Categories
Conflict

After Nine Years, Syria’s Conflict Has Only Become More Complicated

Image courtesy of Jodi Eastham/DVIDS.

This article was originally published by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on 12 March 2020.

The engagement of external actors has protracted the conflict and Syrians civilians continue to bear the brunt.


In March 2011, as the Arab world was roiled by demonstrations, protests broke out in Syria to demand political reform after four decades of Assad rule. Nine years later, the Assad regime is on the offensive against the last rebel stronghold of Idlib, with Russia, Turkey and Iran all heavily invested in the conflict. The humanitarian consequences for Syrians cannot be overstated and a political solution to the conflict seems as distant as ever. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian discusses the dreadful toll on the Syrian population and what the battle for Idlib means for the trajectory of the conflict.

Categories
Environment Conflict

Are We Radically Underestimating the Effects of Climate on Armed Conflict?

Image courtesy of Wesley Tingey/Unsplash.

This article was orginally published by New security Beat on 3 March 2020.

Climate change is widely recognized as a “threat multiplier.” From the United Nations to the G7 to the US Department of Defense, there is emerging consensus that climate change poses risks to both human and natural security through a variety of complex and interrelated channels. The extent of those risks, and how they connect to armed conflict, however, remain widely debated.

Categories
Conflict Terrorism

Connecting the Dots: The West’s Wars at Home and Abroad

Image courtesy of Richard Wharton/DVIDS.

This article was originally published by the Oxford Research Group on 28 February 2020.

The war on terror has been underway for nearly two decades. Yet there is still little appreciation in some political quarters of how this approach has often been counterproductive and even created the conditions for violent extremism to thrive. If we are ever going to move towards a less violent future, this must change.

Categories
Conflict

Selected Urban Conflicts

This graphic provides an overview of recent military conflicts and long lasting protests in cities around the world. For insights on how urban areas are becoming primary battlefields in conflicts, see Niklas Masuhr’s recent addition to the CSS Analyses in Security Policy series here.

Categories
Conflict

General Haftar and the Risks of Authoritarian “Stability” in Libya

Image courtesy of jorono/Pixabay.

This article was originally published by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in February 2020.

On 8 January 2020, Turkey and Russia sought to broker a cease-fire between warring factions in Libya, calling on both sides to resume negotiations and end this new phase of the conflict raging since April 2019. While the cease-fire remained a dead letter, with talks moving to the international conference in Berlin, the effort underscored Moscow’s and Ankara’s growing influence in the country, with each actively supporting opposing sides in Libya.