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Reviving Islamic Epistemology as a Solution to Jihadi Terrorism

I do not pretend to have a silver bullet solution to the problem of Islamic terrorism. A successful strategy against Islamic terrorist organisations would encompass a re-organisation of geopolitical alliances in the Middle East, effective military actions, and socio-economic changes (fairer distribution of resources, better education, etc.) in the majority of Muslim nations. On the […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Security Issues, Terrorism, World0 Comments

By OSeveno - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

In Pursuit of Accountability for War Crimes in Iraq

What comes next as British Government targets lawyers and closes investigative body? By Thomas Obel Hansen This Article is based on research conducted under a British Academy grant involving interviews with relevant stakeholders. A more comprehensive academic article addressing the same topics is scheduled for publication later this year.  An examination opened by the International […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Terrorism, UK News, World0 Comments

An Iraqi-Kurdish Conflict Casts Doubt on the “Shia Crescent” Theory

An alliance between Kurdish leftists and Iraqi militias shows why it’s dangerous to overestimate Iran’s role in the so-called “Shia crescent.” In light of the breakdown of state structures in Iraq and Syria, it’s tempting to try to build narratives that portray entire ethnic groups or sects as pawns of great powers like Iran, as […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, Turkey, World0 Comments

By U.S. Department of State

Shaping Safety: How Architects Can Build a Stronger Peace

  I take my home for granted. There, I said it. Chances are you do, too, if your conception of home – like mine – does not include worrying about the daily dangers of a civil war playing out on your doorstep; the mortar shelling that has left your family homeless; or the stability of […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Middle East, Refugees, Security Issues, Syria, World

Image by Iqbal Osman1

Understanding the Saudi-Iranian Cold War: A Road Map

The execution of a renowned Arab Shi’a cleric, Sheikh Nimr, just after the New Year has set long-standing rivals Iran and Saudi-Arabia on a new collision course. Radical elements in Iran attacked the Saudi diplomatic compound in the country prompting Riyadh to sever its relations with Tehran. While the Iranian government condemned the attacks, immediately dismissing some officials […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, World

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Kurdistan: the Next Epicentre of Regional Instability

Kurdistan is a nation that encompasses parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, but it is not a state. In post-Saddam Iraq the Kurds have had success in forming a new autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) with their own military. In July last year, KRG President Masoud Barzani asked his parliament to prepare for an independence referendum. The Kurds have a […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Middle East, Security Issues, Syria, US, World

Image by Jacques Delarue

After Authoritarianism: State Development and National Identity in the Middle East

The Arab Uprisings have resulted in an increase in the expression of both sectarian and trans-state identities, making the process of reunification and the prospects for a peaceful coexistence somewhat dependent on the new leaderships’ ability to unite, make amends and, possibly for the first time in the region, craft a territorial nationalism that complements rather […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, World

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Was ISIS Inevitable?

ISIS’ exploits dominate headlines, horrifying witnesses around the world. As a history graduate who specialised in researching the rise of Islam, its culture, and its creation of a complex and inspiring civilisation, the recent destruction of millennia old artefacts have almost reduced me to tears. As we now watch and condemn the destruction of priceless […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Refugees, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

Image by Martin Schultz - EP President

ISIS, Islam and Credulity: More Irreverence Needed in the Fight Against Extremism

This week, King Abdullah of Jordan appealed to European parliamentarians to help root out both terrorism and ‘Islamophobia’. Setting aside this interesting conflation, the wholesale failure of Arab and majority Muslim countries to embody either mutual respect or inclusivity towards many of their ethno-religious minorities bespeaks of an imbalance in critical attention to how those […]

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Posted in Europe, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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ISIS and The Illusion of Power

It can be difficult to stay optimistic about peace while an atmosphere of gloom permeates the contemporary Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria. It is nearly impossible to watch the news without being inundated by provocative visuals of ISIS’s atavistic executions of U.S. journalists and perplexed by ISIS’s seemingly uncanny ability to recruit Westerners. […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Syria, Terrorism, US, World

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Mediterranean Migration Reveals Flaws in Dublin Convention

John Donne famously reminded us that ‘no man is an island’. Likewise in today’s polycentric, ever-globalized, and interconnected world, no state can remain untouched by social, economic, or political influences from neighbouring states. As terrible as Islamic State has been for people living in Syria, Iraq and Libya, its effects on Europe are also increasingly being felt. […]

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Posted in Africa, Conflict, Economic Security, Europe, Germany, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Refugees, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, UN, World

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Responsibility To Protect at Ten

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine was agreed by UN member states in the 2005 World Outcome document. As we near the tenth anniversary of its adoption, how successful has it been? R2P replaces humanitarian intervention as a way in which the UN has justified state intervention. Implementation of R2P has come in 3 forms: i) […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Middle East, Security Issues, UN, World

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Why Are Humanitarian Workers Targeted?

Why are humanitarian workers targeted? On World Humanitarian Day this year the United Nations reported that in various conflict zones in 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 were injured and 134 were taken as captives. We have to ask, what is the justification for such acts? Let us begin with the illegal occupation of […]

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Posted in Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, UN, World

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Iraq in 2015: An Interview with Iraq Analyst Joel Wing

Robert Tollast sits down with Joel Wing, author of the excellent Musings on Iraq blog, to discuss the coming year in Iraq. Joel has made his blog an expansive online resource for Iraq analysis and it is now one of the main on-line forums for academic discussion of Iraq, recently hosting a 24 expert review of the […]

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Posted in Conflict, Interviews, Iraq, Middle East, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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