In this journal article for Comparative Strategy, Open Briefing analyst Kevjn Lim reviews national security decision-making in the Iranian context by focusing on institutions, formal process and individuals. He specifically examines the Supreme National Security Council, which formalises and embodies the decision-making process, as well as the Revolutionary Guards, which epitomise both the influence of institutions as well as the centrality of the agent-individual.
The United States has led the way in developing a new way of conceptualising and executing war. With the rise of austerity in Europe, other Western states have adopted part or all of this ‘remote-control warfare’ approach. However, the assessment of recent trends contained in this report makes it increasingly clear that remote-control warfare has its limits. As such, this report makes 31 specific recommendations to the British government.
After a last minute electoral upset, Israeli Prime Minster Benyamin Netanyahu will almost certainly form a new government. What does a fourth term for Bibi mean for Israel, Palestine and the wider region?
It all seemed so convenient: remote-control warfare would minimise military casualties while rendering the civilian dead invisible. But in this article co-published with openDemocracy, Open Briefing's executive director, Chris Abbott, explains how the battlefield has come home and remote-control warfare is failing.
In December 2014, the EU envoy to Pakistan, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, urged the country to condemn Russia over what he characterised as ‘violations by a very aggressive Russia against Ukraine’. His intervention has been made at a time when there is a thaw in Pakistan-Russia relations after decades of animosity and mistrust. While the new friendship with Moscow is attractive for Islamabad, Wigemark’s warning puts Pakistan in a difficult position.
Heavily influenced by the memories and legacies of the past, Turkey has not demonstrated the required degree of flexibility and imagination in dealing with the issue of Syria’s Kurds. This article from Open Briefing contributing analyst Arman Baisuanov explores Turkey's complex and differing relationships with Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Turkey and sets out some of the failings of its Kurdish policies in light of events in Kobane.
Blaise Compaoré’s departure after 27 years at the helm of Burkina Faso was the result of a show of popular resilience and strength. However, the immediate aftermath of this event raises some doubts over whether anything will change at all. While Compaoré resigned due to the popular protests and the anti-establishment violence that ensued, the revolution in Burkina Faso seems to have been hijacked by the military.
In 2011, Myanmar's quasi-civilian government initiated one of the most ambitious economic and political transformation campaigns of the last 50 years. The reformist agenda has the potential to steer Myanmar away from insecurity and economic stagnation. But it will be difficult to leverage significant endowments of natural resources to achieve sustainable security, lasting political settlements with ethnic states and economic growth that supports human development. As such, this briefing paper assesses the trajectory and significance of resource conflict risks and threat multipliers in Myanmar.