Saturday, June 25, 2022
Security Challenges

Libya: Is peace possible?

By Tarek Megerisi

The complexity of the conflict raging in Libya has long been well known. Yet the underpinnings of a tenable process that could stabilize if not reverse the country’s downward spiral since 2011 are also well known – among the country’s small pool of experts, diplomacy professionals and by the UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé.

The general framework of such a process is apparent in Salamé’s consistent proposals, beginning with his …

No peace in sight in Yemen

By Said Aldailami

Since March 2015, a horrific war has raged in Yemen under the direction of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. All rules and norms relating to international law and laws of armed conflict are being trampled underfoot. The result is the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.

Even after five years of fighting, a peace deal appears unlikely in the medium term. Too many parties and small groups …

Afghanistan: Is peace possible?

By Emran Feroz

The situation here is not good. Actually, this place is never considered safe,” said Mir Suleiman, a teacher from the northern Afghan province of Baghlan. He grew up in an area called “the factory,” which is named after a sugar works built in the 1940s near Puli Khumri, the provincial capital.

The area, once an economic hub that attracted laborers and merchants from all around the country, is now haunted …

Forgotten and hidden conflicts

Forgotten and hidden conflicts
By Marc Engelhardt

Armed conflicts have become a constant feature of political reality in the world today: For years, the number has remained between 30 and 35 (33 at the end of 2018, according to the annual Alert! report compiled by the Autonomous University of Barcelona), with almost half of the conflicts taking place in Africa. They have been raging for years if not decades, and analysis shows that most of them have …

IS: The EU is playing a dangerous game in the Sahel region

By Bartholomäus Grill

On a map distributed by the UN information service to humanitarian workers in the Nigerian state of Borno, each major traffic route is highlighted in a specific color. For example, green means workers can travel freely and yellow means they should travel only with an armed escort. Most of the streets are marked in red, however, which means that if workers were to travel these routes, they should expect fatal …

Ankara’s relationship with NATO is full of misconceptions

Ankara’s relationship with NATO is full of misconceptions
By Mehmet Yegin

Every time I check my news feed alerts set for “Turkey and NATO,” I see analyses concluding that efforts to improve the relationship are a lost cause.

Some observers claim that Turkey will withdraw from NATO and enter an alliance with Russia. Others argue that the country’s authoritarian turn will continue, with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan possibly staying in power for the next decade or even longer. Still others underscore the …

Kurdish dreams and nightmares

By Andrea Böhm

After a stunning series of events…” – this is the typical opening line these days for an analysis of developments in the Middle East. Kurdish affairs are no exception. Only a short while ago, the Kurds were considered the big winners of a decade of upheaval in the region, having achieved de facto autonomy in northern Syria and inched closer to independence in northern Iraq. But as of 2020, the …

How former IS members can be reintegrated into society

How former IS members can be reintegrated into society
By Frank Bachner

Thomas Mücke received the photos via WhatsApp. There’s one of a groom standing next to his bride, beaming with joy and laughter. Another is of a young man so unabashedly proud of the work uniform he’s wearing that he looks as if he’s being featured in an ad poster for his employer. Mücke, a social worker with a degree in education, is always delighted to look at these and other …

How to deal with returning IS fighters

By Peter R. Neumann

When US President Donald Trump declared the defeat of Islamic State (IS), he specifically referred to the group’s territory in Syria and Iraq – nearly all of which had been taken back by December 2018. What he did not mention were the thousands of IS supporters from all over the world who had been captured in the process. Yet, for many governments, especially in Western Europe, these individuals are the …

Russia’s new military focus on the Arctic

By Svein Vigeland Rottem and Andreas Østhagen

Few places have been the source of as much speculation, hype and broad statements as the Arctic at the start of the 21st century. Propelled onto the agenda by flag-plantings and resource appraisals, the Arctic has continued to lure researchers and journalists to venture northward to the next great game.

Fortunately, with more attention comes more knowledge as well. Reputable scholars have now debunked the notion of “resource wars” taking …