• Expert Commentary

    War on the Rocks: "Assad or we burn the country"

    24 August 2016.  By Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Prior to the uprising that ignited in Syria in 2011, whenever I discussed politics with my urbanite Syrian interlocutors, they would often tell me: "You, the Lebanese, you are violent, corrupt, sectarian, with no sense of a nation or a state." (I also noted that Iraqis would endure similar lecturing). Frankly, they were largely right, but their real point lay somewhere else. The...

  • Strategic Comments

    Nigeria’s security under Buhari

    10 August 2016. 

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has made progress in containing the jihadist group Boko Haram in the northeast, but in other parts of the country he faces burgeoning security challenges. These include Niger Delta rebels attacking oil facilities, Biafran separatists confronting security forces, Muslim pastoralists fighting Christian farmers and Shia Muslim political agitation. Buhari will need to formulate and fund considered policies to stem the rise of each element and prevent some from converging with others.

  • Strategic Comments

    Turkey: the attempted coup and its troubling aftermath

    21 July 2016. 

    The military coup attempted in Turkey on 15 July 2016 fizzled out quickly. But President Tayyip Erdogan has accused a political rival, exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, and his followers of engineering the coup without substantiation, and is using it as a pretext to purge the government, judiciary and military. This reaction could lead to sustained domestic instability that would strain Turkey's international relations, exacerbate its democratic deficit and damage its social fabric.

  • Events

    Operation Zarb-e-Azb: Final Push to Defeating the Taliban

    18 July 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Colonel Zulfiqar Ali Bhatty, Army and Air Adviser, High Commission for Pakistan, UK
    Arundel House, London
    Monday 18 July 2016, 12.30–1.30PM BST

  • Expert Commentary

    New York Times: Why the US military can't fix Syria

    13 July 2016.  By Jonathan Stevenson, Senior Fellow for US Defence and Editor of Strategic Comments, and Steven Simon The State Department “dissent channel” memo on the United States’ policy in Syria, leaked last month, is just the latest expression of a widespread belief in and out of government that American intervention in Syria is necessary and would be successful. After five years of brutal, grinding war, this view is understandable. The idea of the United...

  • IISS Voices

    Anastasia Voronkova: One year after the Mali peace agreement, peace is still remote

    12 July 2016.  A year after the Algiers Peace Accord was signed in Mali on 20 June 2015, the peacemaking process continues at a slow pace while prospects of a renewed civil war grow

  • ACD Insight

    One year after the Mali peace agreement, peace is still remote

    12 July 2016.  A year after the Algiers Peace Accord was signed in Mali on 20 June 2015, the peacemaking process continues at a slow pace while prospects of a renewed civil war grow

  • Strategic Comments

    Mozambique and Zimbabwe: potentially converging paths

    06 July 2016. 

    Mozambique, long favoured by Western donors, to their disapproval has recently shown signs of corruption, instability and poor governance and looked to China for help that may not be forthcoming. Zimbabwe, long disfavoured by Western donors, is cooling to China's commercial and political involvement in its national affairs. Both southern African countries may eventually need to reinvigorate appeals for assistance from Western donors, which would come with relatively stringent governance and economic conditions.

  • Strategic Comments

    Colombia: the fraught end of a long war

    29 June 2016. 

    The ceasefire announced last week between the Colombian government and the FARC, ending 50 years of destructive war, will be followed soon by a final accord and a plebiscite, which is likely to ratify the accord. While these developments are welcome, the Colombian people remain resentful of the FARC's legitimisation and sceptical about the accord's sustainability. Implementation will be a stiff and ongoing challenge.

  • IISS Voices

    Antônio Sampaio: Despite hopes for lasting peace in Colombia, political economy of conflict remains intact

    23 June 2016.  The historic peace deal will no doubt result in a significant decrease in, if not the end of, armed conflict between the government of Colombia and FARC rebels. But, as Antonio Sampaio explains, the situation in the country’s rural backwaters remains messy and far less clear-cut than the gestures and statements given in the grand halls of Havana might suggest.

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