International Review of the Red Cross - Focus on Afghanistan

The International Review of the Red Cross has just published a two-volume edition on the Afghan conflict. These volumes are a valuable contribution to the rich Afghan policy debates taking place here in the US and in Canada almost ten years after Coalition forces invaded the country.

humanitarian and legal debates affecting Afghanistan today. One article for example focuses on the law applicable to non-state actors. Another looks at the operational dilemmas humanitarian agencies face in a context where armed forces also assist large parts of the population. The range of topics and views is quite exceptional. Authors look at IHL and humanitarian policy but also at the country's geography, its troubled history, the dynamicinterplay between religion and armed conflict and the challenges of state-building in a country that has never had a strong centre.

Together, the two volumes feature a number of influential voices from academia, think tanks, the media, Afghan civil society as well as international organizations. They also feature several ICRC experts, including Jelena Pejic, who writes about the protective scope of Common Article 3. Of particular interest perhaps is Dr. Muhammad Munir's analysis of the Taliban fighters' code of conduct, which is published in its entirety. Each contributor brings his or her own piece to the puzzle that is Afghanistan. 

The Review, first published in 1869, is today a dynamic platform in international humanitarian policy and legal debates. I intend to regularly feature the Review, its editors and contributors to actively engage with our Intercross readers in North America and beyond. As always, Intercross welcomes your thoughts and comments.


Vincent Bernard, editor-in-chief of the Review, speaks about the journal, its place on the blog and the two volumes he recently edited, his firsts: