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For over four years an article of faith for senior Western politicians has been that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria.The suspension of peace talks in Geneva now forces political elites in the West to confront openly that which many already knew privately: There is a military solution, and Russia is trying unashamedly to achieve it.U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura suspended the Geneva talks until Feb. 25 for one reason: Russia had taken full advantage of a peace conference it had helped organize to escalate its military campaign against nationalist rebels in northwestern Syria – a predominantly air campaign that was adding significantly to the horrific death toll of Syrian civilians. Even in the wake of the Feb. 3 suspension, the State Department spokesman insisted on the relevance of Russian commitments to cease-fires, humanitarian access, peaceful negotiations and the like, and proved unable to make a very simple and truthful statement: Russia has imperiled diplomatic prospects by using the Vienna process as a cover for military operations and objectives; Russia is fully to blame for the suspension of the Geneva talks.So put humanitarian considerations aside: What happens in Syria does not stay in Syria.
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