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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Sri Lankan president re-elected

Mahinda Rajapakse claims Sri Lanka election victory. North and South Korea trade fire. Taliban moderates taken off UN blacklist. Russia says US arms treaty to be ready in weeks. British court overturns freezing of terrorism assets. US blames Nigeria for extremism. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Revisiting Blair and Campbell on Iraq

Anthony Barnett goes back to the openDemocracy archives

Debaathication vs. reconciliation? The decision to ban Saleh al-Mutlaq from standing in the Iraqi election

The Iraqi Accountability and Justice Commission's decision to ban former Baathist Saleh al-Mutlaq from standing in the forthcoming election threatens to derail the process of reconciliation in the country and provoke a crisis in Iraqi politics.

Yemen rebels offer truce to Saudi Arabia

Houti Shi’ite rebels in Yemen want ceasefire with Saudi Arabia. Student killed in riots over Venezuelan media. ‘Chemical Ali’ hanged in Iraq. Hundreds arrested after violence in Nigeria. All this and much more, in today’s briefing.

Burmese Junta raises prospect of Suu Kyi release in November

Burmese dictatorship sets date for potential release of pro-democracy activist. Concern over possibility of violent Sri Lankan elections. Daughter of Yeltsin speaks out against Putin. China defends internet controls. All this and more in today's briefing.

The politics of poppy day

Following the threatened demonstration of Islam4UK in Wootton Bassett, Lucy Noakes explores the fraught history of war remembrance. The article launches Lest we forget: remembering historic conflicts, openSecurity’s new editorial project in association with History & Policy, asking historians to reflect on wars gone by and the light they shed on present conflicts.

Haiti to transfer 400,000 homeless out of the capital

Haiti announces that 400,000 people made homeless in last week’s earthquake are to be relocated outside the capital as the situation on the ground begins to slowly improve. The president of Afghanistan unveils a plan aimed to attract Taliban insurgents to the side of the Afghan government. The US and EU announce a united front in responding to the continuing standoff surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Why can't you buy the Taliban?

The longer the war continues in Afghanistan, the more likely it is that disparate Taliban groups will unite and join forces with international Islamist militant groups

Kenya: combatting radical Islam

Before Kenya can succeed in stemming the radicalisation of its Muslim minority, the US will have to change its Somali policy

US military presence in Haiti sparks controversy

US military presence in Haiti sparks controversy. Religious riots kill 200 in Jos, Nigeria. UN warns Israeli blockade puts Gazans’ health at risk. Yemen strikes house of suspected al-Qaeda militant. FBI 'fabricated terror emergencies' to get access to phone records. Suicide attack on Iraqi army HQ in Mosul. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Securing our cities

The city forms a unique security environment and should be recognised as such

Taliban terrorize Kabul in series of attacks

Afghan forces battle Taliban militants in streets of Kabul. China stonewalls possible sanctions against Iran. Deadly violence erupts in Nigerian sectarian clashes. UN seeks additional troops for Haiti. All this and much more, in today’s security briefing.

Exiled Guinean leader speaks out

Capt. Camara supports Guinea's fight for democracy Second round imminent in Ukrainian presidential election ‘Chemical Ali’ faces death sentence Yemeni security forces capture armed militants Chavez strikes out at US ‘occupation’ of Haiti

Sri Lanka's war chiefs fight for the spoils of peace

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksawas expected to win the January 26th election hands down - but he didn’t reckon on former army chief General Sarath Fonseka entering the fray

How to return to the spirit of change: the US and Iran's reform movement

The US needs to alter its security orientated discourse on Iran to nourish the reform movement and democracy

Accidental explosion kills terror suspects in Karachi

An accidental explosion in Karachi kills seven suspected militants. A drone attack kills 18 in Waziristan. A suicide bomber kills many in Afghanistan. Haitian aid is arriving too slowly. And Iranian hackers target China’s biggest search engine. All this an more, in today’s security update…

Dutch inquiry concludes the Iraq war 'was illegal' as Tony Blair’s spin doctor presents evidence at Chilcot inquiry

A Dutch inquiry concludes the Iraq war ‘was illegal’ as Alastair Campbell presents his evidence before the Chilcot inquiry. Afghans express anger over alleged desecration of Quran. Yemen kills ‘al-Qaeda cell leader.’ Obama expected to ask $33billion more for wars in February. Israel apologises to Turkey for breaching diplomatic manners. All this and more in today's update.

