Prime Minister Stephen Harper is quite right that the solution to the Syrian refugee crisis lies in the end of the Syrian civil war. But that’s a counsel of perfection that takes us nowhere. A middle power such as Canada can help in a number of substantial ways, but not alone. It can participate in warfare and in humanitarian relief. It can do its bit, and nudge its major allies.
In the past few weeks, a glimmer of hope has arisen that one or two great powers will act in new ways. In particular, President Vladimir Putin of Russia is showing a much heightened interest in Syria. This is, on the face of it, mostly bad news: Russia is the long-standing backer of the Assad regime...
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