in the ongoing Syrian Civil War exemplifies the extreme cost of this overall security and conflict matters and its implications on Syria state and the entire international community. The Syrian conflict is emblematic of the political war theory expressed by Williams in which the conflict is clearly purposeful and organized violence from a political unit. Such definition provides vital context to the continual violence and death associated with this international security and conflict matter. Ultimately, the Syrian Civil War ought to be analyzed with Williams’ political war theory in conjunction with a cognisant awareness of the immense cost to human life this overall conflict has brought onto the international and Syrian community.

-Keegan Heaney Fredrick


Paul D. Williams, “War,” in Paul D. Williams ed. Security Studies: An Introduction, 2nd ed.

(London: Routledge, 2013).