With Syrian forces continuing to shell civilian areas, and a U.N.-brokered peace plan on the verge of collapse, France is pressuring the United Nations to reconsider military intervention. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also wants to impose harsher measures if Syria and armed rebels continue to fight, although the U.S. and NATO say they don't plan to send troops. Is there any chance foreign soldiers will step in to stop the violence?
Like it or not, intervention is on the table: The world needs to stop the killing in Syria, says Kurt Volk in The Christian Science Monitor. Otherwise, we'll repeat the tragedy of Bosnia, sitting on our hands, despite the shelling of civilians, until a mass atrocity occurs that is so horrific we'll have to do something. Then the only question will be why America and its friends didn't act sooner.
"The case for military intervention in Syria"
It is too early to give up on diplomacy: Don't ignore the positive developments since both sides agreed to the ceasefire, says Marc Lynch at Foreign Policy, including a "leap in peaceful protests." U.N. envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan represents the most plausible, "if still far from certain, path towards demilitarization." The military options, from arming the Free Syrian Army to mounting a foreign invasion, don't offer a quick and easy path to peace — look at Iraq — and might "make the situation considerably worse."
"Give Annan's Syria plan a chance"
Sending troops would take a consensus that doesn't exist: "The case against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is getting stronger by the day," says the United Arab Emirates' Khaleej Times. The ink on the peace agreement is barely dry, but Assad's "duplicity and actual disregard" for the ceasefire is already apparent. But deploying observers is as far as the U.N. can go, because Russia and China can veto any resolution authorizing military intervention, and both are still "pressing for the U.N. peace plan to be given a chance."
"The post ceasefire gloom"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- Why you should absolutely watch this confounding, wonderful World Series
- Rise of the machines
- 10 things you need to know today: October 20, 2014
Subscribe to the Week