Conflict Studies

Ceasefires in Syria: A Post-Mortem

Ceasefires in Syria: A Post-Mortem

Policymakers and diplomats view ceasefires as a positive step toward peace because they present the conditions under which trust can be engendered between opposing sides in the Syrian civil war. Some academics have even found statistical evidence supporting this claim. But of the 44 ceasefires agreed to throughout Syria since 2012, only five preceded rebels surrendering, and only seven ceasefires in Syria have endured to the present. The remaining 32 ceasefires have failed. A survey of the failed ceasefires provides three logical pathways from ceasefires to offensives: leverage, buying time, and collapse of cooperation.