Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the UN's special envoy to Syria, essentially admitted his mediation efforts have failed in a speech at the UN and laid most of the blame at the feet of Bashar al-Assad.
A generally accepted definition of civil war is a fight for control of a nation, involving the state, one or more non-state actors, and at least 1,000 battlefield casualties. Sounds like Syria.
If the US, China, and others adopt hidden methods of aggression like cyberwarfare, the nature of conflict will change rapidly. So, too, must peacemaking.
This week's best reads include an investigation into how the Obama administration chooses targets for drone attack, a stirring defense of dictator intelligence, and a scientific explanation of optimism.
Syria's war is as violent today as at any point of the over year-long conflict, and a UN peace plan spearheaded by Kofi Annan is in tatters. But that doesn't spell military intervention.
Former president of Liberia Charles Taylor called me regularly in the early 1990s when I was the director of Voice of America's English-to-Africa broadcasts. I'll never forget one strange phone call from him. Unfortunately, my hunch about Taylor's connection to Sierra Leone would prove correct.