In Western political and diplomatic circles, the received idea these days is that war in Syria has reached its end and that what one should now focus on is reconstruction.
However, like all other received ideas this one, too, is as full of holes and Swiss cheese.
The first hole is that what we have witnessed in Syria over the past seven years was not a war in any classical sense of the term. What we saw was several wars woven into each other, in the context of a humanitarian disaster sharpened by rivalry among a dozen cynical powers in pursuit of contradictory goals.
In that sense, far from being at the end of anything in Syria, we may be at the beginning of a new phase in this historic tragedy.