Question Details

[solution] » Please do an article review as attached by using your own words and analysis . Pl


Answer Download

The Question

Please do an article review as attached by using your own words and analysis. Please indicate whether you agree with the article or not? please state your arguments. You may use citations. I need 5 pages for the review, Font:12; 1.5 spacing 

?The Crisis in Syria: The Case for UN Peacekeepers?


Krister Knapp, Ph.D.


Senior Lecturer


International Relations Round Table Coordinator


Department of History


Washington University in St. Louis


One Brookings Way


St. Louis, MO 63130


314-935-6838 Abstract


The crisis in Syria has reached a level that requires rethinking its possible resolution. Recent


efforts ranging from French operational and Saudi light arms support for the Free Syrian Army


to Iranian operational and Russian military support for the Assad regime have not resolved the


crisis. In fact, they have only worsened it by fueling the flames of sectarian hatred resulting in a


bloody stalemate on the ground. A new kind of intervention is therefore necessary. While the


suggestion of a NATO military intervention has been en vogue in some circles, this action would


substantially worsen the crisis and lead to further resentment against the West. A more humble


but effective action would be a robust UN intervention in the form of peacekeepers placed along


the Syrian border in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. The purpose would be to create safe havens


for all Syrians, not insure victory of one side or the other. The goal would be to stop the current


human rights violations and prevent the current humanitarian crisis from worsening, not fan the


flames of violence. The justification would be the ?responsibility to protect? doctrine, not mightmakes-right. The hope would be to create a window for a negotiated settlement and not give in


to more fighting with no end in sight. Despite recent tarnishes to the UN?s veneer, it should


therefore play an active role in resolving the Syrian crisis. 1


It is now necessary for the outside world to intervene in the crisis in Syria. The state of


affairs there has now effectively crossed a line in which not acting will be worse than acting.


Simply put, there is too much at stake to not to do something more than is already being done.


Such is the current cry heard around the world. However, ever since the pro-democratic


uprisings in Syria turned into a civil war last year, regional intervention has been occurring.


Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been providing light arms for the rebels while Iran and Iraq have


been supplying fighters and logistics to the Syrian state. International intervention has also been


going on for some time. Russia continues to send military weapons for the Assad regime while


Britain and France provide operational support to the Free Syrian Army. Since the current


configuration of power in Syria has led to a draw even as the death toll and carnage mounts with


no obvious end in sight, the question is not whether to intervene but what kind of intervention


will be effective. Clearly, the most recent kind has not been. This fact raises two strategic


questions: who or what body should intervene in some new way, and what should the goal of


such intervention be? While there has been much talk of late that the United States should do


more to help the Free Syrian Army oust President Bashar al-Assad, or even that NATO intervene


militarily to do it for them, these options will only worsen the violence and further embroil both


in a region where neither are welcome. Indeed, such intervention will only do more harm than


good for all in the long run.


So what is the best kind of intervention at this time? A moderate but effective solution is


for the United Nations to install a sizeable and armed peacekeeping force along the borders of


Syria. The purpose of such a force would not be to take sides in the civil war, but to create safe


zones that provide a modicum of security for all Syrians. The goal of this kind of intervention


would not be to determine a victor but to protect human rights and prevent further humanitarian 2


crisis. The justification would be the ?responsibility to protect? doctrine and the hope would be


to create a window for a negotiated settlement. Despite severe tarnishes to the UN?s veneer, it


should play an active role in resolving the Syrian crisis.


Critics and skeptics of the UN will surely hoot and howl about this kind of intervention,


claiming the UN is feckless and that such intervention will not prevent further killing. Even


inside the UN, members of the permanent five of the Security Council such as Russia have


blocked efforts to use the UN to resolve hard problems like Syria. This kind of skepticism has


deep roots in the Cold War experience when both the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. believed, much to


the chagrin of former colonized states in the Global South, that each was responsible for solving


them in a bi-polarized world. Once the Cold War ended, though, that balance of power altered,


opening up possibilities for the Security Council and the Secretary-General whose role during


these years expanded, giving the office more power than it had had in the previous 45 years.


Skepticism also grows out of more recent UN peacekeeping failures in the immediate post-Cold


War Years. Somalia, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia are but three obvious cases.


