Iraq

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The promise of recently explored oilfields dictated British interest in Mesopotamia (roughly, modern-day Iraq) during the Sykes-Picot Agreement negotiations. Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani

Explainer: what is the 100-year-old Sykes-Picot Agreement?

The Sykes-Picot Agreement delivered the spoils of war to Britain and France, and deferred the dreams of Arab nationalists.
Remembering ISIS victims at the U.N., November 2015. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

ISIS has changed international law

The urgent need to respond to ISIS has redefined the use of "self-defense" to include attacking a nonstate threat in another country. But what are the implications of this? change?
The world can only expect more attacks such that that took place in Brussels, as Islamic State continues to decline and lash out. EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson

Brussels attacks show just how desperate Islamic State has become

Although not an intuitive conclusion, the Brussels attacks are actually indicative of Islamic State's growing decline and desperation.
Without the perfect-storm conditions of post-invasion insurgency, this most potent expression of al-Qaedaism yet would never have risen to dominate both the Middle East and the world in the way that it does. Reuters/Stringer

Out of the ashes of Afghanistan and Iraq: the rise and rise of Islamic State

The final article of our series on the historical roots of Islamic State examines the role recent Western intervention in the Middle East played in the group's inexorable rise.
Gareth Evans, foreign minister in the Hawke government, brought an ambitious vision for Australia’s international diplomacy to cabinet. AAP

Cabinet papers 1990: the new world order that fizzled

There is little of Gareth Evans’ sweeping analysis in the cabinet papers of 1990-91 of a rapidly changing world order or of his vision of good international citizenship.
Agyness Deyn as Chris Guthrie Metrodome

What Sunset Song tells us about the modern world

Lewis Grassic Gibbon's tale of rural Scottish change between the world wars is anything but narrowly focused. It speaks to our universal sense of injustice and fairness.

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