Russian Roulette

The East-West Dilemma

US Russia
The Syrian town of Aleppo has been the target of deadly government airstrikes.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A failure to resolve East-West tensions, and the war in Syria, threaten another world war, the author says.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Russia is supporting pro-government forces in Syria.
    • The Assad government is also being supported by Iran and China.
    • Last week, Russia exited negotiations with the U.S. on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, inflaming tensions between the two.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The world is slowly sliding into abyss.

After Russia’s announcement to pull out of a plutonium-disposal treaty with the United States, as well as Washington breaking off negotiations with Moscow on Syria, what’s building up could ultimately lead to the brink of a Third World War.

The West is showing those trapped in the Syrian city of Aleppo that it can’t help them. We are again stunned and powerless witnesses to massive war crimes in the modern world – as before in Rwanda. We are seeing that humanitarianism and human life don’t have the highest priority in the global world order.

There are no more calls to keep working at it. Mr. Putin’s exiting of negotiations with the U.S. on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium early Tuesday, when coupled with Washington’s new stance on Sryian, risks unleashing a new East-West clash far worse than the Cold War.

It would be a humanitarian catastrophe.

Some say this could be avoided by a morally painful but pragmatic alternative: keeping Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in office. Leave solving Syria to Russia. But this option also contains dangerous possibilities.

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