Nonetheless, there have been successful cases in both during the Cold War and afterward that


indicate the UN has been and can continue to be decisive and effective at helping to resolve


major security dilemmas. It should not be left out of the resolution to the Syrian crisis now.


For such plan to have a modicum of success, it must overcome several notable obstacles.


The first is the hard reality on the ground. President Assad remains in control of the Syrian


government, but he is not in control of the entire country, and something like anarchy has already


set in on the ground in major pockets of Syria. Clearly, much to blame lies with his regime.


Some statistics help drive home the point. Recent credible figures put the dead at 25,000. 1.5


million Syrians have been displaced internally, 1.2 million of those from the Syrian army?s 3


destruction of one-third of Homs, Syria?s third largest city. In addition to those displaced, many


more have fled abroad. The UN?s number of 150,000 counts only those that have officially


applied for refugee status, but based on reports of Syrians arriving in Jordan and Turkey, the total


number of refugees exceeds 325,000 and is likely to go much higher.1 It might be fair to say,


then, that crisis in Syria has now surpassed similar crises from the 1990s in Bosnia, Chechnya,


and Sri Lanka, and that Assad regime has now wreaked more devastation across Syria than


occurred in Grozny, Jaffna, and Sarajevo.2 Indeed, this past summer, the Assad regime started


shelling neighborhoods and whole cities once loyal to it, using airplanes to drop so-called ?TNT


barrels,? each containing hundreds of kilograms worth of explosives. It also unleashed the


Shabbiha, the relatively autonomous militia that commits gruesome massacres, such as the


killing of 400 people in Daraya on August 27th. In fact, somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000


people were killed in August, the highest for any month yet.3


Naturally the regime is not the only side to have committed atrocities. The co-called Free


Syrian Army (FSA), which is much less of unified army with a central command structure with


trained troops as it is a hodgepodge of disaffected Syrians who have taken up arms, rag-tag


mercenaries, former low-level Syrian conscripts, and a few officers with military training, has


also behaved poorly. One of the more recent episodes is the killing of five Alawite officers


outside of a Damascus police station.4 There are also credible reports that elements of Al-Qaeda


have arrived in Syria, hoping to kidnap the rebel?s pro-democracy mission and convert it to a


fight for a Sunni-led Arab caliphate based on fundamentalist Islamic interpretations of Sharia


law.5 These are heavily armed and battled hardened jihadist fighters that are being supplied by


Saudi Arabia and Qatar, indicating that the ruling Sunnis in those states have an interest in seeing


the Alawite Assad regime overthrown.6 It is similarly known that Iran not only provided Syrian 4


police with riot gear and paramilitary training during the pro-democracy demonstrations last


year,7 but also has sent members of its elite Revolutionary Guard units to fight with the Syrian


army against the rebels.8 Iraq is also sending Shi?a fighters to Damascus help protect the


regime.9 Finally, Hezbollah, the Shi?a Islamic militant group and political party based in


southern Lebanon and supported by both Iran and Syria, has likely sent fighters from its


paramilitary wing to the region as well.10 Clearly, the country is not just engulfed in a civil war,


but is quickly becoming a sectarian battleground of many forces and countries inside and outside


of Syria indicating that it is now a powder keg on the verge of exploding totally and irrevocably.


This grim reality can be contrasted with the surreal statement President Assad made on August


29 on Addounia TV, the pro-regime media station, that ?Syria will return to the Syria before the


crisis.?11 Clearly, this is not going to happen. Things are going to get worse before they get


better, especially if the situation is allowed to continue under its own inertia.


The situation thus requires a new kind of intervention. The question is of what kind? A


military intervention under the auspices of NATO is one possibility being discussed as of late.


Certainly such intervention could be justified by Article Five of NATO which states that ?an


armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an


attack against them all.?12 The repeated mortar firings into Turkey from Syria, which by now


can no longer be believed to be ?accidental,? would certainly fall under this provision (Turkey is


a NATO member). In fact, this situation has led to a rare invoking of NATO?s Article Four


which states ?The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the


territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.?13


Turkey?s recent military interception of a Syrian passenger plane en route from Russia to


Damascus, allegedly containing Russian made munitions and military gear for the Syrian regime, 5


which is a violation of international aviation law,14 could be interpreted as Turkey?s response


that it feels the conditions of Article Four have been met. If so, Turkey would be within their


legal bounds to request NATO strikes against Syria. So there is a case to be made for NATO




But a NATO military intervention in Syria would be a grave mistake. This is not


because of the thorny issues surrounding the viability of such an attack, especially to what extent


it is possible to render the Syrian air force impotent or that of placing sufficient number of


NATO troops on the ground to defeat the Syrian regular army without significant casualties.


