Conflict Prevention

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Newsweek: The Realist Resurgence

Authors: Christopher Dickey, John Barry, and Owen Matthews

Middle East Regional Editor Christopher Dickey, Contributing Editor John Barry, and Moscow Bureau Chief Owen Matthews report that Russia is weaker than it looks. Most NATO leaders insist the world is too interdependent to allow another cold war. Russia is not the Soviet Union. And Western powers don't want to be drawn into a game of bluff that will only inflate Vladimir Putin's prestige.

See more in Russian Federation; NATO; Conflict Prevention

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Eurasianet: Afghan-Pakistani Tension Could Create Opening For Iran

Author: Alex Vatanka

This report from Eurasianet, part of the Open Society Institute, argues that lingering acrimony in Afghan-Pakistani relations could create a diplomatic opening for Iran to increase its economic and political influence in Kabul. The report says that Afghan-Pakistani tension is rooted in the revived Taliban insurgency: despite repeated denials by Islamabad, the prevailing sentiment in Kabul is that Pakistan is providing critical assistance to the Taliban. Afghan media now openly depict Islamabad as striving to undermine President Hamid Karzai’s administration. Afghan officials evidently believe that Pakistan seeks to recover political leverage in Afghanistan that it lost after the Taliban regime was driven from Kabul in 2001.

See more in Afghanistan; Iran; Conflict Prevention

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Brookings: Things Fall Apart: Containing the Spillover From an Iraqi Civil War

Authors: Daniel L. Byman and Kenneth M. Pollack

The Brookings Institution says that ‘with each passing day, Iraq sinks deeper into the abyss of civil war.’ It considers how the United States could stop the slide into all-out war, and what actions the US should take if it becomes clear that Iraq cannot be saved from such a conflict. The report considers the history of civil wars in the recent past, and draws a set of lessons regarding how civil wars can affect the interests of other countries, even distant ones like the United States, and then used those lessons to fashion a set of recommendations for how Washington might begin to develop a new strategy for an Iraq caught up in all-out civil war.

See more in Iraq; Conflict Prevention

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USIP: Central African Republic, Chad, and Sudan: Triangle of Instability?

Author: Kelly Campbell

In this report the US Institute for Peace (USIP) details proceedings at its Sudan Peace Forum in December 2006 in which Dr Chester Crocker and Dr Francis Deng co-chaired a discussion of overlapping crises in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic. The meeting was prompted by recent comments of the United Nations Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, who warned that the crises in Darfur, Chad, and CAR are "intimately linked" and could lead to a "dangerous regional crisis."

See more in Conflict Assessment; Central African Republic; Conflict Prevention; Sudan; Chad

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ORG: Iran: Consequences of a War

Author: Paul Rogers

This briefing paper by Professor Paul Rogers of the Oxford Research Group (ORG) provides an analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran's nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the immediate consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, and also the likely Iranian responses, which the report says would be extensive. An attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would signal the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably grow to involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, as well as the USA and Iran, says ORG. The report concludes that a military response to the current crisis in relations with Iran is a particularly dangerous option and should not be considered further.

See more in Iran; Conflict Prevention