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

How Afghanistan's Little Tragedies are Adding Up

There are large-scale civilian deaths in Afghanistan that make headlines, and then there are the small incidents that are barely noticed at all. That was the fate of 12-year-old Benafsha Shaheem.

Overcome by Violence (German)

Story written by Peter Burghardt

Updated Feb.11, 2011

From the introduction on the Süddeutsche Zeitung site (translated from German):

"Originally, the Italian photographer Marco Vernaschi wanted to do a photo story on drug dealers in Guinea-Bissau, Africa. But he ended up in a gruesome war between the military and the government. First, the highest ranking army general was murdered. Then Vernaschi drove to the house of the president who had just been killed by soldiers. A photo essay from the heart of hell."

Afghanistan: An Everyday Victim

Jason Motlagh, for the Pulitzer Center

There are large-scale civilian deaths that make headlines; and then there are small but regular incidents in Afghanistan that may or may not get a mention. This was the fate of 12-year-old Benafsha Shaheem.

Iran's Spending Spree in Afghanistan

Some locals jokingly call Herat the "Dubai of Afghanistan." The nickname is a stretch, but the mini-boom taking place in this commercial capital is borne out by 24-hour electricity and pothole-free streets where people wander without fear of the random violence that afflicts other urban centers in the country. Who gets the credit? Much of it goes to Iran, which lies less than a hundred miles to the west and is moving closer.

Afghanistan: Echoes of Azizabad

The US military said yesterday that only 20-35 civilians were killed in airstrikes in western Afghanistan earlier this month, disputing the claims of the Afghan government.