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  • Author: Martha Crenshaw
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The 2011 civil war in Syria attracted thousands of fighters from at least seventy countries to join the Islamic State. Al-Shabaab carried out large-scale attacks on civilian targets in Uganda and Kenya as retribution for the deployment of peacekeeping forces in Somalia. In this report, Martha Crenshaw considers the extent to which civil war and foreign military intervention function as a rationale for transnational terrorism, and how understanding the connections between terrorism, civil war, and weak governance can help the United States and its allies mount an appropriate response.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War, Non State Actors, Islamic State, Transnational Actors, Peace, Al-Shabaab
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Middle East, Syria, Somalia, United States of America
  • Author: Jacqueline Wilson
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of South Sudan's civil war in 2013, the country's religious actors have sought to play an active role in turning the tide from war and violence to peace and reconciliation. Drawing on interviews, focus groups, and consultations, this report maps the religious landscape of South Sudan and showcases the legitimate and influential religious actors and institutions, highlights challenges impeding their peace work, and provides recommendations for policymakers and practitioners to better engage with religious actors for peace.
  • Topic: Civil War, Religion, War, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Catherine Besteman
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Although the United States has not formally declared war in Somalia and the US Congress has not formally approved US military engagements in Somalia, US intervention in Somalia has rapidly expanded under the Trump Administration. US airstrikes against the Somali terrorist group known as Al-Shabaab have skyrocketed, from between 15 and 21 drone strikes and other covert operations in Somalia during the period from 2007-2014 to a record high of 46 strikes in 2018 alone, which killed 326 people, to an astonishing 24 strikes in just the first two months of 2019, killing at least 252 people. Recent reports suggest other entities, such as the CIA, are also carrying out an unknown number of additional airstrikes, and the US currently has about 500 troops, mostly Special Operations, stationed in Somalia. According to a recent investigation by Amnesty International and a subsequent review by AFRICOM, the United States Africa Command, some of the US airstrikes have killed civilians. Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled areas targeted by air strikes, crowding into miserable displaced persons camps outside Mogadishu. Civilians who have lost family members or been injured by strikes have no recourse, and there is no accountability for those carrying out the strikes. In short, without a formal declaration or any particular acknowledgement or interest from the US Congress, a war is being waged in Somalia.
  • Topic: War, Military Intervention, Al-Shabaab
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, Somalia, United States of America
  • Author: Dyan Mazurana, Anastasia Marshak, Teddy Atim
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Few large-scale, structured surveys have been conducted on the prevalence of alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity committed by warring parties against civilians and how this relates to disability. Using data from a panel survey carried out in 2013, 2015, and 2018 that is representative of all of Acholi and Lango sub-regions in northern Uganda, this working paper reports the prevalence of alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity for individuals and households; their association with disability; and the resulting effects over time on people’s lives in terms of food security, wealth, access to basic services, and healthcare. The study contributes to an understanding of people who have experienced alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity that affect them physically and psychologically; the relationship between experience of these alleged crimes and their experience of disability; the effects of these crimes on their wealth, food security, and access to livelihood and social protection services; the effects of these crimes on their access to basic and therapeutic healthcare; and a better understanding of the key obstacles faced by victims of these alleged crimes when they are unable to receive basic and therapeutic healthcare.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, War, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States, its allies, and international organizations are just beginning to come to grips with the civil dimensions of "failed state" wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, the Sudans, Syria, and Yemen. In each case, it is clear that the civil dimension of the war will ultimately be as important as the military one. Any meaningful form of "victory" requires far more than defeating the current extremist threat in military terms, and reaching some temporary compromise between the major factions that divide the country. The current insurgent and other security threats exist largely because of the deep divisions within the state, the past and current failures of the government to deal with such internal divisions, and the chronic failure to meet the economic, security, and social needs of much of the nation's population. In practical terms, these failures make a given host government, other contending factions, and competing outside powers as much of a threat to each nation’s stability and future as Islamic extremists and other hostile forces. Regardless of the scale of any defeat of extremists, the other internal tensions and divisions with each country also threaten to make any such “victory” a prelude to new forms of civil war, and/or an enduring failure to cope with security, stability, recovery, and development. Any real form of victory requires a different approach to stability operations and civil-military affairs. In each case, the country the U.S. is seeking to aid failed to make the necessary economic progress and reforms to meet the needs of its people – and sharply growing population – long before the fighting began. The growth of these problems over a period of decades helped trigger the sectarian, ethnic, and other divisions that made such states vulnerable to extremism and civil conflict, and made it impossible for the government to respond effectively to crises and wars.
