With the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq on March 20, we speak with Oxford University international relations professor Neta Crawford, who says the region is still reeling from the impact of the war. “The story continues. It’s not over,” she says. Crawford is co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University, where her latest report pegs the cost of U.S. wars in Iraq and Syria since 2002 at nearly $2.9 trillion. Since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 under the false pretext of preventing Saddam Hussein from developing weapons of mass destruction, more than half a million people have been killed in Iraq and Syria. Millions more were displaced or died from indirect causes like disease. “It wasn’t quick, it wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t cost-free,” says Crawford.
The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change says the world is on the brink of irrevocable damage, with global warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius now certain without drastic action. Also in the programme; a senior US figure involved in the invasion of Iraq expresses regret for his government’s poor planning. And an iconic Indian cola brand attempts a comeback.
(Picture: File image of a power station. Credit: Getty Creative)
The world faces a growing tragedy of water but a sustainable and just water future is still within reach. The Global Commission on the Economics of Water is redefining the way we value and govern water for the common good. It is co-chaired by Mariana Mazzucato, Professor at University College London & Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose; Ngozi Okonjo-iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization; Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore. The Commission is convened by the Government of the Netherlands and facilitated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It was launched in May 2022 with a two-year mandate. http://www.watercommission.org
A French journalist and a US aid worker who had been kidnapped by jihadists in the Sahel have been released. French freelancer Olivier Dubois and American aid worker Jeffery Woodke emerged from a plane that landed at an airport in Niamey, the capital of Niger. Dubois, 48, had been kidnapped in Mali in 2021 while Woodke went missing in Niger in 2016.
A powerful earthquake shook southern Ecuador and northern Peru on Saturday, killing at least 15 people and trapping others under rubble. The US Geological Survey reported an earthquake with a magnitude of about 6.8 in Ecuador’s Guayas region. Videos shared on social media show streets littered with debris and fallen power lines. A museum on a pier in the coastal area of El Oro province was almost completely submerged after it collapsed into the sea At least 15 dead after strong earthquake hits Ecuador and northern Peru
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
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