Geneva II: Is It Always Better to ‘Jaw, Jaw’ than ‘War, War’?

Geneva II: Is it Always Better to “Jaw Jaw” than to “War War”? Winston Churchill’s adage is being sorely tested this week in Switzerland at the peace conference on Syria. To avoid the perverse outcome of actually strengthening Bashar al-Assad’s position in Syria, Washington should concentrate on steps the United States and its allies can take even if the talks predictably founder, especially in terms of establishing ceasefires for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to besieged areas, rallying what’s left of the moderate Syrian opposition by providing support, and making clear to Russia that there will be increasing costs for its backing of a war criminal as its regional proxy. The flames of sectarian violence that Assad is fanning in Syria can reach all the way to the Caucuses and the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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