A Discussion on Syria

by Jessica Poarch

Today the Economist reported that: “August was certainly the bloodiest month so far [in the Syrian Conflict]: as many as 4,000 may have died, 3,000 of them civilians and rebels, the rest soldiers or pro-regime militiamen. The death toll now often tops 250 a day. The opposition reckons that 23,000-plus Syrians have been killed since protests began in March last year; the UN, more conservatively, puts the toll at 17,000.”  (Read the rest of the article here).

The persistent and growing bloodshed raise questions about whether or not the International Community is doing enough to support the rebel force or to bring an end to the conflict. In the same article sighted above, the Economist notes that foreign governments are not ready for direct intervention into this Conflict, but should they be? For additional information on the debate check out this mornings Daine Rehm Show entitled “The Deepening Conflict In Syria“.

For me, as a student of LOAC, this is a reminder that there is no international police force to impose the LOAC rules on nations and people at war; a reminder that, as Gary Solis wrote in his book*, “At the best of times, LOAC is never more then imperfectly observed, and at the worst of times is very poorly, observed indeed. In fact, one must  admit that LOAC really does not work well at all. However, … we should perhaps not so much complain that the law of war does not work well, as marvel that it works at all.”

[*] Gary D. Solis, The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War, p 8.

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