Articles from War in Context

A view of ISIS’s evolution emerges from new details about Paris attacks

The New York Times reports: Investigators found crates’ worth of disposable cellphones, meticulously scoured of email data. All around Paris, they found traces of improved bomb-making materials. And they began piecing together a multilayered terrorist attack that evaded detection until much too late. In the immediate aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on Nov. 13, […]

What is it about Molenbeek? The bit of Belgium that was a base for Paris terror attacks

By Martin Conway, University of Oxford Just as during the German invasions of 1914 and 1940, war, it seems, is coming to France through Belgium. If one follows the logic of the statements of various French political leaders since the bloody attacks in Paris on November 13, Belgium has become the base from which Islamic […]

How did the far right gain so much ground in Germany?

By Sergi Pardos-Prado, University of Oxford Some of the oldest and most established party systems in the world seem to be imploding. Unprecedented levels of electoral volatility, the collapse of the historical mainstream, and the emergence of new populist alternatives are part of a vertiginous process that is not always easy to comprehend. A new […]

Refugees lament as deal with Turkey closes door to Europe

The New York Times reports: Smoking cigarettes and huddling against the midnight chill, a group of Syrian men sat outside a mosque waiting for a smuggler’s call. It was their last chance, they said, to reach Europe. It was late Friday, hours after they watched news reports from cafes and hotel lobbies that the Europe […]

Syria: An unviable regime facing a divided opposition

Aron Lund writes: While Syria’s Sunni Arab rebels share many goals and allies, and infighting among them remains relatively rare, these factions have never managed to find a center of gravity around which to unify. Forceful international support is often portrayed as the means to change this, but in fact, it has had the opposite […]

‘This is a new Syria, not a new Kurdistan’

Wladimir van Wilgenburg writes: They have been locked out of Syrian peace talks, and by extension a future Syrian government, despite controlling much of northern Syria, being the only force to successfully oppose the Islamic State and having the favour of both the United States and Russia. On Thursday the Syrian Kurds decided on their […]

Turkey: Where press freedoms are on the decline and authoritarianism is on the rise

Hasnain Kazim, who has reported for Der Spiegel from Istanbul for the last three years and has now been forced to leave, writes: On our last day in Turkey, my family and I are not in the mood to go, but we have to leave the country. After several torturous months of uncertainty and concern, […]

Nostalgia for the Saddam era is thwarting a truly united Iraq

Rasha Al Aqeedi writes: Yearning for Saddam’s Iraq, in many cases, has little to do with Saddam or his style of ruling. As Nada, a Twitter personality with a significant following among frustrated Sunnis, put it: “Many love Iraq and are heart-broken to witness its deterioration, which they feel happened after the invasion and the […]

How we forgot how to feed ourselves

Karen Coates writes: Late in January, I boarded a long-haul flight, 27 hours and 5 minutes, 9,405 miles, three connections. I packed emergency Larabars (food for quick energy), ordered gluten-free meals (a topic for discussion another day), and thought about my meeting with the king of Boti. Boti is a small kingdom in the Indonesian […]