"Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, many observers have drawn parallels between Syria and Bosnia. The Geneva II talks echo efforts to resolve the conflict in the Balkans 20 years ago.
What are the lessons? If there is a general one from Bosnia for the parties meeting in Switzerland, it is the need for humility. As determined as the international community may be to resolve conflict, civil war is extraordinarily resistant to outside intervention. This has three important implications.
The first is that peace initiatives are often an unreliable lens through which to view a conflict. There is a tendency to assume that facts on the ground in places like Bosnia or Syria are primarily controlled by strategies and timetables devised by foreigners. They are not...."