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A child looks on as a fighter with the Free Syrian Army secures a checkpoint on the outskirts of Azaz, Syria, Jan. 27, 2018 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).

The United States Isn’t Ready for Future, Syria-Style Wars

Friday, Feb. 23, 2018

The ongoing and increasingly grim conflict in Syria is a portent of wars to come. As I wrote last week, future Syria-style wars will be defined by four characteristics: intricate complexity, a conflict-specific configuration of antagonists, an inability of the international community to undertake humanitarian intervention and a failure of the United Nations to play an effective role in ending the fighting.

But beyond these core features, wars resembling Syria’s civil war will share other attributes both on and off the battlefield, with profound and troubling implications for the United States. ...

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