Issue

On War and Peace

Twenty years after the Rwandan genocide, thousands of maimed amputees remind us of the war that took 500,000 lives in 100 days. War leaves marks that cannot be erased—not only in Rwanda, but on every continent.

Reporting from On War and Peace examines the roots of conflict, whether it be religious hatred, sectarian rivalry, a security vacuum, the struggle for natural resources, or the desperation that results from poverty.

Pulitzer Center journalists also cover war’s aftermath: the transitional governments that result in chaos, diplomacy that goes awry, peace talks that never end, and the people who suffer the consequences, young and old. We see the children who go hungry, lose their homes, leave school, become combatants, or join the jihad.

Often the end to conflict leaves turmoil in its wake while the road to peace seems circuitous: In South Sudan, rebel-commanders-turned politicians plunge the country into civil war. In the U.S., troops return home from one war only to be re-deployed to another. But everywhere, in every conflict, there are also voices crying out for peace, determined to heal the divide.

On War and Peace

Somaliland: A Land in Limbo

Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, is Africa’s only fully unrecognized country. After breaking away from Somalia and claiming independence in 1991, the Somaliland government, in stark contrast to the failed state of Somalia, has constructed many facets of a functioning, stable state. Somaliland has carried out several Presidential elections and peaceful transfers of power.

Afghanistan: Civilians Under Siege

In 2008, there were over 2,100 civilians casualties across Afghanistan. US airstrikes accounted for 552 deaths, up more than 70% compared to the year before. Militants were responsible for more than half the overall total. The bitter truth is that most of these incidents could be avoided. And yet...

Human Terrain: The New Counterinsurgency?

Since 2007, an experimental Pentagon program has been sending teams of civilian anthropologists and other social scientists into the hardest-fought regions of Iraq and Afghanistan to pursue a mission that's both deeply controversial and increasingly important to U.S. military strategy.

Social scientists work within frontline combat units...

Afghanistan: Failure of Expectation

The Taliban is not the only threat facing Afghanistan. The rise in poppy cultivation places the country at risk of moving from narco-economy to narco-state, and as eradication efforts continue to prove wildly unsuccessful, the threat increases. Yet the reasons for poppy's growing influence in the country are not...

Iraq: Death of a Nation? (revisited)

"Iraq: Death of a Nation" examines how the U.S. invasion and occupation created a multi-faceted civil war in which the U.S. is now actively arming multiple factions. Last summer, the project focused on how Iraq's refugee crisis was created by the invasion and the fighting that has followed. This...

Congo's Conflict: Profit and Loss

Conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo have resulted in millions of Congolese lives lost, while benefiting the trade of small arms and valuable minerals like coltan.

What Now for the Girls of War-Torn Syria?

In a bombed-out husk of a building on the outskirts of Tabqa, Gayle Lemmon met a family trying to wait out the hell of life under ISIS in Raqqa and the war for its liberation.

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