Saturday Headlines

The Security Council approved a resolution on Friday that grants the United Nations an enhanced role in shepherding the opposing sides to talks for a political transition, with a timetable for a ceasefire, a new constitution and elections, all under UN auspices.

Secretary of State John Kerry praised the passage of the resolution shortly after its passage.

“By approving Resolution 2254 today, this council is sending a clear message to all concerned that the time is now to stop the killing in Syria and lay the groundwork for a government that the long-suffering people of that battered land can support. After four and a half years of war, this is the first time we have been able to come together at the United Nations in the Security Council to embrace a road forward,” said Kerry.

His Russian counterpart, however was less than enthusiastic.

“I’m not too optimistic about what has been achieved today. The progress has not been as dramatic as we would like it to be. . . . But it is complicated,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, according to the Washington Post.

Lavrov is right to be reluctant to get giddy because difficulties remain ahead on the path to peace for Syria despite the United Nations Security Council having approved a resolution endorsing an international road map toward an agreed settlement.

Internet Can Weaken, But Will Not Defeat ISIS
One of the aspects of the war to defeat ISIS that has proven to be most frustrating is trying to catch up technologically, particularly related to efforts to break through encrypted messages. However, even if counterterrorism officials catch up, the Internet and use of social media is not the key to defeating ISIS, contends Jack Butler in The Federalist.

“Weakening and even destroying the web presence of the Islamic State could limit its spread, or at least impede it. But such efforts alone cannot destroy ISIS, since the Islamic State’s Internet presence is only incidental to its broader appeal,” he writes.

In reality, he continues, ISIS’ attracting is that it is an archetypal “strong horse” that “also offers an empowering sense of purpose to its recruits, one to which the modern West has trouble responding” and countering.

The Islamic State will endure so long as those who profess to oppose it meander in a confused, half-hearted, strategy- and goal-free campaign against it, allowing it to continue to appear the strong horse.

Quick Hits:
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spills the beans on the chaos within the Obama administration on matters of foreign affairs and why Obama still has no clear strategy to handle the worsening situation in Syria.

African Union preparing to send more troops to handle civil war in Burundi.

Europe’s new data-protection rules will only stifle innovation.

The Miami Herald reviews Cuba’s first year after relations with the US were normalized.

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