Conflict Assessment

Must Read

ICG: Congo: A Comprehensive Strategy to Disarm the FDLR

Author: International Crisis Group

This International Crisis Group report examines the failed attempts of the past to dismantle the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)--an insurgency with roots that go back to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda--and recommends a new approach to help end great civilian suffering and restore state authority in the eastern Congo.

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Foreign Affairs Live: A Discussion of Iraqi Futures (Audio)

Speakers: Steven Simon and Stephen D. Biddle
Presider: James F. Hoge Jr.

With violence down and U.S. troop deaths at their lowest point since the Iraq war began, military analysts are in near-agreement that Iraq is more secure today. But CFR's Stephen Biddle and Steven Simon disagree on how to ensure stability continues. They discuss their views during this inaugural Foreign Affairs Live debate.

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Not Quite Ready to Go Home

Authors: Stephen D. Biddle, Michael E. O'Hanlon, and Kenneth M. Pollack
New York Times

“Having recently returned from a research trip to Iraq, we are convinced that a total withdrawal of combat troops any time soon would be unwise,” write Stephen Biddle, Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack. Although recent success in Iraq has prompted more calls for withdrawal, a continued American presence is needed to preserve the fragile peace in that country.

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Behind Maliki's Games

Author: Max Boot
Washington Post

Max Boot writes that Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki’s ambiguous statements about a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq are an attempt at political posturing before the upcoming presidential elections.

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Who Obama Should See in Iraq

Author: Daniel Senor
Wall Street Journal

Congressional delegations can be illuminating despite the obvious limitations imposed by time and security concerns, writes Daniel Senor, giving Barack Obama a list of people he ought to meet on his upcoming trip to Iraq.

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The Crisis in Zimbabwe

Author: Michelle D. Gavin

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on African Affairs, Michelle Gavin discusses the crisis in Zimbabwe and its prospects for resolution.

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Iran on Its Heels

Author: Vali R. Nasr
Washington Post

Iran’s goals of building a mutually beneficial relationship with Iraq and of undermining the American occupation are at odds with each other, writes Vali Nasr. These conflicting objectives have resulted in Tehran’s first major setback in Iraq.

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Re-upping in Iraq

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

“For every two steps forward in Iraq, there is also a step backward,” says Max Boot, referring to the faltering negotiations between the U.S. and Iraqi governments over the conditions of the United States’ continued presence in Iraq. Sticking points include whether U.S. soldiers and private security contractors will maintain immunity from Iraqi prosecution, and whether the U.S. will continue to have the freedom to detain terrorist suspects without Iraqi approval.

See more in Diplomacy and Statecraft; Iraq; Conflict Assessment


Bush's Islamist Enemies List

Author: Mohamad Bazzi
The Nation

Mohamad Bazzi criticizes the Bush Administration’s “flawed understanding of basic forces in the Middle East,” by pointing out his inaccurate grouping of Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah in his speech to the Israeli Knesset. This is not the first time the President has made this mistake, says Bazzi. In his January 2007 State of the Union, he lumped Sunni and Shiite extremists as the same “totalitarian threat” with the “same wicked purposes.”

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Conflict Assessment