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This week's editor

Adam Ramsay, Editor

Adam Ramsay is editor of oD-UK.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Ethnic riots provoke arson in Bangladesh's troubled Chittagong Hill Tracts

Chittagong Hill Tracts shaken by riots and arson. India and Pakistan take steps to rebuild their relationship. Niger leaders rule themselves out of elections. Darfur rebels contradict president’s claim that the war is over. All this and more in today’s briefing.

Sudan and Darfur rebels sign ceasefire deal

Sudan and Darfur rebels sign ceasefire deal. Ailing Nigerian leader returns to Nigeria. Escalating dispute over Falklands Islands goes to the UN. Family of US activist to sue Israel. Turkish officers charged over coup plot. India reports border shooting ahead of talks with Pakistan. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Reconceptualising war

What if defeating the enemy was the justification for war, but not its real goal? What if its goal was a certain kind of power-brokerage?

Too many refugees, too little water

A photo essay on water problems in Eastern Chad

McChrystal apologises for Afghan civilian casualties

General McChrystal offers public apology for Afghans killed by NATO airstrike. Turkish top military officials arrested over alleged coup plot. US army has contingency plans for delaying Iraq withdrawal. Afghan immigrant admits plans to bomb New York subway. All this and much more, in today’s security briefing.

A nest of contradictions: exclusion and immunity in the Iraqi elections

The fudged compromise on Iraqi election candidates previously excluded from running raises more questions than it answers.

Gender, war and conflict transformation

As Shelley Anderson suggests, war and gender are intimately related. Gender lies at war’s heart and the conduct and impact of war are equally gendered. Although conflict transformation is based on values traditionally regarded as ‘feminine,’ it struggles to implement them in a world shaped by masculinity.

Capturing Baradar: the ISI reformed?

The capture of Taliban number two Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been hailed as indicating a change of approach by Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI. With a reformed image and important bargaining card, Pakistan looks set to benefit from the move.

Niger stricken by military coup

Military officers take power in Niger. NATO suffers casualties in Afghanistan. The IAEA launches warns of Iranian warhead development. The head of the UN’s humanitarian office criticises relief efforts in Haiti. All this and more in today’s security update.

Jack's the lad

Jack Straw boasts that he could have stopped Britain taking part in the Iraq war

Could partition solve Ukraine’s problems?

In the light of Ukraine’s election result, Ethan S. Burger offers a proposal for the creation of a new Ukrainian state. Partition would do more than better reflect the country’s national/ethnic composition, he suggests. It could also make the country economically viable, while enhancing European stability.

Afghanistan: what it’s like

The ground-level realities of western military involvement in Afghanistan - including a few dozen soldiers in an isolated base - reveal the intractability of the war.

Beirut and contradiction: reading the World Press Photo award

Four stylish young women, an open-topped car, the rubble of war-torn Beirut … but where is the real power of Spencer Platt's prize-winning image, asks Mai Ghoussoub.

(This article was first published on 13 February 2007)

Nepal: torture vs democracy

Nepal’s path to development remains hostage to the lack of accountability over human-rights violations during the country’s civil war, says Meenakshi Ganguly.

(This article was first published on 15 February 2010)

Bangladesh government accused of crackdown on Burmese refugees

Bangladesh accused of crackdown on Burmese refugees. Obama meets the Dalai Lama despite Chinese criticism; Maoists kills ten in Bihar. Protests rock Ivory Coast as president dissolves the government. Taliban running low on ammo in sixth day of Operation Moshtarak. Rumours of a coup attempt in Niger. All this and much more in today’s briefing.

Vital peace constituencies

The last decade has seen much more detailed attention to the many, sometimes contradictory, roles women play in conflict situations. But women remain a vital peace constituency

Mossad accused of complicity in assassination of top Hamas official in Dubai

Mossad is accused of complicity in assassination of top Hamas official in Dubai. Russia and Abkhazia sign deal to build joint military base. Cluster munitions treaty to enter force this year. US reinstates ties with Syria. US drone attack kills three in Pakistan. More journalists killed in 2009 than ever before. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Internal reform in international limbo: Kosovo celebrates its second birthday

Two years on, the Pristina government is on a tightrope-walk to independence. Between the pitfalls of intenational isolation and internal division, it must tread carefully.

