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Hello friends I hope you all are doing well,
Dear Seniors, I am a PhD aspirant in Civil Wars Studies and new to this area.
I request experienced scholars in the field to please suggest me some good books/articles readings for understanding the basics in the area.
Any suggestion about good articles/books on the Research Methods in Civil Wars studies would also be welcomed.
Thanks
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Good question, and good answer by Stuart B Jennings
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I am looking on literature analysing how Islamic State recruited civilian experts as computer technician, experts in managing public goods, doctors, nurses... from Western countries. Is there anything in the literature? I am not looking on fighters' recruiting but on civilian experts in order to improve rebel governance expertise.
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Many fighters/members and supporters come from Europe, mostly from the UK and the Netherlands. Whether there are any European experts, and what kind of experts, is debatable, except for information on the development of chemical and biological weapons. Islamic State allegedly recruited experts in chemistry, physics, and informatics to develop mass destruction weapons and continue to wage war against the West.
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Can anyone help me by suggesting an appropriate extremely simple statistical method for evaluating a natural experiment. I want to analysis the effects of global warming on violent armed conflicts by using disasters as a natural experiment. I am using events data base both for disasters (EM-DAT, The international disasters database) and conflicts (Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) data base) . I am looking forward to answering the research question " Do natural disasters increase violent armed conflicts?
Thanks.
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Your research topic is very exciting. There are several qualitative research approaches available in scholarly literature. Since it is related to disaster and violent armed conflicts, I will suggest you to do case study method. You can have some in-depth key informant interviews both the professionals (like, psychologist , sociologist, psychiatrist) and the people who involved in such violent activities. Snowball technique may help to find out such people. Wishing you all the very best and looking forward to read your research.
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Has the present/existing law of international armed conflict been really effective in mitigating the sufferings caused by war?
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I dont think so, as it is not binding.
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At present, the following disputes are attracting the attention of the media and analysts of international political conjuncture:
1 - The reintegration into the territory of the PRC or definitive independence of Taiwan, which Beijing calls the "rebel province of Taiwan";
2- Increased political tension involving Japan and PRC; and
3 - Economic disputes within the framework of the World Trade Organization, involving the USA and PRC.
4 - In addition to the above, it is noted that, at the present time, there are also no news of relevant tensions involving the PRC and the nations that in Asia hold nuclear artefacts, namely Russia, India, Pakistan and North Korea.
Chinese diplomacy is extremely skilful and calculating. Once the historical, geographical, social, political and economic aspects of the PRC are addressed, the time has come to know and analise the national interests of the PRC.
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World diplomacy is so complicated to be predicted.
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I am writing about my father's ordeals during WW2. He was captured in Serbia and was held for 3.5 years in German Stalags for POWs in Germany and France. I am especially interested in Stalag 12F (Forbach), 12E (Metz), 12D (Trier), 12A (Diez, near Limburg)and Saarburg - hospital for POWs from France, Serbia and Italy. Also will help me - anything on Serbian soldiers POWs.
Many thanks!!
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Yes, I will send you a message.
Leah
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I've seen some literature on FDIs before or after civil wars, but I'm curious as to whether anyone is aware of circumstances in which investors came in prior to the outbreak of a civil war and stayed for the duration of the war. If so, what type (sector) of investors were they?
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Civil wars often occur in third world countries where the data is rarely available for this kind of question. However, you may look at the individual companies data that are known for investments in unstable regions such as the ME countries.
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Seeing what is happening right now in Colombia, about demobilised FARC members being killed after they handed over their weapons, is there any other case in the world where this happened? Former combatants being killed or threatened after they disarmed?
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You could research what happened in Colombia as well, back in the 80´s when the Farc's first demobilized and formed the UP political party. Around 3.000 former combatants were killed. We have for sure an historical debt in this issue.
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I have a search for the protection of children from recruitment.
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Thank you very much dear Mary C R Wilson
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Thomas Weldon, Oxford philosopher and aide to Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris belived that the only way to end war was for it to be as evil and nasty as possible.  A war fought by rules would simply perpetuate war.  Did he have a point?
