One aspect of the United Nations mission has historically been to improve conditions in conflict zones. Efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, a nation plagued by three decades of war, an inefficient government, ineffective security and an abysmal record of human rights and corruption, is a daunting task.
The civil war that has raged in Syria for almost nineteen months shows no signs of abating, rather, there are indications that the conflict is likely to continue for a while longer. It could well turn out to be quite a while longer. Both sides in the dispute need only look at Lebanon and its fifteen year civil war to learn that there is much more to civil war than winning or losing. Staying in […]
The strong reaction by Muslim masses to the anti-prophet film made by a Coptic Christian in the USA is being viewed by Muslims as part of the clash of civilizations scenario where Muslims perceive their faith is under attack by others, namely Christians and Jews. In Muslims culture, to ridicule a major symbol of their religion such as burning the Holy Quran or ridiculing the Prophet is not viewed as falling within the boundaries of […]
With close to 900 years of history, Portugal is one of Europe’s oldest and most stable nations. Its oldest alliance is with the UK and it was with British mediation that Portugal and the US came to cooperate strategically during the Second World War in the renting of the Lajes air base to Washington.
It is without a doubt that we are witnessing history repeat itself. A career military man has rebelled against an army he previously served and founded an army of ragtag revolutionaries to fight against despotism. No, this not a re-telling of George Washington’s revolutionary career against the British but a telling of Riyad al-Assad’s revolt against the Ba’athist Army in Syria. Riyad al-Assad is a seasoned soldier who served in the Ba’athist Syrian Army since […]
Turkey’s relationship with the Kurds is a sensitive and major longstanding political issue. Paradoxically, Ankara is aware that it needs to better address Turkish-Kurdish ties and implement reforms, yet its inability to achieve genuine progress is a liability for Turkey’s national interests and foreign relations. This is exemplified by Turkey’s precarious relationship with Syria. The Syrian civil war has created two primary concerns for Turkey. If Syrian Kurds inspired by the Iraqi Kurdistan model create […]
The battle for Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, is not “the decisive last battle” of the Syrian civil war. The conflict is clearly leading to the removal of the current leadership from Damascus, as well as Aleppo, but not necessarily from Syria. The Assad-Alawite-Ba’th regime is preparing the mountainous Alawite region of North-West Syria to be their last bastion, and they can fortify themselves there for a while, even if, as seems inevitable, they will […]