2018 was another year of uncertainty and a spreading feeling of insecurity. What could turn that round in 2019? Here are some thoughts:
2018: what just happened?
There we are, another year, full of puzzlement and uncertainty. Some things moving forward (détente on the Korean peninsula, peace talks at last about Yemen), others regressing (world hunger on the rise, arms control crumbling, impacts of climate change unfolding), and other things hard to interpret. In this short film, the closing one of 2018 in SIPRI’s Peace Points series, I give my view. in the first one of 2019, I will take a look ahead at hopes for the coming year.
For 2018, I don’t really have a total on the bottom line of the balance sheet. The question that gets put at the beginning is, are we moving towards or away from midnight on the Doomsday clock? And my answer is a cross between ‘I don’t know’ and ‘Neither’ (i.e., no movement for either good or bad).
Happy (and PEACEFUL) New Year greetings to everyone!
The Middle East – who cares?
Or at least, who cares enough to try to start thinking anew? The region is burning. Apart from the parties to the conflicts who want to win, nobody seems to have any idea of what to do. Continue reading
Egypt: outside powers and their calamitous Algerian error
Sentences that start, “History teaches us that…” usually contain bad history and worse logic. Nonetheless, Egypt makes me think with foreboding of Algeria. Continue reading
Water, conflict and peace
Water is a basic condition of life. We depend upon it for daily use, for agriculture, for industry and infrastructure. A shortage, an excess and deficient quality can all undermine welfare, impair human security, hold back economic development and in some circumstances generate conflict. The London-based Foreign Policy Centre has published Tackling the World Water Crisis, an edited collection of articles in which mine looks at the peace and security issues around water. Continue reading
Yemen, water and war
Today’s Times carries a vivid and timely article about water shortage and conflict in Yemen, depicting it as potentially the first nation to run out of water in 10 to 15 years’ time. I contributed some thoughts in a background analysis The Times also carries on larger conflict patterns, links to climate change and water shortages, and the imperative of international cooperation to address the problems, especially for a country such a Yemen.