So therefore, it is not a question of ethics at all! War is not the opposite of peace, nor is it a corollary of it! War is a complete breakdown in civilization, so it shouldn't have "ethics" thrust upon it. Because that way lies danger; that way, war becomes acceptable! The means of death and destruction are immaterial, war was always war, the only difference today is the scale of it! So, when this war is finally over, the world should accept that there is no limit; there are no "Hague Rules of Combat" anymore! The worse war is, the more savage it becomes! When people understand this, and stop trying to limit it, then perhaps, we shall achieve lasting peace!
         Thomas Dewar Weldon: Fellow in Philosophy Magdalen College Oxford
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Weldon is echoing, almost "channeling" some of the reflections of Prince Andrei in War and Peace. Andrei is disgusted with the pomp and chivalry used to gloss over the facts of war.  He thinks to himself that it should be no-holds-barred.  Despite his disillusionment (?) he continues to serve honorably until his death.
As a member of the profession of arms, I thought it a very important part of my role to keep the Pandora's Box of armed conflict from flying completely open.  It was restraint of force that distinguished me from the thug.  Making war really bad won't stop it. War already is really bad, and it hasn't stopped.  No restraint + modern weapons means the end of everything.      
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I am trying to investigate the potential problems of the UK embedding troops in foreign forces, especially US forces, in areas where the UK has not declared itself at war - such as Syria before the parliamentary vote or within US troops in Camp Lemonnier. Does anyone know any experts or work done on this? 
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 Thank you very much, I will read this. Unfortunately the UK case is more complicated than that, declarations of war are one of the last remaining Royal Prerogative powers (decided by the Prime Minister on behalf of the monarch). However, within the last 10-20 years a Parliamentary War Powers Convention has developed, whereby even though it is not a formal law the Prime Minister is now  expected to ask Parliament before committing troops. The problem is that there are so many uncertainties about what requires authorisation and many deployments are able t be undertaken without Parliament's consent - such as embedded troops.
What restraints are there is the US around operations short of war - such as refuelling the Saudi-led coalition?
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In general, my thesis examines the social context of media production in the Western political system, with particular emphasis on British war journalists’ experience of reporting from particular geographical area (The Middle East), and their exposure to different factors of influence in the newsgathering process.
The central question is; what is the most factor that influence British wartime reporters while reporting high-intensive conflict like Syria when there are no troops on the ground?. Building on this question i will apply the "hierarchy of influence' model which was developed by Shoemaker and Reese . The sub questions will be as follow:
a. What drive war journalists to adopt self-judgments strategy in covering high-intensive conflict like Syria?
            b. what are the implications of the military media doctrine set up by the UK armed forces on wartime journalism’s performance ?
            c. How did war journalists negotiate their autonomous roles with their organisation to enhance their status as professionals?
            d. Do different types of violence have an influence in media outlets response?
e. Do war journalists understand the diversification in culture, religions, ideology, and ethnicity in the Middle East?
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Dear Nossek,
I had a chance to read your article last year while i was looking for relevant literature to my research. I have to go back and read it again. Many thanks for your comment.
Regards
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Are there any negative impacts that armed conflicts have on biodiversity? Is there any article on the same?
Kind regards
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I am preparing my prospectus for my PhD dissertation on attitudes of Army personnel and their help-seeking behavior. I want to know if there is correlation between attitudes, stigma, religious coping and the willingness of soldiers to seek mental health. I am interested in finding correlation between 3 instruments taken by the same population and sample. The instruments are the Military Suicide Questionnaire, Military Stigma Scale, & the Brief RCOPE. The Military Suicide Questionnaire uses a 5 point likert scale and the Military Stigma Scale & the Brief RCOPE use a 4 point likert scale. Is it possible to find correlation between these instruments and if so what statistic, formula, or package would I use?
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Thank you Béatrice. I downloaded the articles and they are very helpful.
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I am currently researching for a university project which could potentially turn into my dissertation, the title of the essay is: 
Horsepower:  Impact of motorised transport on military logistics
You are required to produce an essay that identifies and evaluates the employment of motorised transport in support of military logistics.    You can draw examples from any military campaign or war between 1861 AD and 2014 AD.
