Let War Work

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The conflict in Syria has ground on for roughly five years now, claiming some 400,000 lives, leading almost five million Syrians to seek refuge in neighboring countries, and displacing nearly seven million internally.  The recent collapse of the U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire has been followed by some of the most intense aerial bombardment of the war. This has led to international condemnations of Russia’s role in the war, attempts to renew the ceasefire, and in some corners, calls for more direct American action. But is more international intervention really the right response to Syria’s cycle of violence or broadly speaking, to any conflict? To find out, The Cipher Brief spoke with Edward Luttwak, CSIS Senior Associate and renowned author of “Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace.“

The Cipher Brief: In 1999, you wrote a much-discussed article in Foreign Affairs titled, “Give War a Chance,” in which you argued that peace efforts – ceasefires, negotiations, peacekeeping operations – often prolong the length and severity of civil conflicts, rather than end the suffering. Can you explain that idea a little further, and do you think the conflict in Syria fits that mold?

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