Of all the developments that have confounded and divided analysts on the Syrian conflict, today’s conference in Geneva is not one of them. Its failure is certain, and all sides know it, though they are not necessarily willing to say so publicly. Even U.S. President Barack Obama, whose country is co-organizing the talks, is giving them a “less than fifty-fifty” chance of success, and that is still wildly optimistic.
It is highly unlikely that Assad has any intention of conducting meaningful negotiations in Geneva.Sharif Nashashibi
The direct military involvement of his foreign allies has earned him important battlefield gains, while the political opposition is still hopelessly divided. Meanwhile, there is unprecedented infighting among armed rebels, with the Free Syrian Army and certain Islamist groups taking on those linked to al-Qaeda.