The Syrian Challenge: Can Obama and Putin Control Their Militant Proxies?

This rare moment of agreement between the United States and Russia is fragile in that it gives everyone on the ground – the Assad regime as well as the rebels – veto power.

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“It is an opportunity and not more than that until it becomes a reality,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said of the agreement Washington and Moscow had reached on a Syrian cease-fire Saturday. The word...