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openDemocracy's security briefings provide comprehensive and incisive coverage of daily developments in international security.

The Somalia dilemma

Foreign intervention is not the answer, argues Josephine Whitaker. The solution to Somalia’s problems must be found at home.

Is Iraq edging closer toward partition?

Just as the final U.S. troops are withdrawing, and just as the world’s attention is diverted on Syria and elsewhere, Iraq may steal the limelight a final time and bow and declare: before long, she may not be anymore.

Erdogan’s Turkey: strategic partner or liability for regional peace?

Turkey had been everyone’s friend as long as its foreign policy was driven by business and economic interest. Over the last couple of years, however, its ‘zero problems’ strategy has become more rhetoric than reality.

Nairobi hit by grenade attacks as Somalis turn against Kenyan incursion

Nairobi hit by grenade attacks as Somalis turn against Kenyan incursion. At least 279 killed in Turkey quake. Bloody weekend in Colombia just 10 days before elections. Indonesian police officer shot dead in Papua. All this in today’s briefing...

N Korea food crisis set to continue

N Korea food crisis set to continue. Turkey and Iran to collaborate against Kurdish rebels. Southeast Asia flooding kills hundreds, displaces thousands. Obama announces US troop withdrawals from Iraq. All this in today’s security briefing...

Voice of freedom is more powerful than any drone

The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki has dealt Al-Qaeda a major blow, but the more profound challenge to the terrorist group emanates from the spirit of the Jasmine revolutions.

International rivalry over Syria means conflict likely to intensify

In today's security briefing, Jaffar Al-Rikabi argues that rival interventions by outside powers threaten to intensify violence in Syria. Meanwhile, a gas discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean may add to disputes in the region.

Monsoon flooding causes chaos in Pakistan, India

Monsoon flooding causes chaos in Pakistan, India. Seven killed as police open fire on protestors in Tamil Nadu. Blast at French nuclear plant sparks fears of leak. At least 75 killed in Nairobi pipeline explosion. Troops sent to quell Indonesia clashes. All necessary measures authorised to stop Jos violence. All this and more in today’s security briefing...

In Arab Protests, Oil Role Defies Simple Explanations

Oil is perhaps the most commonly cited factor in explaining the course of the various Arab revolutions in train since the Spring, but compared across countries its influence proves less decisive than generally suggested, argues Jaffar Al-Rikabi.

All sides guilty of breaching international law in Somalia

All sides guilty of violating international law in Somalia, says new report. Wave of attacks rock Iraq. Assault on Syrian port enters third day. US officials reject report on drone death figures. Gaddafi defiant as rebels claim control of West. All this and more in today’s briefing...

A Middle Eastern recipe of strife and blood, sprinkled with tempered hope

As Ramadan begins, we look at how the Arab Spring turns into an Arab Summer with increasingly messy situations in Syria, Bahrain, Libya, and beyond. This and more in today's security briefing...

Syrian government marks start of Ramadan with bloody crackdown

Syrian government marks start of Ramadan with bloody crackdown. Eritrean government backed planned to bomb AU summit, according to UN report. Fresh violence in Papua leaves 21 dead. Chinese government announces crackdown on Uighur “terrorists” after a weekend of violence. Arrested kingpin admits to ordering 1500 murders. Geelani slams Indian government intransigence in Kashmir as Indo-Pak peace talks resume. All this and more in today's briefing...

Libyan rebel military chief assassinated

The commander of Libyan rebel military forces has been murdered in Benghazi. Israeli President Shimon Peres is reportedly engaged in clandestine talks with Palestinian representatives. In Afghanistan, 23 people have been reported killed by roadside bombs. All in today’s security update.

Visa spat reveals instability of India-China relations

China issues stapled visas to persons from the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, leading to renewed questions about the future of relations between New Delhi and Beijing. The FBI arrest an allegedly Pakistan-backed Kashmiri lobbyist. In China's Xinjiang province, police forces clash with Uighurs said to have links with the East Turkistan Islamic Movement. India and the US meet for the second round of their strategic dialogue. All in today's security briefing.

Power dynamics in Afghanistan shift after a series of assassinations

Hamid Karzai’s political influence in southern Afghanistan diminishes as his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai and adviser Jan Mohammed Khan are assassinated. Mumbai responds to bombings with promise of security overhaul. Libyan rebels and government forces engage in fierce clashes. UN gives aid to Islamist run camps in Somalia.

Civilians bombed in Sudan border state

Civilians bombed in Sudan border state. British army cut, reserves bolstered. Yemeni security forces begin offensive to retake Zinjibar. First Afghan province handed over to local forces. Court orders withdrawal from Cambodian temple. All this and more in today’s security briefing...

US and Iraq grapple with US troop deployment extension

US and Iraqi leaders discuss future Status of Forces Agreement for Iraq. Syrian tanks and troops deployed to Homs. Rumours of Mubarak coma denied as protestors fill Tahrir square. All in today's security briefing.

Thai military accepts Pheu Thai victory at the general election

Thailand’s military accept the victory of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s political party. Security situation in Bangladesh deteriorates after the caretaker government system is abolished. Pakistani defense minister asks the United States to leave Shamsi Airbase as the US shifts key supply routes through Pakistan to central Asia. Turkish Prime Minister visits Libyan opposition groups in Benghazi. All in today’s security briefing.

