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.
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.
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."
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.
The Council on Foreign Relations' fifth annual Preventive Priorities Survey ranks conflict prevention priorities based on their potential impact on U.S. interests and their likelihood of occurring in the coming year.
With the U.S. military overstretched and Washington facing acute fiscal pressures, the United States must nurture effective international partnerships to help prevent and manage violent conflicts that threaten U.S. interests, concludes a new Council Special Report.
Conflict in the Horn of Africa is escalating rapidly as power struggles within Somalia are exacerbated by military support that both Ethiopia and Eritrea give to the opposing parties there. Ethiopia backs the weak interim government; Eritrea sponsors the Islamic militants fighting to overthrow it. Because the United States has accused Somalia of harboring al-Qaeda suspects, “the Ethiopian-Eritrean proxy conflict increases the opportunities for terrorist infiltration of the Horn and East Africa and for ignition of a larger regional conflict,” warns a new Council Special Report.
"Conflict prevention's placement as a policy goal deep within the National Security Strategy (NSS), and the lack of specificity about how this is pursued, says a lot about how the U.S. government thinks about preventing future wars," Micah Zenko writes. Heprovides a series of recommendations to address under-prioritization and under-development of conflict prevention in U.S. policies and strategies.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.