Saturday, 31 July 2010

What to Read on State Building

Summary: An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on state building.

HILLEL SOIFER is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Temple University.

The Great African War

The Great African War: Congo and Regional Geopolitics, 1996-2006

"Reyntjens has written a perceptive account of a war whose origins lie in the advanced decay of the Congolese state at the end of Mobutu's 32-year reign and in the ethnic conflict in neighboring Burundi and Rwanda."

Foreign Affairs review here.

What to Read on Fighting Insurgencies

Summary: An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on fighting insurgencies.

ELIOT A. COHEN is Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

Afghans Can Win This War

Nothing truly new, but it's good to hear it again, and it's a useful basic overview-cum-reminder of the elements of COIN.

The author, Yahya Massoud, is the brother of Ahmad Shah Massood.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Why Afghans fear village defence forces

Village defence forces are one of my key planks, so this is interesting in a disappointing way.

It is however necessary to note that this fellow is Karzai's cousin, and may well have an agenda.

Crisis management 101: getting the journalists interested

"...the media cannot report on every humanitarian story, nor does it exist to work exclusively for agencies like Save the Children. There are thousands of stories to cover every day and it is simply impossible for the stories that matter most to us humanitarians to make the headlines all the time."

So how how do you get the media to run with your story? According to this post, the key is to find a way to provide a local angle.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Does a warming world really mean that more conflict is inevitable?

The hardest evidence for a link so far comes from a team led by Marshall Burke of the University of California, which studied African wars from 1980 to 2002 and found that rising temperatures are indeed associated with crop failure, economic decline and a sharp rise in the likelihood of war. It predicted a “50% increase” in the chance of civil war in Africa by 2030.

Independent Diplomat

Interview on ABC.