Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights


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


Limiting the Veto in Cases of Mass Atrocities: Is the Proposed Code of Conduct Workable?

Author: Stewart M. Patrick

In Paris, Stewart Patrick analyzes prospects for a French proposal in which the UN Security Council would adopt a “responsibility not to veto” norm in situations of mass atrocities. Despite tremendous challenges in implementing such a code of conduct, he concludes that it is ultimately a goal worth pursuing.

See more in France; International Law; Humanitarian Intervention


Media Conference Call: Farah Pandith on Violent Extremism

Interviewer: Jonathan Masters
Interviewee: Farah Pandith

Farah Pandith, CFR adjunct senior fellow and the first-ever State Department special representative to Muslim communities, put the January 7, 2015 massacre at the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in context, explain the appeal of violent Islamic extremism, and offer a long-term strategy to combat extremist ideology.

See more in France; Radicalization and Extremism

Other Report

The Pivot in Southeast Asia: Balancing Interests and Values

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick

Joshua Kurlantzick analyzes the effects of the Obama administration's pivot on Southeast Asia and its relation to the region's democratic regression. Kurlantzick recommends that the United States prioritize the countries of peninsular Southeast Asia and restore the emphasis on democracy and human rights in the region.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Democratization; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Foreign Affairs Article

The G-Word

Author: Thomas de Waal

One hundred years ago this April, the Ottoman Empire began a brutal campaign of deporting and destroying its ethnic Armenian community, whom it accused of supporting Russia, a World War I enemy. More than a million Armenians died.

See more in Armenia; Genocide


"Torture" or Torture

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

Following last weeks near simultaneous release of torture reports in Brazil and the United States, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on the similarities and differences between the two documents, including the shared matter of impunity.

See more in Brazil; Human Rights

Other Report

Preventive Priorities Survey: 2015

The Center for Preventive Action's annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. The PPS aims to help the U.S. policymaking community prioritize competing conflict prevention and mitigation demands.

View the accompanying online interactive: CPA's Global Conflict Tracker

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