Stephen Zunes : Syria
The partial ceasefire in Syria announced by the United States and Russia on February 23 has been met with less than overwhelming optimism, and, after so much bloodshed and the entrenchment of hardline positions, it is not hard to see why. The accord stipulates that the Syrian government and allied groups, including Russia, end attacks against opposition forces that are party to the agreement and these opposition forces suspend military operations. Both sides must refrain from seizing additional territory and allow “rapid, unhindered and sustained access” to humanitarian agencies.
President Obama’s announcement that he would send up to 50 U.S. Special Forces to “train, advise and assist” armed militia fighting forces of the so-called “Islamic State” in Syria marks an escalation in U.S. military involvement in that country.
A response to Maged Mandour: There is little systematic evidence to suggest that “ruthlessness” is, in and of itself, a critical variable.
As the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons wins the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, we look at international efforts to rid Syria and other countries — including the United States — of chemical weapons.
Foreign military intervention would prolong the war and increase the carnage still further. But this does not mean that the US in conjunction with others, including Syrian civil society, cannot do anything to help the situation. Reply to Nader Hashemi.
In this reply to a critique by Nader Hashemi, Dr. Zunes explains that:
“Whether or not a movement is primarily violent or nonviolent, what is important is whether it employs strategies and tactics that can maximize its chances of success. “
This is an updated and expanded version of the article “The US and Chemical Weapons: No Leg to Stand On,” originally posted in Foreign Policy in Focus on May 2, 2013.
Dr. Stephen Zunes talks about why there is nothing the U.S. can do about the Syrian situation
An op-ed piece published on Truthout.org about Israel’s attack against Syria on May 6th, 2013