About Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers is professor in the department of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He is openDemocracy's international-security editor, and has been writing a weekly column on global security since 28 September 2001; he also writes a monthly briefing for the Oxford Research Group. His books include Why We’re Losing the War on Terror (Polity, 2007), and Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century (Pluto Press, 3rd edition, 2010). He is on twitter at: @ProfPRogers

A lecture by Paul Rogers on sustainable security, delivered to the Quaker yearly meeting on 3 August 2011, provides an overview of the analysis that underpins his openDemocracy column. It is available in two parts and can be accessed from here

Articles by Paul Rogers

This week's guest editors

Al-Qaida: the weapon of patience

Recent al-Qaida actions demonstrate the network’s continued ability to threaten US interests across a wide arc of countries. But is the absence of another major attack a sign that the Bush administration’s policies and rhetoric are playing into its hands?

The al-Qaida threat remains

While political stability in Afghanistan is an uncertain prize, recent attacks and arrests in Pakistan and Morocco indicate that the al-Qaida network is planning for the long term.

Britain, South Asia, and nuclear hypocrisy

The threat of war between the two nuclear-armed states in South Asia has been greeted with horror in the West. But a close examination of Britain’s nuclear weapons policy over forty years offers uneasy lessons for those who elsewhere counsel “no first use”.

Israel: the illusions of militarism

The image of Israeli military strength is misleading. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are ill-equipped to defeat the Palestinians. As a result, the IDF is being forced to change its tactics and political plans. As some Palestinian militants begin to target Israel’s economic infrastructure, the illusion of a military solution to the Middle East conflict may become even more dangerous.

The limits of military power

The US’s determination to terminate Saddam Hussein’s regime remains firm. But recent events illustrate that the intentions even of a superpower can be constrained by military and political reality.

An arc of conflict

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq are all enmeshed in the United States-led “war on terrorism”. Al-Qaida continues to prove an elusive enemy. Is Washington right to be jittery?

US unilateralism - full steam ahead?

The argument that the US administration is forcefully intent on an independent course in foreign policy is reinforced by three recent developments.

Afghanistan - the hidden war

The strength of guerrilla activity in Afghanistan has forced the US and its allies to draft in fresh troops. Meanwhile, guerrilla resistance is being reinforced by Israeli tactics in the occupied territories.

The Belgrano precedent: war in the service of politics?

Twenty years on, the first major incident of the Falklands/Malvinas war between Britain and Argentina still haunts both nations. What really happened and why is it relevant to the United States and Iraq?

Iraq and Palestine: two theatres of war

The survivalist logic of the Iraqi regime may bring war closer even than the Americans are planning for. Meanwhile, the covert aim of the Israeli assault – pulverising the nascent Palestinian state – has only steeled its people’s resistance.

An expanding horizon of conflict

Israel’s assault has brought its conflict with the Palestinians to new heights, while U.S and allied combat with a regrouping al-Qaida continues in Afghanistan.

Israel's strategy: the impotence of arms

The real purpose of Israel’s military assault on the Palestinian Authority is to systematically destroy its ability to function as a state. By pursuing the logic of force, Ariel Sharon’s government is putting Israel’s security at serious risk.

The widening possibility of war

In anticipation of Tony Blair’s meeting with George Bush, openDemocracy’s international security correspondent asks how Washington’s pro-Israeli mood might change were Sharon to extend the limits of conflict. And if he did, could Bush still countenance action against Iraq?

No end in sight

The intense fighting near Gardez portends a deeper, lengthier war in Afghanistan than early claims of US ‘victory’ implied. If three putative ‘last stands’ have not eclipsed even Taliban resistance, where is the ‘war on terror’ going?

Smaller, deeper, hotter - the new nukes

The hegemony of the Republican right in Washington has combined with advancing military strategy to make the use of smaller, tactical nuclear weapons by the U.S. conceivable. Is this a new way of thinking, or the culmination of a long-term dream?

The spiral of war

The desperate violence between Israel and Palestine is intensifying. Resurgent Taliban fighters have taken a heavy toll of US forces in Afghanistan. Strains in US bipartisanship offer a sliver of light, but where is politics amidst the expanding military drive?

The aftermath of war

As US forces pound the Afghan government’s opponents, military supply and logistical problems augur a lengthier preparation for its planned assault on Iraq. But meanwhile, the tentacles of war are spreading across the globe – from the Philippines and Nepal to Colombia – amidst US research into new types of nuclear weaponry.

The coming war with Iraq

In the past few days there has been a marked increase in the rhetoric about destroying the Saddam Hussein regime. It is coming from sources close to the heart of the George W Bush administration and is beginning to reach a level where to do nothing would be seen as a failure.

One part of the context for this is that there is a general perception that the war in Afghanistan has been won, that the al-Qaida network is dispersed and the Taliban destroyed.

War after war

Five months have passed since the attacks on New York and Washington; just over four since the war began in Afghanistan. Key recent developments indicate the likely path of the Afghan conflict, the spread of war into Iraq, and the longer-term prospects for the United States’ “war on terror”.

America and the world: an abyss of perception

President Bush’s supremely confident state of the union speech won acclaim in the US heartland. But the rest of the world hears a different tune. There may be trouble ahead.

The logistics of complexity

Inside Afghanistan a destructive but unreported war continues amidst large population movements and a breakdown of law. With a significant international (and non-Muslim) presence in Afghanistan, tension in Saudi-US relations, and an active French military policy in the region, the geopolitics are becoming more problematic – especially for an overstretched US.

United States unilateralism - alive and kicking?

Any expectation that the US would adopt a more cooperative foreign policy after 11 September has been dashed. An examination of the Bush administration’s record shows that the impulse towards creating an American ‘benign imperium’ long predated the attacks.

US entrenchment across central Asia

This is the second of three ‘wider’ pieces on the US war against terrorism in Afghanistan. Last week looked at why the US is in the Gulf. This week looks at the rapid extension of America’s military presence across Central Asia and the wider region. The next piece will look at whether US ‘unilateralism’ is stronger or weaker than before 11 September.

Oil and the "war on terror": why is the United States in the Gulf?

The "war on terror" is best seen in the context of the geopolitics of oil, especially since the 1970s. In particular, the US’s oil dependency and its determination to ensure security of supply has shaped its military policy in the Gulf region. Paramilitary coalitions like the al-Qaida network are one response to perceived US domination of the Islamic "holy places": as long as this lasts, such groups will not be easily defeated.

A third phase of war

Al-Qaida’s move out of Afghanistan into Pakistan adds to the pressures on a Pakistani leadership now focused on the perceived threat from India. A military offensive against al-Qaida on Pakistani soil conducted or inspired by the US would spell political destabilisation for General Musharraf. In a wider frame, the loose al-Qaida coalition may be planning its own ‘third phase’ of war.
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