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Fast Forward: What would an expedited transition mean for Afghan civilians?

Fast Forward: What would an expedited transition mean for Afghan civilians?

This post originally appeared on CIVIC From the Field I’ve been in Jalalabad this week, in eastern Afghanistan, where people are very concerned about their safety and future. One doctor told me, “When I leave in the morning, I am not sure I will see my son again.” Civilians live in fear of roadside bombs, […]

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Stop Playing the Blame Game: Ex Gratia Payments in the Fog of War

Stop Playing the Blame Game: Ex Gratia Payments in the Fog of War

I’m sitting with the father of a young boy killed in a firefight in Afghanistan. His child was eight years old. He told me his story: Just before dawn on February 8th, helicopters carrying dozens of French and Afghan troops landed in a remote village in Kapisa province located in northeastern Afghanistan. The soldiers searched […]

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A Tale of Two Narratives in Afghanistan

A Tale of Two Narratives in Afghanistan

“Transition” is the word on the tip of everyone’s lips in Afghanistan these days—a catchphrase I’ve heard employed more than any other since arriving in Kabul about two weeks ago. Why “Transition?” Because in less than three years time, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are expected to assume responsibility for securing the country and protecting […]

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ISAF’s Plans for Afghan Local Police Are Shortsighted

ISAF’s Plans for Afghan Local Police Are Shortsighted

Over the past year, human rights and humanitarian organizations have documented abuses and human rights violations allegedly committed by the Afghan Local Police. The Afghan Local Police, or the ALP, are essentially local militias that are trained, equipped and paid by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the Afghan government to secure ungoverned parts […]

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What are Russia’s Intentions in Syria?

What are Russia’s Intentions in Syria?

The crisis in Syria continues to deteriorate. Recently, the U.N. reported that more than 5,000 people have died in Syria. Yesterday, Human Rights Watch published a report providing firm documentation that the very highest levels of Syria’s government regime gave security forces “shoot to kill” orders. And today, security forces are “clashing” with protestors in […]

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The Beginning of the End for Authoritarianism: Human Rights in 2011

The Beginning of the End for Authoritarianism: Human Rights in 2011

It’s been quite a year for human rights. Almost as soon as the year began, popular revolts shook the foundations of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Using the power of social media, people organized in opposition to autocratic rule across the Arab world. In Tunisia and Egypt, these movements overturned (or at least […]

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Why the World Needs an Arms Trade Treaty

Why the World Needs an Arms Trade Treaty

Last week, Victor Bout, the infamous Russian arms dealer, was convicted by a New York grand jury on four counts of conspiracy to sell weapons to Colombian rebels. But, that is just the tip of the iceberg for this so called “merchant of death.” A former member of the Soviet Military and Intelligence Services, Bout […]

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No Exit in Sight: Kenya’s Risky Intervention in Somalia

No Exit in Sight: Kenya’s Risky Intervention in Somalia

It’s been more than two weeks since Kenya sent its troops into Somalia. Initially, the incursion seemed like a short term retaliatory campaign in response to a series of kidnappings in northern Kenya. But, this past weekend, Kenya’s top commander said that troops will remain as long as necessary to vanquish the threat posed by […]

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After Qaddafi: A Security Council Divided

After Qaddafi: A Security Council Divided

People are celebrating in Libya in response to the news that Muammar el – Qaddafi is dead. While the end of Qaddafi’s forty – two year dictatorship should be celebrated, the precedent set by NATO’s intervention should not. Atrocities were prevented and the country has been freed from Qaddafi’s iron clad rule, but the Security […]

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Did Rush Limbaugh Really Say That?

Did Rush Limbaugh Really Say That?

If you are like me, you find yourself outraged at least once every couple weeks…ok maybe once a week…ok maybe more often than you wish at uninformed remarks made by public figures on issues you care about. Well, Rush Limbaugh’s comments last Friday takes the cake. Apparently, Rush Limbaugh believes the brutal African militia – […]

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MEMO TO ISAF: Running Out of Time to Professionalize Afghan Security Forces

MEMO TO ISAF: Running Out of Time to Professionalize Afghan Security Forces

Earlier this week, the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) published a highly critical report alleging that Afghan security forces have engaged in “systematic torture” in prisons and detention facilities. According to interviews with more than 300 suspects held in these facilities, Afghan security forces engaged in beatings, sexual assault and other acts that might constitute […]

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Is the Child Soldier Prevention Act Worth the Paper it was Written On?

Is the Child Soldier Prevention Act Worth the Paper it was Written On?

For the second year in a row, the Obama Administration is skirting a new law that prohibits U.S. security aid to countries that use child soldiers. Signed into law only three years ago by President Bush, the Child Soldier Prevention Act is designed to encourage countries to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers by restricting […]

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Another One Bites the Dust

Another One Bites the Dust

The Obama Administration checked another high profile terror suspect off its’ list today. A senior Administration official reports that a U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. born cleric that allegely sought to inspire “lone – wolf” jihadists in the Western world. Security officials argue that Al-Awlaki was the inspiration behind the […]

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Why the Security Council won’t act on Syria

Why the Security Council won’t act on Syria

Something needs to be done to protect civilians and prevent civil war in Syria. Last week, Avaaz, a human rights organization, reported that more than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprisings began in March. Meanwhile, a number of sources are suggesting that Syria may be on the brink of a civil […]

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The International Community’s Options in Somalia

The International Community’s Options in Somalia

Yesterday, twenty aid agencies called on the international community to put “people’s lives before politics” in Somalia. There are two very urgent problems in this war torn nation. First, aid dollars for famine relief are falling short. The head of Somalia’s National Disaster Management Agency claims the Somali government is only receiving 30 – 40 […]

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About the Author

Trevor Keck
Trevor Keck

Trevor Keck is currently a fellow with the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) based in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he is researching civilian casualty issues, and advocating for policies that will better protect civilians from the conflict in Afghanistan. Trevor holds a graduate degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, at Tufts University, where he concentrated in international security and public international law, and BA in peace and conflict studies from Chapman University. Trevor's writings on this blog may or may not reflect the views of CIVIC.

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