Cease-Fire in Syria Buying Time at a Cost
A United Nations-backed cease-fire has neither stopped the fighting in Syria nor forced the government to pull its troops from civilian neighborhoods. It has been called a failure by activists still dodging bullets on the streets of Syria and by senior Obama administration officials questioned in Congress last week.
But no one has yet to offer a plausible alternative.
The result is a bloody stalemate, with the West still endorsing a peace plan even while calling it unrealistic, and the Syrian government, if anything, empowered by the paralysis, even more confident it can weather the fractured and diffuse international pressure.
Despite months of fighting, Western and Arab sanctions that have sapped the national treasury and defections that have eroded the unity of the military, the Syrian government is not on the verge of falling nor abandoning its use of lethal force.