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

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.

“Abu Jandal, In the name of Jihad…”

Nasser al Bahri, 36 years old, calmly disclaims all names given to him: "terrorist" by the United States, "infidel" by Islamists, embarrassing persona for Yemeni authorities, and role model for the younger generation… "So which one would you like to talk to?" the Yemeni asks. The former bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden has come to terms with the entirety of his experiences, but taken one by one in the context of the path he's taken and the apprenticeship he's received.

The US Detention System in Iraq

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been detained by the US, one and a half million have had an immediate family-member detained, almost every Iraqi knows someone who has been through the US detention system. Few American institutions affect the lives of ordinary Iraqis more directly and profoundly than the US detention system.

At one point during "the Surge" the US was holding 27,000 Iraqis. Today it holds 17,000.