Observers might disagree about what to call the situation in tiny Ingushetia, a federal republic in Russia’s North Caucasus wracked by an increasingly bloody Islamist insurgency. But whether the violence that has claimed hundreds of lives in the past few years qualifies as a civil war, a colonial war, a war on terror, or just persistent instability, one thing almost everyone agrees on is that Ingushetia increasingly displays the features of a failed state. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the small territory’s dysfunctional security forces. Deteriorating relations between Russian federal authorities and the local police in Ingushetia […]

ISLAMABAD — With Pakistani security forces taking over several Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds in South Waziristan, thousands of militants have apparently fled to other parts of the country — raising fears that militancy will spread and escalate. On Nov. 5, Pakistani military and paramilitary security forces reclaimed Laddah, an important Taliban stronghold in South Waziristan, leaving only Makeen in the hands of the Pakistani Taliban movement called TTP. However, tribal leaders and local observers from South Waziristan have confirmed that thousands of TTP, Arab al-Qaida and other foreign militants — including Uzbeks and Chechens — have escaped to other areas […]

As we near the final year of the decade that brought us 9/11, it’s worth recalling one lesson our experience on that date has etched with painful clarity: Failed states can become breeding grounds for violent extremists — with devastating consequences far beyond their borders. Before 9/11, no one could have predicted that attacks concocted in remote, impoverished Afghanistan might have such a cataclysmic impact on history. Now we know that we ignore such states at our own risk. That’s why remote and impoverished Yemen, a country undergoing what by all appearances is a slow-motion collapse, is likely to draw […]