The new weapons that sprouted on the battlefields of World War I ultimately revolutionized warfare. At the time of their appearance, however, most of them were used in a very traditional way, making old-fashioned infantry and artillery more effective rather than ushering in new ways of fighting. Airplanes spotted targets for artillery batteries, scouted for the infantry and provided close air support. There were some attempts at strategic bombing, but due to the limited payload and range of the aircraft of the time, it had little effect. Tanks, which first appeared in 1917, operated with infantry units as moveable machine […]

In trying to sustainably resolve intractable conflicts, the international community faces a challenge on two levels. One is related to the peaceful resolution of the conflict, which though often accomplished by leaders and elites through negotiation, mediation and arbitration still requires the support of the masses. The other level involves postconflict reconciliation, which requires completely changing the societal repertoires of at least the great majority of society members and elites that feed the conflict on both sides, in order to evolve a new repertoire that can serve as a foundation for stable and lasting peace. This latter challenge, which lies […]

Perhaps no contemporary political figure is more emblematic of where El Salvador stands 20 years after the end of its bloody armed conflict than the country’s current president, Mauricio Funes. In winning the 2009 election, Funes became the first president elected from the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), the political offshoot of El Salvador’s guerrilla insurgency, breaking the 20-year reign of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA). Like the other two Cold War-era civil wars in Central America, El Salvador’s internal armed conflict pitted the country’s anti-communist military government against guerilla groups that took up arms to pursue political, […]

Fifteen years ago, the peace process in Northern Ireland was at a critical juncture. With the IRA having restored its cease-fire at the end of July 1997, Sinn Fein was judged to be in compliance with the so-called Mitchell Principles and admitted to the peace talks that would eventually produce the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement (.pdf) in April 1998. However, Sinn Fein’s entry into the process prompted the exit of Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party, which refused to negotiate with what it considered to be a terrorist group. A decade and a half later, the DUP and Sinn Fein co-exist in […]

Battle Rages for Syrian Rebels in Aleppo

Free Syrian Army brigade fighters positioned in the Saif al-Dawla and Izaa districts of Aleppo continued operations on Sunday as rebels said they now control most of the country and have moved their command center from Turkey to “liberated areas” inside Syria. Video News by NewsLook

U.S. pundits commenting on the wave of protests that have swept across the Middle East this past week have tended to focus on “finger-pointing and partisan sniping,” as Greg Scoblete notes, with conservatives vaguely calling for Washington to show more “strength” and liberals advocating more “outreach.” Few have wanted to deal with a far more unpleasant reality: The de facto coalition of Turkey, Israel and “moderate” Sunni Arab states that for decades worked to advance U.S. interests in the region is disintegrating. The aftermath of the Iraq War and the outbreak of the Arab Spring were just the first tremors […]

Last week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey would not extradite Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who was sentenced to death in absentia by an Iraqi court. As BBC News reported, Hashemi dismissed the charges against him as “politically motivated.” The most senior Sunni official in Iraq’s predominantly Shiite government, Hashemi was accused of running Sunni death squads. The incident was the latest in a series of recent flare-ups between Ankara and Baghdad. Henri Barkey, a professor of international relations at Lehigh University, mentioned a visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Kirkuk, Iraq, last month […]

In Kenya, clashes between rival tribal groups in the Tana River area continued this week, as tensions over access to land and water triggered revenge attacks between the seminomadic Orma pastoralist community and the Pokomo farming community.* On Monday and Tuesday, more houses were set on fire, forcing many to flee and driving the death toll higher. Meanwhile, with the government so far unable to restore order to the region, deadly riots also raged on in the port city of Mombasa, following the killing of a radical Muslim preacher. “What is going on between the Pokomo and the Orma is […]

Why It Matters: U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan, nearly 11 years after they invaded. Why? The answer boils down to one word: al-Qaida. The goal is to damage the terrorist group enough to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks. Video News by NewsLook

Colombia and the leftist rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced Tuesday that they had signed an agreement to launch peace negotiations. Chile and Venezuela will be observers at the talks, which will begin in Oslo, Norway, and continue in Havana, Cuba. As the Washington Post reported, the talks represent a “new attempt to end the Western Hemisphere’s longest-running conflict” and the first such effort since three years of negotiations “ended disastrously in 2002.” Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, offered several reasons why the talks could possibly succeed this time around. “The Colombian security forces […]

The Colombian rumor mill has been spinning for years with stories about secret negotiations between the government and Marxist guerrillas. With the buzz of speculation recently growing even louder, President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed in a speech to the nation on Aug. 27 that exploratory talks had, in fact, taken place. On Tuesday, Santos again went on national television to announce that peace talks between the Colombian government and the country’s main armed rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), will begin next month in Oslo, Norway, before moving later to Havana, Cuba. “It’s time to turn the […]

Talk of a U.S. attack on Iran is like a late-summer thunderstorm that rumbles ominously in the distance without ever drifting further away. Few American observers advocate an immediate attack, but a growing number hint that the question is when, not if, a strike takes place. The distance from saber-rattling to war is narrowing. As is often the case in the prelude to war, the discussion has so far been informed more by passion than by analysis, stoked by popular distrust of the Iranian regime. As the United States found when contemplating the invasion of Iraq in 2002, such an […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 181 2 Last