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IISS Voices

Britain's Iraq Inquiry – an initial military assessment

The long-awaited results of a seven-year inquiry into the UK's role in the Iraq War of 2003 have finally been published. Here, Ben Barry recalls his own experiences of assessing the British Army's efforts to stabilise the country after the conflict and how he came to similarly uncomfortable conclusions about the UK's failure to achieve its strategic objectives.


  • IISS Voices

    Trump is normalising extreme anti-migrant voices around the world

    08 February 2017.  Trump's hardline stance will raise barriers for immigrants and refugees around the world - not only those hoping to enter the US. Caitlin Vito says the new president is bringing fringe views into the mainstream.

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    DRC illustrates the limitations of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration initiatives

    30 January 2017.  The reported re-emergence of an armed group defeated in the DRC a few years ago has highlighted the limited success of the country’s DDR programme

  • IISS Voices

    The Gambia: Operation Restore Democracy

    27 January 2017.  Last week the Gambian people saw their first democratic transfer of power. However, neighbouring states had to threaten force to secure it. Virginia Comolli makes sense of what went wrong for former president Yahya Jammeh.

  • IISS Voices

    India and the UAE: towards strategic cooperation

    23 January 2017.  India and the United Arab Emirates have recently embarked on an ambitious drive to upgrade their bilateral relations. But gains in its strategic and economic importance are likely to come at Pakistan’s expense, explain Emile Hokayem and Rahul Roy-Chaudhury. And India’s desire to avoid becoming entangled in the Middle East’s complex and bruising politics will act as a brake on the relationship.

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    Pakistan’s Afghan refugees are pawns in a political conflict

    18 January 2017.  Pakistan’s use of refugees for political leverage reflects a global trend. Caitlin Vito argues the tactic could prompt a humanitarian crisis – and will not bring Pakistan the security it craves.

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    Spies, lies and the US president-elect

    16 January 2017.  A blizzard of angry Tweets has laid bare the rift between Donald Trump and the United States intelligence community. But the saga does not suggest a Russian mastery of information warfare, argues Nigel Inkster. When the going gets tough, Trump will still look to his intelligence community for answers – even if his instincts are to disparage it.

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    The Islamic Republic after Rafsanjani

    12 January 2017.  As a force for pragmatism over ideology, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s absence from Iranian politics is likely to be keenly felt by the country’s moderate voices. As Clément Therme explains, the demise of the former president and key architect of the Islamic Republic throws debates about Iran’s future into sharp relief.

  • IISS Voices

    Global development and the fear of Trump

    12 January 2017.  Comments made by Donald Trump during his election campaign suggest that US support for global development will be at risk during his presidency. But the political establishment’s faith in development offers some hope for the years ahead, Antônio Sampaio says.

  • IISS Voices

    Obituary: Des Ball 1947–2016

    22 December 2016.  Des Ball achieved international fame and influence as a strategic weapons expert. His friend and colleague Robert O'Neill remembers a 'first-rate scholar' who 'never lost his gentle, considerate and tolerant nature'.

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    Ineffective and dangerous: Kenya’s refugee camp closure puts regional stability at risk

    02 December 2016.  Kenya’s decision to close the Dadaab refugee camp in May 2017 risks exacerbating security concerns and will not necessarily reduce the threat posed by al-Shabaab

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