Articles on Richard Gowan

Is it time for Kofi Annan to give up in Syria? (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 21 May 2012

A growing number of diplomats are arguing Kofi Annan's peace plan is failing. But is it better for the U.N. to oversee, and arguably provide cover for, the current violence or retreat and open the way for something potentially worse?


Summit-time blues (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 02 May 2012

The coming season of grand international summits means the problems of the Eurozone will once again be thrust upon the global stage. But at least this time European leaders don't have to worry about Silvio Berlusconi.


Kofi Annan and Syria - the case for deliberate caution (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 02 April 2012

Kofi Annan has created a diplomatic framework for dealing with the Syrian crisis. However, the security situation has changed and Annan must move with deliberate caution to make the 'Syrian-led political process' a success.


Don't write off the Arab League in Syria ... yet (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 10 January 2012

On Sunday, the Arab League agreed to continue its controversial observer mission in Syria. In this piece, originally published by Foreign Policy two days before the League meeting, Richard Gowan makes the case for keeping the mission going.


How not to intervene in Syria (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 02 December 2011

The hunt is on for ways to offer security and aid to Syrian civilians, but the risk of any military-humanitarian mission backfiring is high. The lessons of Darfur are that any peacekeepers would be targeted, especially as the unrest turns into full-scale war.


Can the EU do less good in the world? (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 25 July 2011

Understandably, European governments are rethinking their aid budgets in the light of the economic crisis. But any cuts to aid and foreign ministry budgets should be judged according to results rather than a simple cost calculation.


The EU and Libya: Missing in action in Misrata (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 31 May 2011

The European Union needs to learn the lessons from the past as it wrestles with using military support to underpin its humanitarian assistance in Libya. This will allow it to develop more credible intervention forces for future crisis - ones that might actually work.


South Sudan & Palestine could heat up the UN's summer (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 25 May 2011

The reputation of the UN and Ban Ki-moon may hinge upon the outcome in two of the world's trouble spots - South Sudan and Palestine. South Sudan in particular remains a crucial test of the institution's ability to handle weak states.


Will the EU win glory on the shores of Tripoli? (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 09 March 2011

Western military planners are examining options for deposing Gaddafi. But somebody also needs to think about an international peace operation to stabilise Libya, whether to oversee the dictator's negotiated exit or clean up afterwards. Could this be a role for a UN-mandated EU?

Rebuilding Libya (Commentary)

Richard Gowan - 23 February 2011

Libya is in chaos, and Colonel Gaddafi seems determined to hang on to power at any expense. But he has already lost control of large swathes of the country, the security forces and bureaucracy, and it is not premature to start planning for a post-Gaddafi Libya.