Javier Solana and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in today’s New York Times:
‘Rather than secure humanitarian space and empower a political transition, Western military engagement in Syria is likely to provoke further escalation on all sides, deepening the civil war and strengthening the forces of extremism, sectarianism and criminality gaining strength across the country. The idea that the West can empower and remotely control moderate forces is optimistic at best. Escalation begets escalation and mission creep is a predictable outcome if the West sets out on a military path . . .
. . . In this context, it is time for a real — and hitherto untested — political push by Western actors. While the argument is made that the opposition needs strengthening first, there will never be an ideal moment to switch tracks from fighting to talking, and in the meantime the devastation continues’.