The IMF is frequently the target of critics who accuse its reform, rationalisation and liberalisation policies of holding back the developing world. The recent Lancet paper on how its demands for cuts to public spending and for decentralised healthcare were hindering the Ebola response in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is typical. Chris Blattman, assistant professor of political science … More The IMF and Ebola
The extraordinary thing for me is not that Darfur has dropped off the world’s radar, but that it was ever on the world’s radar at all. It’s a conflict with few geo-political implications, happening in a faraway land and with fewer casualties than other African conflicts. That it registered at all was down to a … More Has the world given up on Darfur?
For a while, iconoclastically-minded journalists liked to hold up the Islamic Courts Union of Mogadishu as the future of Somalia. For about six months they brought a semblance of peace and security to the capital in 2006. They were backed by businessmen who saw the benefits of law and order – albeit a pretty strict … More “The Islamic State is failing at being a state”
Interesting analysis of North Korea’s cyber attack on Sony by Blaine Harden, who knows his stuff and says it may even be the country’s single greatest foreign-policy achievement ever. He sees it as a massive change-the-subject moment for Pyongyang as the Security Council on Monday plans to debate and pass judgment on human rights atrocities in North Korea. … More Why Seth Rogen is more powerful than the UN on North Korea
Missed this before from last week’s CIA report on enhanced interrogation techniques… At the direction of the White House, the secretaries of state and defense – both principals on the National Security Council – were not briefed on program specifics until September 2003. An internal CIA email from July 2003 noted that “… theWH [White House] is … More It’s not torture, but just don’t tell Colin anyway…
It’s not often I agree with Bob Geldof, but I find myself nodding in agreement with his pithy response to critics who are troubled by his 30-year-old charity song Do They Know It’s Christmas? “Please. It’s a pop song. Relax. “It’s a pop song, it’s not a doctoral thesis. They can f*** off.” Indeed. What seems … More In defence of Bob Geldof