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Mar 2017

  • 23 Mar 2017
    Joseph Siegle
    Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS)
    Two years after Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intention to pursue a contested third term as Burundi’s president, the country’s problems have only worsened. Killings, disappearances, gender- and ethnic-based violence, and hate speech are all part of a ‘new normal’. Oh, and did we mention that Nkurunziza is actively undermining the 2000 Arusha Accords and blocking the deployment of a 5,000-person African Union civilian protection force.
  • 23 Mar 2017
    Christian Nünlist
    Center for Security Studies (CSS)
    In this Strategic Trends 2017 chapter, Christian Nünlist explores how different interpretations of the recent past have contributed to Russia’s disengagement from Europe’s post-1991 peace order. While the current separation doesn’t constitute a new Cold War, both parties would be wise to 1) reconstruct their shared and contested history, and 2) take stock of their missed opportu¬nities. Otherwise, the lack of trust and insecurity that presently mar Russian-European relations will continue.
  • 22 Mar 2017
    Fernando Reinares
    Elcano Royal Institute of International and Strategic Studies
    From 2012 up through 2015, European Muslims accounted for 20% of the 27,000-31,000 individuals who joined violent jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq. To explain this phenomenon, Fernando Reinares looks at 1) the different levels of jihadist mobilization that have occurred in EU states; 2) the self-marginalization and self-exclusion that have afflicted Muslim communities on the continent; and 3) the ability of external jihadist organizations to exploit certain Muslim congregations and religious cleavages within Europe.
  • 22 Mar 2017
    Paul D Williams
    Global Observatory of the IPI
    The UN, African Union (AU) and ECOWAS recently averted a potential unconstitutional change of government in The Gambia. In Paul Williams’ eyes, the instrument used to ensure a smooth handover of power – the Economic Community of West African States Military Intervention in The Gambia (ECOMIG) – does not necessarily represent a new model of coercive diplomacy by African states. It does confirm, however, that the AU is now more willing to use military force as part of its conflict management strategies.
  • 21 Mar 2017
    Johannes Lang and Robin May Schott
    Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)
    Despite arguments to the contrary, Johannes Lang believes we should reject claims that lethal autonomous weapons will make war more discriminate, more controllable, and less risky. In fact, given the dangers these arms raise, governments should work to impose an international ban or moratorium on their development and use.
  • 21 Mar 2017
    International Crisis Group (ICG)
    The first 100 days of Uzbekistan’s new president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, yielded the impression that long overdue change may be coming to one of Central Asia’s most repressive states. Before we get too excited, however, we need to remember that Mirziyoyev has inherited a system that’s designed to protect ruling elites at the expense of the population. In other words, the new president faces a long fight ahead of him.
  • 20 Mar 2017
    Brooke Smith-Windsor
    NATO Defense College (NDC)
    Brooke Smith-Windsor is convinced that NATO’s 2011 military intervention in Libya left a legacy that is “far from rosy.” One of its more obvious disappointments was, and remains, its failure to implement the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) concept on behalf of Libya’s beleaguered people. (To call R2P a norm or doctrine remains controversial.) So, based on the Alliance’s experience, does the R2P idea need revising, both in terms of its foundational principles and permitted actions? Here are Smith-Windsor’s responses.
  • 20 Mar 2017
    Sascha Lohmann
    Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)
    Traditional state-led diplomacy is in crisis, argues Sascha Lohmann. We still need designated specialists who manage cross-border relations, but since the 1980s they’ve lost the intellectual and practical hegemony they once enjoyed over their domain. Many people now see diplomacy “as an institution of international societies, not of individual states.” Well if that’s true, how do you reconcile these two seemingly incompatible approaches? Lohmann thinks stressing economic statecraft is one option.
  • 17 Mar 2017
    Ahmet S Yayla
    Combating Terrorism Center (CTC)
    What does the New Year’s Eve terrorist attack against the Reina nightclub tell us about Turkey’s vulnerability to the so-called Islamic State (IS)? Ahmet Yayla believes a ‘nightmare scenario’ is imminent and it’s attributable to 1) the large clandestine IS network that already exists within the country; 2) the purging of experienced counterterrorism professionals from Turkey’s security services, especially since last July’s failed coup attempt; and 3) an expected influx of IS fighters, who may soon arrive en masse from Syria and Iraq.
  • 17 Mar 2017
    Marco Siddi
    Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)
    The EU has grown increasingly wary of its dependence on Russian energy supplies and the potential supply shocks it represents. In this text, Marco Siddi describes how Brussels has responded, specifically by accelerating the integration of its internal gas market and increasing its support for the Southern Gas Corridor.
  • 16 Mar 2017
    Michael C Horowitz, Paul Scharre and Ben FitzGerald
    Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
    As more countries acquire drones, will their widespread availability lead to greater military adventurism and conflict? In other words, will countries be more willing to put a drone in harm’s way? And if so, how will other nations respond? Will they be more willing to shoot down a drone than a manned aircraft? Will such incidents then escalate out of control? Here are the answers to these survey questions and more, as provided by 259 respondents.
  • 16 Mar 2017
    Steven Blockmans and Sinem Yilmaz
    Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
    Next month, Turkey’s voters may agree to replace their country’s parliamentary system with a presidential one that will contain few checks and balances. That such a system will violate the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership is obvious, despite the studied silence of European officials. That’s why Steven Blockmans and Sinem Yilmaz believe it’s time for Brussels to proclaim that geopolitical considerations will not override democratic principles in its dealings with Ankara.
  • 15 Mar 2017
    Remy Mahzam
    S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)
    Since its debut as an online publication in September 2016, Rumiyah (or ‘Rome’ in Arabic) has provided a strategic distraction for the so-called Islamic State (IS), and reflected a fundamental shift in the group’s modus operandi. Indeed, by producing the text in 10 languages, IS has been able to tailor its propaganda to fit the interests of particular communities and regions, as Remy Mazak explains here.
  • 15 Mar 2017
    Robert E Hamilton
    Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI)
    As Robert Hamilton sees it, renewed war in the Balkans, particularly in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is a distinct possibility unless the international community helps address both the area´s and country´s problems. The latter include institutionalized identity divisions, Russia’s malevolent stoking of ethnic tensions, and the specter of externally supported secessionist movements.
  • 14 Mar 2017
    Paul Miller
    War on the Rocks
    Instead of accepting the long-standing view that the US must “do something” when foreign crises arise, Barack Obama opted to play a “long game” in which patience, balance, restraint, and pragmatism were just as important as demonstrating strength and credibility. Ah, but wait. Is this celebration of a brave president iconoclastically pitting himself against an intervention-prone foreign policy establishment actually accurate? Paul Miller doesn’t think so and here’s why.
 
 
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