Motorised transport is defined as any means of transport that propelled by an engine.
For this i am specifically looking into the withdrawal of the military from Afghanistan and how the use of the the Internal combustion engine has effected this, (this includes the use of rail, road, air and maritime logistics).
Any information would be much appreciated,
Many Thanks  
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Here are some links - with statistical data - you might want to look at:
Logistics: The high cost of leaving Afghanistan (Feb 2015), https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlog/20150223.aspx
The crazy logistics of packing up the US war in Afghanistan (April 2014), http://theweek.com/articles/447435/crazy-logistics-packing-war-afghanistan
The mammoth military task of leaving Afghanistan (Jan 2014), http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-25848662
In addition it might also be worthwhile looking at reports published by the US GAO (http://www.gao.gov) and the UK NAO (https://www.nao.org.uk)
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 The democratic peace theory is now very popular. It postulates that democracies do not engage themselves into armed conflict with others democracies. I am wondering if this can be considerer as a serious path toward the universal peace or it is an artificial trend among western nations.
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While one might quibble about the "absoluteness" of the theory, it does appear that countries at high levels of democracy (e.g., FREE in Freedom House's annual assessment) are unlikely to go to war with each other.  The question, then, is what is the likelihood that the world will become entirely democratic?  Political demographers have shown that the constraints on getting to high levels of democracy are associated with the maturity of the population age structure (which can be measured in various ways). Countries with youthful age structures are rarely assessed as FREE, and if they attain FREE, they very rarely keep it for more than a decade.  The cross over in the probabilities for gaining FREE, and losing FREE is around 26 years of median age.  And about 50% of states that reach 28.9 yrs are assessed as FREE (that point is called FREE-50).  Thus, if one uses the UN Population Division projections to look into the future, one sees that states in the equatorial belt of sub-Saharan Africa are several decades way from making it to FREE-50 (optimistically). The same is true for some of the core Middle Eastern states (Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and many of the states of the Gulf).  
I've attached a paper published in the J. Intelligence Analysis -- this foresight system was developed in the National Intelligence Council in 2006-09, and is proliferating around foresight shops and planning office.  I've also attached two web essays that illustrate the use of this simple model, and (of course) its limitations.  The model was used to forecast the rise of democracy in North Africa (Tunisia) in two papers in 2008-09 -- so, there's some respect for the method, given the inability of regional specialists to understand the timing of democratization (I've pointed to one of those papers).  
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Can Protracted social conflict theory by Edward Azar be applied to explain domestic armed violence in Latin America (such as Brazil)?
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The PSC theory can also be verified in the Colombian armed conflict. The reason may be due to multiple circumstances that make it difficult the situation between the different opposing parts. We would have to add also the analysis of the conflict from the gender mainstreaming perspective.
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I am aware of the paper in "New Armies from Old", and ISS's "Ourselves Alone" and "Evolutions and Revolutions". I'm looking for people with access to primary-source data.
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Another response, this time with a link for you:-
Hmm, tough one. If he contacts me on mgk92@hotmail.com I will see if I can assist in any way. Mike.
Also, more from Peter:-
Slight mistake on my part,the RENAMO leader was Alfonso Dhlakama and the FRELIMO leader was Joaquim Chissano, UNOMOZ (United Nations Organization in Mozambique) which was set up to oversee the ceasefire was made up of many nations including Italy, PRC (Peoples Republic of China, Zaire, Portugal (surprisingly enough as they had been the former colonial masters) and a small contingent of Japanese (the first time the Japanese Defence (land) Forces had been permitted outside Japanese territory since the end of WW2. The Peace treaty ending the Mozambique civil war was signed in Rome on 4th October 1992. After the peace treaty was signed some areas were administer by RENAMO and some by FRELIMO prior to the multi-party elections of 1994. wide scale demobilization of FRELIMO forces started in 1993-94. We were at one location when a truck full of demobilized FRELIMO soldiers overturned near our camp (three were killed instantly and almost 30 injured (2 of whom died before they could be evacuated by helicopter, to the UNOMOZ hospital, run by the Italians, in Chimioa. Owing to the weather conditions (it was the rainy season and the heavens opened) we had to use our medic and all our vehicles to evacuate the casualties to the nearest large town with a medical center. I had heard stories of lack of beds and hospital patients being laid on sheets of cardboard but it was the first time I had witnessed it for myself. As I said before the New National Army was probably made up (mainly) of ex FRELIMO career soldiers with some RENAMO intergrated. We had on the initial route clearance operation, a FRELIMO military observer and a RENAMO military observer, they were given the same tent to share and after some initial hostility became great friends. It was also rumoured that some ex FRELIMO soldiers had joined forces with some ex RENAMO soldiers and formed groups of bandits (there seemed to be a marked reluctance to give up weapons as there had been many who died from famine in the civil war, and I suppose an AK47 was one way of taking what food you wanted
Me:-
That's a really interesting story. It must all have been a fun-filled time for you! Was there a lot of IED work or was it mostly EOD bread and butter stuff?