Tensions rise between Israel and Hizbollah after Hariri indictiments

All eyes are on the Hizbollah-dominated Lebanese government as the UN indicts senior members over the Hariri killing. Referendum begins on Morocco’s revised constitution. US applying pressure on Syrian opposition to engage with Assad. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

Rapprochement across the Taiwan Strait

China and Taiwan seek to increase economic exchanges by allowing individuals to travel from Mainland China to Taiwan. Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries are set to meet in Islamabad. Sudan and South Sudan reach Abeyi deal, and Syria’s Assad makes new promises to reform. All this in today’s security briefing.

Maritime disputes intensify in South China Sea

Long-standing maritime disputes between China and its neighbours intensify. Afghan President Hamai Karzai visits Islamabad. Departing US Defence Secretary Gates criticizes European reluctance to contribute to Nato efforts and Syrian troops move forward as the number of refugees to Turkey increases. All in today's security briefing.

Yemen on the verge of collapse

Endemic violence continues across Yemen as tribal forces contest with loyalist troops for control of the capital. Nato extends its campaign in Libya as high level defections from the Gaddafi regime continue. A former Mossad chief criticises the Israeli government’s security posture. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Bin laden ‘revenge’ suicide bombing kills 80 in Pakistan

Eighty people die in the first Bin Laden revenge killing by the Pakistani Taliban as coalition leaders consider expedited troop draw down. Libyan rebel leaders are in Washington to seek US recognition and financial support. Colombian rebels are implicated in assassination attempts against political rivals of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Israeli Foreign Minister urges boycott of PA – Hamas government

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calls on the International Community to boycott potential Hamas – PA government. Syrian crackdown intensifies as demonstrators continue to defy the regime. Clashes continue between Thai and Cambodian troops over a disputed border region. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

Armed drone attacks sanctioned in Libya

The United States begins using drones in Libya as Europe sends in military advisers. Syrian regime appears increasingly vulnerable as Assad ends 48 years of emergency rule. Communal violence continues in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Pro-Ouattara forces make gains in western Ivory Coast

Fighting erupts in western Ivory Coast. India and Pakistan meet to discuss anti-terrorism measures. Syrian cabinet resigns amid ongoing unrest.

Confusion continues as NATO assumes leadership of Libya no-fly zone

NATO’s assumption of command over the Libya no-fly zone increases confusion over the aims of the allied campaign against Gaddafi. Davis incident has potentially eviscerated US intelligence operations in Pakistan. Jerusalem faces its first terrorist attack in six years. All this and more, in today’s security briefing.

Libyan no-fly zone under fire

Libyan no-fly zone appears to lack direction as operations enter third day. Thousands of young Gbagbo supporters rush to enlist in national army. Yemeni general backs rebels after army fires on protestors. Bahrain’s monarch thanks GCC states for help in foiling foreign plot to destabilise the kingdom.

Splits over no-fly zone as Gaddafi forces gain ground

World mulls no-fly zone as Gaddafi troops gain ground: time is running out for rebels. India overtakes China as world’s largest arms importer. More civilians fleeing clashes in Ivory Coast as situation spirals towards civil war. Saudi troops sent into Bahrain. South Sudanese leaders pull out of talks amid accusations of northern intervention.

International pressure on Gaddafi mounts

International pressure on Gaddafi mounts. Belarus violates Ivorian arms embargo as violence escalates. Rangoon bomb blast. Yemen to announce government of national unity within 24 hours. North Korea threatens war over leaflets. All this and more in today’s briefing...

International commission calls for inquest into Bangladesh ethnic violence

The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission calls for an impartial commission of inquiry to investigate ethnic unrest in Bangladesh’s restive Chittagong Hill Tracts region. Libya stands on the brink of civil war as the international community begins to respond. Iranian warships have docked at a Syrian port as Israel accuses Iran of making a ‘provocation’.

Protesters under fire from land, sea and air in Libya

Gaddafi uses planes to attack protesters. Ivorian troops fire on protesters as AU leaders seek resolution. Congo colonel sentenced to jail for rapes. Saleh rejects demands to go as Yemeni troops fire on demonstrators. All this and more in today’s briefing.

Contested narratives and security implications as protests continue across the Arab world

Western commentary is divided as Obama rebukes Mubarak’s intransigence. Hizbollah and Iran laud the protesters as the PA and Hamas join other Arab governments in clamping down on displays of support. Israeli security policy is in disarray in the face of international pressure and domestic strife. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

North Korea makes direct food aid appeal

North Korea makes direct appeal for food aid, highlighting worsening food security situation. Tensions ease on Thai-Cambodian border as refugees return hom. India-Pakistani peace talks to resume, say sources. All this and more in today’s briefing…

Egyptian army declares it will not use force against civilians as protests intensify

Egypt's military maintain ambiguous stance on protests. 99% of southerners vote for independence, according to first official reports. Surge in political violence ahead of April’s elections in Nigeria. Elected parliament convenes in Myanmar for first time in twenty years.
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