Dear Patron: The Resources portion of the CSS website is the successor to the International Relations and Security Network (ISN). As in the case of its predecessor, the fundamental purpose of the Resources section is outreach -- i.e., it features the publications and analyses of CSS experts, external partners and like-minded institutions in order to promote further dialogue on important international relations and security-related issues.
This Week's Two Security Watch Series
This week, our first Security Watch (SW) series focuses on the further professionalization of international police forces; the evolution of war and conflict in Africa; the potential role of women in NATO Special Operations Forces; the military dimensions of state power in the Great Lakes region of Africa; and Europe’s indirect impact on military security in East Asia. Then, in our second SW series, we look at the ability of investment treaties to undermine human rights; NATO’s precarious solidarity; the levels of public support terrorism receives in Muslim majority countries; the prospects of an independent Iraqi Kurdistan; and the unfolding famine in Northeast Nigeria.
23 May 2017 | Security WatchIn this article, Paul Williams focuses on the nature of armed conflict in Africa since 2010. He first summarizes the political context which has facilitated violence on the continent. (The milieu includes ‘incoherent belligerents’, democratic backsliding, and more.) Williams then analyzes the continuities of conflict that are still in place, which feature ‘repeat civil wars’ and contested government transitions. Finally, our author highlights some of the more novel patterns in organized aggression that have arisen since 2010.
23 May 2017 | Security WatchSince entering office, senior Trump administration officials have been threatening to ‘moderate’ the US’ commitments to NATO Allies that fail to spend 2% of their GDP on defense. But what constitutes equitable burden-sharing? Is it merely what the US says it is or does Article V of the Washington Treaty give the Trump officials the ‘wiggle room’ they need to make good on their threats? And if it's the latter case, do other NATO members then have the right to ‘moderate’ their commitments in turn? These are indeed thorny problems, which Robert McRae grapples with here.
23 May 2017 | CSS Blog NetworkWill the steep decline in oil prices over the last few years 1) push Algeria back to the instability it experienced in the late 1980s, and 2) diminish its ability to respond to its region’s fragile security environment? Lisa Watanabe thinks we should be worried. After all, oil and gas account for 95% of Algeria’s exports and some 60% of government revenues, which subsidize popular education, health and housing programs. Well, if these programs can't be touched, where’s the money going to come from?
May 2017 | PublicationsAs instruments rather than originators of national policy, members of the US military have been traditionally expected to remain politically neutral or, at a minimum, highly circumspect about their views. OK, but what about our current social media-saturated age? In this case study, Heidi Urben concludes that 1) military officers are less conservative than any time over the last 30 years, and 2) a striking number of them have posted insulting, rude or disdainful comments about politicians, elected officials and even the US President. Hmm. . . .
Our featured partner this week is the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (the HD Centre), which is a private diplomacy-oriented organization that's founded on the principles of 'humanity, impartiality and independence'. Its specific mission is to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve armed conflict through dialogue and mediation.
In today’s video, the authors of IISS’ “Armed Conflict Survey 2017” summarize their review of 36 conflicts around the world, to include their political, military and humanitarian dimensions. Of particular interest in this year’s text are 1) the challenges UN peacekeeping faces in the 21st century; 2) the impact of conflict-related sexual violence; and 3) the changing foundations of governance by non-state armed groups.