How rising tensions between the United States and Iran threaten Iraq

Ploughshares Current Publication, Mideast

By Murtadha Faraj Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 40 Issue 3 Autumn 2019 The decades-old hostility between the United States and Iran escalated when U.S. President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and reimpose sanctions on Iran in May 2018. Iraq has political, economic, and security ties …

Arms sales, murder, and the illusion of firmness

Cesar Jaramillo Americas, Asia, Conventional Weapons, Current Publication, Featured, Mideast

While the Jamal Khashoggi murder illustrated the Saudi regime’s contempt for human rights and warranted intense media attention, it was only the latest incident in a consistent pattern of repression and human-rights violations at home and abroad.

Time for answers: Letter to Trudeau on the Saudi arms deal

Ploughshares Americas, Asia, Conventional Weapons, Current Publication, Featured, Mideast

The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2 4 March 2019 Re: Canada’s Export of Light Armoured Vehicles to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian civil society organizations focused on arms controls, human rights, international security, humanitarian assistance …

The War in Yemen: 2011-2018: The elusive road to peace

Sonal Marwah Asia, Defence & Human Security, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, Mideast

              Working paper 18-1 November 2018 By Sonal Marwah and Tom Clark Executive summary The United Nations (UN) has played a key role in most recent peace processes, but has not, thus far, been an effective force for peace in Yemen, which is now the site of one of the world’s bloodiest internationalized civil …

Syria: Fractured by war

Ploughshares Archived Conflicts, Asia, Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Forced Displacement and Migration, Mideast

No war in recent history has been as divisive as the war in Syria. In addition to fracturing Syrian society, it has galvanized, polarized, and even radicalized those who have reported on it. While President Bashar al-Assad’s cheerleading squad has brought together an amalgamation of unlikely supporters, ranging from White Nationalists to Shia militants, the advocates of regime change have …

In Saudi crisis, a legacy for Canada

Cesar Jaramillo Americas, Asia, Conventional Weapons, Featured, Mideast

A routine tweet in August from Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, calling for the release of imprisoned activists in Saudi Arabia, has presented the Trudeau government with a golden opportunity to cement its human rights legacy and to affirm Canada’s principled stand globally. The incident could mark a defining political moment for Mr. Trudeau. Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 3 …

Call for independent review into use of Canadian-made armoured vehicles in Saudi Arabia

Ploughshares Americas, Asia, Conventional Weapons, Featured, Mideast, News

A coalition of human rights and arms control groups sent a letter to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, related to the report released by Global Affairs in May 2018 concerning allegations that Canadian-made military exports were used against civilians last year by the Saudi Arabian armed forces. The report revealed major shortcomings both in the investigation of the …

War in Yemen: A litmus test of the Arms Trade Treaty

Sonal Marwah Asia, Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, Mideast, News

In March 2015, following a long political crisis in Yemen in which all parties resorted to violence,  Houthi rebels seized the capital Sana’a, triggering the collapse of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s internationally recognized government. Hadi fled into exile. On March 24, Hadi requested external military intervention from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). A coalition of Gulf Arab states, led …

Canada and Saudi Arabia: An arms deal no matter what

Cesar Jaramillo Americas, Asia, Conventional Weapons, Featured, Mideast

Seven months after disturbing footage appeared to show Canadian-made armoured vehicles being used against civilians in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, Global Affairs Canada announced the results of the investigation it launched into the alleged abuses. Addressing the House Foreign Affairs Committee in February, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that there was “no conclusive evidence” that Canadian equipment had been …

Syria (2011 – first combat deaths)

Ploughshares Armed Conflicts, Asia, Mideast

Syria (2011 – first combat deaths)     The Conflict at a Glance Who (are the main combatants): The Syrian Armed Forces and militia groups loyal to the Bashar Assad regime versus a diverse and disjointed opposition. Some rebel groups, such as the Free Syrian Army, have drawn on defections from the Syrian Armed Forces for strength, while emerging Islamist …