The crisis in Syria is a test case in the failure of international diplomacy

On Sunday, a car bomb exploeded in central Damascus killing 15 and wounding several army officers as diplomatic efforts to establish a “safe haven” failed to gain traction.

Meanwhile, Syrian rebels take aim at the government’s air power by targeting air bases. And, in another sign of the regionalization of the Syrian war, Iran asserted it would take action if the US or western nations attacked its neighbor.

Why the international community has been so inept at confronting Assad and quelling the violence in Syria is an important question moving forward and part of the answer may be fear of failure.

David Ignatius writes in The Washington Post that part of the United Nations failure to assertively deal with the violence in Bashar al-Assad’s Syria stems from its hesitancy to get involved following the debacles of the Somalia and Bosnian wars. This view is a central point made in the new book by former UN envoy and Secretary General Kofi Annan.


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