As Negotiated Peace Gets Rarer, U.N. Peacekeeping Must Find a New Role

As Negotiated Peace Gets Rarer, U.N. Peacekeeping Must Find a New Role
Houses damaged by airstrikes in the rebel-held city of Douma, outside Damascus, Syria, March 4, 2018 (DPA photo by Samer Bouidani via AP).

If peacemakers want to have any chance of ending today’s wars, they must learn to think like cold-blooded killers.

From Syria to Myanmar, armed forces are pursuing unrelenting military campaigns and indiscriminately punishing civilians in their search for victory. Over the past week, Syrian troops and their allies have kept up intense pressure on the rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta despite a chorus of international condemnation.

Although the government forces have allowed a small amount of aid into Ghouta, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has promised to keep up the offensive. Having pressed previous sieges, like that of Aleppo in late 2016, until he achieved complete victory, Assad is unlikely to give up until all of Ghouta is in his hands.

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