Top Taliban commander captured in Pakistan

Taliban chief Mullah Baradar seized by US and Pakistani security services. Saudis doubtful about effectiveness of sanctions on Iran. Tensions in Kenyan government lead prime minister to seek international help. Libya orders complete visa ban for Europeans. All this and much more, in today’s security update.

Amnesty and justice in Afghanistan: "a nose made of dough"

In a bid to sweeten talks with disaffected Taliban, Karzai has revived a controversial amnesty law praising the mujahedin as national heroes while ignoring their crimes. If enforced, hopes that the toppling of the Taliban in 2001 might still bring about government in line with justice, democracy and respect for human rights will again be dashed, says Aziz Hakimi

Spain agrees to take in former Guantanamo Bay inmates

Spanish government agrees to house former terrorist suspects. Sydney bomb plotters sentenced. Tymoshenko accuses Yanukovych of vote-rigging. British journalist arrested in Gaza. UN sends envoy to Burma. All this and more in today's briefing.

Barack Obama, Muslims and Islamism

The United States president has put better relations with the Muslim world at the heart of his foreign policy. The discourses of political Islamists reveal the scale of his task after a year in office, says Khaled Hroub.

Bosnian voice, Yugoslavian memory

The sense of justice and consistency of principle of the Bosnian activist Mladen Grahovac should be a reference-point for those attempting to repair a fragmented country, says Peter Lippman.

MI5 denies withholding evidence on torture victim

The director general of MI5 writes an impassioned defence of his service, denying allegations of lying to Parliament. Yemen signs a truce with the al Houthi insurgents. Ahmedinejad hails Iran as a ‘nuclear state.’ China protests over Dalai Lama meeting with President Obama. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Afghanistan: propaganda of the deed

The deluge of publicity about a large-scale military operation against the Taliban must be set against Afghan realities that tell a different story.

Nigeria needs more than Goodluck to avert crisis

Nigerian Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan named acting president in bid to resolve crisis. Claims emerge of deliberate army assault on civilians in Congo. Al-Shabaab preempts crackdown with assault on capital. Tymoshenko refuses to admit defeat in dangerous show of defiance. All this and more in today's update.

Guinea-Conakry: the price of political rape

The transition to democracy in Guinea-Conakry is both a lesson and a warning to those who would wield rape as an instrument of terror - whether in war or in peace.

Operation Moshtarak a crucial test for Obama's Afghan war strategy

Operation Moshtarak a crucial test for Obama’s Afghan war strategy. Protestors clash in Sri Lankan capital. Sudan-Chad deal raises hope for an end to Darfur insecurity. Israeli warplanes bomb southern Gaza. Iran makes arrests before revolution rally. British judges order release of secret torture evidence. Nigerian footage shows uniformed men shooting unarmed men. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

France approves sale of high-tech warship to Russia

International concern about sale of French amphibious warship to Russia. US aims for new sanctions on Iran “within weeks”. 197 people indicted for murder over Philippine massacre. Sir Lankan opposition leader treated “like an animal”. All this and much more in today’s security briefing.

Iraq and the fig-leaf of just war theory

Dissension over the legality of the Iraq war, and the history of western military interventions since 1945, reveals the paucity of international law's moral underpinnings. The article continues our series 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.

Af-Pak: what strategic depth?

Pakistan's military and political class have obsessed over gaining 'strategic depth' in Afghanistan for years, but the at times absurd concept is incompatible with Pakistan's zero-sum approach to regional politics.

US military personnel killed in Pakistan school blast

US military personnel die in bomb blast in Pakistan as a record rise in drone attacks and militancy grips the country. Pressure mounts on Israel to hold inquiry into Gaza war. Iran test-fires satellite rocket. Sudanese president may face genocide charges. Suicide attack kills 20 in Iraq. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Iran takes critical stance on US missile defences

Iranian officials attempt to discredit US missile defence deployments. China warns Obama over meeting with Dalai Lama. Somali Al Shabab unite with Al Qaeda’s jihad. Female suicide bomber kills 54 Iraqi pilgrims. All this and much more in today’s security briefing.

Meeting in monochrome: women and the Afghanistan conference

The picture said it all; an expanse of suits broken only by Hillary's blonde bob floating in their midst. The London Conference on Afghanistan gave birth to sweeping statements and soaring ambitions. But were they, in the end, as flat as those grey rows of suits?
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