• Bashar al-Assad

    The Syrian War and the Refugee Crisis: Spawning the Rise of the Far Right

    by  • December 21, 2016 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council, Syria, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The butterfly effect teaches us that seemingly insignificant actions can have enormous future consequences. A tiny pair of fluttering wings can disturb the air in a way that helps trigger a hurricane halfway around the world. Witness Syria, where the Arab Spring made its debut in 2011 in the form of a tame wave...

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    Ban Ki-moon’s Turbulent UN Years, in His Own Words

    by  • September 21, 2016 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, Security Council • 2 Comments

    Ban Ki-moon receives the Seoul Peace Prize in South Korea on Oct. 29, 2012, with his wife, Yoo Soon-taek.

    With a cease-fire in Syria collapsing around him and bombs destroying precious relief supplies intended for the hungry, traumatized survivors of relentless government attacks on the once grand city of Aleppo, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used his last speech to open a UN General Assembly debating season to lash out at the government...

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    International Tactics to Counter Terrorism and Violent Extremism Miss the Real Problem

    by  • May 4, 2016 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Terrorism and violent extremism are the most dramatic threats in the 21st century to state monopoly on the use of force, a cornerstone of the international system. In recent years, the failure of early counterterrorism efforts to stop the multiplication and geographic expansion of terrorist groups has shifted attention to countering violent...

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    There Is No Military Solution for Syria

    by  • March 20, 2016 • Middle East, Syria • 

    Only close cooperation between the United States and Russia can end the “terrible tragedy” in Syria, says Lakhdar Brahimi, the highly respected international mediator in the Middle East for more than two decades. Brahimi, who led United Nations missions in Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq before becoming the special joint envoy of the Arab League...

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    Falling Flat in Syria: How Not to Fight Jihad

    by  • February 20, 2016 • BOOKS • 

    Sun Tzu’s classic work on the art of war advises would-be warriors to “know your enemy.” What were Western powers and the United Nations thinking when they first pondered ways to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from beating, torturing, bombing and even gassing his own people after the first hesitant protests against his rigid...

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    As Syrian Peace Talks Take Shape, How Will Women Take Part?

    by  • December 26, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council, Syria, Women • 2 Comments

    When the United Nations Security Council recently approved timelines to begin peace talks and institute a national cease-fire in Syria, the language in the resolution gave no hint of the magnitude of such undertakings, nor did the congratulatory speeches afterward by diplomats delve into the details. That means the nitty-gritty work is left to...

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    More Refugees Destined for Europe, Further Testing Its Ability to Respond

    by  • October 4, 2015 • Middle East, Migration, Refugees • 1 Comment

    With an astounding 12 million people in Syria displaced from their homes in a population that numbered about 23 million before its civil war began in full fledge in 2012, the questions that inevitably arise are: Why isn’t the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees more actively involved on the ground in Europe, the...

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    Europe Pushes Ahead for More Aid to Syrians and to Disrupt Human Smuggling

    by  • September 29, 2015 • Human Trafficking, Libya, Middle East, Refugees • 

    Seizing a chance to respond more coherently to the deadly situation in Syria, the European Union and Jordan are proposing a “resilience plan” to alleviate the humanitarian emergency while pushing for a political course to stop the Syrian government from killing what’s left of its people. The European Union is also moving ahead in...

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    The OPCW Should Recommend Sanctions Against Syria for Missing Deadline

    by  • June 13, 2014 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has removed more than 80 percent of the world’s declared stockpile of chemical weapons through its oversight of the Chemical Weapons Convention, but the Syrian case has posed a serious challenge to the organization’s effectiveness on compliance and enforcement. Since Syria will most likely not complete...

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