Peter:-
Mostly mine clearance of suspected mined roads (we were clearing the roads of the towns along the Zambezi river from Caia to Muracca, Moracca to Senna, Senna to Chembo, Chembo to Chiramba, we were then clearing another road from Casa Banana down to another town (I forget the name). The trip to Maputo was just for a few days while the peace talks were underway then back into the field to deploy to the different locations in Sofala and Manica provinces. 6 months under canvass put me off camping for life!!!
There might be be more later for you. R.
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I am interested in an interventional study of psychological resilience assessment and improvement among internally displaced persons following armed insurgency. I will appreciate your assistance with regards to assessment tools and best interventional strategies.   
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Hello Abubakar
I could not find very much about your subject and don't think these papers include all you need:
An Assessment of Psychosocial Needs and Resources in Yola IDP Camps: North East Nigeria (2015)
This might also have some useful references:
Getanda, E. M., Papadopoulos, C., & Evans, H. (2015). The mental health, quality of life and life satisfaction of internally displaced persons living in Nakuru County, Kenya. BMC public health, 15(1), 1.
Very best wishes
Mary
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I am familiar with COW and ACD, and recently I also had a look at Banks' Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive. The latter seemed promising but is not exactly what I am looking for.
What I am looking for is a database which codes wars according to the way they are fought, e.g. 0 for mostly conventional, 1 for unconventional/ assymetric/ guerilla however you want to call it. Banks seems to list the number of ambushes etc. staged per year. That is nice, but it does not tell me whether the war itself was predominantly fought with guerilla or conventional tactics.
If anyone knows of such a dataset I would be very grateful if you could tell me! If you think, as I do by now, that this does not exist, please write me, too!
Much oliged!
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You can have a look at the ECP Database on Conflict and Peacebuilding. It does not have exactly the information that you are looking for, but it contains updated information on the intensity of worldwide armed conflicts.
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My case study is the U.S and I'll be assessing how conflict scenarios can have an impact on economic indicators and the extent to which economic performance is affected (whether adversely or positively). I was just wondering whether running a regression model using Military expenditure as the independent variable and GDP growth as the dependent variable would lead to viable results. 
It's either that or I may opt for a panel data analysis. I just wanted some opinions on the methodology that I've opted to use here and it's viability. 
Notes: I'm using the U.S as my primary source of investigation and I'd be looking mostly at the Iraq war as my primary source of conflict. If I were to opt for a panel data analysis, I'd look at the entire world and relate it back to varying conflicts in those geographical locations.  Attached is a general consensus of my research work (which isn't necessary to read ).
Thanks in advance for all your opinions.
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Methodologically, I believe that the connection between military expenses and GDP growth is very weak if you are looking at the effects of armed conflicts and economic performance. First, as some already pointed out, using military expenses as proxy for armed conflicts is not a good selection. Besides, the U.S. do not face an armed conflict as many other countries actually do. These conflicts are beyojnd their borders. So, it would be very interesting to develop a theoretical model that shows this connection and see if theoretically this effect is significant. And second, you need to define what armed conflicts are. For instance, there are several countries in Latin America and Africa with extreme violence and many thousands of people killed per year; so are these events counted as armed conflicts? Besides, some countries do not spend much money on arms. So, it would be very important to have first a precise definition of armed conflict and try to model it theoretically to have a look at your hypotheses.
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Apart from the case in this contribution (Central African Republic) I am not aware of in-depth studies on repercussions of rebellion on those political parties that are not linked to a rebellion. I am wondering who is actually working on representation questions during/after armed conflicts.
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Hezbollah, AMAL and Kataeb are parties with bloody legacy from Lebanese civil war. They are powerful parties in Lebanon today and their impact on political constestation is studied by many. It could be a comparative point which may expose a repeating pattern. 
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Colombia is a country in a context of peace building after 50th years of armed conflicts in rural areas. This conflict context has allowed in certain way, an ecosystem conservation processes, but the peace conversation process could lead to take advantage of new territories por promoting rural development-
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Terror May Beget Terror But Terrorism Cannot be Annihilated
Dear Mr. Andres Suarez Agudelo
To the question: Do the post-conflict affairs lead to rural environmental unsustainability?, the answer is yes! Yes because the whole country has, during the conflict and post-conflict period, been relegated to a completely disorganized and chaotic state or, in thermodynamics or Socio-Physicochemical terms, in a disordered state. Disordered states have low enthalpy since their resources have been impoverished and rendered unsustainable.
 Now sustainability is composed of environmental endurance, economical viability, and social equitability. The country facing the conflict is generally reduced to the dead level of sustainability at the cost of environment (ecology), economics, and social well-being. The biodiversity is sacrificed while the environment is degraded to the core; the economy is in bad shape, the partners in crime and the arms suppliers are the only ones who are economically well placed, rest of the masses are either unsettled or preparing to leave/migrate. Rural area is worst sufferer, its resources have been rendered useless. Socially the families are in miserable state, their future is not certain; they may be waiting for their turn to get kidnapped or get internally displaced. 
The beneficiaries of the conflict are those who trade in narcotics and arms. It is never ever in the interest of the arms suppliers that clandestine trade in narcotics should slow down or narcoterrorism should be routed.
I am presently working on the hypothesis that Hate begets hate, and Terror begets terror but neither hatred nor terrorism can be annihilated; they assume different forms instead. This hypothesis is based on the famous Laws of Physics and Thermodynamics, as well as Physicochemical Sociology. Terrorism and safety/security have evolved a mechanism to accommodate one another. Terror at times overpowers security but soon enough the negative forces are passivated but not eliminated. The mode change is part of the socio-physicochemical process and has been going on since ages. Time has shown that there is no winner in wars against terror.
 America has waged many such wars and abandoned when it reached a no-win situation, but not before its economy reached the break-even point. Eisenhower had warned the Americans that the US economy is built on wars, especially after World War II. Now it has almost gone to the point of no return; the US can no longer function as the sole Superpower unless it engages an enemy and has one or two wars going at a time.
 American help in Columbia was in the form of technological and intelligence-driven defense and security apparatus, better training and equipment, but the same raised the defense expenditure to about 4% of GDP. Narcoterrorism and actions of FARC have a grave social impact on the citizens of Colombia. 40 years of multi-party conflict between the army and illegal armed groups including insurgent groups, notably the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have led over four million Colombians to be internally displaced, according to the Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES).
The aftermath of success of Plan Colombia in defeating much of the FARC is noted in the slowdown of economic development of Colombia, while many of the poor rural farmers have no other option but to grow coca and pay the tax enforced by FARC.
War in Iraq finished the country but not without destroying most of it and all the women and children who were supposed to be freed are worse off now. Afghanistan is in shambles after over a decade of war, but Americans still do not believe that Terror may beget terror yet terrorism cannot be annihilated.
War on terrorism is in all respects an unevenly matched conflict between powerful state military machine and underground units engaged in asymmetrical warfare reminiscent of the early phases of the Thirty Years' War. It is an unbalanced game between an organized system with visible and open targets everywhere and a vast network of disjointed units that are difficult to find until after they surface up with an attack. The same was true with the Holy Roman Empire in its effort to rein in the Protestant German princes and their religious zealot advisers during the Thirty Years' War.
Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg
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A senior Palestinian official who served as an adviser to Yassir Arafat said that at the same time that King Hussein embarked on peace talks with Israel (the peace agreement with Jordan was signed in 1994) he collaborated with Hamas in order to undermine the Oslo Accords. Hussein did not like the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that was done without his involvement nor blessing. It is well-known fact that Hussein hosted the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashal in Aman. The Palestinian official said that the Mukhabarat (Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate) provided Hamas with important intelligence and actively assisted Hamas in carrying its murderous suicide mission that rocked Israel during the 1990s.
Former Deputy Head of the Israeli SHABAC Yisrael Hasson said that he is not familiar with direct Jordanian aid to Hamas in its terrorist operations in Israel but Hamas was a welcome guest in Jordan, it had offices in Amman and directed its operations from the Jordanian capital. All this was done with the King’s consent.
Now, this is a fascinating staff. The Palestinian official has, of course, an interest in highlighting the terrorist connections between Hamas and Jordan. But if this is true, and Hussein did assist Hamas in its suicide missions that undermined Oslo and derailed the peace process, bringing the end of the Labour Party government, then it shows Hussein in a very different light; certainly not the peace-loving gentleman.
If this is true, it also shows that SHABAC was not informed to the extent that it should have about the terrorist connections between Hamas and the Mukhabarat. I should say that the Mukhabarat is a very respected and well-appreciated intelligence agency. It is highly regarded by many intelligence agencies in the world as very capable agency.
Further information is welcome and appreciated.
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Certainly this has not happened, especially that in this period, King Hussein was preoccupied with the events of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and the beginning of the peace process in the Middle East in the autumn of 1991. Since the Hamas movement against the peace process, while Jordan participated under the leadership of King Hussein in the Madrid Peace Conference, of course, is the no meeting point between the parties
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States and other past parties to armed conflict have placed more and more sincere value over the last two hundred years on sparing and safeguarding immovable and movable cultural property than might be assumed. 
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More important is the protection of common and innocent people who have nothing to do with the conflict. When peoples' protection is not ensured protection of cultural property is extremely difficult. More than armed conflicts, industrial development, pollution, population pressures of a country put the cultural treasures at high risk.
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Dear All,
I am researching on the role of the Nigerian railways in the Nigerian Civil War. I am looking for materials on how the Nigerian forces and the Biafran armies appropriated the railways to achieve or sabotage the war.
I am particularly interested in texts that describe how the railways were used in transporting troops and materials; what and what were transported on the railways and how the government controlled the system during the war. I am also interested in text that describes or suggests killings of Igbo and other Nigerian groups in transit, as well as how the Biafran forces used the system to scuttle the Nigerian forces or achieve their mission.
I also welcome suggestions on texts with further insights on the role of railways/ transport and logistic in warfare on comparative level.
I Thank you in anticipation of your response,
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This is an interesting but rather dry topic. Dry in the sense that very little documented information is available. I worked for the Nigerian Railways when the war broke out. I was at a remote station that was used primarily for traffic operations (crossing trains) on the single line block system. The only link between the station and the world outside was the railway block telegraph system.The phone was an open line system, connecting all stations from Lagos up to Minna at the Northern end of the Western District sector.  Through this phone the traffic controller in Lagos gathered information about the position of any train on the network. When the war broke out, it was the means by which Ibo railway officials living in the North of Nigeria informed themselves of developments in the civil unrest.
I cannot give exact dates here. But when the first round of kiilings of Ibos started in 1966 in Northern Nigeria, the railway stations served as a haven for fleeing Ibo natives. They took the first available train (passenger or goods) going south to Lagos from where they found their way to the East. An Ibo staff at my station,asked m e to check for the position of any train. He returned to his quarters to prepare his wife and new-born  baby to leave. He came back out with just a package, probably food for the baby. The train stopped, they boarded, and were gone.  I remained because, although an Easterner, only Ibos were originally the target.  About the next evening, I received a call on the block telegraph from a staff at a station close to Minna. He reported a mob attack on a waiting room full of passengers waiting for train to flee, but were killed indiscriminately. Other Easterners non Ibos began to leave, using the railway because it seemed the safest means. However, a mob attack on on a passengers train at a station was a cause for concern. There was the report of a bold train driver who decided to break the rules to save his passengers fleeing southward. The train was booked to stop at a station (Zungeru, I believe). The driver had been hinted that a mob awaited his Ibo passengers if he stopped at the stain. The driver, reportedly drove through the station without stopping, and so could take his passengers through, alive. 
Reports of attacks on stations and trains compelled me to leave my station on a goods train. It became clear that strategic locations on the railway line were now in some way check-points. For example, every train coming from the North must cross the bridge over the River Niger on its way south. Every train was stopped on this bridge for military checks. So was mine. The soldiers searched everyone and every coach before it was allowed to leave the bridge. I arrived in Lagos and was assigned to Ibadan where I worked until the war was over. in 1971.
As regards use of the railway for movements of soldiers or for the war effort, it is very unlikely that the railway could serve such a purpose efficiently. I have three works on the civil war. (1) Thirteen Years of Military Rule 1966-1979 by James O. Ojiako mentions plans to revolutionize transport and communication only in the famous 30 billion Naira budget. (2) Why We Struck by Adewale Ademoyega (1981) offers some insight into the movement of troops by military vehicles from he barracks. (3) The Giant of the Cemetery by Jimmy Essien (1985) virtually weeps over the deplorable state of public transportation as "trains strain" along at snail speed. Such transport system could hardly serve reliable military purposes. Soldiers travelled by train or by road, etc, but I do not know of any real effort to use the railway for such a purpose. I would suggest that you find out if the railway served the purpose of transporting heavy military equipment from North to South.  I do not think that it would be difficult to find out by inquiring at the goods sheds at depot stations such as Apapa, Iddo, Ebute-Meta, Ibadan, Kaduna and Kano. 
Good luck with your work.
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I would like to write about recruitment of child soldiers, but can´t find any framework which I could apply on some region. I need some categorization with good criteria, so it will be not difficult to apply on for example middle east.
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I would like to add to Roos' answer. Your question is indeed ambiguous.
At an individual level, children recruited to armed groups can be categorized in many ways, including: abduction vs. voluntary recruitment, age, gender, or in terms of other individual characteristics. Individual data on children actively participating in an armed group will no doubt be difficult to obtain. Such data for the most part is country specific and comes from surveys of demobilized individuals.
The alternative is to consider the armed group as the unit of analysis, whereby the mode of recruitment or the focus of recruitment activity could be categorized.
What is most important is that you have a theoretical reason for considering the categorical distinction.
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Hello. I'm trying to gain an overview of different efforts to reduce political violence and gang violence in South African cities after 1994, both at the local and national level and in between. I’m particularly interested in measures and programmes against violence in the Johannesburg- and Durban areas. Could you recommend me a few good sources? Thank you.
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Dear Adrein,
Given the times, the issue you are dealing with is not just topical but very imperative. My speciality is urban planning but just like everyone else violence, like an evil wind, touches everyone, one way or the other. I believe you have seen the piece on "Someone Stole My Smile: An Exploration into the Causes of Youth Violence in South Africa" edited by Patrick Burton (2007) < http://scholar.google.nl/scholar?q=faith-based+organization+and+curbing+violence+in+south+Africa+&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5>.
Besides, a focus on the role of faith-based organisations is also key in violence reduction or prevention. For example, the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health is currently doing a similar thing with its Faith-Based Violence Prevention Initiatives <http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/center-for-prevention-of-youth-violence/faith_based_initiatives>
I wish you all the best the best in your endeavour! 
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Currently doing field research on the impact of armed conflict on women in conflict-affected areas in the Sudan, we are proposing a literature review as part of the introductory chapters of the research, seeking assistance on the most recent theoretical work done on this area.
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Feminist critical security scholarship in international relations might be a productive place to start.  You might try reading some of the work by Jane Parpart, Megan MacKenzie, and others, which looks at both the effect of armed conflict on women, and the role of women in armed conflict (and other aspects of gender analysis of conflict) in Africa. 
