The stakes couldn’t be higher for the former secretary-general’s new mission to Damascus as U.N. mediator—if he fails, the diplomatic route may be exhausted. Bruce Jones on why Putin’s talk of a ceasefire is a useful opening.
The Libyan crisis demonstrated the divisions over interventionism that surfaced around the 2003 Iraq invasion remain unresolved. The dividing lines over Libya differed from those over Iraq, with France now advocating interventionism. Yet it was clear that there was still no EU consensus on the criteria for the use of force. This breakdown -- highlighted by Germany's refusal to vote military action at the UN -- raises questions about what the European powers learned from Iraq.