The deteriorating security situation throughout much of the Arab world underscores the need to urgently search for nonviolent methods of achieving stability. At the heart of the current unrest are not only political issues but also economic failures that are wiping out the vestiges of hope that remain after the region’s recent revolutions. In conflict situations, public diplomacy must be employed carefully. Sometimes the swirl of violence becomes so pervasive that it sucks up the oxygen needed for peaceful enterprise to survive.
Senior Afghan officials will travel to Pakistan soon to speak to former Taliban deputy commander following a breakthrough in negotiations during a London summit, the Afghan presidential palace said. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is a long-time friend of reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and is seen by some in Afghanistan as the key to restarting peace talks.
Attacks on US forces by uniformed Afghan security personnel are now Afghanistan's signature threat, just as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, were in Iraq. And that new and disquieting reality has me thinking hard about the idea of ‘force protection’ here and how it is changing, or, more precisely, needs to change. During my first trip to Afghanistan in 2010, it was shocking to see how lax the soldiers there seemed to be in their own force protection.
On January 25, 2011, the day Egypt's revolution began, Jehane Noujaim had a tough call to make. She could stay in Cairo to see if anything might come from the rumors about big protests planned for that day. Or, she could chase some high-level Egyptian officials to Davos, Switzerland.
In a small park on the edge of old Istanbul’s Eminonu square, women sit begging, Syrian passports in their outstretched hands, “Please help in the name of God” on sheets of paper at their feet. In this bustling city, where fisherman line the shore of the Golden Horn and tourists mingle with traders in the alleyways of the spice bazaar, the war raging just over Turkey’s southern border feels very distant.
Is North Korean leader Kim Jong Un strengthening his grip on power after a turbulent period, or is the isolated and despotic regime on the verge of collapse? Both could be the case, said Bruce Bennett, a North Korea expert at RAND Corp., a key think tank in the national security establishment.
Since Somalia's 1991 civil war and the political instability it wrought, capital city Mogadishu has struggled to rebuild. But recently, signs of better times have begun to emerge. With Al-Shabab militants no longer in control, a new, technocratic government has helped plant signs of stability while attracting a substantial new wave of investment from longtime ally Turkey and other members of the Somali diaspora.
In an eatery here, 28-year-old Israeli human rights activist Avner Gvaryahu described the first time he came face to face with a Palestinian. He was 19 and serving in the Israel Defense Forces when his unit invaded the home of a Palestinian family in the dead of night. They were there to perform a “straw widow,” a raid during which soldiers forcibly seize control of a Palestinian civilian home.