Syria: Weighing the Risks

09-09-2013

Following two and a half years of bloody civil war in Syria, world leaders remain uncertain how to staunch a humanitarian calamity that has left more than 100 000 Syrians dead, 6 million displaced and immeasurable material damage and human suffering. China and Russia have incapacitated the United Nations, and the military conflict in Syria is escalating dangerously. The chemical attack on civilian targets near Damascus on 21 August has refocused the attention of the international community on the crisis, and the United States and France – supported by the Gulf states, Turkey and Israel – are calling for a targeted and limited military intervention to punish the Assad regime. Such action would have unpredictable consequences for the country, the region and world politics. It is unlikely that it would improve the dire situation of the Syrian people or foster a peaceful and democratic future for the country.

Following two and a half years of bloody civil war in Syria, world leaders remain uncertain how to staunch a humanitarian calamity that has left more than 100 000 Syrians dead, 6 million displaced and immeasurable material damage and human suffering. China and Russia have incapacitated the United Nations, and the military conflict in Syria is escalating dangerously. The chemical attack on civilian targets near Damascus on 21 August has refocused the attention of the international community on the crisis, and the United States and France – supported by the Gulf states, Turkey and Israel – are calling for a targeted and limited military intervention to punish the Assad regime. Such action would have unpredictable consequences for the country, the region and world politics. It is unlikely that it would improve the dire situation of the Syrian people or foster a peaceful and democratic future for the country.