Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding News

How Supplying Sunni Tribes Could Backfire on the U.S.

May 30, 2015
"If the U.S. opens an assistance conduit to the tribes, it could have major consequences among Shiites: It could weaken Mr. Abadi in the eyes of his Shiite constituency; it could undermine the premise of central government the U.S. is trying to support; it could even lead Iran to more aggressively push their Shiite militias in Iraq, further weakening the idea of centralized authority," writes Aaron David Miller.

Colombia’s Peace Process: Measuring Public Opinion and Expectations for Transitional Justice

May 29, 2015
FARC negotiator Pablo Catatumbo said that the recent deadly army raid represented a “step back,” but that the progress made since Colombia’s peace process talks began in 2012 should not be “thrown overboard.” So negotiations continue in spite of tensions and setbacks. A new survey conducted by researchers from Georgia State University seeks to inform the process by providing information on public opinion regarding transitional justice, trust, and overall support for negotiations. One of the researchers, and a Wilson Center Fellow provide context on the findings and their relevance to ongoing attempts to reach an agreement.

Will Putin Gamble All On A Broader Ukraine Invasion?

May 25, 2015
"The incursion in Ukraine is modest compared with that of Afghanistan, and the number of Russian deaths is far smaller. Yet once again a limited number of Kremlin leaders, without benefit of public debate, may make a fateful decision about using force against a neighbor. The leaders should bear in mind the lesson of Afghanistan and exercise caution," write Denis Corboy, William Courtney, and Kenneth Yalowitz.

Middle East Realities That Challenge Obama’s Nuclear Deal With Iran

May 20, 2015
"The emerging Iran deal that the Obama administration contends is comprehensive and definitive contains so many uncertainties, including those regarding Iran’s future nuclear weapons aspirations, that it might well turn out to be an extended interim accord," writes Aaron David Miller.

Obama's Arab Security Strategy: An Old Doctrine Gets Put to the Test in Yemen

May 18, 2015
"Yemen couldn’t be a worse place to put the American Gulf security plan to the test. It is a certified failed state with an impeccable record of sucking outside powers into a treacherous tribal quicksand," writes David Ottaway.

No Simple Answers to Questions About U.S. Leadership

May 18, 2015
"We are entering an era of difficult international transitions; and changing times require new thinking — not only by the Obama administration but by the presidential aspirants who wish to lead this country in a troubled time," writes Haleh Esfandiari.

The Iran Nuclear Deal and the Role of the US Congress

May 13, 2015
On this edition of Wilson Center NOW, Congress expert Donald Wolfensberger describes the role of Congress in the Iran nuclear negotiations.

How an Iran nuclear deal means cheaper oil and why Tehran is OK with that

May 12, 2015
"Now detailed negotiations will focus on crucial details relating to safeguards and lifting international sanctions. Ending sanctions, however, leads to another critical part of Iran’s energy equation: new investments in its nonnuclear energy sector that could boost its oil and gas exports," writes Jan H. Kalicki.

What’s Undermining Obama’s Camp David Summit

May 12, 2015
"Regardless of the reason for King Salman’s absence, the optics are terrible for the U.S. Once again, a Middle East leader is publicly saying no to a U.S. president on something important (earlier members of that club include Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad)," writes Aaron David Miller.

3 Reasons to Be Skeptical of Seymour Hersh’s Account of the Bin Laden Raid

May 11, 2015
"Mr. Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has broken major stories, including the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. This account purports to explain an elaborate conspiracy theory, and-–as I have written previously-–such stories sometimes contain elements of truth. Still, the issues of sourcing and substance suggest taking Mr. Hersh’s account with a healthy dose of salt," writes Michael Kugelman.