Currently viewing the category: "Peace and Security"

Hailing from Belarus, I spent most of my UN career working in Africa, or on issues related to the continent. From 1992-1994, for instance, I was part of the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) that helped facilitate both a democratic dispensation and the presidential election of Nelson Mandela. My other positions—which included [...]

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Since the Institute for Economics and Peace began publishing its Global Peace Index (GPI) in 2008, each year has become less peaceful than the past, based on an assessment of 22 variables that measure the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict, and the degree of militarization of [...]

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The World Peace Foundation hosted a book signing and discussion of James Copnall’s new book, A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts, on October 16, 2014. The event was moderated by Alex de Waal and held at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Copnall, a former BBC correspondent to Sudan and [...]

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In less than a week, Joko Widodo will be sworn in as Indonesia’s seventh president; the first without ties to its authoritarian past. Mr Widodo succeeds Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, marking the country’s first exchange of power between directly elected presidents. The election was fiercely contested but peaceful, and the role of the military was singled [...]

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This is a lesson in recycling, that the United States government and defense industry have been slow to learn, and the result could look something like an arms race that the United States is waging with itself, in which it provides proxy groups or allies with arms and training. These proxy groups re-form and radicalize or the weapons fall into the hands of groups labeled as terrorists by the United States. In response, the United States invests large amounts of money in military technology to combat terrorism and provides yet more arms to groups that assist it in fighting terrorism globally.

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If it weren’t for the cruel stakes of the violence, U.S. policy in Iraq would form the perfect parody of the idea that militarized response to threats against civilians is a viable policy, let alone that this tactic could be mistaken for a strategy. After all, given the patterns of assaults against civilians in Iraq, the intervention should have come in 2006 – 2007, or even earlier, in March – April 2003, because these are the periods during which the spikes of violence against civilians reached their peak. Of course, the great irony is that no one, least of all anti-atrocity advocates, could have called for U.S. military intervention then. If anyone had wanted to suggest this policy – and no one did — there was one fatal logical flaw: the intervention had already occurred. The only time you can call for intervention is after the U.S. had left; but it would be folly to pretend that just because this little catch in the intervention logic had been resolved that the policy itself would have improved.

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