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This summer I will travel to Uganda and work on a participatory action research project with Gulu University and a group of formerly abducted young women. Although the impact of war on children is almost always severe there is research  that indicates that positive adaptation can follow exposure to armed conflict. Often this growth is indicated as a result of a lack of PTSD symptoms. I am looking for a validated instrument to measure posttraumatic resilience.
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Hi Michelle,
I am not aware of the exact instruments, but would recommend checking the publications of this researcher as he is an expert in resilience:
Michael Ungar, Dalhousie University (he is director of the Resilience Research Centre and has done research on resilience across many cultures including Africa) 
Toula
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I’m currently looking for a way to rank the success of different conflict resolution and/ or peacebuilding initiatives throughout the world. Do you know of any data project with such indicators or methodological literature, which would help me discerning the most relevant criteria for determining various levels of success?
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Whatever method you chose, it will be your interpretation. Without a significant write-up on limitations, it'll be viewed with with scepticism by many academics (although you might make a nice graphic for USA Today). Peacebuilding initiatives are highly complex phenomenon and really warrant qualitative analysis, as was noted previously in another comment. Another reference on the complexity of the issue: James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State.
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In May 2014, Thailand experienced its 12th Military coup. This is one of the highest coup rates in the world. The factors driving these coups are well understood. What is less certain is how Thailand can break out of this cycle of coups. Are there any feasible ways to break this cycle?
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I would suggest taking a in-depth look at the historical reasons for the coup undertaken to this point. What are the linkages between the military and the Royal Family? The personalities and the personal networks between the personalities. Why is it that the military only act on the approval of the King? Understanding the political situation and the levels of corruption that occur in Thai politics may also generate a line of questions for you to answer as to the reason why and offer potential solutions as to resolving the coup culture. Understand the attitudes, behaviours, contributors and the drivers as to why these occur may become clearer. The Thai coup culture is not an easy issue to resolve, much the same as the coup culture in Burma/Myanmar. Having been there and undertaken a level of study of Thai politics, military attitudes as well as the continuing levels of military control within the country I would suggest that this is very much an ingrained attitude that will only have a hope of being resolved once the primacy of domestic security is transferred solely to the Thai Police Force while simultaneously removing corrupt practices from all government agencies as well as central government.
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The resurgence of Boko Haram.
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Unfortunately, Nigeria has domestic conflicts (which all states do) that are prohibiting it from efficiently using it's petro-wealth to train, equip, pay, and utilize an effective national security structure. They have the wealth, but not the political consolidation as the national religious and geopolitical conflicts prevent federal consolidation and effectiveness.
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I look this as a very rapid and immediate need and I have proved that during the implementation of ENReP project. But politicians are not happy about this.
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Generally the answer is "Yes", for several reasons.
1. Trust between and among conflicting sides takes time to revive and sustain.
2. The--a-- stronger side may still make effort to impose its own will.
3. Depending on the length of the conflict there may be generations infused with "wrong histories" and prejudices, making true reconciliation and peaceful coexistence a similarly several generations' long effort.
4. Sometimes a slower process is more natural and acceptable with stronger "buy-in" and is not necessarily deleterious.
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For example, in Libya, fighting on the ground was done by local allies, while intervening states participated in the conflict via relatively safe air support operations and by providing weapons to the local allies. Why this is happening?
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It also provides a sense of legitimacy to the operations otherwise the West is accused of Imperialism. They still get hit with this anyway, but to a much lesser extent if boots aren't on the ground.
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My work with Atin Basu and Bill Shughart, Predicting State Failure: A Classification Tree Approach, predicts something like this for a civilian-led, not-too-poor, weakly democratic regime like Egypt.
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True totally agree. Your methodology is flawless but army coups in egypt are not really reassuring. In terms of Egypt, I think we should both wait to see the upcoming elections results. My point is that the problem in egypt goes well beyond mere points you've discussed that are purely based on levels of governance etc. The problem is more likely to be related with Islamists in the region and the rise of the brotherhood. Tunisia for instance faces the same problem. Turkey seems for me at least a bit less related to the issue of islamists and more related to your paper.