Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

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When will AFRICOM headquarters move to Africa?

Asked by Lloyd Cata

While there was some early discussion on where to base the command (continental United States, Africa, or Germany), its current location in Germany has the existing infrastructure, transportation links, housing, schools, and health facilities to support its personnel, employees, and family members. Any future rebasing discussions will need to take into account a cost-benefit analysis—and in a time of fiscal uncertainty, the cost might be prohibitive.

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See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); United States; Peacekeeping

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What can international organizations do to support civil institutions in developing states?

Asked by Jack Glore, from William Paterson University

Civil institutions are critical pillars of democratic accountability—without them, democracy remains elusive, regardless of the laws written in constitutions. This is particularly true in countries dependent on oil and other natural resource wealth, and those struggling to realize democratic transitions.

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See more in Global; International Organizations and Alliances; Democratization

Must Read

USIP: Pakistan and the Narratives of Extremism

Author: Amil Khan

"This report looks at why extremist strategic communications in Pakistan have been so successful and what it would take for the government and its allies to reverse the gains of what is sometimes called 'the al-Qaeda worldview.' Like all good communications campaigns, extremist messaging is grounded in a reality. In this case, that reality is the views and emotions—and the narratives that articulate them—that were born out of the establishment and subsequent conduct of the state of Pakistan."

See more in Pakistan; Radicalization and Extremism

Primary Sources

Learning from Iraq: Final Report from Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, March 2013

Author: Stuart W. Bowen

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen produced this final report for Congress, released March 6, 2013. The report details how much money was spent and which programs it funded over the nine year reconstruction in Iraq, and seven lessons the United States can learn about stabilization and reconstruction efforts. Other quarterly reports to Congress and the legislation that created SIGIR are also available.

See more in Nation Building; Wars and Warfare; Iraq

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Does the presence of radical Islamic groups in the Syrian opposition affect Iran?

Asked by Bashayar Ghasab, from Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus

Yes and no. Because of sectarian differences between the Iranian government and the Sunni Salafi fighters in the Syrian opposition, Iran's influence becomes weakened at first sight if the Syrian opposition wins. But the Iranian regime can (and has) created common cause with Sunni radicals in the recent past. History shows that this would not be the first time an unlikely alliance between opposing groups has formed.

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What effect would the fall of the Assad regime have on U.S. policy towards Syria?

Asked by Igbinosa Ojehomon, from Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus
Author: Robert M. Danin

The United States' policy toward a post-Assad Syria would largely depend on what political scenario results. A victory by unified rebel forces would generate a vastly different policy than a new govenrnment that includes jihadists. In the more likely event that post-Assad Syria descends into greater sectarian violence, Washington would urge regional partners like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to exert influence with those rebel groups to which they had provided arms and ammunition.

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See more in Syria; United States; Regime Changes