Instead the argument ignores five crucial factors that would surely make such a mission a failure.


First, a NATO attack on Syria would only serve to further widen the conflict into a much broader


sectarian war, not contain the violence to Syria, likely drawing in Turkey, Iran, Jordan, and Iraq,


and thereby lead to a Middle Eastern war for which there is no stomach or need. Second, it


would lead to substantially more deaths of both Syrians and NATO forces, and surely there is no


stomach for this in the West. Third, there would be no foreseeable exit, leading to yet another


long and protracted war with no obvious benefit, for which the West neither desires nor can


afford. Fourth, a Western-led military strike would most assuredly inflame Muslim public


opinion and alienate some countries in the region, namely, Iran, which might see such


intervention as the first step toward attacking it, and perhaps even Iraq, whose government is run


by Shi?a but which remains so unstable that the ethnic conflict there would be further inflamed.


This point is particularly poignant since the likelihood of a US-led NATO force would be


perceived by many in the international community as a third US war in a Muslim country.


Finally, it would lead to further aggression against the US by terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and


its affiliates in the region to double-down on the effort to attack US embassies and the like, thus 6


running counter to US policy in the Global War On Terrorism that seeks to contain and erode AlQaeda. For all these reasons, then, a NATO led invasion of Syria is not the answer to the crisis


there. Indeed, it would substantially widen and worsen it?the exact opposite result of what is




If a NATO military intervention is not the answer, what is? A moderate but effective


response is to install UN peacekeeping units in Syria. The purpose would be to create safe zones


around Syria?s borders to the north, east, and south. These would not be no-fly zones enforced


through airpower or safety corridors close to the fighting. This possibility was suggested last


year by many credible strategists, but the violence has spread too much to make this solution


viable. By contrast, UN peacekeepers could help create stability along the borders of Syria in


Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, where is there is ample space for them, where all Syrians who


seek refuge from the fighting can safely cohabitate temporarily, and where the UN can establish


refugee camps to provide for them until other measures can be found. Over time, they can create


a de-militarized zone between the FSA and the Syrian Army along the main road that runs from


Aleppo in the North to Damascus in the South, where most of the fighting has occurred. The


point would to be to avoid taking sides in the conflict, as mandated by the UN Charter, and to


prevent as many deaths as possible. The FSA may or may not be victorious in the long run, and


the Assad regime will likely fall at one point, but for now, the solution must be a peacekeeping




To console critics and skeptics alike that such a plan can work, there is ample historical


evidence from the distant and recent past. Two examples stand out from the Cold War when the


world order was configured quite differently but which apply nonetheless. The first was the


peacekeeping operation in the 1956 Suez affair known as the United Nations Emergency Force 7


(UNEF 1) in which peacekeepers were inserted along the Egyptian-Israeli border and around the


Gaza Strip, acting as a physical barrier between the two countries? troops. While it is true that


such action was not a civil war as is the case in Syria today, but a more traditional conflict


between two states, it did help stabilize the situation. The second was the United Nations


Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in 1964, which was a civil war between the GreekCypriot majority and the Turkish-Cypriot minority. There, the UN Security Council secured a


cease-fire and then established a demilitarized zone a few kilometers wide dividing the two sides


along a 180-kilometer line, staffed with UN peacekeepers that has, for the most part, kept the


peace ever since.15


There are more recent historical examples as well. The most pertinent one is that of the


United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Building on the original 1978 mission that


involved 2,000 peacekeepers, the mission was expanded in 2009 to 15,000 peacekeepers. They


have created a safe zone along the Lebanon-Israel border in which the only armed personnel


currently allowed are UN peacekeepers or members of the Lebanese Army; those from Israel,


Hezbollah, and Syria are not permitted. Most accounts of this mission agree that UNIFIL has


successfully deterred additional violence along the border, and have allowed it to pursue the


other parts of its mission: the delivery of humanitarian assistance to wounded and ailing


civilians, and the safe return of refugees and displaced Lebanese.16 This case is not meant to


suggest that success is imminent. The historical record during and after the Cold War is littered


with failed UN peacekeeping missions, stretching from the Congo in 1960 to the Darfur region


of Sudan today. They are also not offered as ?models.? As Paul Kennedy has aptly shown in


magisterial account of the UN, The Parliament of Man (2006), the historical record clearly


shows there is no ?one size fits all? model, and trying to construct and apply one has shown to be 8


nothing but folly.17 The more pragmatic one is to learn from all the UN peacekeeping missions


to find what works in certain situations to see if they can be adapted, and to invent new ones as


new cases arise. Regardless, clearly there are positive indications that the UN can act in robust


and effective ways to curtail violence and reassert peace in conflict zones involving civil war.


As important as historical precedence is for justifying a UN peacekeeping mission in


Syria, it alone is not enough. The normative case for a UN intervention in Syria must also be


made. Such a case must be based in liberal internationalist principles, but to give them weight,


they must be applied pragmatically with an eye on what is possible and what is not. The most


pragmatically informed liberal internationalist principle at hand to justify UN intervention in


Syria is that of ?Responsibility to Protect.? Known as R2P, it was a product of the 2001 report


by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), confirmed by


Nobel Laureate Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his 2001 book ?We the Peoples,? and codified


by the UN at the 2002 Millennium Summit. R2P holds that human rights can transcend state


sovereignty under certain conditions, and moves us away from the view that state sovereignty is


an unfettered license for carte blanche state action, and toward the view that states must bear


some weight to govern responsibly. R2P manifests three basic tenets: first, that sovereignty is


contingent not absolute; second, it shifts the emphasis from the rights of outsiders to the rights of


victims; and third, it changes what might be called the ?international default setting? for justified


UN intervention on humanitarian grounds. Though there have been vocal opponents of R2P,


ranging from P5 nations who claimed this limits their power to intervene in their own national


interests to developing nations in the Global South who see it as just another cover for First


World intervention albeit with a human face rather than a colonial one, the embrace of the 9


doctrine by the world human rights community has demonstrated its relative acceptance.18 The


normative justification of UN intervention in Syria is thus available to those who look for it.


If there ever was a justification of R2P it is surely the current crisis in Syria.


Despite the weight of history and theory, several significant bureaucratic and diplomatic


hurdles must be overcome. First, since the UN is not allowed to take sides in civil wars and


ethnic conflicts, which the Syrian crisis most assuredly is, there is nothing in the 1945 Charter


granting the UN the right or responsibility to intervene in such cases. Indeed, the term


?peacekeeping? is not even mentioned in the Charter.19 Here, again, however, the cases of Suez,


Cyprus, and Lebanon, provide ample evidence that the UN can take such actions thus creating


ample precedence for a peacekeeping mission. The point, then, is not to install UN peacekeepers


in favor of the FSA and against the Assad government, but rather in support of all Syrians who


seek refuge from the violence. The Syrian borders with Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey while not


totally ideal, nonetheless presents the best practical place to do so at this time.


Second, since enacting UN peacekeeping forces falls under the rubric of the Security


Council, approval of the permanent five?the US, Great Britain, France, Russia and China?will


be required. Acquiring this is no small task. In fact, it has been the major stumbling block to a


more robust UN action in Syria. It thus requires some discussion. Since Russia and China have


already made it clear that they are not interested in passing any kind of resolution justifying UN


condemnation, even of the Assad government for it gross violations of human rights and


egregious behavior, it seems next to impossible that a resolution for peacekeepers could be


reached. As any UN watcher knows, the veto power given to the P5 has proven controversial


over the decades and at times has been an obstacle to UN efficacy. But it is not an


insurmountable one, and given the dire situation in Syria, it is imperative to try. 10


There are three ways this can be achieved. The first would be to make an end-run on the


