Murky Waters: Politics in the South China Sea

What makes the South China Sea compelling is its global strategic significance both in terms of trade and energy, which has given rise to the strategic presence of a dangerous number of actors cast in multiple roles.

December 11, 2012

UNASUR and Security in South America

The UNASUR is a regional organisation formed by 12 South American states that are united by shared history, religion, common culture and language. This Backgrounder details the various security challenges faced by South America and UNASUR’s role in addressing them.

October 30, 2012

The Libyan Crisis and the Western Sahel: Emerging Security Issues

This Backgrounder focuses on recent events in the West African Sahel, and highlights emerging security issues against the background of events following the Libyan revolution.

August 14, 2012

The Arms Trade Treaty

While the Arms Trade Treaty initiative remains the most important initiative relating to conventional arms regulation within the United Nations, the lack of consensus on issues of scope, parameters and criteria and implementation and international assistance makes it likely that we could end up with a weak treaty.

July 17, 2012


The imbroglio over who should be chairperson of the African Union Commission has exposed deep divisions among African states, which will undermine the effective functioning of the commission itself.

July 06, 2012

MONUSCO: A Backgrounder

Despite a humungous infusion of military-logistical support, MONUSCO has achieved little in terms of fulfilling its primary mandate of protecting civilians in the DRC.

June 22, 2012

Boko Haram’s Persistent Threat In Nigeria

Boko Haram's violent activities signify increased insecurity not just for Nigeria but for the region and the international community at large given the country's vast oil resources, its porous borders, and Boko Haram’s linkages with foreign extremist groups.

March 19, 2012

Ghazi Force: Pakistan’s Nemesis Strikes Again

Ghazi Force is likely to continue to haunt Pakistan given its renewal of fund-generating activities and the links that it has established with like-minded groups.

March 16, 2012

Tougher US Sanctions against Iran: Global Reactions and Implications

US President Barak Obama recently signed a tougher sanctions law against Iran in a continuing bid to coerce Tehran into abandoning its nuclear programme. This Backgrounder discusses the reactions of the emerging powers to the new sanctions and their implications.

February 28, 2012

Who is the Indian Mujahideen?

In 2008, India faced multiple terror attacks on its cities across several states. These attacks resulted mostly in civilian deaths. The May 13, 2008 Jaipur bombings killed 80 civilians and injured more than 200, the Ahmedabad terrorist bombings of July 26, 2008, killed nearly 45 civilians and wounded 160, while the Bangalore bombs the previous day killed one person and wounded six. The Delhi bombings of September 13, 2008 killed 30 civilians and injured nearly 90 while the Guwahati blasts of October 30 the same year killed 83 civilians and injured nearly 300.

February 03, 2009