Last week, the U.S. and Russia agreed to the terms for a ceasefire in Syria, which began this past weekend. While this agreement should, in theory, stop conflict between parties and allow humanitarian supplies to be delivered to areas in need, I’m extremely pessimistic that this ceasefire will actually take hold.

Without the big players in this conflict—the U.S., Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia—acting in agreement, this ceasefire only holds minor symbolic value. I doubt that Russia will hold up its end of the bargain, as they failed to do in Ukraine. Even if this ceasefire does take hold, I doubt the people on the ground in Syria will believe it.

The real hope for an end to the Syrian conflict will come from an imposed solution from the outside. We must create a safe zone by bringing in troops from local nations, with a U.S./NATO core to the force. We must also think about a political solution to the conflict, which may include a partition of Syria.

I shared my thoughts with BBC’s Katty Kay, where we also discussed how the U.S. might bring Libya back from the brink. Watch the clip here:

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I spoke on this same issue on CNN with The Lead’s Jake Tapper, discussing a “plan B” solution for Syria without Russian cooperation. I also shared my thoughts on President Obama’s Guantanamo Bay proposal—while we all want to close Gitmo, we need a better and more coherent plan than what was proposed. Watch the clip here:

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In light of recent peace talks between the United States and North Korea, I shared my thoughts on the threat of this nation. The United States must stop falling for the North Korean cycle of negotiation—they demonstrate bad behavior, drag the West to negotiating table, North Korea gains concessions and repeats the cycle.

Obviously, what we’ve done with North Korea is not working. We need a more robust and muscular plan to deal with this nation, increasing sanctions, missile and air defenses, and our use of cyber forces.

Watch my interview with Fox Business here:

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I also published an op-ed in Nikkei Asian Review on “How to Deal with North Korea.” Here’s an excerpt:

Most recently, the North Koreans have detonated a nuclear device (their fourth in the past decade) and launched a long-range ballistic missile. While neither event went perfectly, taken together they demonstrate increasing technological capability and malign intent in disregarding international opinion and United Nations sanctions. North Korea’s pattern of behavior and the facts on the ground demand a plan for dealing with this pariah state. 

Firstly, the international community should increase sanctions dramatically. Given the level of sanctions leveled on Iran for merely pursuing a nuclear weapon, why apply fewer sanctions to a state that has such weapons and detonates them in unnecessary tests? The U.S. Congress just passed a tougher set of sanctions that will target international cash accounts and penalize banks that do business with North Korea. Japan is also imposing new, stronger sanctions. Other nations in the region — especially China — should follow suit.

As always, thanks for reading.

 

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