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Syria's failed cease fire

Syria's failed cease fire

What is happening in Syria is heartbreaking. The short-lived cease fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia two weeks ago collapsed ignominiously before it was even fully implemented. Meanwhile, Russian and Syrian government aircraft are back in the skies dropping incendiary weapons and bunker-busting bombs on beleaguered civilian populations in Aleppo and other cities. Residents say the savagery of the aerial assault is the worst they have seen during Syria's five-year civil war.

Yet it's clear the extent to which the U.S can alleviate the suffering of ordinary Syrians is limited. Short of toppling the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, there may be no way of swiftly ending...