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

Part 1- Iraq: Beyond the Wall

Muqtada al-Sadr and his armed group, the al-Mahdi army, have been America's most intractable opponents in Iraq, the only major Shia party to make the demand for US troops to withdraw.

For five years, they have controlled large sections of the country, they have also defied attempts to marginalise them politically, and have fought pitched battles with US Marines. Despite all this, al-Sadr's al-Mahdi army has only grown in size and influence.

Part 1 - Reawakening

After two years of campaigning, the US Presidential race enters its final week, and for the most of those two years, Iraq looked like an unwinnable war.

The so-called surge strategy adopted by George Bush, the outgoing president, deployed 30,000 additional US troops to Iraq in 2007 and has dominated, much of the debate about the war.

Both this year's presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, have praised it as a huge success.

McCain even cites his early support of the surge as his most important foreign policy credential.

Part 2 - Iraq: Beyond the Wall

Muqtada al-Sadr and his armed group, the al-Mahdi army, have been America's most intractable opponents in Iraq, the only major Shia party to make the demand for US troops to withdraw.

For five years, they have controlled large sections of the country, they have also defied attempts to marginalise them politically, and have fought pitched battles with US Marines. Despite all this, al-Sadr's al-Mahdi army has only grown in size and influence.

No News is Bad News

Sitting, waiting, sweating. When you live on the margins in Sudan, there's nothing much behind you, and nothing much in front to look forward to.

And get over any romantic notions about hardy stoic villagers. The people of the Nubian desert tell us they don't like it. And they gather each day in their homes made of mud to share tea and some grinding certainties.

Hostility on the Streets of Yemen

The day I was stoned in public happened to be my birthday.

I was walking along a quiet side street, close to the parliament building in Yemen's capital, Sanaa.

I was alone, but I did not think twice when a battered old pick-up truck drove towards me.

It was just like hundreds of other pick-up trucks that I saw every day in Yemen. There were two tribesmen in the driver's cabin and a handful of young men standing in the flat-bed, holding onto the side rails to keep upright.