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This week’s editors

“Francesc”

Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

When soldiers speak out

‘Soldiers have spoken out, protested, and revolted in almost every war in history. We need this resistance… one of the single strongest factors in bringing wars to an end.’

Why the west cannot defeat ISIS

Maged Mandour

ISIS has emerged from the wounds of the Arab world—for which the west is to a large extent responsibleand current airstrikes are pouring salt into these wounds.

The vicious cycle of pitiless violence

ISIS fighters must be held to account as criminals, not conventional military adversaries, for their violent crimes. Snared by geopolitical interests, post-9/11 interventions have too easily been captured by leading states.

In war

In this nomadic, undefined, polymorphous, and unsymmetrical war, the populations on 'both shores' of the Mediterranean are taken hostage. And Europe has a nearly irreplaceable function.

On not bombing Syria

British pilots are revealed to have been engaged in attacks on Islamic State in Syria. The government plans to make this role explicit and direct. What will be the consequences?

Islamic State: why so resilient?

After months of bombing by the United States and its allies, Islamic State has survived and even expanded. Its unique character explains why. 

Iraq and Libya, the prospect

The resilience of Islamic State a year after its breakthrough makes an escalation of the current war inevitable.

9/11 wars: a reckoning

Snared by geopolitical interests, post-9/11 interventions have too easily been captured by leading states. A robust law enforcement process must serve enforcers of law, not agents of geopolitical interests.

Reflections on intervention in the 21st century

Where stands now the ‘responsibility to protect’? Recent egregious intervention failures require simplistic nostra to be replaced by a more complex understanding.

Bordering on a new World War 1

What is missing is any serious discussion about the plight of the Syrian people. If it turns out that a red line has been crossed, then any intervention will be a geo-political intervention against the Assad regime. The likely response is to arm the rebels rather than to intervene to protect ordinary people.

Realpolitik and disastrous consequences: 10 years on from Iraq, 25 from Iraq's genocide against the Kurds

From a potentially subjective point of view, a Kurd could argue that the long hardship and series of disasters inflicted upon the people of Iraq are direct consequences of the complacency and indifference embedded in the foreign policy of the superpowers.

Turkey, Kurds, Iraq, Syria: a new regional dynamic

The middle-east’s power-balance is in flux amid state tensions and political conflicts. In a two-part article, Bill Park - who was recently in Ankara and Erbil - examines the impact of these changes on Turkey and its neighbours, especially the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) of northern Iraq. In part one, he looks at the Iraqi dimension; in part two, at Syria’s conflict and the wider Kurdish question.

Wars of Decline: Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya

This article assesses the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in terms of their legality, their consequences - local, regional and global - and their impact. It describes the growing impotence of western powers in reshaping global politics by force. Rather, it argues, the flawed application of organised violence as a tool in the defence and projection of western power has dissolved the grandiose project of the ‘American century.’

Libya: war or humanitarian intervention?

In the end the prospects for democracy depend on whether the rebels can mobilise support politically throughout Libya. The problem with the military approach is that it entrenches division. Our preoccupation with classic military means is undermining our capacity to address growing insecurity.

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