Editor’s note: This will be David Axe’s final “War is Boring” column at World Politics Review. However, we look forward to featuring David’s reporting on our front page, including an upcoming series on sexual violence in eastern Congo. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for his contributions to WPR and to wish him success in all his many endeavors. DUNGU, Democratic Republic of Congo — When the Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, attacked the town of Duru in eastern Congo two years ago, it took a convoy of U.N. peacekeepers and humanitarian workers 10 days […]

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USAID Administrator Raj Shah talks with former U.S. Senator Tim Wirth (D-Colo.) on how the Obama administration thinks about the “third D” in U.S. foreign policy: development. The discussion at the 92nd Street Y in New York Sept. 23 occurred the same day that Obama delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly that heavily emphasized development as a component of U.S. foreign policy. Watch live streaming video from mashable at livestream.com

DUNGU, Democratic Republic of Congo — The report must have caused a furor when it reached the Kinshasa headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo: Last week, residents of Duru, a town of several thousand residents in Congo’s inaccessible northeast, told peacekeepers at a nearby U.N. base that the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group had just attacked and abducted several people. Indian army Lt. Gen. Chander Prakash, the new commander of the roughly 20,000-strong U.N. force, was apparently so disturbed that he personally led a reconnaissance mission to the affected community, flying a thousand miles across some of […]

The main external influence on a state’s foreign and security policies is the structure of the international system. Prudent states act within the constraints determined by both the distribution of power in the system and their own position in it. As the international system changes, so, too, do its systemic constraints, with national foreign and security policies also likely to undergo changes as a result. Other factors determining the type of security policies a state adopts include national security culture as well as state capacity. In line with this theoretical approach, this review will discuss how the changing systemic constraints […]

KINSHASA, Congo — The local residents had been waiting for hours, and there was no guarantee they’d get in to the poorly lit room where administrators from the Forces Armées de la République Democratique du Congo (FARDC) were busy filling out paperwork. The U.S. Army and the FARDC were trying to register the Congolese civilians for a free health clinic that would take place the following week. The clinic, administered by military medical personnel from both countries, would be one of the culminating events of a two-week, U.S.-led exercise meant to improve the FARDC’s medical capabilities — all part of […]

Earlier this summer, as U.S. Army helicopters began evacuating stranded people from Pakistan’s flood-ravaged northwest, one Pakistani newspaper chose to focus on a more sinister dimension of American military activity in the country. According to sources cited in an article in the Pakistani daily, the Nation, Washington is constructing a “huge base” in Islamabad to “control” South Asia. American soldiers and “personnel of Blackwater” will soon arrive, with a Guantanamo Bay-style detention camp to follow. The article noted that the base lies near Pakistani nuclear sites, offering “all kinds of opportunities” for Washington. While many Pakistanis reject such talk, many […]

Torrential monsoon rains since late July have flooded Pakistan’s Swat Valley and portions of neighboring Afghanistan, killing nearly 2,000 people and displacing around 2 million. Relief efforts have included deployments of troops and helicopters by the Pakistan military, the NATO force in Afghanistan and, perhaps surprisingly, the nascent Afghan air corps. “Right now, the Afghan air force has four Mi-17 helicopters in Pakistan supporting that relief effort,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Boera, head of Afghan air training. The Afghan deployment underscores an encouraging trend in the nine-year-old war against the Taliban. On Aug. 11, top NATO commander […]