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

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.

Afghan rights group finds lower civilian toll

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The civilian death toll from the U.S. bombardment in western Afghanistan is about a third less than the Afghan government claims, the country's leading human rights organization said Sunday, adding that no evidence of white phosphorus was found.

A weeklong investigation by a team from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has concluded that between 90 and 100 people died as a result of the May 4-5 military operation in Farah province, director Ahmad Nader Nadery told The Washington Times.

U.S. air strike victims say Taliban long gone

HERAT, Afghanistan- Afghans who lost family members in a U.S. bombardment last week say Taliban militants fled hours before the U.S. attack -- an account that contrasts with Pentagon claims about an incident that has come to encapsulate an uphill battle for Afghan hearts and minds.

Haji Sayed Barakat, who lost two children and his wife of 35 years in the May 4 attack, said Taliban militants were present in the area but had moved on two hours before the U.S. air strikes.