The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Tuesday July 1 2008. In the article below we were wrong to say that a household survey conducted by the World Health Organisation and the Iraqi health ministry found that the rate of violent deaths had doubled in Iraq after the invasion. The survey did not make this finding. Figures that were unadjusted for under-reporting showed a doubling of the rate of all deaths and a violence-related death rate about 11 times higher. The article said the survey estimated that 151,000 civilians had been killed since the invasion. That figure included combatants. The article below should have also made clear that the Lancet and Opinion Research Business surveys included combatants as well as civilians. Lieutenant General Tommy Franks, who led the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan during his time as head of US Central Command, once announced, "We don't do body counts." This blunt response to a question about … [Read more...] about What is the real death toll in Iraq?
Humanitarian intervention in kosovo
“The West” is not a fashionable concept, at least in Britain. To some, it implies a world dominated by former imperial states that are reluctant to see emerging powers shape the global agenda. A term from the Cold War, it is certainly problematic – narrowly interpreted, it could exclude democracies far from the North Atlantic, such as Australia, Brazil or Japan. But the concept remains valuable: the Western countries and their allies are committed to democracy, liberal values and the rule of law, at home and in the wider world. That parts of the West from time to time fail to uphold these ideals (say, by invading Iraq in 2003) does not make them less important. When the European Union, an important pillar of the West, is fragile, so is the rules-based global order. In December 2003, the EU adopted its first ever “security strategy”. Partly written by Robert Cooper, a British scholar-diplomat, the opening sentences proclaimed: “Europe has … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightThe global case for staying in the EU
The Trump administration’s decision to halve the size of the US troop presence in Afghanistan indicates a failure of Washington’s Afghan strategy rather than the diminution of the country’s geopolitical importance. The administration has experimented with both coercive and conciliatory strategies – but in vain. Afghanistan remains unstable due to the unfathomable sway of the Taliban. An ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan (known as ISIS-Khorasan or Islamic State Khorasan Province), a relatively new actor in the Afghan conflict, also contributed to the destabilization of the country this year. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox The US has approached the complex intra-state conflict from a geopolitical perspective instead of adopting a humanitarian approach which, in turn, has resulted in a misreading of the nuances of the security scenario, contributing to the failure of Washington’s long-drawn military engagement. Following … [Read more...] about Impediments to the US mission in Afghanistan
The US Senate recently passed a resolution by 56 votes to 41 calling for an end to US military support to the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen war. The Senate not only invoked the War Powers Act, a 1973 law by which Congress sought an end to the war in Vietnam, it questioned the power of the president to decide on matters of war and peace and upheld the legislature’s supremacy in this regard. This resolution is significant for its bipartisan censure of the Trump administration’s lobby for maintaining arms supplies to Saudi Arabia. As a businessman himself, President Donald Trump clearly had commerce in mind when he made his remarks about Saudi Arabia’s defense purchases amid the controversy over the widely publicized murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He said: “If they don’t buy it from us, they’re going to buy it from Russia or they’re going to buy it from China…. Think of that, $110 billion. All they’re going to do is … [Read more...] about US Senate resolution on Yemen could hamper progress
It was only four months ago that my team and I at the Center for Education and Training at Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry were discussing about inviting global leaders, including former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, to give a live-streamed lecture to trainee diplomats in training. Yet on Aug. 18 we heard very sad news of his passing. The international community had lost one of the best world class diplomats. I was humbled by the opportunity to work with Annan, though indirectly, and to witness his able leadership of the UN when I was a junior diplomat at the Indonesian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York in 2000 – 2004. One matter that preoccupied Annan most during the first years of his responsibility was the scar of the 1994 Rwanda genocide and the 1995 Sebrenica massacre. He was fully aware of the growing criticism from the international community against the UN for its failure to prevent the calamities. The consequences of the two horrific events … [Read more...] about Annan’s legacy in world peace and progress