only search openDemocracy.net

This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Why the ICC examination into torture and other abuses by UK soldiers in Iraq must continue

The Office of the Prosecutor is under pressure to conclude the examination. It must remain open. The Prosecutor should be taking it to the next logical step – a full-blown investigation. 

Whatever happened to peace? Arms, oil and war by proxy

We're living in a new era of proxy warfare, where multiple powers fund local proxies with disastrous consequences. We need to break the cycle.

Britain would have been safer with Corbyn in charge

Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against wars of choice that Britain could have refrained from taking part in, now regarded as strategic failures, promoting, not reducing, international terrorism.

The personnel behind the US drone programme and National Bird

In this timely intervention, which is available to watch for free for a limited period, the viewer follows three whistle-blowers in discussion of their roles in, and experiences of, the programme.

“Women and Children First”: war, humanitarianism, and the refugee crisis

Is a rethinking of laws of armed conflict or international humanitarian law, humanitarian assistance and refugee policy not significantly overdue?

‘I am not safe’: on the run as a gay man in Afghanistan

Ahmad Faizi’s story is one of many contradicting the UK Home Office guidelines that “it may be a safe and viable option for a gay man to relocate to Kabul”.

Hidden Warfare 3: Special forces

While Britain’s conventional army is being slashed, Britain’s special forces are benefiting from special treatment. Their budget was doubled in last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Cities of refuge

The 1951 Geneva Convention on Political Asylum was a typical creation of the Cold War: the system cannot deal with the huge population flows now permanently characteristic of our world.

Ending impunity in Europe?

The International Criminal Court needs support in order to succeed with its investigation of Georgia and Russia.

Non-violence and education: the legacy of Badshah Khan

The legacy of this hero of non-violent resistance to British colonialism is especially relevant today in Pakistan, Afghanistan and beyond.

The fateful marriage: political violence and violence against women

Pervasive and diverse, instances of violence against women can only be fully comprehended in the political contexts that give them purpose and meaning.

Paris as a test case for the west

One effective way for western governments to keep their people safe is to press for fundamental reforms in countries where armed extremists thrive, rather than subverting democracy at home.

The attack on Kunduz Trauma Centre

MSF is appealing to the world for help. A petition to urge President Obama to consent to a full investigation has been launched, and is gaining traction and international attention.

Empowering Afghan women: does technology help or hinder?

The male members of the family still control who gets to have access to what and to what extent.

Farkhunda paid for Afghanistan's culture of impunity

How can we interpret the lynching of Farkhunda by an angry mob in the heart of Kabul city? What are its implications for the future of Afghanistan?

With Ghani in Kabul, will relations with Pakistan change?

There are signs that the long-fraught relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan could improve, following the change of leadership in Kabul. Reciprocation from Islamabad will, however, be needed.

Afghanistan-Iraq: back to the future

Washington hoped for a clean getaway from the two countries it invaded in the early 2000s. The Taliban, like the Islamic State, has other ideas.

The missing women of Afghanistan

After 13 years of war, 'democracy' is based on the rule of men, not law. 

Popular action against corruption

Some of the biggest corrupt operations are run by governments themselves, and watchdog bodies often lack sufficient power to challenge entrenched problems. There’s another powerful approach: popular action, as documented in Shaazka Beyerle’s new book Curtailing Corruption. Review.

India’s fight against terrorism

Al-Qaida's aging leaders are struggling to compete for recruits with Islamic State. Nevertheless, India must prepare itself for all sorts of terrorist threats, not least terrorist re-emergence in Afghanistan. What role might NATO play in this?

Through the fog of peace

A new book by Gabrielle Rifkind and Gianni Picco highlights the urgent relevance of conflict resolution in addressing problems around the world, from Ukraine and Iran to the Islamic State.

Drones in Afghanistan—under the radar

Drones in Afghanistan have been responsible for countless civilian casualties. That’s the problem—they’re countless.

The devastating truth of women’s rights in Afghanistan

The looming withdrawal of western forces from Afghanistan highlights the apparent dispensability of the modest gains Afghan women have seen since 2001—and the deep-seated forces which sustain a viciously patriarchal order.

Afghanistan: history repeats itself when ignored

The invading NATO forces, in an action allegedly aimed at the defeat of terrorism in a country which had no tradition of terrorist activities, appeared to act with no inkling of the lessons that could have been learned.

How the US created the Afghan war - and lost it

The unreported story of how the Haqqani network became America's greatest enemy.

Afghan media face an uncertain future

The presidential election has shown Afghanistan’s increasingly mature media scene at its best – hopefully not for the last time.

Counting the cost of conflict

Casualty recording has redefined efforts to protect civilians in conflict, and provide aid and accountability to victims of violence. But with an absence of political will to respond to conflict, what good are the numbers? 

Left behind: the rural youth in Afghanistan’s election

Despite the success of Afghanistan’s transparent, peaceful election, engagement with rural populations remained low. Failure to address the growing disaffection resulting from the urban-rural gap threatens the country's fragile progress. 

The drone-casualty-law-civic nexus

The issue of civilian casualties from armed-drone strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere needs transparency from Britain's military establishment. Both legal and civic pressures are rising.

Negotiating with the Taliban

No one should expect progress in Afghanistan anytime soon, enmeshed as it is in a complex web of interaction among state and non-state actors. 

Afghanistan 2014: political transition

As Afghanistan heads for presidential elections on April 5, the country is going through one of the most critical periods in its post-Taleban history: the transition (Inteqal). 

India: jostling for geopolitical control in Afghanistan

Forecasts past the withdrawal of US and British forces in Afghanistan tend to prize fears of violence and instability spilling over into Pakistan, obscuring the country's vital importance to both India and China. 

The drone evasion

A parliamentary report on the UK's use of armed-drones in Afghanistan is, in its language and its attitude to casualties, a study in closure.

Troop withdrawals and women’s rights in Afghanistan

The ‘liberation of Afghan women’ was part of the dominant rhetoric used by international forces to justify military intervention and the ‘war on terror’ in post- 2001 Afghanistan. Yet, Afghanistan’s struggle for women’s rights did not begin with the arrival of troops, nor will it end upon their withdrawal

The anti-women gag law in Afghanistan: the pitfalls of hasty conclusions

Does the new criminal procedure code in Afghanistan signal the demise of all efforts to curb violence against women? An accurate reading of the law, and a nuanced understanding of the post-NATO developments and impact on women’s rights tells a different story.

Syndicate content