Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights


Child Marriage Amid Disaster and Conflict

Speaker: Kristin Kim Bart
Presider: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Though data is scarce given conditions on the ground, reports of child marriage abound amid natural disaster and conflict; parents desperate to protect their daughters may view the practice as their best option. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Kristin Kim Bart discuss strategies to protect girls from child marriage and gender-based violence in fragile states.

See more in Global; Children; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights


U.S. Policy Options in Ukraine

Speakers: John E. Herbst and Matthew Rojansky

John E. Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and former  U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, join Washington Post associate editor Karen J. DeYoung to discuss Ukraine’s politics, policies, and options going forward.

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment

Primary Sources

Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements

Leaders from Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine met in Belarus to negotiate a ceasefire between Ukrainian troops and separatists. The ceasefire takes effect February 15, 2015, and outlines the withdrawl of heavy weapons and constitutional reform to provide more automony to groups in the Donetsk and Luhansk, regions in eastern Ukraine.

See more in Ukraine; Russian Federation; Peacekeeping; Separatist Movements


The A Word:An Accomodationist Strategy for US-China Relations

Author: Micah Zenko
Australian National University, Strategic & Defence Studies Centre

Many predictions have been made that the United States and China will find themselves in competition or even direct conflict. Yet this is not preordained and both sides need to be careful not to talk themselves into a hostile relationship. In this bold new paper, Micah Zenko argues that by identifying clear ideas about acceptable conduct in the key domains (maritime, space, and cyber) the United States and China can avoid conflict without presuming away differences of interest or opinion.

See more in United States; China; Conflict Prevention

Primary Sources

UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

The Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) prepares mid-year reports on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, as mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2096 (2013), which "recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and reporting to the United Nations Security Council on the situation of civilians in Afghanistan's armed conflict and in particular on civilian casualties."

See more in Afghanistan; Conflict Assessment; Human Rights


I Interviewed Bashar al-Assad About Syria's Civil War. He's Still Too Delusional to End it.

Author: Jonathan Tepperman
Washington Post

In recent weeks, Western governments have begun subtly shifting their positions on Syria. The Obama administration seems to have quietly dropped its demand that President Bashar al-Assad resign as a precondition of peace talks. Instead, reports suggest it has embraced proposals that would allow Assad to be part of an interim deal. The new approach implies that the White House and its allies believe that the Syrian president might be open to a compromise that could end his country’s four-year civil war.

See more in Syria; Conflict Assessment


Is Kobani the New Khe Sanh?

Author: Max Boot

The Obama administration will be tempted to take a victory lap because of recent news that Kurdish militiamen have regained control of Kobani, a Syrian town near the border with Turkey. ISIS forces that had been attacking it for months have melted away. This is, to be sure, a nice achievement, but its wider significance is limited.

See more in Syria; United States; Terrorist Organizations and Networks; Conflict Assessment

Primary Sources

Munich Security Report 2015: "Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?"

The Munich Security Report was released on January 26, 2015, described in the press release as "an annual digest on critical questions and important trends in the field of international security policy." The first section of the report focuses on the roles of international actors, Germany, United States, Europe, NATO, Russia, and emerging powers. The second section discusses three "hot spots"-- Ukraine, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. The third section reviews major issues such as terrorism, energy security, and refugee crises, and the fourth section suggests additional reading and research materials.

See more in Global; Global Future Trends; Conflict Assessment


Peace Through Strength, Indian-style

Author: Daniel S. Markey
Indian Express

In his second visit to India, US President Barack Obama has another opportunity to take the measure of his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Over the past six months, US officials like former Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel have tried to emphasise the ways in which Obama and Modi are similar, noting, for instance, that both are outsider candidates from humble backgrounds.

See more in India; United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Conflict Assessment