A Libyan fighter plane shot down over Benghazi, Photo: Anja Niedringhaus/Scanpix.

SIPRI: Arab Spring has redefined conflict

Stockholm’s peace and weapons think tank says the Arab Spring has redefined the changing character of conflict, and that it is growing harder to carry out armed interventions.

In its annual review of international security and armaments, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says that during 2011 peacekeeping operations illustrated a growing acceptance of the concept of the protection of civilians, while major powers continued to reduce stockpiles of nuclear weapons.

The institute writes that the events of last year in the Middle East were not isolated in terms of contemporary conflict trends. Instead, the yearbook says, they echo changes that have been occurring for decades, and suggest that there is a new kind of conflict environment emerging, in which international interventions become far more difficult to carry out.

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