Security Council by going directly to the General Assembly for an open vote. This radical


possibility may appear to be a violation of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which grants complete


authority over crisis situations involving international security to the Security Council, but in fact


it has been done at least once before. In 1950, the General Assembly passed resolution 377A,


known more famously as ?Uniting for Peace,? which granted itself the authority to meet and


discuss possible actions if such action was blocked by a veto in the Security Council while the


majority member states desired such action. Backed by the Americans, especially Secretary of


State Dean Acheson (for whom the resolution is nicknamed), and designed to circumvent Soviet


veto power and its support for the North Korean invasion of South Korea, one scholar of the UN


has called this ?perhaps the boldest attempt ever to shift power between the UN organs and had


great appeal.?20 Indeed, it led to the creation of the emergency special session concept, which


has been used ten times since, in the wake of a deadlocked Security Council.21 Invoking the


ESS, however, even if procedurally successful in the short run would only strain relations at the


UN and open up the Charter to further abuse in the long run. Thus, it might be a possible course,


but it would not ultimately be a wise one.


A second option is to convince Russia and China that it is in their interests to abstain


from voting or encourage their absence when the vote occurs. The Korean War, where the


Russians did not vote to support the UN-backed US led invasion of Korea, represents a historical


case where this happened. However, it is not likely to be repeated since the Russians were


embarrassed by their mistake and vowed never to be absent again. Indeed, Russia has since


vowed to use the veto as much as possible on principle to show its power in the P5.22 11


The final option is to convince the Russians and the Chinese that supporting UN


peacekeepers in Syria is in their best interests. In reality, this is the only viable option that will


not lead to abuse of the UN Charter or to open hostilities among P5 nations. Since China?s lone


objection to outside intervention of any kind is that such action sets precedence for future similar


actions especially in China, it is not willing to back intervention in Syria. But a UN


peacekeeping mission that places sufficiently armed troops along the borders of Syria, that is


designed to protect all Syrians regardless of ethnic makeup or loyalties, and that is not


implemented to choose sides, is easily shown not to be the kind of interference in domestic


matters that China offers as its objection. Since Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey can be convinced


of the benefit of such peacekeepers along their borders by showing how they will prevent the


carnage from further spreading into their nations, it is hard to imagine how China?s objection


could stand up.


Russia has likewise argued that outside intervention amounts to a violation of Syria?s


national sovereignty. But it clearly has other interests in Syria far beyond those of China that


lead it to block UN resolutions on this matter. The first is that Syria is a sovereign nation and the


Assad government is by definition the legitimate government?this even as it admits that


President Assad has made numerous mistakes and that its army has committed numerous


atrocities (though it likes to point out that the FSA has done so as well). As such, the Russians


contend the crisis in Syria remains a domestic matter, however much the indiscriminate killing


goes on. Second, although Russia has been less vocal about this point, Syria remains a Russian


ally. In fact, it is one of its last in the region. While it is not impossible to imagine that Russia


will eventually decide to abandon Syria, for now it defends and upholds those relations. Indeed,


there is ample historical evidence from the Cold War, where then Soviet policy in the Middle 12


East was not very effective at pulling the nations of the region into its sphere of influence, that


the Russians will hang on to Syria because that coarse is the only way to maintain its influence in


the region. Hardliners in Russia, especially the FSB, still believe that the Middle East is worth


fighting for in an imaginarily renewed Cold War with the West. However unlikely such scenario


is, it...


Solution details

Solution #00020152

[solution] » Please do an article review as attached by using your own words and analysis .

Uploaded by: Tutor

Answer rating:

This paper was answered on 14-Oct-2020

Pay using PayPal (No PayPal account Required) or your credit card . All your purchases are securely protected by .

About this Question






Oct 14, 2020





We have top-notch tutors who can do your essay/homework for you at a reasonable cost and then you can simply use that essay as a template to build your own arguments.

You can also use these solutions:

  • As a reference for in-depth understanding of the subject.
  • As a source of ideas / reasoning for your own research (if properly referenced)
  • For editing and paraphrasing (check your institution's definition of plagiarism and recommended paraphrase).
This we believe is a better way of understanding a problem and makes use of the efficiency of time of the student.


Order New Solution. Quick Turnaround

Click on the button below in order to Order for a New, Original and High-Quality Essay Solutions. New orders are original solutions and precise to your writing instruction requirements. Place a New Order using the button below.


Order Now