Lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence
In April 2015, CIC Associate Director Barnett Rubin joined the Danish Institute for International Studies for a seminar on Afghanistan's recent history and lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence. He kicked off the discussions with a keynote speech on Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.
Rich states and UN peacekeeping: time to lead by example?
The UN Secretary-General’s High-level Independent Panel has now commenced its review of peace operations as the call for peacekeeping reform once again tops the agenda. The continuing imbalance in global peacekeeping troop and police contributions leads some to question whether rich states, including the UK, are pulling their weight.
Japan, European countries, and the United States have a common interest in boosting United Nations peace operations. Japan has been a prominent supporter of a U.S. initiative to encourage participation in peacekeeping operations, but to date, Tokyo’s follow-up has been constructive but limited. For Tokyo and its allies, ensuring that the UN can handle today’s ugly crises is an unavoidable task.
Relations between Israel and the US are at their most strained in years, following comments by newly-re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there wouldn't be a Palestinian state on “his watch.”
The United States sent its European allies some stern signals about their obligations to the American-led international order last week. On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power visited Brussels, where she warned NATO members to halt their “dangerous” defense cuts and called on European powers to offer more troops to United Nations peace operations.
The Republican majority in the U.S. Congress led by House Speaker John Boehner, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama are engaged in a vital debate on how to deal with the Iranian nuclear program.
Europe should expect ever-increasing pressure from refugees on its southern borders unless it is prepared to bear the cost and risk of military operations to control conflict in Europe’s southern neighbourhood, according to this policy paper. It says while the growing refugee problem generated by conflicts in the Middle East and Africa calls for a more interventionist response from the EU, Europeans have preferred to leave the job to others, notably the UN.
The violent Basque separatist group ETA took shape in Franco's Spain, yet claimed the majority of its victims under democracy. For most Spaniards it became an aberration, a criminal and terrorist band whose persistence defied explanation. Others, mainly Basques (but only some Basques) understood ETA as the violent expression of a political conflict that remained the unfinished business of Spain's transition to democracy. Such differences hindered efforts to 'defeat' ETA's terrorism on the one hand and 'resolve the Basque conflict' on the other for more than three decades.
The UN is currently in poor health but the severity of its condition is not yet clear, Richard Gowan argues in this paper commissioned by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue for the 2014 Oslo Forum for senior mediators. Gowan assesses the impact of events in South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine for the UN, and warns that the organization's operational and political credibility is weakening.
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Richard Gowan reviews Australia’s time as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. Gowan argues that while it has not changed the world, Australia has acquitted itself well, bringing extra rigour and professionalism to the Council’s debates. It has carved out a niche on the issue of humanitarian access in the Syrian conflict, and solidified its reputation as a good international citizen and a serious country.