Staffan de Mistura

NEW YORK -- The international community needs a strong United Nations more than ever before. But rarely has the U.N. been weaker.
I have heard more times than I can count, especially since the start of the Vienna peace process on Syria last November, that Syrians are simply "tired of war" and that it is time to give up on the Syrian Revolution's core demand for the departure of the Assad dictatorship.
The fight against ISIS is not going well. In Iraq, the Obama Administration's declared main theater of the battle, an anti-ISIS military offensive has stalled amid allegations of politicized intelligence.
Foreign Policy recently reported on an unpublished paper percolating through Washington policy circles that presents the Assad regime in Syria in an unusually positive light.
"The first thing we need to do is find a way in which we can 'freeze' the situation in Aleppo. These people have been under siege for two years. The city is very close to collapsing. If we do not do anything and the city collapses, it could fall into the hands of ISIS, which is only 20 kilometers away, and that would be an even bigger tragedy."
The new U.N. envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, hopes that a ceasefire would serve as a "concrete example" and a model for other frontline areas in the country. But de Mistura is likely walking into a trap.
Taliban make a killing off U.S.-built power plant. The Taliban make at least $4 million a year billing Afghans under their