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Sonenshine: The Trouble With Cease-Fire Agreements in War

Sonenshine: The Trouble With Cease-Fire Agreements in War

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In an oped on Defense One, ASP Consensus member and former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Tara Soneneshine, discuss crease-fire agreements, what makes them stick, and what can be needed to maintain them.

Secretary Sonenshine notes:

Less than two hours after Israel and Hamas agreed to a 72-hour “cease-fire” in the Gaza conflict, violence erupted yet again, raising the question of what exactly a cease-fire means for today’s warring factions. According to statements by Secretary of State John Kerry and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a cease-fire means a “reprieve from violence” during which time urgently needed humanitarian relief is provided, and vital functions like provision of water and medical care become available.

But what does a cease-fire really mean? And where does it lead?

She went on to say:

For the Palestinians in the current Israeli-Gaza conflict, there are urgent humanitarian needs to be met. For the Israelis, there is still a threat of more rockets from Hamas that would violate the humanitarian cease-fire.

Ms Sonenshine concluded:

For foreign policy analysts, the next few days will be grist for the mill. Diplomats will have a field day arguing over whether the next cease-fire is a ceasefire or a “preliminary agreement, “— a partial agreement,” an interim solution, an interlude before an “armistice,” or the prelude to a “truce” or even a treaty.

This conflict has raged for decades. It will not cease in 3 days. But even plays have intermissions, and let’s hope the next cease-fire has more lasting power than the last.

Read the full oped:

The Trouble With Cease-Fire Agreements in War

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