Opportunities for peace in Afghanistan and the challenges ahead
A nascent roadmap to peace is taking shape in Afghanistan, but many obstacles remain, warns Omar Samad of the Atlantic Council
As the world moves towards a multi-polar order, there is an urgent need for leaders and experts to collaborate across regional, political and national boundaries. The World Economic Forum Global Platform for Geo-strategic collaboration exists to bring top quality, evidence-based research to a wider audience and curate a space to promote shared understanding.
Explore context: International Security
A nascent roadmap to peace is taking shape in Afghanistan, but many obstacles remain, warns Omar Samad of the Atlantic Council
For all the economic promise they offer, a fast shift to electric vehicles is likely to have significant geopolitical repercussions
‘Left-of-launch’ attacks, which aim to disable enemy missile systems, may actually increase the chance of them being used, argue Patricia Lewis and Beyza Unal in this Chatham House report
The reasons for ASEAN’s new Indo-Pacific outlook are varied, but the U.S. – China trade war was key, writes Premesha Saha, of the Observer Research Foundation
While there has been success in tackling piracy in many parts of the world, West Africa has seen a steady rise in the number of incidents of hijacking, kidnapping and robberies at sea
North Korea expert with the Woodrow Wilson Center Jean H. Lee explains what both sides must offer to reach accord, and why a third summit is just a matter of time
What will be the future role of the U.S. in a rebalanced world order?
The world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons is falling, and there are fewer weapons operationally deployed – but every country that possesses nuclear weapons is modernizing
Militarization in Europe remains far short of cold war levels, but the resources devoted to the military are increasing after a long period of progressive reduction
To ease tensions in the Gulf, Japan must be seen as an independent mediator and to be taking all countries’ concerns into account, argues Sachi Sakanashi in this Atlantic Council report
Sudan’s political transition is in peril. Western and Gulf states must now take urgent action to help install a civilian administration, argues the International Crisis Group
Terrorist attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka had no motivation beyond a hatred of the ‘other’. We need a new approach to challenge this agenda-less terrorism, argues John Raine of IISS
Some peace missions fail to end violent conflict, even when deployed for decades. Recent research in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo helps explain why
The European Parliamentary elections boosted the democratic process, but fundamental political challenges were also laid bare, argues Britta Petersen, of the Observer Research Foundation
India’s Prime Minister Modi stands on the cusp of history, argues the ORF's Manoj Joshi. He now has the chance to emerge as a transformational figure in the international arena
The Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have pledged to bring an end to violence. But a fragile regional peace is now under threat, warns Michael Hart, of IISS
What would Europe need to spend to secure its own defence? IISS experts assess two specific scenarios
Tensions between the US and Iran are rising. Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, assesses the risk of serious conflict
The comedian Volodymyr Zelensky won a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election. Now he has to satisfy an electorate hungry for change. Can he deliver?
The deployment of Japan’s self-defence force to the Middle East signals a new willingness by the country to take part in peace and stability operations without UN oversight
Strategic interests can take closer Israeli-Gulf ties only so far. Economic and person-to-person relations also need to be developed, argues Daniel J. Samet of the Atlantic Council
The five countries that spent the most on their militaries last year together accounted for 60% of all global defence spending
The role of regional and international partners will be crucial for Sudan’s smooth transition into a unified and peaceful country, says Ahmed Soliman, of Chatham House
The genetics revolution is already here and will affect us all; but too little is being done to ensure its benefits are optimized, argues Jamie Metzl of the Atlantic Council
As space becomes ever more crowded with satellites, all spacefaring countries need to participate in the space safety coordination system, says Bruce McClintock of the RAND Corporation
Libya’s international partners must act urgently to avoid a major battle for Tripoli, and get both sides back to the negotiating table, argues this International Crisis Group report
Economic sanctions are too often the soft choice between doing nothing and taking effective but risky or expensive action, argues James Dobbins, of the RAND Corporation
The West’s failure to understand the New Nuclear Age is the real reason for today’s nuclear pessimism, argues Rakesh Sood, of the Observer Research Foundation
The effects of the shift from fossil fuels to an energy system based on renewables will be profound, explains the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Adnan Z. Amin
Grey-zone conflict between states is increasing; and a deeper recognition of which acts are warlike, and which are competition is vital, argues John Raine of IISS
The cybersecurity industry is deploying machine learning to counter the growing threat from AI-controlled cyberattacks. But sustained investment is needed to build these defences at scale
