Really. It did. Militarily, the French army destroyed the FLN by the end of 1958.
Had France not possessed a democratic government, Algeria would have remained a part of France for a very long time. This has bearing on the Syrian civil war. Hopefully, Doug and I will have time to explain why in the near future. For now, we leave it as an exercise for the reader.
The rebels’ big problem is the lack of a unified chain of command. As a result, they screw up operationally what they win tactically. Moreover, there is no Syrian equivalent of the FLN to coordinate a political strategy or take over should the regime fall.
The regime’s big problem is a lack of manpower. Roughly 200,000 loyalist troops are trying to defeat 40,000 insurgents. Consider the difficulties. The government needs to stop the fighting from spreading further around Aleppo. (Rebels entered the city today.) It also needs to take on and reoccupy the rebel strongholds around Homs. Finally, it needs to prevent the rebels from operating freely around Idlib and Hama. That is a tall order.
There are only two ways to end the war quickly, neither likely. One, outsiders can pick a rebel force and back it. Two, the Russians (or somebody) can give the Syrian army the resources it needs to massively expand the draft and go on the offensive without risking the areas it currently holds. (It is now trying to substitute capital for labor, by using artillery and helicopter gunships.)
I bet that Assad will make it to the end of the calendar year.
His government, however, will not control the national territory. Even if things shift in his direction, it will take a very very long time to defeat the armed opposition without large-scale outside support.