  • Topic: Security, War, Fragile/Failed State, ISIS, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sundan
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The number of UN peacekeepers is at a record high, with nearly 110,000 uniformed deployed "blue helmets" worldwide, most of them in Africa. But the status quo is "untenable," warns Paul D. Williams, author and associate professor of international affairs at George Washington University, in a new Council Special Report, Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa. Unrealistic mandates, unsustainable supplies of personnel, hostile host governments, and mission creep have undermined peace operations, Williams writes. "Given the growing interest in fostering a stable and prosperous Africa, the United States should wield its political influence to address these challenges."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, War, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Alexander De Juan
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Does extraction increase the likelihood of antistate violence in the early phases of state building processes? While much research has focused on the impacts of war on state building, the potential “war‐making effects” of extraction have largely been neglected. The paper provides the first quantitative analysis of these effects in the context of colonial state‐building. It focuses on the Maji Maji rebellion against the German colonial state (1905–1907), the most substantial rebellion in colonial Eastern Africa. Analyses based on a newly collected historical data set confirm the correlation between extraction and resistance. More importantly, they reveal that distinct strategies of extraction produced distinct outcomes. While the intensification of extraction in state‐held areas created substantial grievances among the population, it did not drive the rebellion. Rather, the empirical results indicate that the expansion of extractive authority threatened the political and economic interests of local elites and thus provoked effective resistance. This finding provides additional insights into the mechanisms driving the “extraction–coercion cycle” of state building.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Germany
  • Author: James Copnall
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: A prolific writer and reporter, James Copnall was the BBC’s Sudan correspondent from 2009- 12 and covered South Sudan’s independence, the Darfur war, rebellions, and clashes between both the Sudans. He has also reported from over twenty other African nations. His latest book, A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts - Sudan and South Sudan’s Bitter and Incomplete Divorce deals extensively with the conflict engulfing the Sudans from various perspectives. Earlier this year, he sat down with the Fletcher Security Review to give some perspective on recent developments.
  • Topic: War, Conflict, Journalism, Interview
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, South Sudan
  • Author: Charles Cleveland
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Lieutenant General Charles T. Cleveland, an Army Special Forces Officer, relinquished command of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) and retired after 37 years of military service on 01 July 2015. He previously commanded the Special Operations Command Central and Special Operations Command South as well as the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-North during Operation Iraqi Freedom. LTG Cleveland is a native of Arizona and a 1978 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit Medal.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Interview, Army, Special Operations
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, Panama, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The violence in Darfur's decade-old war spiked in 2013, as the mostly Arab militias initially armed by the government to contain the rebellion increasingly escaped Khartoum's control and fought each other. Recent fighting has displaced nearly half a million additional civilians – in all 3.2 million Darfurians need humanitarian help. The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signed in Qatar in 2011 is largely unimplemented, notably because it was endorsed by factions with limited political and military influence, blocked by the government and suffered fading international support. The main insurgent groups remain active, have formed an alliance that goes beyond the region and increasingly assert a national agenda. If Darfur is to have durable peace, all parties to the country's multiple conflicts, supported by the international community, need to develop a more coherent means of addressing, in parallel, both local conflicts and nationwide stresses, the latter through a comprehensive national dialogue; eschew piecemeal approaches; embrace inclusive talks; and recommit to Sudan's unity.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Islam, War, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa