With so many global flashpoints, and so little diplomacy, 2018 could be a turbulent year.
From an Australian perspective, shifting power in the Indo-Pacific will be of primary importance in 2018 and beyond.
Many of the Iranian dead in the Nov. 12 Iran earthquake lived in the Mehr Housing, state-built affordable apartments that crumbled when other buildings stayed up.
AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
On Nov. 12, a 7.3 magnitude quake killed some 500 and injured 7,000 along the Iran-Iraq border. This Kurdish area has also been crushed by war and, after a recent separatist vote, militarily attacked.
RAAF warplanes fly over Syria in Australia’s first airstrikes in that country in September 2015.
The wars in Syria and Iraq are products of secretive decision-making by the executive. Their disastrous consequences are evidence of the need for war powers reform.
Earthquake survivors are living in tents in western Iran.
AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
The Nov. 12 earthquake wasn't centered on any known major faults in the Earth's crust. In its wake, scientists will collect data to add detail to what they know about seismic activity in the area.
A sign in Raqqa reads ‘Attention, Islamic State barrier’.
EPA/Youssef Rabih Youssef
What lies ahead for IS after Mosul, Raqqa and tens of thousands of casualties?
Read it and weep: the constitution in draft form, 2005.
A decade and a half after it was invaded in the name of spreading democracy, Iraq turns out to have been set up to fail.
It seems almost inevitable Iraqi Kurdistan will separate from the rest of Iraq – but going it alone will be hugely difficult.
A 1932 photograph showing the minaret of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri, Mosul.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
As Mosul rebuilds, its history is a reminder that people of many faiths lived in cooperation in the city. In the city was the Tomb of Prophet Jonah, venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
Time for a redesign?
Catalonia and Kurdistan are both holding referendums on independence this year. But is it that simple to break free?
The offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State has damaged thousands of structures in the historic Old City.
The West needs to push for local action against Islamic State's reign of terror in the Middle East. States in the region must find solutions to the conflicts to bring peace and stability.
Survey data shows that Iraqis of all sectarian stripes agree on what's wrong with their country.
Gebhard Fugel, ‘An den Wassern Babylons.’
Gebhard Fugel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Psalm 137 – best known for its opening line, 'By the Rivers of Babylon' – is a 2,500-year-old Hebrew psalm that deals with the Jewish exile -remembered each year on Tisha B'av.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, painted portrait.
After a major defeat in Mosul, Islamic State seems to have suffered a blow that could end its goal of establishing a cross-border caliphate in the Middle East.
The remains of the University of Mosul destroyed during a battle with Islamic State militants, in April 2017. South Africa offers lessons in rebuilding.
South Africa's peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy holds crucial lessons for a post-Islamic State Iraq.
Iranians watch a soccer match between Iran and Uzbekistan at a Tehran cafe last month. Compared to their neighbours, Iranians are not plagued by ethnic tensions.
AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi
Unlike its neighbours, Iran's different ethnic groups live in relative peace and harmony. Given terrorism is often spurred by ethnic conflict, will Iranians be spared further terrorist attacks?
Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi walks through a market in Mosul on July 9.
Iraqi prime minister office handout/EPA
Iraqis are proud of the victory in Mosul, but worried about the huge tasks ahead.
The terrorist group is trying to destroy a religious minority.
US-backed forces in Iraq and in Syria are in the process of rooting Islamic State (IS) fighters out of their strongholds in northern Iraq and eastern Syria. In the case of Mosul in Iraq, the removal of…
A handout aerial image made available by the Combined Joint Task Force shows the destroyed remains of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri.
EPA/Combined Joint Task Force Handout
The destruction of the al-Nuri Mosque and its minaret is a sad blow to Iraqi culture – and a rallying cry too.
The Great Mosque’s famous leaning minaret in 2013.
The Great Mosque of Mosul - with its iconic leaning minaret - appeared on one of Iraq's banknotes. Its destruction by the Islamic State is an act of great symbolic importance.