To say “The West has failed Syria” tempts us into the dangerous belief that had we only got stuck into this conflict from the off, things would now be better. It’s a belief, as recent history shows, we badly need to resist.
So speaks the voice of caution. But are we really saying that the best the big powers can do is just sit on the sidelines and watch Syria destroy itself?
In this debate from October 2013, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown and City University's Professor of Middle East Policy Studies Rosemary Hollis, take on NYT columnist Roger Cohen and former British Ambassador to the US Nigel Sheinwald.