Compliance-Gaining Theory as a Method to Analyze U.S. Support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)


  • Peter Karleskint Nicholson School of Communication and Media, University of Central Florida
  • Jonathan Matusitz Nicholson School of Communication and Media, University of Central Florida



civil war, collaboration, compliance-gaining theory, Free Syrian Army, global policy, persuasion, Syria, United States


This paper examines U.S. support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) through compliance-gaining theory. By and large, the theory describes how one party is able to get another party to comply with specific demands. The particular compliance-gaining tactics explored in this analysis are ingratiation, debt, guilt, and compromise. Thanks to these tactics, we can better understand how a rebel group like the FSA has managed to convince a superpower like the U.S. to support it, in spite of the historical implications of supporting rebel groups in the past. To make its compliance-gaining stronger, the FSA has played up ideas or concepts like oil, trust, blame, obligation, and past U.S. military interventions to collaborate with the U.S. so as to bring down the Syrian government and, by the same token, resist Russian influence in Syria.


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How to Cite

Karleskint, P., & Matusitz, J. (2022). Compliance-Gaining Theory as a Method to Analyze U.S. Support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Journal of Geography, Politics and Society, 11(4), 29–36.