Syria Aleppo bomb attack Karam Almasri/ZumaPress

A Contact Group Plan for Syria

Though conflict and crisis may seem to be unique to their participants and contemporaries, such episodes often play out according to distinct patterns – though usually after the events that comprise them have faded from our collective memory. Such is the case with Syria’s civil war.

DENVER – Conflict and crisis may seem to be unique to their participants and contemporaries. But such episodes often play out according to distinct patterns – though usually after the events that comprise them have faded from our collective memory. Such is the case with Syria’s civil war.

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Accords, which ended the Bosnian War. It was a brutal war for territory, in which civilians were targeted more often than combatants, making a mockery of international humanitarian law (indeed, it has taken decades to round up known war criminals, some of whose trials remain ongoing). And it was a war that divided the international community, especially the Western allies, as it grappled with its first post-Cold War crisis.

Today, the Bosnian War is barely remembered. When it is, observers typically cite the use of NATO airpower, as if that were the only factor that helped end it.

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