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A Long-Term Plan for Syria’s Refugees

BEIRUT – After spending just three days with refugees and aid workers in Lebanon and Turkey, the apocalyptic nature of the Syria crisis is all too apparent: more than 100,000 deaths, nine million people displaced, two million children out of school, diseases like polio resurfacing, and neighboring countries struggling to cope with waves of refugees.

Countless heartrending stories of lost husbands, wives, siblings, and children, to say nothing of homes and livelihoods destroyed, provide yet more troubling evidence of how Syria’s civil war has become a regional conflict (as the bombing of Iran’s Beirut embassy suggests). Anti-Assad rebels are now fighting each other, as jihadists make gains. Experts no longer talk of the conflict lasting months; they speak in terms of years, or even decades.