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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Pakistani students accused of terrorism win fight against deportation

Pakistani students accused of terrorism win fight against deportation. Bangkok rocked by violence as ‘Red Shirt’ leaders surrender. Taliban launch an attack on Bagram air base. New sanctions draft announced as pressure mounts on Iran. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

An "exit strategy" is little use in the Afghan labyrinth

We need to break old assumptions if Afghanistan and Pakistan are to be secured, argues Carlo Ungaro

Iranian nuke deal on the Turkish-Brazilian axis met with suspicion by US and Israel

Turkish-Brazilian deal on Iranian uranium draws criticism from US and Israel. Sri Lanka celebrates 'victory day' as damning report issued by International Crisis Group. All this and more in today's update.

NPT conference: half time glass half full

Frustration at the failure of nuclear weapon states to honour the agreements made at previous NPT Conferences is growing. In heated exchanges in New York the 184 countries without nuclear weapons want to ensure that this time the NPT outcome has direction, accountability and muscle. Half way through the conference Rebecca Johnson reports that there is still everything to play for.

Washington vs Waziristan: the far enemy

The new pattern of United States military attacks in the AfPak borderlands is fuelling ever-greater hostility on the ground. The arrest of a presumed Taliban militant in New York is one of its symptoms. The long war is recharging itself.

How to make peace with Iran

The case for diplomatic engagement rather than military confrontation with Iran is well-founded in principle and achievable in reality, says Arshin Adib-Moghaddam.

Afghan civilian shot dead during protest

A protester is shot dead as hundreds march against civilian casualties caused in a recent night raid in Afghanistan. President Obama asks Congress to fund an Israeli missile shield. At least five people have been killed in clashes in Bangkok. Russian security forces have killed three of the organisers of the March terrorist bombing of the Moscow metro. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Objecting: an act of civil disobedience

Conscientious objection is not "opting out". It is an effort to stimulate a new social imagination and a revolutionary mentality that does not normalise violence.

Conscription: our bodies...or our money?

In recognising a right of conscientious objection specifically to military service, the international community of nation states has effectively conceded the morality of such a standpoint. An eventual extension of the interpretation of this right to embrace conscientious objections to payment towards military expenditure would be a further step in the building of a “culture of peace” even within our still bellicose societies

Listening to our conscience

A new anthology of women conscientious objectors reveals the extent to which rejection to military service is part of a greater movement for social change. Vanessa Alexander went along to the book launch

Fragile post-election Iraq suffers sectarian bomb attacks

Baghdad bombings in wake of inconclusive election bargaining in Iraq. Suspicions mount of North Korean involvement in Cheonan sinking. Murders taint government-opposition relations in Ethiopia. US warns Burma over purchases of North Korean weapons. All this and more in today's briefing.

United States at the NPT: how far will the 'good guy' go?

Unless the role and value assigned to nuclear weapons in deterrence is challenged among the nuclear-armed states, the notion of nuclear deterrence will remain seductive – and a proliferation drive. Those wanting to bring about real security in a non-nuclear-armed world need to do far more at this NPT Conference. Rebecca Johnson reports from New York.

Against power-mongering - moving on from the politics of 'winner-takes-all'

The longing for 'macho' style 'strong' politics is exposed by the UK's post-election arguments

Israel and Palestine re-enter peace negotiations

Indirect Israel-Palestine peace talks underway after four-month deadlock. Death toll rises as Thai peace plan stalls. Afghan peace draft considers Taliban exile. four killed as elections begin in the Philippines. All this and more in today’s security update.

Implementing SCR 1325: lessons from Israel

The attempt to implement Security Council Resolution 1325 after the failure of the Oslo Peace Process revealed a paralysed women's movement in Israel. Is it time for feminist resistance rather than arguing for women's participation in peace processes?

Searching for gender justice

How and when will the Rome Statute and Security Council Resolution 1325 actually contribute to the delivery of justice to a critical mass of the world’s women?

Britain, let’s talk about security

An inconclusive general election casts uncertainty over the shape of Britain’s next government. The issue of national security, amid conditions of severe financial constraint, will be high on the incoming administration’s agenda. But the political space for a fresh approach to the country’s defence needs is already narrowing.

