Issue

Governance

The balance of power between strong states was for decades the dominant issue in discussions of international security. But today, it is fragile states that are seen by many as posing potentially greater threats. Weak infrastructures, internal conflict, and lack of economic development provide fertile ground for trafficking, piracy, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, disease pandemics, regional tensions, and even genocide.

As a result, there is a growing movement in the international community to find comprehensive ways to promote stronger states, as well as more effective solutions to deal with those that are already on the brink of failure.

In Governance, you'll find reporting from around the world—from East Timor to Haiti, from Guinea Bissau to Afghanistan. The reporting demonstrates the dangers weak states pose—and also the international interventions that appear to be making a difference.

 

Governance

Losing Hearts and Minds and Lives in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is in an uproar following U.S. airstrikes that may have killed more than 100 civilians in the western part of the country. Reports from Farah province said that on Thursday a mob of several hundred protesters chanted anti-American slogans and threw rocks outside at provincial governor's office before being disbursed by police gunfire. In Kabul, outraged lawmakers called for new laws to clamp down on foreign military operations. Ahead of talks with President Obama in Washington, Afghan President Hamid Karzai bluntly said the deaths were "unjustifiable and unacceptable."

Letter From Goma: An Implausible Savior

In late February, I was walking down the dusty road that winds through Nyabiando, a town deep in the forests of eastern Congo, when a young Congolese man approached me. Nervous and sweating, he insisted that we talk immediately. We ducked into an alleyway. "We're all going to be killed," he said. A mile-long column of Rwandan soldiers was marching past on their way home to Rwanda. "Why are they leaving before they've finished the job?"

Why the Taliban Is Winning the Propaganda War

When Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office recently said it was holding peace talks with the Taliban, the Taliban countered with a press release. A spokesman for the militants dismissed Karzai's announcement as a propaganda ploy to suggest a schism within the Taliban's ranks. Not only was that not true, the press release that was subsequently sent to journalists announced the start of the Taliban's spring offensive, dubbed "Operation Victory." It was the latest exchange in a critical second front in the Afghan war — a war of words that U.S.

Yemen: the Weakest Link

The executive order signed by President Barack Obama on 22 January 2009 commits the United States to shutting the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay within a year. It is a clear victory for civil-rights advocates - but one that throws into sharp relief the persistent dangers posed by weak and failing states, and the inadequacy of United States policy towards them.

Expelled from Sudan

In 2005, a historic peace agreement ended more than two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan. It was Africa's longest civil war, killing some two million people, sending four million others fleeing and literally burning southern Sudan to the ground.

The long-awaited peace came with a vision for a new Sudan. A democratic Sudan. One where the Sudanese people would live with rights and freedoms, enshrined in a new constitution.