Bashar al-Assad said he's stop shooting on April 10. He lied.  So what now?

Read the full Foreign Policy article here

Apr 10, 2012
Bruce Jones
Middle East, Syria

Kofi Annan’s new mission to Syria is among the toughest of his diplomatic career. Assad is no pushover and is not hesitant to use force to maintain his position in power—as his brutal assault on Homs shows.

Read the full Daily Beast article here.

Mar 03, 2012
Bruce Jones
Middle East, Syria

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.

May 02, 2012
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

A growing number of Western diplomats argue that it is time for Kofi Annan to step down as special envoy to Syria.

Read the full Foreign Policy article here

May 18, 2012
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

UN envoy's tactic of polite diplomacy against a backdrop of mass murder is a familiar story.

Read the full Guardian article here

May 30, 2012
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

Syria’s descent into civil war is accelerating, with reports of massacres coming in daily. But Russia and China are blocking a decisive response at the United Nations, just as they have since the middle of 2011.

Read the full Daily News article here.

Jun 10, 2012
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

Richard Gowan writes on what the UN supervision mission in Syria (UNMIS) can really achieve and draws comparison to the current situation in South Sudan.

Read the full Signal article here.

Jul 17, 2012
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

If the critics of the United Nations were to design a scenario to make the organization seem absolutely irrelevant, it would look a lot like this week’s debacle over Syria.

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

Jul 20, 2012
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

Is the European Union about to engage in a proxy war in the Sahara? In late-July, European foreign ministers directed EU officials to come up with “concrete proposals” for supporting an African stabilization force in Mali. There’s no doubt that Mali needs stabilizing: Islamist separatists with links to al-Qaida have seized the north of the country, and the south has been in political turmoil since a coup in March.

Aug 06, 2012
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

The Syrian civil war is becoming simultaneously more brutal and more confusing. As the battle for Aleppo has dragged on and diplomatic efforts to forge a peace deal have been derailed, it has been hard to assess whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime are close to collapse or able to sustain a protracted war. Yet there is a growing sense that, if and when Assad falls, some sort of international peacekeeping force will likely be needed to prevent Syria from descending into worse chaos.

Aug 13, 2012
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, Syria