Bungled Peace-Building in Afghanistan & Iraq Opened Door to Terrorism

US focus In Afghanistan is killing terrorists not peace-building — Canadian expert says 

By Stephen Leahy

(Originally published Jan 31, 2006)

(IPS) – Washington’s attempts to bring security to Iraq and Afghanistan are not only making life harder for local people, they are breeding more terrorists, warn international security experts.

Under its anti-terrorism agenda, the U.S. has centralised power and security in post-conflict Iraq and Afghanistan, which ironically creates perfect conditions for terrorists and criminals.

“There is a great fear that unstable states and post-war societies provide an ideal breeding ground for terrorist training and activity,” said Albrecht Schnabel, a senior fellow with the Research Programme on Human Security in Bern, Switzerland.

“Yet almost three years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq is characterised by chaos, violence and disintegration. The methods used to rebuild Iraq’s security sector are simply making matters worse,” he told IPS. Continue reading

Iraq’s Birds and Marshes Return Amid Bullets, Bombs and Violence

mesopotamian_marshes-nature_-iraq-sml Amid Sectarian Chaos, Bird Lovers Persevere


By Stephen Leahy

Jan 25 (IPS) – Can Iraqi dreams for a better future be glimpsed in the publication Thursday of the first-ever field guide to the country’s 387 bird species?

“For Iraq, a nation that has lost so much of its wildlife in the last 20 years, this book opens the door for the growing conservation movement in this country,” said Ali Douabul of Nature Iraq, an Iraqi NGO focused on the protection and restoration of the environment.

Published in Arabic, the “Field Guide to the Birds of Iraq” is a fully illustrated guide based on three years of surveys by mainly Iraqi and Jordanian birders and biologists.

Why a bird book for Iraq?
Continue reading