After seven years, stability in Libya remains a chimera. The country’s regions, the west, east and south are more and more divided, while different groups of militias fight each other for predominance. It is the law of the jungle. But in spite of the chaos on the ground and the complete disorganization of the Libyan State, the most recent dilemma is whether or not elections should be held.
Yemen’s tribal army does not exist anymore, replaced by a plethora of militias, sometimes institutionalised: only a federal-based reform of the security sector could limit the rising territorial power of warlords. A survey conducted by the Yemen Polling Centre in 2017 sheds further light on this point: at the question “Who brings security in this area?”, only 16% of Yemenis all over the country answer “the police/security authorities”.
The deadlocked conflict between Russia and Ukraine remains, as of Spring 2017, the most direct challenge to security in Europe and the most powerful driver of the confrontation between Russia and the West. This confrontation is significantly different from the essentially static posture of the Cold War, from the late 1940s to the late 1970s, and it is the unique nature of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that determines many of the differences.
Months into mediation efforts led by UN Special Representative Bernardino Léon, Libya is yet to show any viable way out of its ongoing crisis. Today, the Spanish diplomat stepped dangerously close to the cliff of mission failure, as his fourth agreement draft proposal was rejected by Tobruk’s parliament, opposed to Tripoli’s and key actor in the conflict.
Alexander Lukashenko that hosted the summit in Minsk could barely hide his happiness. He did not take a direct part in the 16-hours long negotiations, but got a precious opportunity to transform his status from the one of “the last European Dictator” into the one of the main European peace-maker with the European leaders paying a visit to him.
With its vote on Syria in August 2013, the UK House of Commons delivered a historic defeat to a Prime Minister and a government on a matter of military policy. We examine that vote, and the developments leading to it, by identifying the conditions that produced this unexpected outcome. We conclude that public opinion, intraparty divisions, poor party management, and the shadow of Iraq combined to create a context in which parliament exerted decisive influence.
Executive branches of governments have always enjoyed a primacy in managing foreign policy and waging war. However, in several contemporary constitutional systems this trend has been offset through (more or less effective) parliamentary powers. When looking at recent developments concerning the Syrian crisis, could it be that parliamentary prerogatives in matters of foreign and defense policy are gaining new momentum?
The critical information infrastructure (CII) represents the indispensable "nerves and blood" that allow modern societies to work and live. In fact, without it, there would be no distribution of energy, no services like banking or finance, no air traffic control and so on. The CII allows remote control and management of commodities and services, thus reducing costs, to utility companies and consumers alike, and improving efficiency. But the CII was born and developed with an intrinsic, and potentially disastrous, defect: security was never considered a top priority. Today, organized crime, rogue groups or even states may plan to disrupt or destroy portion of the CII or essential services, thus putting in serious dangers governments and economies around the world. This paper outlines the major elements of the CII and the risks to which it might be subject today and tomorrow.
Abstract Historically, Iraq stands out as one of the cultural, religious and political centres of the Middle East, a leading country which has constantly exerted a relevant impact on the regional system. However, after years of wars and sanctions and, most recently, the Iraqi Freedom military operation, Iraq crumbled into a difficult period of transition which culminated in the civil war between 2005 and 2006. In 2011, the restoration of its full sovereignty opened up a new phase in this process of transition towards a new internal balance of power. At the same time, Iraq’s government regained the capacity to determine its foreign policy. This contribution aims to give an overview of the recent developments in Iraq’s efforts to reposition itself in the international and regional system, detailing the ratio of Iraqi foreign policy with a specific focus on the relationship between Baghdad, Tehran, Riyadh and Ankara. Paolo Maggiolini, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue.