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This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Obama's Afghan challenge

An underfunded and undermanned operation creeps towards disaster on the frontline of the "war on terrorism"

Ugly geopolitics surface in Kabul bombing

Pakistan should draw the right lesson from the carnage of yesterday's blast at the Indian embassy in Kabul, says Kanishk Tharoor

Hamas: talk to them

A scrutiny of Hamas's history, thinking, internal politics and relation to the Palestinian public makes the case for dialogue with the movement, says Jeroen Gunning.

Relighting the peace pipe

Local responses wrestle with global consequences as Pashtun secularists in Pakistan's northwest have begun talks with Islamist militants.

Europe’s Afghan test

Afghanistan's hope of progress and security is withering. Europe must lead a new coordinated new strategy before it is too late, says Daniel Korski.

The dimensions of terrorism

Attending the launch of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, Anthony Barnett weighs both the prevailing and unconventional wisdom on fighting terrorism

The resurgence of the neo-Taliban

A potent mix of ideology, ethnicity, strategy and social discontent fuels intensifying insurgency in Afghanistan, says Antonio Giustozzi.

The SWISH Report (9)

In light of developments on the ground from Iraq to Afghanistan-Pakistan and the United States itself, the al-Qaida movement again solicits advice from the respected management consultancy.

Turkey and the Kurds: everybody's problem

An escalating cross-border conflict shouldn't suppress the fact that the interests of Turkey, the Iraqi Kurds and the United States converge over the militant Kurdish PKK group, says Soner Cagaptay.

Afghanistan: necessity and impossibility

Geopolitics will make needed negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban impossible

Al-Qaida: from centre to periphery

The choice between fighting smarter against and negotiating with al-Qaida is rendered false by the movement's own dispersal, say Ram Manikkalingam & Pablo Policzer.

Dropping "muqawama"

By excising "armed resistance" from its language, Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority lays the groundwork for popular struggle in the occupied territories.

The quest for peace

In a fragmented political landscape, peace is a long way off in the southern Philippines

Learning from the past

In fighting terrorism, the White House and Downing Street need to brush up on their history

Al-Qaida in India

As India celebrates its 60th birthday, the bubble of liberal Indian Islam may burst under pressure from without and within

Attacking the victims

Blaming the Kurds for the dispute over Kirkuk is to miss the forest for the trees, says Kani Xulam in his response to Sheth Jerjis

The fate of a city

With Kerkuk's contentious fate to be decided in December, Sheth Jerjis lays out the Turkmen case against the referendum

More harm than good

Morocco's proposed plan to grant Western Sahara autonomy is a poor solution to Africa's forgotten conflict.

Determining factors

The right of the Moro people to self-determination need not fracture the Philippines.

Treading softly in Afghanistan

To fight the Taliban effectively, international forces must brush up on their anthropology.

India's soft allure

Islamabad grows anxious as New Delhi wields soft power in Afghanistan.

Understanding suicide attacks

Policy-makers and the mainstream media dangerously oversimplify the motivations and implications of suicide bombings.

Insurgency vs. terrorism

With their aims often understood in existential terms, terrorists will never be as successful as insurgents

India's democracy deficit in Kashmir

Farooq Siddiqui, chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, argues that the European Union and members of the international community must remind India of its democratic hypocrisy in Kashmir.

Does terrorism work?

Nonviolent strategies of resistance are not simply morally superior to their violent counterparts. They are also more effective, according to the groundbreaking research of Dr. Maria Stephan and Dr. Erica Chenoweth.

Beating swords into pens

With journalism in tatters in strife-torn Colombia, Bernardo Gutiérrez of Medios Para la Paz argues that the battles for objectivity and peace are one.

Democracy crumbling in Algeria?

With Islamist violence on the up in Algeria and across the Maghreb, democratic institutions are likely to come under increasing external and internal pressure.

India's war with itself

The blunt brutality of India's Maoist insurgents cannot be countered with equal violence.

Clouds over Somalia

If Somalia's government fails to broaden its base of support and include alienated political figures and groups, no measure of international intervention will save the country from instability

The flawed surge

As long as American troops remain in Iraq, nothing can be resolved.

A wrinkle in time

Part historical accident, part legal dispute, the Durand Line and the Pashtuns it divides remain central to ongoing instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

India's bloody track record

This week's Samjhauta train blast may be shocking, but it follows in the heels of numerous similar attacks in India, perpetrated by militants of all stripes.

Wars of "religion"

Though modern conflicts are often framed in religious terms, Manali Desai argues that "religion" is an essentially useless category in understanding what drives groups against each other.

Iraq: the sum of the parts

Ali A. Allawi, special adviser to the prime minister of Iraq, argues that US policies have led Iraq into sectarian strife, and US policies must help pull Iraq out.

The coming of the desert

The "Arabization" of a previously hybrid faith has given rise to extremism and militancy in Indonesia.

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