With the second round of Syrian ceasefire negotiations underway in Montreux, expectations are low. Unfortunately, politicians have a reputation for taking a long time to say they really do not know how to solve a problem, except to offer a nonviable solution, which allows them to say they tried and place blame for inevitable failure on the parties in need of help. In doing so, they manage to legitimize the existence of political organizations like the UN, yet fail to problem solve. As such, these talks may well only serve as a means for the International Community to deflect its ineffectiveness and nonexistent leadership on matters of war.
It should go without saying that the Syrian People know their Civil War is their problem and their responsibility to resolve, but that does not mean they can. Absent an America or a France to offer direct military intervention against the will of the International body that could lead to a peacekeeping mission, diplomacy is currently the only option for the United Nation. Unfortunately, the UN is a peacetime organization addicted to peace at all costs, so it is very difficult for the UN to sufficiently address situations like the Syrian Civil War.
Because the Syrian Civil War stems from President Assad’s desire to hold onto power and the rebels need for political change, while it also important to remember the Assad regime has essentially promised to purge the rebels once the conflict ends, the only solution must involve a transition of power away from Assad. This is, of course, the supposed purpose behind the Geneva negotiations in the accordance to Geneva 1 talks. Clearly, the Assad regime is, to say the least, resisting this keystone provision.
Meanwhile, it is important to recognize the fractured nature of the opposition means peace cannot be achieved unless opposition fighters feel their interests are being met by an agreement; henceforth, the Assad regime must decide to go forward with a ceasefire and transition of power. Unfortunately, Iranian, Russian, and other pro-Assad support acts as an incentive for the Assad regime to hold on to power; whereas, any support of the opposition acts as a means of ensuring the fight continues and the Assad regime cannot retaliate against the opposition, their families, and their communities.
Consequently, the UN and anti-Assad allies must focus on tipping Assad’s cost-benefit analysis in favor of a transition. Only when this is done can a diplomatic solution be successfully negotiated and implemented. Finally, we must remember pursuing failed negotiations often undermines the successful of future negotiations, even when prospects are far brighter.
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