In conflicts across the world, levels of displacement and hunger are increasing. The tactics used by leaders, governments and non-state armed groups have much to do with that misery.
Wars can be prevented or mitigated by early, clear and well-designed political and diplomatic engagement. Yet policymakers are increasingly stretched by a myriad of global crises. Refocusing on knowledge, relationships, frameworks, strategic communication and pathways to peace is crucial to limiting and resolving the world’s current upsurge in deadly conflict.
The Islamic State, al-Qaeda-linked groups, Boko Haram and other extremist movements are protagonists in today’s deadliest crises, complicating efforts to end them. They have exploited wars, state collapse and geopolitical upheaval in the Middle East, gained new footholds in Africa and pose an evolving threat elsewhere. Reversing their gains requires avoiding the mistakes that enabled their rise.
What happens when a major actor like the United States begins to recede from the world, begins to retreat? You create a space for other regional actors to step in.
[How America projects its values] it’s a choice: giving people reason to hope if they are languishing in prison, or giving their jailers hope that they can act with impunity.
A function of the retreat of the U.S. [from the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change] is that all countries feel more on their own. Trust requires some sense of shared values.
Millions of people are living in a country in which they were not born. Building a wall to create a solution is an illusion. If you plug one path, then it just puts strain on other areas.
The us-and-them mentality [of the new UN counter-terrorism proposal means] the U.N. has been positioned even more forcefully on the government's side when it [is sometimes] already perceived as too close to the government.
If we see deepening European crisis, one of the world’s major balancing voices will be lost.
Crisis Group’s first update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on Burundi’s dangerous referendum, militant Buddhists and anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka, the impact of the Venezuelan crisis on the region, and the situation in Yemen. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.
Our President Robert Malley’s monthly column to accompany the CrisisWatch conflict tracker for February/March 2018 looks at how outside actors are now openly fighting over Syria, not for Syria. He also flags more bad news from Venezuela, and our upcoming report on what to do about it.
Crisis Group’s early-warning Watch List identifies up to ten countries and regions at risk of conflict or escalation of violence. In these situations, early action, driven or supported by the EU and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. It includes a global overview, regional summaries, and detailed analysis on select countries and conflicts.
The Watch List 2018 includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh/Myanmar, Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Sahel, Tunisia, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
The United States should stay and fight, not cut and run.
Originally published in Foreign Policy
From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018.