The West, Syria and the Endgame / by Simmon Li

So, there's word that the West will finally do something to respond to the situation in Syria. After two years. Two years. First of all, the whole situation reminds much too much of Yugoslavia in 1999. What's in store? Humanitarian bombing? Somehow that whole debacle seems plausible, especially given the relationship between Syria and Russia in the context of the UNSC. I just don't know what they'd do aside from something like that because anything else would be committing (more or less) to boots on the ground. I mean, what happened in Libya amounted to an international air force supporting rebel ground troops against the regime. And look at the mess that's been left behind. I don't know why, over and over, the international community fails to grasp that political solutions are the best for stability. But then, perhaps the instability serves some purpose for someone. Who knows. Further, I think this is a huge travesty for R2P. To speak of "lost opportunity" is to simplify the situation, but there were certainly better chances to achieve a political solution that might not have reverberated as widely as this civil war has. Lebanon's sectarian violence has largely flared up again (from my understanding) due in part to the situation in Syria. Of course, this is all complicated by the quick moving situation in Egypt as well. But had a political solution been imposed, maybe things would have moved at a slower pace or differently all together. Who knows? Counterfactuals are just that.