Category Archive: Diplomacy

Dreams of a transnational Kurdistan: Kurdish independence in Iraq and Syria

In Iraqi Kurdistan’s September 2017 referendum on independence, 92% of the population in Kurdish-held areas voted in favour of secession. Yet dreams of independence were shattered quickly. In response to the referendum’s result,… Continue reading

Winning the battle, losing the war? Trump’s strategy to fight ISIS

“So what if you win the battle against ISIS in Mosul, and lose the struggle to rebuild the Middle East?” On the campaign trail, Donald Trump presented himself as relentless in the fight… Continue reading

License to kill & unstoppable at that: Jody Williams on Killer Robots and a stalling CCW

Are autonomous Killer Robots going to change the nature of modern warfare? Not if Jody Williams succeeds with her latest campaign. But the fight is tough: as governments are stalling by encouraging slow-working, low-aiming… Continue reading

Iran’s Nuclear Deal: Who’s calling the shots?

“And so the concern is that Supreme Leader Khamenei … will let the deal come into effect and then, a year or two down the road, say ‘this isn’t working out, we have… Continue reading

Simon Adams on the merits of R2P, Syria and veto reform

“Our benchmark is international community failure. But I’d like to think that even though there are still mass atrocities in the world, we are certainly getting better at preventing them from happening. And when… Continue reading

Eki Omorogbe on R2P, Syrian deadlock, and alternatives

On the deadlock over Syria: “This in my mind takes us back to the 1990s: Rwanda, Srebrenica, Kosovo.. Unless we are willing to act illegally but legitimately, then the people will be at… Continue reading

Aidan Hehir: R2P doomed to fail in a state-based international system?

“The history of R2P demonstrates the limits of moral advocacy … [it] has no legal basis, really” Aidan Hehir (Director of Security and International Relations at the University of Westminster) critically reflects on… Continue reading

Russian diplomacy and the need of talking with Assad

Dan Smith (Secretary General of International Alert) reflects on the Russian diplomacy around the Syrian crisis. Mr Smith urges Western leaders to talk with Iran, Russia and Assad. On September 13th, Dan Smith (Secretary General… Continue reading

Four Lessons for Peacebuilding in Syria

What if the Syrian fighting factions reach a peace deal, and the United Nations are called in to help build the peace? What lessons should the UN bring from their previous peacebuilding experience?… Continue reading

Syrian peace talks: what role for outsiders?

What if serious peace talks are held on Syria, how can and should outsiders be involved? Willemijn Verkoren (director at CICAM) argues that now that the Syrian president Assad has agreed to disarm… Continue reading

When is Armed Intervention the Solution?

In an opinion-piece in Volkskrant, a Dutch daily, Willemijn Verkoren (director at CICAM) agreed with the Russian president Putin that an armed intervention is seldom the solution to conflict. My question: so when… Continue reading

Statebuilding vs Peacebuilding

How feasible is it for the United Nations to build peace from above? If ‘positive peace’ is hard to attain, should the UN instead focus on just stopping the fighting? Professor Michael Pugh… Continue reading

‘Things to avoid’ after peace agreement on Syria

Dan Smith (Secretary General of International Alert) reflects on a best-case scenario in Syria. What can the international community do to help build peace in Syria, should a peace agreement eventually be reached?… Continue reading