The Mythical Liberal Order

A cooperative, law-based international system remains an aspiration, not a reality.

Issue: Mar-Apr 2013

AFTER A year and a half of violence and tens of thousands of deaths in Syria, the UN Security Council convened in July 2012 to consider exerting additional international pressure on President Bashar al-Assad. And for the third time in nine months, Russia and China vetoed any moves toward multilateral intervention. Less than two weeks later, Kofi Annan resigned as the joint UN–Arab League special envoy for Syria, lamenting, “I can’t want peace more than the protagonists, more than the Security Council or the international community for that matter.”

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