China successfully tests missile interceptor

China conducts missile system test following US-Taiwan arms sales. Optimistic poll raises hopes for Afghanistan. Israel plans new fence along Egyptian border. Iranian scientist killed in bomb attack. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Cabinda’s cause, Togo’s tragedy

Behind the attack on Togo’s footballers in Angola’s enclave of Cabinda is a complex mix of history, geography, oil and politics, says Alex Vines.

North Korea wants formal peace treaty in return for disarmament

North Korea offers disarmament talks if US ends sanctions. New wave of attacks on Malaysian churches. Violence continues between political factions in Karachi. Sudan dismisses warnings of renewed conflict. President of Yemen declares willingness to talk with Al Qaeda. All this and much more in today's update.

Somaliland: time of trial

A relatively stable statelet in the Horn of Africa needs wise international intervention to bolster its nascent democracy, says EJ Hogendoorn.

Bush to Obama: a toxic legacy

A series of intelligence failures that stretch from Afghanistan to the American heartland reveals the depth of the United States’s strategic predicament at the dawn of 2010.

Detroit plot triggers US intelligence shake-up

President Obama unveils new reforms of the US security bureaucracy in the wake of a White House report criticising intelligence failures linked to the attempted Christmas Day bombing. A leading Iranian opposition politician is attacked by supporters of the regime. In the Philippines, fighting erupts between Muslim rebels and the armed militia thought to be behind the massacre of 57 people last November. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Russia vs Ukraine: a crisis to be averted

Ukraine is about to go to the polls to elect a new president. Though the election is unlikely to provoke a violent escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, politicians and bureaucrats on both sides should start thinking how to react in case it does happen, warns Andreas Umland

Yemeni foreign minister rejects US intervention in al-Qaeda fight

Yemen’s foreign minister rejects possibility of US intervention in its battle against al-Qaeda, suggesting fears that US support might do more harm than good. Aid agencies warn of return to war in southern Sudan. Indian security forces bring day-long siege in Srinagar to an end with death of two militants. US contractor accused of being government spy by Cuban authorities. All this and more in today's security update.

Intelligence agencies in the United States under fire as airport security undergoes review worldwide

President Barack Obama criticises intelligence agencies for security failings as airport security undergoes review worldwide. The UN food agency suspends operations in south Somalia. A suicide attack in Dagestan kills six people. Egyptian police clash with Gaza aid activists. Britain and France reopen their embassies in Yemen. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Science, defence and strategy

Without strategy, the science of war overtakes the art of war.

Is Iran heading towards another revolution?

Iran's history contains three millennia of despotism, but also three revolutions in the past century alone. The current unrest may suggest that another is on its way. It poses formidable challenges to both the current regime and the moderate reformist leadership

Can Iraq's Sadrists prove their nationalist credentials?

The kidnapping of Peter Moor has unveiled divisions and Iranian influence within the movement of Muqtada al-Sadr.

Al-Qaida: the Yemen factor

A near-miss airline attack refocuses attention on al-Qaida's diffused potency, and underlines the depth of Barack Obama's predicament

Journey through thorns: a Palestinian's story

Born in 1973, a Gazan boy turns into a man and studies to become an expert in trauma therapy. He has his own family and is separated from them. He tells us about his long journey to make a life for himself and his family, and for the Gazans he has left behind.

Leaving Gaza

A young citizen journalist has a rare chance to leave his homeland, reduced to rubble by the Israeli army’s most recent incursion. How does he feel about this new-found freedom?

Beyond stalemate: replacing the vicious with the virtuous circle

What is conflict transformation? How do you begin to approach the mutual hurt of conflict embedded in systems and culture? There are many strands to a challenging and delicate process. Here are some of them

The challenge of moving from war to peace

One of the challenges in this set of unseen and unsung practices is how to make it visible and strengthen its advocacy without destroying its impact. Conflict transformation work not only deserves but needs a wider audience

Rains fail again in east Africa

Repeated failure of rains in eastern Africa demonstrate the link between climate change and security. Yemeni security forces foil an al-Qaeda plot. Two Colombian rebel groups announce possibility of alliance against government. The end of much-criticised UN-backed Kimenia II operated in eastern Congo is announced. The Philippines prepares for evacuation ahead of predicted volcanic eruption. All this and more in today's update.
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