Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 21, 2018

Smoke rises from the rebel held besieged town of Hamouriyeh, eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

F. Brinley Bruton and Ammar Cheikh Omar, NBC: Syria’s civil war has been raging for 7 years. What’s behind it?

“Beyond imagination.”

That is how the U.N. has described the onslaught by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta, which is located in a so-called "de-escalation zone"

The intensifying bombing campaign around 10 miles from the country’s capital has killed and wounded hundreds in just a few days.

Idlib, a city in the northwest of the country where many people from Aleppo were relocated to after a rebel-held area there fell in Dec. 2016, is also bracing for a major government attack.

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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 21, 2018

Explainer: Why Syria's messy war keeps escalating -- Angus McDowall, Reuters

The twisted logic of the war in Syria -- Kersten Knipp, DW

Afrin marks the point of collapse for American influence in Syria -- David Goldman, Asia Times

Can Putin and Trump Impose a Peace on Syria? -- Frederic C. Hof, Newsweek

Despite Progress on Paper, Turkey, Us Still Leagues Apart -- Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor

Reconstructing Iraq: A test case for Trumpian burden-sharing -- Jonas Parello-Plesner and Peter Rough, Defense News

Al Qaida Aims to Undermine Fragile Peace in Mali -- Bennett Seftel, The Cipher Brief

Diplomacy, sanctions, missile defense: Use this triad against North Korea -- Lt. Gen. Dan Leaf (ret.), Defense News

After Zuma, a New Start for South Africa Will Be Easier Said Than Done -- James Hamill, WPR

Europe is facing a potential crisis in the Balkans. It has to act soon -- Ivan Krastev, The Guardian

U.S. Revives Concerns About European Defense Plans -- Steven Erlanger, New York Times

Democrat Linda Belcher Takes Deep-Red Kentucky Seat, the 37th Flip Since Trump’s Inauguration -- Gideon Resnick, Daily Beast

Coping with Surprise in Great Power Conflicts -- Mark F. Cancian, CSIS

How to Grow the Military Without Buying More Ships, Planes, Tanks -- Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One

Fight Together, Parade Together -- Jason Healey, The Cipher Brief

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