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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Lost and found hopes in hell: testimonies from an Iraqi hospital

Yazan al-Saadi gathers some of the astonishing stories from staff and patients of MSF’s trauma hospital in Hammam al-Alil, the closest surgical facility to West Mosul. عربي

آمال ضائعة في جحيم الحرب: شهادات حيّة من مستشفى عراقي

يجمع يزن السعدي شهادات حياة صادمة من موظفي ومرضى مستشفى أطباء بلا حدود لعلاج الإصابات البالغة في منطقة حمام العليل، علماً أنّ هذا المستشفى يشكّل المنشأة الجراحية الأقرب إلى غرب الموصل. English

“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?

Frenemies forever: Iraqi Shi’a after Mosul

In Baghdad Iraqi Shi’a political parties and elites are returning to patterns of infighting habituated by decades of coalition- and relation-building in both the pre- and post-Saddam Iraq.

Method in Trump’s madness?

A look at Donald Trump’s 'travel bans' with an eye to the harvesting of personal data, and the EU-US Privacy Shield, now on life support.

Gertrude Bell: the tragedy of her letters from Baghdad

A remarkable new documentary assembled from Gertrude Bell's letters read over archive footage makes us wish for what might have been

Iraqi Kurdistan: from democratic consensus to de facto autocracy

Due to the war with ISIL and international support, the Kurdistan region is currently run by an autocratic administration under the influence of neighboring countries.

Muddling through in Mosul

The west has treated ISIS as enemy number one while local actors see it as a sideshow in a political arena stretching from the Mediterranean to Iran. What does the defeat of ISIS in Mosul mean for Iraq?

Will the re-launch of the Mosul battle by the Iraqi PM reverse Trump’s hostile stance?

The highly unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections sent shock waves across the world, but for Iraq’s PM Haider al-Abadi, it unquestionably heralded the beginning of what promises to be a long-running painful nightmare.

Do the people of Kurdistan live in security?

The main threat to the people in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq is not ISIL, but failed governance which endangers human security.

The consequences of politicized forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The politicization of the Kurdish military and security forces has a diverse and severe impact on human security, and stability in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Rojava, where water is twice as expensive as oil

Turkey is now in Jarablus town with Special Forces personnel and heavy weapons including tanks, and making advances enabling it to control a strategic part of the region.

In the aftermath of Mosul: a secure homeland for Iraq’s minorities?

The liberation of Mosul offers the international community a unique opportunity to permit the region’s most vulnerable minorities to exercise self-preservation and self-determination.

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.

Turkey’s Syrian and Iraqi adventures: the underlying message

Turkey is sending a message that its armed forces are still a strong and capable fighting force, despite large-scale purges of officers of the highest ranks.

Iraq’s Kurdistan government needs a public debate on independence

To win the argument and battle for the Kurdistan state, it is more important to win the support of the Kurdish people than to win the consent of the superpowers.

Mosul: the looming battle has begun

The Mosul operation marks the return of US forces to Iraq after their 2011 withdrawal. What would a long term stability in Mosul need?

Moazzam Begg and The Confession, Part Two.

"Whatever you want to think about Moazzam Begg...  the film demands that you recognize that the rule of law, that quintessential British value, has not been exercised in our time."

Portrait of the artist and The Confession, Part One

An interview with the director of The Confession, Moazzam Begg’s story commissioned by BBC Storyville and the BFI - one of the most resonant modern stories for our times.

Turkey’s Mosul dream: showing up uninvited to a party or having prepared its seat well in advance?

Turkey is already shouldering the greatest portion of the burden for Syrian refugees.  It should temper its approach regarding Mosul accordingly.

The fight for Mosul: the danger of arming Sunni opponents to Daesh and the Sunni/Shia power struggle

The liberation of Mosul, backed up by Sunni powers, themselves backed up by western powers, will only add to the general feeling of injustice experienced by Shias and will only benefit Iran and its conspiracy theories.

Shia militias can be a greater threat to Iraq’s stability than Islamic State

The current security situation in Iraq is likely to worsen if the abuses of civilians by Shia militias within the PMF are not officially recognised and appropriately responded to.

Sowing the seeds of conflict in the Middle East

Whatever else they were guilty of, the two authors of the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, George Bush and Tony Blair, displayed an astonishing ignorance of history.

Iraq 13 years on

As life goes on in Baghdad, plans need to be put in place to make people’s lives more bearable. Planning should not wait until the war ends, because in Baghdad, as in much of Iraq, war is now the new normal.

What is missing in President Barzani’s rhetoric for a Kurdish state-building enterprise?

The question before Masoud Barzani is what to do in order to turn state-building rhetoric into a future Kurdish state.

Chilcot tells us what we already knew – how do we implement?

Decisions to go to war don’t just analyze whether we can win. That is the easy part: the superiority of the western military machine makes this an absolute.

Will Chilcot mention the real reasons for the Iraq War and the hundreds of thousands who have died since March 2003?

As all sides are protecting their interests, who counts the lost lives alongside their own economic and political benefits?

A war of aggression

In Not The Chilcot Report (Head of Zeus books), Peter Oborne makes clear the erosion of trust between the British state and its public, as a result of the Iraq war.

The similarities between Suez in 1956 and Iraq in 2003 are uncanny

The Chilcot report will, at long last, draw lessons from the Iraq war of 2003 – which many experts have concluded was Britain’s worst strategic blunder since the Suez débâcle of 1956.

Carnage in Istanbul and the point of no return

Once the external anchor of Turkey’s democracy, the EU‘s normative influence has sunk as low as its reputation among its many erstwhile supporters, who now feel betrayed and abandoned.

Myth-busting in defense of grassroots women crisis responders

False claims that deny the impact of grassroots women's crisis responses are diverting much needed resources away from the very people making the best use of them.

Yazidi women sold as sex slaves

IS militants are now resorting to social media to sell sex slaves online. 

Regaining hope in Rojava

This is a revolution in consciousness, not only in politics, and it has transformed the lives of countless women and men for generations to come.

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