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Fears that Afghanistan could slip into anarchy and civil war – Roddy Gow

Roddy Gow OBE, The Scotsman – 10 June 2021 In this short article on The Scotsman, Asia Scotland Institute Chairman, Roddy Gow OBE, reflects on the large numbers of Scottish servicemen and women killed in conflicts within Afghanistan. He also considers our recent webinar ‘The Future of Afghanistan’, in which the panellists and most of…

Afghanistan faces a brain drain as young and educated flee a wave of violence

Ben Farmer and Ezzatullah Mehrdad, The Telegraph – 14 February 2021 According to this article in The Telegraph, there is a growing feeling among Afghanistan’s educated youth that hopes of rebuilding their country are diminishing, and that any hope of a bright future now lies abroad. Read the full article here to find out why Afghanistan could…

In One Afghan District, Peace From 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Taimoor Shah and Fahim Abed, The New York Times – 8 March 2021 During the day in Panjwai, Afghanistan, you’d be forgiven for thinking the war had ended. An unofficial ceasefire, this is an example of how small communities, exhausted from violence, can govern the fighting without foreign intervention or reliance on government. This article in…

The leaked U.S. plan to end the war in Afghanistan

Susannah George, The Washington Post – 10 March 2021 The Washington Post reports this week on the leaked U.S. document that details plans to withdraw all American troops by the 1st May on the grounds that Afghanistan’s government is replaced with temporary leaders, a new constitution is drafted and a ceasefire is brokered. Read the…

Even Pencils Were Banned: The Effects of Sanctions on the Iraqi Education System

Ghazi Ghazi, 1001 Iraqi Thoughts – 1 March 2021 Iraq’s weak education system dates back to the 1990’s and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent sanctions by the UNSC. Prior to this, the country had an education system upon which many countries in the Middle East looked upon as an ideal, however thirty years…

Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq: Beyond the symbolism

Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Al Jazeera – 9 March 2021 The visit of Pope Francis was a monumental moment in Iraq’s history. In this article in Al Jazeera, Ibrahim Al-Marashi explains why the fate of Iraqi minorities is not just hinged on this religious symbolism, but on ‘the ability of the Iraqi political elite to resist foreign…

Hopes and fears of mother-to-be in Afghanistan

UN News, 6 February 2021 Arifa Omid, Afghan mother and UNICEF employee, writes a beautiful letter to her unborn baby daughter in this article on UN News. In the letter, she talks about her fears for her daughter growing up in a country where the oppression of women is plentiful, but also her hopes for…

Ending the Yemen war is both a strategic and humanitarian imperative

John R. Allen and Bruce Riedel – Brookings, Order and Chaos Series Saudi Arabia ostensibly started the war in Yemen to prevent Iran from acquiring a foothold on the Arabian Peninsula overlooking the strategic Bab al Mandab straits. Almost six years later, the war has in fact given Iran just that — plus created the worst humanitarian…

How the Iran-Iraq war will shape the region for decades to come

Ranj Alaaldin – Brookings Forty years ago, a major war between Iran and Iraq set the stage for far-reaching and lasting regional dynamics. The conflict — which began in September 1980 when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, and ended in a stalemate in 1988 — was the nascent Islamic Republic’s first major military test. It was…