Hung Parliament raises questions on UK security policy

The outcome of the UK general election raises serious concerns regarding foreign and security policy. North Korea is committed to resuming negotiations over its nuclear weapons programme. The political alliance set to become the new government of Iraq is bitterly criticised as being sectarian and ‘Iran-orchestrated’. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Rescuing Ukraine from NATO

President Yanukovich sees it as his mission to protect the country from NATO. That’s why he extended that lease allowing Russia’s fleet to stay in Crimea. For as long as the fleet stays in Ukraine, the country cannot join NATO

US to extend sanctions on Syria for another year

US extends sanctions on Syria for a further year. Times Square bomb suspect. Yemeni ship seized by Somali pirates. Greeks take to street in protest at latest package of austerity measures. All this and more in today's update.

Afghanistan: a phantom endgame

The nature and future of Afghanistan’s war is now bound to international political calculation, not least the United States’s electoral timetable.

US walks diplomatic tightrope in Arab-Israeli conflict

The United States treads a narrow tightrope in Middle East diplomacy. Over a hundred insurgents are killed in a bloody clash in Chad. South Korean and Chinese Presidents discuss the sinking of the Cheonan. Five rebels are killed in the Philippines ahead of national elections. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Who is responsible? An interview with Fred Halliday

Fred Halliday, who died on 26 April, talks to Danny Postel about realpolitik, religion, universal rights and the pitfalls of the Left. He discusses the need to combine solidarity with critical distance, to know what is really happening in Third World countries. This interview, published in Salmagundi, not previously available on the web, was recorded on 23 November 2005, in Chicago.

Nuclear weapons: beyond non-proliferation?

The stakes are high and the outcome too close to call as the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty opens for four weeks of intense debate in New York.

Fears of renewed violence after Bashir wins Sudanese election

South and North Sudan at risk of violence after election results contested. Niger food crisis worsens. Soldier killed in Thai protests. Sarkozy pushes for Chinese support of sanctions against Iran. All this and more in today's update.

Egypt convicts Hezbollah suspects

Egypt convicts Hezbollah suspects. Human Rights Watch says Iraq torture routine. Blast in Peshawar kills four policemen. Migrants in Mexico face 'human rights crisis.' Sahara states to escalate anti-al Qaeda mission. US begins inquiry into spy network in Pakistan. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Abbas embargoes Israeli settlements

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas imposes embargo on settlement goods. Thai government alleges red shirt movement is a republican plot. US sets out plans for a one-hour missile strike capacity. Ukraine in tumultuous vote to extend Russian lease of Black Sea base. All this and more in today's briefing.

Obama's plan for Iran and Chinese resistance

Iran's fate rests on US relations with an emerging Chinese-Russian axis

The Baloch people have a right to self-determination

The Baloch people, who have suffered decades of repression, deserve the right to self-determination.

The strongest power of all

If violence is out, what power can nonviolence offer? Courage, numbers and solidarity are vital to confront oppressive power, but macho dynamics perpetuate aggression. Human connections are the key to transformation

Unprecedented protests in Lebanon call for secularism

Lebanese protestors demand secularism. Thai PM rejects protestors’ offer as counter-movements gain strength. Clashes in south Sudan kill 58. Al-Qaeda confirms death of top leaders. Iran tests new missiles in annual military manoeuvers. All this and more, in today's security update.

Armenian genocide and Turkey: then and now

The destruction of the Ottoman Armenians began on 24 April 1915. Almost a century later the contemporary political relevance of the "great catastrophe" remains undiminished, says Vicken Cheterian.

Securing our future for the future

The second TV debate, purporting to focus on foreign affairs, failed to address Britain's role in the world.

Papua: the elusive dialogue

An initiative to address the complex conflicts in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua seeks to learn from past failure by extending the understanding of dialogue, says Charles Reading.

A tale of three cities: Washington, Baghdad, Tehran

The United States's war in Iraq failed to curb Iranian influence in the region. The war's architects now seek to make Tehran pay for their mistake.
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