Archive | Conflict

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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

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Taking a Russian Nuclear Threat on the Chin

In light of wider Danish strategic priorities, Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard’s restrained reaction to Russia’s decision to target Danish military frigates with nuclear weapons was understandable. In a recent op-ed piece for the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, the Russian ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin, wrote that Danish warships would “become targets for Russian nuclear missiles” should […]

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Posted in Conflict, Europe, Russia, Security Issues, World

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Why Israel Is Losing the Public Relations War

Almost everybody thinks badly of Israel. That’s what a poll published by the BBC World Service in 2014 shows. More precisely, Israel ranks as the fourth most negatively viewed nation, right after North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. What explains the differences between European and American views on Israel, and how does such an overall negative […]

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Posted in Conflict, Economics, Israel, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Political Security, Security Issues, World

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Bibi Wins Re-election in Israel, But at What Cost?

Incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won re-election. Under immense pressure, Netanyahu displayed his winner mentality and insatiable desire to govern Israel by seemingly pulling out all the stops to assure another Likud victory, but at what cost? First there was Netanyahu’s Republican-hosted speech to U.S. Congress where his apparent aim was to display […]

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Posted in Conflict, Middle East, Security Issues, UN, US, 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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Russia and the West: How the Empathy Was Lost

Last year I criticized some of the hawk-like voices, including that of David Brooks of the NYT, which were calling for Barack Obama to increase the fear factor in dealing with Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. I should point out that I am decidedly not a fan of Putin, whose actions in Crimea and Ukraine have been reprehensible. However, we need […]

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Posted in Conflict, Europe, Russia, Security Issues, Ukraine Conflict, Uncategorized, US, World

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Interesting Developments in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

There is a convenient falsehood every time a ceasefire agreement occurs and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict temporarily vanishes from the media. It is the assumption that the conflict has come to a halt and a diplomatic solution brokered by the United States is soon to follow. The truth is that the conflict does not stop, because the status […]

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Posted in Conflict, Middle East, Security Issues, World

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Colombia’s Rebel Reintegration Quagmire

Colombia has endured more than five decades of civil discord. Peace negotiations between FARC representatives and the Colombian State have, though, been ongoing since 2012 as the country attempts to realise a future of security and peace. Yet it is the massive human toll that is perhaps the most potent issue to arise from this […]

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Posted in Conflict, Drugs, Security Issues, 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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Radicalism in the Modern World

The main source of hostility in the modern world is the widening gap between the most and least developed segments of human civilization. While some societies are exploring potential life on other planets, life has not changed much for others over the past millennium. Unlike in previous centuries, the permeation of modern day technologies makes […]

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Posted in Asia, China, Conflict, Europe, Security Issues, Terrorism, 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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What Happens When the Islamic State isn’t Defeated?

Since overrunning swathes of Iraq from its strongholds in Syria earlier this summer, it has been made relatively clear how American defense and counter-terrorism officials feel about the Islamic State (a.k.a. IS, ISIS, ISIL). In a word: spooked. The Islamic State is not only well organized but it is incredibly well financed and is now well equipped with American-made weaponry. This […]

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

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Shifting Sands in the Peacekeeping Business

The established templates of international peace operations are under threat, because the core premise of these operations, consent, is eroding . Filipino and Fijian troops serving with the UNDOF mission in the Golan Heights were targeted by the Nusra Front last week (30 Aug). A number of Fijians have been captured while the Filipinos managed […]

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

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Who can bring unity to Iraq in 2014? An interview with Joel Wing

Every December, California based analyst Joel Wing and I discuss the coming 12 months in Iraq. Joel has been the author of the Musings on Iraq blog since 2008, providing detailed analysis of political, economic and security developments in Iraq. His work is frequently cited by leading journals and news outlets. The last year in […]

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

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Inside Jabhat an-Nusrah

The ongoing conflict that has been running in Syria for more than two years, and the brutality of the Syrian regime in suppressing the uprising has encouraged the emergence of radical Jihadist movements in the country. The most important of these movements and one which has raised significant controversy and discussion among the Syrian intelligentsia […]

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

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Al-Maliki Plays Regional Power Games in Syria

In a speech on the occasion of the opening of the World Youth Festival in Baghdad on the 12th of August last year, the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki described the Syrian revolution as a fire, ignited either by ignorant haters or by external wills for the purposes of their own policies and interests. However, […]

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

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Syria’s Revolution and The Problem of Conspiracy Theories

Ever since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, the idea of conspiracy has permeated the language of the official Syrian media, the Assad regime’s proponents in Lebanon, and has been reflected in discussions within Arab intelligentsias. As soon as the Syrian revolution started, the Syrian regime claimed that the country had been exposed to an […]

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

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