Any analysis that focuses on on the "now," misses the big picture. If it concentrates on victory in major battles, it errs in the case of rebels who do not and should not fight conventionally. If it measures success by concentrating on the nation as a whole, it can run off the rails.
The rebels' piece-at-a-time approach has worked magnificently when measured by where each side stood just a year ago. Planting and growing takes time. As harvesting approaches, I think the "stalemate" school will suffer shock at the speed of upcoming regime setbacks.
Syria isn't Vietnam and Assad won't last ten years. In Vietnam the enemy only managed to seize large areas of the country in the final months. The rebels are will be there shortly. The USA had far more resources than Assad and a secure base for replacement manpower. Assad's pool of manpower is miniscule and geographical vulnerable to attack. So let's look at how drastically things have changed over a year to gain perspective.
LOOK AT THE SOUTH NOW. A year ago the rebels could barely launch an offensive here and could be driven out with relative easy when it did. Now the regime struggles even to regain what it held securely 12 months ago.
LOOK AT THE NORTH NOW: The change here has been extreme. A year ago the regime controlled land supply lines. I could launch frequent offensives. Now the reverse is true. Meanwhile, those strong forces in the South may as well be on another planet when it comes to saving the north.
THE VALUE OF A COASTAL OFFENSIVE WHEN THE NORTH FALLS