Syria is awash with weapons. Introducing more -- whether small arms or sophisticated anti-aircraft platforms -- without robust civilian protection training, accountability for unlawful conduct, and disarmament planning can become lethal for Syrians.
In the past two years, Western media coverage has focused on the growing popularity of Salafist jihadi groups like the Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra) in Syria. These groups have become both an argument to intervene militarily, as well as a reason to stay out.
A solution in Syria can be found through sound mediation by Turkey and Russia, both of which know the country best, which are trusted and have enjoyed bilateral relations with it for many years.
President Barack Obama and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a daunting agenda when they met at the White House last week. The Syria crisis was top of the list. The peace process between Turkey and the PKK was also a priority.
Certainly, a practical solution to the crisis in Syria would require full cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, but considering the unfolding horror in Syria, neither the U.S. nor Russia can now piece together a political solution that will satisfy all players.
Food vouchers are the main channel for WFP's food assistance operation in Lebanon. At the moment some 300,000 refugees are receiving them monthly. Vouchers are worth about 20 euros and enable refugees to buy a wide range of food items in local shops.
This past week I've had the chance to meet and talk with a lot of people in Domiz camp. Adults at the camp are rarely as blunt as the kids, and nearly always tell me things are okay, and services are alright.
In the year since Domiz refugee camp opened, it has grown to the size of a small city. 40,000 people live here; nearly 40 times the population of the country town Yea, where I grew up in Australia.
It is not too late for the Obama administration's Atrocities Prevention Board to take the lead in thwarting mass atrocities. Everyday it fails to act is an invitation to Khartoum, Pyongyang, Damascus and their ilk to step up their assaults on human lives and dignity.
Many in Washington now dismiss further assistance to Libya as useless: the Libyans themselves are fractious and have limited 'absorbtive capacity.' At the same time, it is wrong to say we have no influence in Libya, or that we have no means of increasing that capacity.
War still rages in Syria - a fact that we are too quick to forget. The second birthday of the crisis has long passed and resolution doesn't appear to be on the horizon. When Syria-related news does reach our media outlets and Twitter feeds, it usually focuses on chemical weapons or possible intervention by the US. There is little talk of the abhorrent humanitarian crisis, which deteriorates daily.
In the coming weeks UN, NATO, EU, USA, Russia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and many others will have intense debates on what to do. Will the talking heads finally reach common ground and start acting accordingly? Stopping this war, is it really too complex, as many people tend to think? I don't think so.
President Obama should stick to his red line policy toward Syria and avoid advancing a red line policy toward Iran that will tie his hands. That may frustrate his domestic critics, but it makes America's adversaries nervous. And this is exactly where we should want our country's foreign policy to be.
However high-ranking an individual might be, or however "full" the powers they might be entrusted within the process of political transition in Syria,...
One afternoon, I decided to clear my mind and pay a brief visit to the Hagia Sophia, the monumental edifice in the ancient heart of the city. The "Holy Wisdom" is almost 1500 years old, and is -- at least in my amateur opinion -- the single greatest masterpiece of Byzantine architecture.
My mother would put on the coat, look at herself in the mirror, and smile. "You see, when it is good quality, it lasts," she would say.