The idea of total European strategic independence ignores geopolitical realities, argues Moritz Luetgerath of the Atlantic Council; but there may be a welcome alternative
The convergence of AI, 3D printing, and robotics could facilitate the development, production and use of biological weapons, argues this SIPRI report
For the last five years, Western counter-terrorism forces have focused on combating IS, giving al Qaeda the operational space to manoeuvre, plan, and train
We need a multinational debate about the true nature of cyberpower, as happened over nuclear power 60 years ago, argues Marcus Willett of IISS
New data from SIPRI shows the US has increased its dominance of the arms sales market, and that there has been a big rise in arms imports by Middle Eastern countries
Excluding women from peace processes has serious repercussions for women’s rights post-conflict, especially in Afghanistan, where women’s rights remain precarious, argues this SIPRI report
Women’s participation in politics is vital for society, and world leaders need to do much more to ensure they can take part free from threats of violence and repression
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization can play a central role in defusing tensions and renewing dialogue between India and Pakistan
We need to increase efforts to deal with climate-related security risks. The challenges are complex, but there are reasons for optimism, argues this SIPRI report
Creating conditions for the return of Syrian refugees will bring not only humanitarian and economic dividends, but also political and strategic ones that will be felt in Syria and far beyond
A bigger peacekeeping role and the greater presence of Chinese forces abroad are pushing Beijing to grapple with new questions of international law it has not previously had to consider
Military spending by NATO’s European states amounts to the second-biggest defence budget in the world if taken as a whole, a new study from IISS reveals. But does Europe spend enough?
A number of actions that can help end the seemingly endless bouts of sectarian violence in the Middle East are possible, argue the authors of this RAND Corporation report
Climate-related security risks are transnational challenges, which is why African states need a multilateral response, argue Dr Florian Krampe and Vane Moraa Aminga, of SIPRI
Clarifying the law is vital to ensure the rule of proportionality is adhered to in conflicts, but a culture of compliance is also needed, argues Emanuela-Chiara Gillard of Chatham House
The Venezuelan experience should lead to a rethink of both left and right nationalist alternatives to the modern global mainstream, argues Oleg Barabanov
Can NATO’s members put the political disharmony of recent memory behind them, and forge a genuine sense of unity?
Central Asia could face serious security challenges as climate change increasingly impacts access to natural resources in the region
Once considered the best idea in global politics, today’s Europe is a pale shadow of its glorious past, argues Harsh V. Pant of the Observer Research Foundation
We need a comprehensive revamp of regional governance to create sustainable globalization, argues Yaroslav Lissovolik of the Valdai Discussion Club
Many in Washington appear increasingly to view China in adversarial terms; but is this justified? Can the two superpowers instead learn to set rivalries aside?
For the first time in decades, a window exists for Europe to take care of its own defence. But the vision of a European army will require reforms to EU institutions
Syrian refugees need more than humanitarian assistance in host countries. They need the self-sufficiency, dignity, opportunities, and hope that come from jobs
What would an effective ballistic-missile defence system require, and how would it fit with existing rules on placing weapons in orbit?
2019 will be the year when social scientists will be able to test their hypotheses on predicting new world orders, argues Gautam Chikermane, of the Observer Research Foundation
Serious nuclear security concerns are emerging in the Black Sea region, writes Ian Anthony of the Stockholm International Peace Institute
International human rights law is playing an increasing role in tackling economic polarization, argues Chanu Peiris of Chatham House
Sales by the world’s biggest 100 arms-producing companies were up last year – the increase was in large part down to rising procurement by Russia and the US, a new SIPRI report reveals
Over half of maternal deaths are in areas of armed violence – a fact often overlooked when the cost of conflict is counted, writes Isabelle Arradon, of the International Crisis Group
We need to acknowledge the role that shifts in demographic profiles play in social, economic, and political development, argues Richard Cincotta, of the Wilson Center
Concern has grown that the dark web is an enabler for terrorists and organized criminals to obtain firearms. However, very little is known about the size and scope of this trade in weapons
A new study that examines plans for a European defence capability shows the EU may struggle to deliver without the UK’s contribution
The Islamic State sucked in money from the territory it has now lost. But it has adapted and has new streams of revenue, argues this RAND Corporation report
Internal conflict in Cameroon’s south has been going on for nearly two years. Any escalation could have dire regional consequences, says Francesca Grandi, of IISS
Understanding the requirements of effective deterrence of large-scale interstate military aggression is taking on renewed importance, argues this RAND study
Civil diplomacy aims to enhance mutual trust through civil exchanges. As this CIIS report argues, it can be used to bridge the gap between different countries and promote understanding be...
Cybersecurity investment continues to rise, but so does the volume of threats to steal sensitive data. A paradigm shift in how we address cybersecurity is needed to stop this vicious cycl...
There is widespread commitment to increasing the number of women in international peace operations, but monitoring progress on the ground can be problematic, as this SIPRI report explains
On the centenary of the end the First World War, we are faced with stark reminders of the fragility of our international system when it comes to the prevention of conflict and war
The spread of social media in Africa has brought many economic and political benefits, but it also equips terrorist groups with a tool for recruitment and propaganda
Several Gulf states are buying expensive new ships and bases – but will need to find the crews and strategies to make effective use of them, argues Tom Waldwyn, of the International Insti...
Points of contention between India and China often capture the headlines – lesser known are important areas of cooperation, says Manoj Joshi of the Observer Research Foundation
NATO’s Operation Trident Juncture takes place amid strains between the US and the alliance’s European members. So, the timing and the scale of this display are significant
New bodies are needed to promote cooperation between Arctic nations and all stakeholders to tackle the region’s unique challenges
US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty may not be all it seems; but either way, arms control is in deep trouble, argues Dan Smith of the Stockholm Internati...
Chinese private security companies are increasingly being deployed in Belt and Road countries. More regulation is needed, argue the authors of Guardians of the Belt and Road
Attacks on artificial intelligence systems that seek to disrupt the data that helps AI learn could have subtle and far-reaching effects, argues this RAND Corporation report
A new study from the RAND Corporation asks where the cybersecurity threat to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics might come from, and how we can safeguard the games and other major sporting events
The interaction between social, political and ecological processes decisively shapes the post-conflict landscape; and we need to better manage this relationship
As an increasing number of Asian nations launch space programmes, who will write the rules of the road?
The management of water is an essential public good and a natural monopoly. Getting it wrong can be catastrophic
Asia and Europe can each profit from better connectivity, but co-operation depends on a partnership of equals, argues Cui Hongjian, of the China Institute of International Studies
India’s relationship with its largest regional trading partner has evolved into security and defence cooperation, re-establishing important historical ties
Al-Shabaab wants power in Somalia, but plots attacks across East Africa. Reducing its appeal to potential recruits is the best way to defeat it, argues the International Crisis Group
Beijing now pays more attention to its international mediation efforts, which means there could be opportunities for cooperation and coordination, especially between Beijing and the EU
Only by identifying essential revenue streams in the Middle East, like tourism and oil, can counterterrorism officials help protect them, argues Antonia Ward of the RAND Corporation
Why do women still play such a limited role in the process of bringing about peace? Yeonju Jung and Emma Bjertén-Günther, of SIPRI, examine the barriers to progress
Space weapons and military space units are proliferating, but there is no agreement on how to govern this contested domain, write Sean Kanuck and Alana Vogel, of the International Institu...
The UK’s exit from the EU could easily shift the balance of the bloc’s opinion on issues such as Russia and EU defence cooperation, argues Georgina Write, of Chatham House
A SIPRI study reveals climate change can have a significant effect on the causes and dynamics of violent conflict. It also shows the urgent need to carry out more detailed research
Many Belt and Road Initiative countries suffer from under-developed infrastructure, so investing in ports, airports, road, and rail links will boost trade. But countries that coordinate t...
The elections in Sweden may be a last reminder that the EU needs to renew its foundational narrative, argues Britta Petersen, of the Observer Research Foundation
Faced with threats ranging from climate change to disruptive technological advances, we need stable and able governance more than ever, argue Yaroslav Lissovolik and Mark Uzan in a Valdai...
ISIS used slick videos and glossy online magazines to weaponize the internet. We need to learn from this, argues Kabir Taneja of the Observer Research Foundation.
A new legal agreement that gives the Caspian Sea special status is likely to defuse geopolitical tensions, but it also secures Russia’s dominance, argues Yvonni-Stefania Efstathiou of IISS.
Too many resources are spent reacting to conflict, argues Marina Caparini of SIPRI; preventing conflict in the first place would not only save lives, but also cost less.
The increasing speed of data and information is putting immense pressure on decisionmakers and testing security policy norms. Will we be able to adapt?
There is growing evidence that possibly hundreds of thousands of Central Americans have experienced forced internal displacement within their countries of origin before they emigrate.
The Indian and Pacific oceans are increasingly seen as a unified strategic space. But geopolitical tensions in the region mean that not all countries see the concept in the same way.
There are three common misconceptions about China’s involvement in Africa, writes Aubrey Hruby, of the Atlantic Council. Debunking these myths will foster a more constructive understandin...
Globalization has lessened many countries’ vulnerability to traditional sanctions. Secondary sanctions are an additional tool; but are they effective?
There is much discussion of a power transition between Washington and Beijing, but this transfer is anything but straightforward, and the world may find itself suspended in a power vacuum...
Europe and India are increasingly finding they have common economic, political and even security concerns; the result is growing geostrategic cooperation, argues Garima Mohan of the Obser...
The global trading community faces new challenges not covered by current rules; and history shows the only way to successfully update the system is sometimes to be willing to break the ru...
A huge trade deal is taking shape in the Pacific region, which would significantly shift the economic balance of power in the area in China’s favour at the expense of the US, argues Yaros...
The use of weaponized drones is no longer just a concern for the future, as the assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro showed, argues Colin P. Clarke, of the RAND C...
Alongside China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative is a push for greater cross-border digital connectivity. Here’s what is driving this new Digital Silk Road.
A nuclear terrorist attack would have grave consequences, but it is currently not a viable threat as it would need a sophistication from terrorists that has not yet been seen, argues Anto...
We urgently need to increase the sustainability of the world’s fishing industry, or we could find ourselves facing what has been described as a “global fish war”.
A struggle looms in Iraq over the future of the paramilitary groups that helped the state defeat ISIS. Ending decades of violence in the country, and building a sustainable future now dep...
Climate change in Asia-Pacific will impact many security issues. And implementing solutions may create a more multipolar region, writes Shiloh Fetzek, of the International Institute for S...
Lower-income countries banking on fossil fuels to generate economic growth risk being left behind by shifts in investment and credit as the world increasingly targets carbon emissions, ar...
China has made clear it wants to establish a ‘Polar Silk Road’ – and as part of the process it is determined to have a significant say in the way the Arctic is developed.
After decades of development in international law, influential voices are now challenging the status quo. This has profound implications for the future.
The changing nature of cross-border terrorism calls for new approaches, argues John Raine, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. But barriers to cooperation remain.
The Eid al-Fitr truce in Afghanistan offered a glimpse into how a formal ceasefire could be agreed, argues the International Crisis Group; and it suggests both sides, along with the US, s...
Soft power is an increasingly important part of India’s foreign policy, argues Shanatu Kishwar of the Observer Research Foundation; and Buddhism is a key component.
How resilient will the Arctic be to the major geostrategic changes it is already experiencing, or will likely experience in the coming decade? There are reasons to be hopeful, a RAND Corp...
The rise of AI must be better managed in the short term to mitigate longer-term risks, and to ensure it doesn’t reinforce existing inequalities.
How effectively and how far a nation can project its armed forces depends on much more than mere numbers of weapons and personnel.
The economic corridor between China-Pakistan offers huge potential; but the promised rewards come along with serious challenges that must be carefully managed, argues the International Cr...
This year's Rim of the Pacific naval exercise is different. A look at who has been invited to take part (and who hasn't), shows why.
Can United Nations 'blue helmets' still rely on their impartial status for protection against physical harm, or does the increase in their number of deaths mean they should adopt a differ...
The roots of the current international order go back to the end of WW2. But the world has changed and US dominance now needs to give way to a more multilateral system.
The stockpile of nuclear weapons may be getting smaller, but it’s also being modernized, which means genuine progress towards nuclear disarmament remains a distant goal.
Cybersecurity has become one of the energy sector's most pressing concerns. Understanding vulnerabilities is the first step towards protecting critical infrastructure.
The outlines of a new world order will be defined as Eurasia's importance grows. It is in this super-continent that the future of democracy, free markets and global security will be decided.
Besides the loss-of-life and life-changing injuries it causes, terrorism leads to huge economic losses for businesses, cities and nations.
Most discussions of current US-China trade tensions fundamentally misrepresent the globalized nature of innovation.
Too often leaders, governments and non-state armed groups gain from human deprivation
Efforts to prevent or limit conflict need to take the impact of criminal activity - such as the smuggling of drugs, weapons, wildlife and cigarettes - into account.
In the last four years, China has launched more warships than the total fleets of many of the world's major naval powers. How will this affect the balance of power in the region and bey...
A blurring of the line between objective facts and personal opinions is causing Americans to disengage from political and civic life. This is Truth Decay, and it poses a fundamental threa...
The consequences of President Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal are likely to be dramatic, and far outlive his time in office.
How should India deal with the increasing turmoil in Maldives, a traditional ally, and a strategically important country in the centre of the Indian Ocean?
A simple ban of lethal autonomous systems misses the complexity of the issue, and how automated weapons could actually enhance adherence to international law.
Fears that computers might lead humanity to nuclear war have haunted imaginations since the Cold War. The danger might soon be more science than fiction
The old rules of the global nuclear order are weakening. If the superpowers are to prevent the failure of nuclear deterrence they must disregard the idea of 'escalate to de-escalate'
Japan and India plan an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, which will clash with China's Belt and Road Initiative. But, co-operation, rather than competition, makes most sense for all parties.
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing a failed economy, a lack of food, rampant crime and disease. The country's crisis is now a serious threat to its neighbours.
A nation launching an offensive cyber attack would need to strike a delicate balance between lawful deterrence and the risk of dangerous escalation
What is the role today of this essentially US vision of goals and shared global objectives?
Understanding how and why cyber capabilities are deployed is now crucial to determine the power dynamics between nations
Countries' greater interdependence requires a fresh approach to the new frontiers of space, cyberspace, the polar regions and deep oceans – and China must play a key role
Sales of weapons around the world continue to rise in 2017 with US exports sharply up
Potential flash points for civil uprisings are in the data – but not where you might think
Digital technology has overturned many of the assumptions on which nuclear strategies are based, and important new security challenges urgently need to be addressed
The BRICS countries have a unique opportunity to offer a new agenda for the world economy, one that leads to global economic integration
AI promises to bring revolutionary benefits to society. But, without careful management, it may also pose a threat to existing vulnerabilities in our defences, economic systems, and socia...
A cyber arms race is underway. The only way to ensure nations conform to certain rules and norms in cyberspace is through the recognition of international law
As the use of virtual currencies like Bitcoin increases, so too does cybercrime. In response, we need a coordinated and considered international strategy
Can the US and China reach an understanding on norms and rules in cyberspace through formal negotiations? Are there already any areas of agreement between the two sides?
How China is trying to change the balance of power in the Indo–Pacific without firing a shot
Action is urgently needed to cut the risk of severe disruption at key ports and transport routes, which could have devastating knock-on effects for global food security
The greatest threat to stability in Asia comes not from more powerful and sophisticated nuclear arsenals, but from the continued stability of the institutions guarding them
An expanding and endless conflict in Thailand's southernmost provinces could create opportunities for transnational jihadists to exploit
New weapon systems are transforming the way we make decisions and act in warfare. And their use is increasingly raising legal, operational and ethical concerns
The celebration of militarism through social media has profound implications for policy makers and the public
The nuclear industry has long focused on protecting its physical infrastructure, but it now faces a new threat – cyber attack
AI has the potential to revolutionalize medicine, especially when its capacity for deep learning is combined with genome editing
Vigilante groups have had some success when hired by weak African states to tackle insurgencies; but this has also proved to be a dangerous tactic.
No Asian country has declared either its cyber capabilities, or its doctrines to manage cyber weapons. How should India assess the threat of cyber conflict in the region?
A unique, large-scale survey of attitudes among Europeans reveals a continent divided along three lines.
The connection between food security, natural resources, and conflict is clear. The question is, how to reverse this negative spiral.
The combination of synthetic biology with AI and automation means the risk of bioterrorism is growing rapidly.
Hypersonic missiles are a new terrifying threat to world peace – and we have only a brief time to halt their spread.
Our understanding of the links between climate change, migration and violence is developing rapidly, and producing some surprising results.
Military spending globally rose last year, but many previously big-spending oil-exporting countries have made dramatic cuts.
Europe is facing some of its toughest challenges since WW2 –the way it deals with them could create very different futures, both economically and politically.
The Liberal International Order, relatively stable since the end of World War Two, faces significant perils that could cause fatal damage to its dominance.