Wars and Warfare

Ask CFR Experts

How have Iraqi Kurdish authorities responded to the Syrian civil war?

Asked by Martin Lafon, from Sciences-Po Bordeaux

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has approached the civil war in Syria with caution. The authorities governing the Iraqi autonomous region, based in Erbil, have quietly played an important role in the humanitarian response to the crisis with 197,000 (according to the UN refugee agency) Syrian refugees on KRG territory, spread across three refugee camps in the main cities of Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulaimaniyah.

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Op-Ed

Robot Wars

Author: Micah Zenko
Politico Magazine

In the debut issue of Politico Magazine, Micah Zenko discusses the current drone market and implications of inevitable proliferation of armed drones. Citing the White House's lack of reform and transparency, Micah writes, "When Chinese officials authorize their first drone strike against a drug kingpin in Myanmar or against Japanese citizens occupying a disputed East China Sea island, what will the White House say then?"

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Must Read

Carnegie Europe: All Not Quiet on the Western Front

Author: Jan Techau

"On November 11, it is worth remembering that the investments involved in preserving peace in Europe are peanuts compared to the price of war. In terms of value for money, the EU is a bargain. So too is NATO. Even the largely dysfunctional UN is, on balance, a cheap asset. Today's anniversary can still offer quite a few political lessons. Unfortunately, they are all about hard work."

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Must Read

The Economist: How to Stop the Fighting, Sometimes

"[T]he number of medium-to-large civil wars under way—there are six in which more than 1,000 people died last year—is low by the standards of the period. This is because they are coming to an end a little sooner. The average length of civil wars dropped from 4.6 to 3.7 years after 1991, according to Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, a professor at the University of Essex.

Mr. Gleditsch is one of a growing number of political scientists studying civil wars. The field, long overshadowed by studies of superpower conflict, is coming into its own. Its participants do not claim that all civil wars are the same—the range of causes and types of conflict is obvious. But the sheer number of civil wars allows scholars to attempt, at least, a quantitative approach to the factors that affect the wars' outcomes."

See more in Lebanon; Wars and Warfare

Testimony

War Termination in Afghanistan

Author: Stephen D. Biddle

In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa & Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Stephen Biddle argues that short term success in Afghanistan is less important than the United States' ability to secure its long term interests beyond 2014.

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Audio

Nontraditional Warfare

Speaker: Max Boot
Presider: Maria Casa

Max Boot, CFR's Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies, discusses the history of nontraditional warfare and implications for policymakers, as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.

See more in Global; Wars and Warfare

Op-Ed

Chemical Weapons Are A Nightmare for Syrians

Author: Laurie Garrett
cnn.com

Laurie Garrett explains what makes sarin gas dangerous to humans and reviews the chemical's deadly history in this op-ed for CNN Opinion. She then discusses the potential political implications of sarin's usage in Syria, concluding that "the Assad regime is playing with regional fire."

See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare