The next UK strategic defence and security review won’t be held until 2015, but debate about whether or not Britain should retain its expensive Trident ballistic missile nuclear deterrent is already hotting up.
The war in Syria is illegal. If a criminal had poisoned someone, our concern would be how to protect the public from future poisonings and how to arrest the criminal and bring him (or her) before a court of law. And civil society needs to be directly involved in the talks. Mary Kaldor, Professor of Global Governance at the LSE, says that the military action versus diplomacy standoff represents a tired form of geopolitics that misses the humanitarian dimension enshrined in international law.
We should turn the crisis over into an opportunity, writes regional analyst and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian. With Russia on a back foot and Syria clearly anxious about the Western reaction, is it not possible to coerce the Syrian regime to sit at the negotiating table for a Geneva II style of negotiations that could usher in the transitional period. Do we not owe it to the people of Syria to try it, he asks?
War rhetoric in the media this week seemed to imply the impending end of Syria’s Assad regime and the spread of Syria’s civil war into a larger regional conflict, while key players carefully chose their words to try to emphasise the limits of conflict, and responses to any breach, writes Arthur Bernhoff, an international affairs analyst currently based in Beirut.
Digital democracy and the huge expansion of social media is transforming political action and diplomacy, says Dr Harry Hagopian, who has been expanding his own involvement in that arena, not least due to his regular podcasts on developments in the Middle East and North Africa. He looks especially at social media's impact in that region.
In marking their annual visit to Rome, Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, has told the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican that peace is an integral way of life, not merely the absence of conflict.
A report from United States intelligence agencies has undermined those close to the White House who have been arguing for unilateral military action against Iran by saying that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.
Transformational diplomacy is not about entrenching Western interests in Palestine-Israel, says Michael Marten. It is about encouraging advice from regional experts, engaging with ‘the enemy’, treating Occupier and Occupied as such and working towards a just resolution.