Broken states never heal themselves
Broken states never heal themselves and can only be put back together with the prolonged involvement of outsiders working together to end the violence, impose... Read More
America’s default setting – part two
Berlin and Brussels should be spearheading efforts to pull together a diplomatic approach – to accompany US/Russian military actions – to gaining some level of... Read More
Palmyra – ISIS-wanton destruction
Syria and Iraq are home to some of the world’s first cities, a complex and unique meeting of states, empires, and faiths. Leadership must come... Read More
Prospects for a future Kurdistan
A future independent Kurdish state faces many political, economic, and administrative challenges, but its success could be a game-changer in the Middle East.
Iraq 2015 – development and decentralization (de facto)
In the context of the bitter struggle in Iraq and beyond, it seems important at the present moment to share ideas about decentralized development and... Read More
The United States is trying to build the South Vietnamese Army in Iraq (and Syria).
The necessity of Iraqi Sunni independence
One of the main prerequisites to defeating ISIS in Iraq is to determine the political future of Sunni Iraqis. The Obama administration must therefore begin, concurrently... Read More
Yugoslavia, Syria and Iraq – lessons learnable?
The demise of Yugoslavia has several important lessons for other divided contexts. First, if you want to maintain the stability of internally divided states, it... Read More
Why military interventions fail
In examining history, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that a number of major ‘stabilizing interventions’ should not have occurred at all.
Integration is the open secret to deradicalization
Western governments must develop a long-term deradicalization strategy to stem the flow of Muslim volunteers with the objective of substantially reducing the threat they pose... Read More
The shortcut to deradicalization is the long road
Given the continuing widespread death and destruction sweeping the Middle East, however, the Arab states have little choice but to develop a long-term comprehensive strategy... Read More
9/11 wars – a reckoning
Snared by geopolitical interests, post-9/11 interventions have too easily been captured by leading states. A robust law enforcement process must serve enforcers of law, not... Read More
Sexualized violence in Iraq – how to understand and fight it
Sexualised and gender-based violence in Iraq, highlighted in recent weeks in relation to ISIS atrocities, has been at the heart of sectarian and authoritarian politics... Read More
Living with the Islamic State
Even if the Islamic State’s current modus operandi revolts us, the political logic to its existence remains firm. The West and the regional powers alike... Read More
ISIS – becoming armed, dangerous and a participant in mass violence
Leaving aside financial support from more fundamentalist elements within the various Gulf states, three factors have assisted the fast-paced recruitment of such a large army;... Read More
What if the Islamic State wins?
If Islamic State cannot be defeated militarily, and if “degrading” it remains a distant and uncertain outcome, then everyone may have to accept that the... Read More
Confronting ISIS – military intervention or peaceful alternatives?
In the absence of a viable solution the crimes committed by ISIS, it is arguable that intervention is the only available route. However, the first step to... Read More
Iraq, Syria and the MidEast – what is to be done?
The essential fact of the sectarian conflicts (internal and external) that have characterized the MidEast for decades has been the artificial boundaries left behind by... Read More
Islamic State in Iraq-Syria – the standards of world law
The UN Human Rights Council Special Session on Iraq was a major advance for world law as for the first time, a non-state actor is... Read More
A tale of two genocides
While approaches to “genocide” differ and the claimants voices are many, the historic legacy of genocide must be a starting point. One could conclude that... Read More
Kosovo, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq
The struggles by ethnic and religious groups left behind by empire cannot be resolved by outsiders. These competing groups need to find their own way... Read More
From Nigeria to Iraq – the on-going failure to protect women and girls in armed conflict
Armed conflicts like the one currently consuming Iraq, plus the actions of Boko Haram in Nigeria, continue to show that women and girls are among the most... Read More
Before the next ISIS, we need nonviolent counterterrorism strategies
There are three easy paths any rational politician could advocate that will decrease hostilities, prevent the emergence of new terrorism recruiting environments and empower local... Read More
Bosnia and Iraq – cycles of calamity
Whatever government structure is finally developed for an ethnically segregated Iraq it should not be as dysfunctional as the Dayton constitution proved to be for... Read More
Turkey’s rapprochement with Iraqi Kurdistan – an obstacle to the Kurdish peace process?
The decision by Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to pursue rapprochement with the president of Iraqi Kurdistan could prove a profound obstacle to the Kurdish... Read More
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