Still looking at the crisis in Iraq, we firstly suggest the NYT’s portrait of the recent dramatic retreat of Iraqi armed forces. Soldiers are still blaming officers for failures. Additional info: here you’ll find an interesting map on the Iraqi-ISIS conflict; here a detailed analysis on the collapse of the Iraqi army in Nineveh province.
Bridget Coggins provides an excellent review on the “state failure paradigm”, emphasizing the main conceptual and empirical problems as well as the never-ending relevance of weak-fragile-failed states.
A Guardian report highlights 2013 as a record year in global humanitarian aid and spending, with a 20% increase in both public and private donations. “Total contributions rocketed to $22bn last year, spurred by typhoon Haiyan and conflicts in South Sudan and Syria”. There are huge disparities among powers: international assistance from the U.S., U.K., Turkey, and Japan increased by 400% from 2012-2013, while Brazil, China and Russia have cut their spending by 95%, 84% and 45%, respectively.
Big in Japan. Something is changing on defense and foreign policy. As stated by John Swenson-Wright: “The administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced a major new interpretation of the security provisions of the country’s 1947 constitution, permitting its Self Defence Forces to participate for the first time in collective self-defence related activities”. Causes, obstacles, outcomes of such relevant decision are clearly illustrated in this article.
Finally do not forget Afghanistan, where several clashes between Taliban insurgents and the Afghan National Security Forces have been recently reported, especially in Sangin district of Helman region. This sentence by the Commander of the Border Police Force well describes the current crisis (and the contemporary warfare as well): “We are confronting three types of enemies: the Taliban, drug mafia and land grabbers”.