Archived posts from category ‘Conflict Briefs’

Insurgents and the Future of War

by ZACH ROSENBERG Sam Abrams, War Is Boring contributor and SAIS Review editor, managed to get some of the most influential in military thought together for this conference. As WIB‘s substitute editor while David Axe is out having adventures, I’m definitely ducking out of work early for this. Washington-area readers, see you there.

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Axeghanistan ’09: Parachute Day-Laborers

It was a war we thought we’d won. But after eight years of escalating violence, the Afghanistan conflict has morphed into something perhaps unwinnable. U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to deny sanctuary to Al Qaeda, a goal we’ve largely achieved. But in years of occupation, Washington has apparently conflated counter-terrorism with nation-building. Now the [...]


Somali Prez Ahmed to U.S.: Help Us

by ZACH ROSENBERG In 2006, during the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was hunted and captured by Ethiopia, with help from the U.S. This February he received a standing ovation in Addis Ababa, and last month spoke in Washington. Ahmed was a teacher in Mogadishu before joining an Islamic court, working to [...]

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South of the Border, Part One

By ZACH ROSENBERG One day after a shootout closed the U.S.-Mexico border crossing at San Ysidro, two days after Mexican troops raided a house and discovered $5 million in bribes organized into “police” and “press,” less than a week after grenades and assault rifles were used to attack a drug rehabilitation clinic in Ciudad Juarez [...]


Yemen’s “Bloodiest Fighting in Years”

by ZACH ROSENBERG The New York Times is reporting that the Yemeni government has successfully repulsed a “major offensive” by insurgents. News organizations report at least 140 insurgents killed in a battle all over the northern province of Saada, including urban fighting in the area’s major city. The conflict in Yemen, though often ignored by [...]


Country Brief: Haiti

As the USS Kearsarge assault ship (pictured) sails for Haiti to assist with storm recovery, here’s Kevin Knodell with some background on the troubled country: With Kearsage on the way to Haiti, it might be helpful to delve a bit into the situation there. The country has been suffering from extreme poverty and instability for [...]

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Central Africa Backgrounder, Part Two

Here’s Kevin Knodell with the second part of his Central Africa backgrounder: In the wake of the Haskanita raid that killed 10 soldiers in late 2007, peacekeepers in Darfur were driven near the brink. These under-paid, and under-equipped troops were accused of failing in their mission. However, these proud soldiers insist that this was not [...]


Central Africa Backgrounder, Part One

Kevin Knodell here: With David off to Chad to report on the refugee crisis, I thought I would help explain some of the origins of the current situation. A large portion of the refugees came from Sudan where (unless you’ve been living under a rock) everyone knows that a war is raging. Sudan has been [...]


Country Brief: Central America

Yes, I know Central America isn’t a “country.” Here’s Zach Rosenberg with our second set of briefs on places that I’ve otherwise neglected in my coverage: Central America is dominated economically, militarily and socially by the United States, which has historically used its leverage to great effect, having actually invaded many of these countries at [...]

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Country Brief: Mexico, Part Two

by Zach Rosenberg The Mexican military of gets about .5% of the GDP, putting them on relative par with such, ahem, heavily notoriously militarized, violent nations as The Bahamas, Moldova and Gambia. The budget, about $4 billion in 2006, has recently received a $500 million boost from the Merida Initiative, which is mainly to be [...]


Country Brief: Mexico, Part One

Here at War Is Boring I’ve been accused of only caring about the major hotspots in the U.S.-led “Global War on Terror,” plus, for some reason, East Timor. There are lots of conflicts and potential conflicts way outside the scope of the ol’ GWOT, folks have pointed out — and they’re absolutely right. So I’ve [...]