Syria

Interview

Why Syria’s War Grinds On

Robert S. Ford interviewed by Zachary Laub

As diplomatic efforts to broker a settlement to the civil war have so far come up short and the Islamic State retains a foothold in the east, a segmented Syria will likely experience reduced but persistent violence for years to come, says Ambassador Robert Ford. 

See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare

Article

A Peace Plan for Syria III

Authors: James Dobbins, Philip H. Gordon, and Jeffrey Martini
RAND Corporation

Philip Gordon, along with James Dobbins and Jeffrey Martini of RAND, presents a plan for de-escalation in Syria based on a national ceasefire, agreed zones of control backed by outside powers, and the international administration of Raqqa province.

See more in Syria; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Aleppo’s Sobering Lessons

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate
After responding to Syria’s war with strong rhetoric but mostly tepid action, the United States must now set limited goals if it is going to accomplish even a limited amount of good, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.

See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare

Op-Ed

'Responsibility to Protect?' Empty Words After Aleppo

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

"The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty."

The United Nations said that in 2005 about its "responsibility to protect." It's the concept that "if a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations."

And here is what UN officials said this week when describing what is happening in Syria: "A complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo."

See more in Syria; International Organizations and Alliances; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

There’s a Way Obama’s White House Can Save Syrian Lives, There’s Just No Will

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Defense One

While increased U.S. military action in Syria may be favored by numerous policymakers, the Obama administration remains unwilling to sanction further intervention. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon writes that “The Obama White House has long argued that it was elected to end wars in the Middle East, not to escalate them…” but meanwhile, Aleppo remains “full of carnage and bunker-busting munitions with rockets falling on children and no hope of escape for anyone.”

See more in Syria; United States; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Aleppo: Where Children Die, but the World Does Nothing

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

Many experts and policymakers had predicted the humanitarian catastrophe that is underway in Aleppo, but no one is willing to intervene. “There is nothing either timely or decisive about the world’s approach to Syria, which has become the theater in which global and regional actors pursue their own goals,” writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.  

See more in Syria; Humanitarian Intervention

Article

The Problem With Vows to 'Defeat' the Islamic State

Authors: Stephen D. Biddle and Jacob Shapiro
The Atlantic

In recent weeks, ISIS has suffered territorial losses on multiple fronts, including in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The organization may look nearer to defeat than at any time in the past two years, but there is still a great deal of fighting to be done before the group is destroyed, or more likely beaten back to an underground terrorist organization as it was in 2009.

See more in Iraq; Syria; Counterterrorism