The trouble began when an errant American airstrike killed some 60 Syrian government soldiers. Then, Russia resumed its disingenuous grandstanding and the Syrian government, with Russia’s support, went back to indiscriminately bombing rebel-held areas of Aleppo. On Monday, less than a month after the agreement went into effect, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States would break off talks with Russia on trying to revive it.
This failure, accompanied by images of suffering in Aleppo, has inspired renewed calls for a tougher American policy in Syria from liberal hawks and traditional conservatives alike. At the vice-presidential debate on Tuesday, both the Democrat, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, and the Republican, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana,advocated more aggressive American action.