Here are a few resources, pointers and backgrounders to stay apprised on what's happening in conflict hot spots around the globe:
ICG-CrisisWatch N°70, 1 June 2009
International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group regularly monitors and reports on global conflicts. They have now published their update for June, 2009.
Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in May 2009, according to CrisisWatch. Somalia was rocked by intense fighting as an alliance of anti-government Islamist factions launched a large-scale offensive in and around Mogadishu, and Crisis Group identifies a Conflict Risk Alert for June. In Pakistan the army’s heavy offensive against the Taliban continued, leading to a massive humanitarian crisis with more than 2.4 million displaced. Tensions between Chad and Sudan escalated following an assault by Chadian rebels from bases across the border in Darfur, prompting retaliatory air strikes by Chadian forces on Sudanese soil. Read the full report HERE
Jihadists attack Somalia: Al-Qaeda on the march
Barely supported by the West, Somalia's new government may buckle under the latest wave of jihadist assaults. Only a few months after Somalia’s latest “transitional” government was set up amid a rare burst of albeit cautious optimism, Somali radicals linked to Al-Qaeda are gaining strength, while moderate Islamists are losing ground. A fresh flow of foreign fighters is also said to be heading for Mogadishu as suicide bombings have increased. When Ethiopia invaded Somalia with American encouragement in 2006, the aim was to fend off any kind of Islamist threat to Ethiopia and to catch the handful of Al-Qaeda people sheltering in the country. The invasion and the ensuing air raids destroyed the first incarnation of Somalia’s jihadists but the second seems to be proving stronger and fiercer. Read the full report HERE
Caucasus jihad: Terror tactics back on the horizon?
The Long War Journal
Recent attacks in the Caucasus and statements by the leader of the Caucasus Emirate indicate the jihadist movement is reverting back to the use of terror tactics that plagued the second war of Chechnya. This potential return to terror tactics may be an attempt to implicate the governing elites as illegitimate and incapable of effective rule or security over the region, in response to Moscow's claims that the insurgency is officially defeated. Read the full report HERE
The Strategic Debate Over Afghanistan
After U.S. airstrikes killed scores of civilians in western Afghanistan this past week, White House National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones said the United States would continue with the airstrikes and would not tie the hands of U.S. generals fighting in Afghanistan. At the same time, U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus has cautioned against using tactics that undermine strategic U.S. goals in Afghanistan — raising the question of what exactly are the U.S. strategic goals in Afghanistan. A debate inside the U.S. camp has emerged over this very question, the outcome of which is likely to determine the future of the region. Read the full report HERE
Security in Mexico. Implications for U.S. Policy Options
Violence in Mexico has spiked over the past four years and is increasingly affecting the United States. In response, both the Mexican government and the U.S. government are searching for ways to improve security in Mexico. This monograph examines the security situation in Mexico and assesses its impact on the United States. In addition, it outlines a number of policy options that the United States can consider in its efforts to assist the Mexican government in improving internal security in Mexico. Read the full report HERE