A variety of indicators at the political and military level explain Iraq’s deteriorating security situation in 2013. First, in terms of the violent physical conflict, the resurgence of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) and its bombing campaign has reached a level unprecedented since the 2006-2008 sectarian conflict, and was highlighted by the recent raids on the Abu Ghraib and Taji prisons. Second, armed clashes between the Iraqi security forces and Arab Sunni protestors have led to calls to reactivate Arab Sunni militias. Third, in the face of these threats, both the regular armed forces and the intelligence agencies remain divided, with various units either reporting directly to Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki or the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). Fourth, the security forces suffer from the problem of divided loyalties, where members use the coercive arms of the state to pursue the interests of militias, such as the Shi’a Badr Corps, Muqtada’s Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, the Arab Sunni Reawakening militias, or the Peshmerga forces of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) or the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
Ibrahim Al-Marashi is Assistant Professor of Middle East History at California State University San Marcos.
Since the partition of the Korean peninsula, the crises between Seoul and Pyongyang have ranked high in the US political agenda. Nonetheless, the profile that the Obama administration has chosen to keep is relatively low. This choice has triggered criticisms, however the posture has brought its own benefits. Moreover, in a difficult economic situation, and in the face of increasing pressures for the curtailing of government expenditure, the ‘low profile’ approach meets the demands of a Congress whose support the White House increasingly needs. The main uncertainty is in the attitude of the PRC. However Beijing, more than any other nation, has a keen interest in keeping East Asia stable. This does not mean that China will become a sort of ‘US cop’ in East Asia. However, some forms of localized cooperation can be envisaged; a cooperation that could strengthen, as China will progress in occupying the international position that its leadership believes the country deserves.
On December 17, 2010, Tokyo adopted new defense guidelines, the “National Defense Program Guidelines” (NDPG). The December 2010 defense guidelines outline the country’s ten-year defense strategy and call for the establishment of a flexible armed forces structure with mobile units capable of rapid deployment in the case of a regional military crisis.
The meeting is part of the project on "Religion and International Relations" organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Autonomous Province of Trento and it has been held in Trento (Palace of the Autonomous Province of Trento - Sala Depero - Piazza Dante, 15).
North Korea will continue to remain East Asia’s trouble-maker. Pyongyang’s active missile and nuclear programs leave the region’s main powers - China, Japan, South Korea and the ‘offshore balancer’ US - stay on alert, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Pyongyang has no intention whatsoever to give up and dismantle its missile and nuclear programs as it would leave the country with no bargaining tools to employ for its political blackmail policies. China remains a staunch supporter of the current status quo, i.e.
According to UN DESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) Libya is a country with a population of at least 6,355 million (2010) . Around 2,3 million are under the age of 18. This means roughly 4,1 million potential voters (excluding several Libyans living abroad who are also eligible to vote). Based on the UN DESA figures the 2,865,937 registered voters are only about 70% of all the potential voters. According to initial statements of the High Election Commission finally 1,805,540 people voted (= 44% following the UN DESA figures).
The foundation of the African Union, on the 9th of July 2002 in Durban, was rightly hailed as a new era for collaboration across the continent. The AU promoted a new vision on democracy and good governance by sanctioning coups. African commitments on continental peace and security issues were reinforced, thanks to the creation of the African Peace and Security Architecture. Economic regional integration was further promoted through the pan-African body. The tenth anniversary of the AU's foundation, however, marks a difficult time for the organization.