FROM Daniel Serwer
Peace Talks and Warfare in Syria In four and a half years, Syria's civil war has killed 250,000 people and displaced 12 million -- half the nation's entire population. Supporters of both sides agree there cannot be a military solution, but the fighting continues, now to include about 50 American Special Forces . The US and Russia joined 15 other nations last week -- including archrivals Iran and Saudi Arabia — to discuss a diplomatic solution. The al-Assad regime was not represented. The closed-door meeting produced nine points of agreement as well as plans to meet again soon, but international rivalries already threaten to derail any progress.
New Government Offensive in Syria The presence of multiple combat operations in Syria are all too evident today with news that Turkey has shot down a drone that intruded into its airspace while an offensive backed by Russian jets is underway near Aleppo. Daniel Serwer, professor of conflict management at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, offers an analysis of the situation.
The Syrian War and Its Humanitarian Crisis UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said today there must be a third round of peace talks between Syria and its divided opponents. The second round collapsed over disputes about the agenda, and some diplomats have declared the effort a failure. It was an agreement between the US and Russia that got the talks started, with each backing a different side. What's the impact of the Ukrainian crisis?
Is Syria's Civil War Going Global? Syria tops the agenda as Presidents Obama and Putin meet at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. After months of non-involvement, the US has promised some rebels small arms and ammunition , to be coordinated by General Salim Idriss, who heads the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army. But the rebels say they still don't know what to expect. Here at home, advocates of intervention accuse Obama of being led by events, while supporters say the situation is too uncertain to formulate policy goals. If Bashar al Assad stays in power, what are the consequences for Syria and the rest of the Middle East? Is it too late to force him to negotiate in good faith?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.