Syria Reveals the Limits of Ad Hoc Coalitions and Alliances of Convenience

Syria Reveals the Limits of Ad Hoc Coalitions and Alliances of Convenience
Turkish troops check their tanks near the Syrian border, Karkamis, Turkey, Aug. 26, 2016 (Ismail Coskun, IHA via AP).

Syria’s horrific crisis is now generating new insights into the fault lines and even falsehoods of international cooperation. Diplomatic efforts to find some minimal common ground to tamp down the war have repeatedly fallen short, as the external actors care more about preventing each other’s gains than saving Syria. It reminds us that old-fashioned, formal alliances have more meaning than ad hoc coalitions. The Syrian conflict may be an outlier with its endlessly tragic dimensions. As The New York Times’ Max Fisher explained this week, Syria defies all the theories about civil wars, offering little hope for the conflict winding […]

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