This article argues that the functional continuity of the Syrian state has been a key factor in the "victory" of the regime of Bashar al-Asad in the country's civil war. State continuity has not only meant first maintaining the structure of the military but sustaining the bureaucracy and preserving its reach within society. While elements of the opposition have been able to create state-like structures, the regime has managed to undermine its competitors and ensure the indispensability of the Asad state, though challenges remain.