The U.N. Mission in Syria: Heading for Heroic Failure?

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When the United Nations sends peacekeepers to war zones, there are often excessive expectations about what they can achieve. By contrast, pessimism surrounds the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), which is supposed to oversee a ceasefire and create space for talks between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and its opponents. U.S. officials, having fought hard in the Security Council to maximize the mission’s autonomy and authority, have warned that it is too weak to succeed. While only a handful of the planned total of 300 hundred monitors are on the ground so far, the Norwegian general in charge […]

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