Subscribe to Publications by Assoc Prof Rodger Shanahan
  • Most people will perhaps by now have an inkling that the war against Islamic terrorism will go on much longer than the wars in Syria or Iraq. The narrative is too compelling for some to give up, governance too poor to stop people being attracted to that narrative, and identities too complex to...
  • The death last week of Mustapha Badredinne, Hizbullah's chief of military operations in Syria, was certainly big news. His death highlights once again the cost in senior personnel that the civil war is exacting on the Lebanese Shi'a group. In December last year, Samir Kuntar was killed in an...
  • Most people understand what is involved in a ceasefire. Fewer would be familiar with the term 'cessation of hostilities', and there would not be many at all who would know what a 'regime of calm' means. This melange of terms reflects the challenges involved in brokering any kind of reduction in...
  • [youtube:89Eg9R2RD7E] I was in Lebanon on a research trip the week before last and nearly coughed up my foul at breakfast when I opened up the Beirut newspaper and read about the 60 Minutes crew being arrested over a bungled snatch and grab operation of two children. Much has been written about...
  • The Gulf states are fixated on Iran, and their belief in a zero-sum regional game has seen them try to block whatever real or perceived advances are made by Tehran. This strategic rationale has seen them back any number of actors in the Syrian morass so long as they sought to topple the pro-Tehran...
  • [youtube:uxs7yog_CjM] News that a Syrian military coalition has re-taken the ancient city of Tadmur (Palmyra) is further evidence of the pressure ISIS is under, as well as the ability of the Syrian military to better its opponents when it operates as a combined-arms force. In this case, the Syrian...
  • [youtube:A8y9-VjXnBE] He came, he saw, he spoke well and left. The Iranian foreign minister's visit to Australia, the first in 22 years, made surprisingly few headlines. Sure, he came without a trade delegation in tow and during the middle of a sitting week but even so, for a massive underdeveloped...
  • As the military advantage has shifted away from rebel groups in Syria to the regime and its allies, it is likely that Western jihadis operating within its borders will seek to return to their home countries, including Australia. Regardless of the legislation that has been put in place to...
    12 March 2016
    Commentary
  • Results from Iranian parliamentary and assembly elections held over the weekend have not yet been finalised, however what we know so far is encouraging. First of all, turnout is an important indicator of popular legitimacy. Presidential elections normally see a much greater turnout than...
  • [youtube:s7lowWp4bRI] It is easy to be cynical about Syria. Last week's Munich meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and all interested parties (less the Syrian government and opposition groups) arrived at an agreement that sought to provide a qualified lull in the fighting and to...
    15 February 2016

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