Professor Mary Kaldor
Director, Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, LSE
Writing for Al Jazeera America:
The much-delayed Geneva II talks, meant to discuss an end to the war in Syria and scheduled to take place last week, have been postponed once again, with no new date set. Meanwhile, in Syria there will be more deaths, more hardship and disease, more people forced to leave their homes, more kidnappings and rapes, more trauma.
Even if the talks do take place soon, can such top-level negotiations — those that involve the Assad government, outside government powers and, putatively, representatives of the opposition — end the violence? Commentators and policymakers tend to see the Syrian crisis through the lens of past wars; we assume that what is going on is a contest of wills between two organized sides that both represent parts of the population. In this reading, all we need to do is to bring the parties to the negotiating table and reach an agreement. But the war in Syria is much more complex than that. And we must understand its character if we are serious about seeking peace.
Read the full article here.