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Intervention in Syria: Three Things to Know

Speaker: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, CFR
July 19, 2012

In light of escalating violence in Damascus and the recent defeat of the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, CFR's Paul Stares outlines three things to keep in mind when considering military intervention.

Mission Creep: While the decision to intervene may initially be motivated by a limited set of objectives, Stares points out that military involvement can often "expand into other missions."

Impartiality Is Impossible: "Interventions are never impartial," Stares says. The parties to the conflict typically see intervening forces as part of the problem, which requires these forces to also partake in its solution.

International Support: Military interventions require partners to lend the operation international legitimacy, says Stares, and to "bear some of the burden of the operation."

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