The Spiraling War in Syria Might Be the Crisis That Breaks the U.N.

Turkey-backed opposition fighters of the Free Syrian Army secure a checkpoint at the village of Maarin, on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Azaz, Syria, Jan. 27, 2018 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).
Turkey-backed opposition fighters of the Free Syrian Army secure a checkpoint at the village of Maarin, on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Azaz, Syria, Jan. 27, 2018 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).

Analyzing the United Nations is rather like being a nervous seismologist in California. Geological experts are accustomed to tremors and small quakes along the San Andreas Fault, which bisects America’s most heavily populated state. But they are on alert for a much more powerful earthquake that could wreck some of the country’s most prosperous cities. Some say this will come soon. U.N. experts are likewise hardened to the regular crises that shake the organization but do not upend it. From Mali to Syria, the U.N. is struggling to make or keep peace. But despite occasional bouts of diplomatic frustration, the […]

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