Reconciling after civil conflict increases social capital but decreases individual well-being

Science Journals — AAAS

Civil wars divide nations along social, economic, and political cleavages, often pitting one neighbor against another. To restore social cohesion, many countries undertake truth and reconciliation efforts. We examined the consequences of one such effort in Sierra Leone, designed and implemented by a Sierra Leonean nongovernmental organization called Fambul Tok. As a part of this effort, community-level forums are set up in which victims detail war atrocities, and perpetrators confess to war crimes. We used random assignment to study its impact across 200 villages, drawing on data from 2383 individuals. We found that reconciliation had both positive and negative consequences.

From the Street to the Peace Table: Nonviolent Mobilization during Intrastate Peace Processes

Though nonviolent grassroots movements often help spur transitions to peace and democracy, they are rarely invited to play a role in formal peace processes. Yet these movements can and do influence the course and content of peace negotiations and contribute to the quality and durability of the resulting peace. This report examines the strategies they employ and provides insights for grassroots movements currently mobilizing for peace or change in Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere.

The 9/11 Effect and the Transformation of Global Security

The scale and audacity of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, spurred sweeping changes in the way the United States, its partners, and adversaries used the machinery of state and technology to respond to threats. In this Council of Councils global perspectives, five experts reflect on the legacy of the attacks and offer insights into the biggest changes in counterterrorism, human rights, surveillance, international law of war, and border security.

The Afghanistan occupation and the Japan occupation

We learned the wrong lessons from our post-WW2 success

To many Americans, wrapped up in their insular worldview, the answer is simple: U.S. occupation transformed the country into what it is today. Take a fascist dictatorship, add some U.S. soldiers, and shazam, rich liberal democracy! So of course the fact that we can no longer seem to pull off this sort of trick means that we’re a fallen, diminished empire and blah blah.

We All Lost Afghanistan: Two Decades of Mistakes, Misjudgments, and Collective Failure ($)

The broader questions about why Afghanistan finds itself at this juncture undermine attempts to justify the “war on terror” as it was waged in the country over two decades. During my more than three years in Kabul, between 2013 and 2016 (including as U.S. ambassador from 2014 to 2016), it became evident to me just how steep the challenges to U.S. strategy were. Although we were largely successful in eliminating al Qaeda in the country and reducing the threat of terrorist attacks in the United States, we failed in our approach to counterinsurgency, to Afghan politics, and to “nation building.” We underestimated the resiliency of the Taliban. And we misread the geopolitical realities of the region.

What does a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan actually mean?

It happened faster than most people expected, but the US-backed Afghan government has now fallen. The Taliban have taken over the capital, Kabul, and installed themselves in the presidential palace. Thousands of Afghans are scrambling to leave amid uncertainty of what comes next for the war-torn country. Chaos reigns.