Tuesday, February 27

I've become so desensitized by Iraq coverage that I barely do more than scan the headlines about the latest 60 people killed in car bombs, and hardly ever bother to read an op-ed or analysis trying to make sense of what to do. But in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, civil war expert and Stanford professor James Fearon has a pretty interesting (and depressing) piece looking at the lessons the political science literature on civil wars can provide in Iraq. Basically, Iraq's in a full blown civil war and it's probably not going to end any time soon, no matter what we do. But we'd have more leverage to steer the country toward a less-bad outcome if we start withdrawing troops. If you don't have access to the journal through your university or workplace, take a look next time you're in a bookstore, if you're interested.

The same issue also has an article by John Prendergast and Colin Thomas-Jensen of the International Crisis Group about the mess that is the Horn of Africa, and how the US obsession with counter-terrorism is counter-productive. The piece briefly mentions the focus group work that NDI is doing in Sudan.

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