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May 2017

  • 23 May 2017
    Paul Williams
    NDU Center for Complex Operations (CCO)
    In 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
    Robert McRae
    Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS)
    Since 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.
  • 22 May 2017
    Sam Fowles
    Foreign Policy Centre (FPC)
    Sam Fowles is unhappy about the Investment Protection Provisions (IPPs) that now exist in international trade and investment treaties. Whereas their original purpose was to ensure the fair treatment of investors by states, ‘second generation’ IPPs have metastasized into entitlements that frequently put the interests of investors ahead of the need to protect human rights. Here’s Fowles’ uncomfortable tale and why it should be remembered in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
  • 22 May 2017
    Kari Osland and Marina Caparini
    Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)
    Of the 90 or so countries that contribute police personnel to international assistance missions, only a handful – Australia, Finland, Germany, and to a certain extent Norway – conduct systematic post-deployment analyses in order to prepare future teams more effectively. This practice needs to expand, argue Kari Osland and Marina Caparini. In fact, it’s time to create formal “knowledge-management mechanisms” that will better prepare police personnel for their duties, both at the UN and national levels.
  • 19 May 2017
    Vanessa Johanson
    United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
    Despite their important contributions to peace in Burma, women, youth groups, and civil society organizations have frequently been excluded from the official, elite-driven peace process. That’s not good, says Vanessa Johanson. Yes, the international community should support the multi-stakeholder political dialogues that began earlier this year, but it should also press for the direct inclusion of previously marginalized contributors in all formal committees and processes.
  • 19 May 2017
    Lars-Erik Lundin
    Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
    Because WMD-related threats have ‘differentiated’ over the past decade, Lars-Erik Lundin is worried that the European Union’s crisis response skills have diminished. In fact, Lundin believes it’s time for Brussels to craft new WMD strategies and contingency planning options. If it fails to make these adjustments, the regional body will merely react to future crises rather than shape them.
  • 18 May 2017
    Jasminder Singh and Muhammad Haziq Bin Jani
    S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)
    As the Philippines battles with militant groups in Mindanao, Daesh supporters have both rechristened and reimagined the latter area as “Wilayah Asia Timur.” This step, observe Jasminder Singh and Muhammad Haziq Jani, is part of a strategic shift by the murderous group in East Asia. The alteration deemphasizes controlling territory in favor of banditry and crime, all in the name of jihad.
  • 18 May 2017
    Phil Gunson
    International Crisis Group (ICG)
    Venezuela’s downward spiral, which has led to thirty-nine deaths over the last six weeks, is getting worse. In this text, Phil Gunson blames 1) Nicolás Maduro’s undemocratic proposal for a new national constitution, and 2) Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez’s announcement that Caracas will withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS). Here are the details.
  • 17 May 2017
    Donald N Jensen
    NATO Defense College (NDC)
    Does Moscow have “enormous leverage” over violent separatists in Eastern Ukraine, as US officials have stated repeatedly, or is its influence more limited than it seems? While exploring this question, Donald Jensen looks at 1) the political, security and military relationships between separatist fighters and Russia, and with each other; 2) how these ties have changed over time; and 3) the policy implications of the relationships for the Minsk peace process and NATO.
  • 17 May 2017
    Anna Mikulska
    Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI)
    According to Anna Mikulska, the geopolitics of energy in the Black Sea region is being redefined by next-step transportation methods, new sources of supply, Turkey’s market ambitions and other large-scale perturbations. As a result, Mikulska expects Russia to lose part of its political clout in the region and Ukraine to become less prominent as a designated transit country for natural gas.
  • 16 May 2017
    Roland Benedikter and Ismaila Ouedraogo
    Global Observatory of the IPI
    Roland Benedikter and Ismaila Ouedraogo have bad news. For more than a year, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the previously little known Ansarul Islam (“Defenders of Islam”) have been striving to make the northern part of Burkina Faso a jihadist stronghold. With the violence having spread to Ouagadougou, neighboring states are now starting to get anxious; perhaps sufficiently so to contemplate future interventions. To fend off that possibility, here’s what needs to be done.
  • 16 May 2017
    Franc Milburn
    Combating Terrorism Center (CTC)
    While the Kurds of Syria, Turkey and Iraq have received significant attention in the wake of a perceived “Kurdish Awakening,” less interest has been directed towards Iran’s Kurds. As Franc Milburn explains in this text, the militants among them officially renewed their insurgency against Tehran in 2016. While bristling under continued repression, they have shown some signs of increased cohesion and unity, which could make them potentially significant players on the Middle East chessboard.
  • 15 May 2017
    Maria Tysiachniouk, Minna Pappila, Soili Nysten-Haarala, Ekaterina Britcyna, Svetlana Tulaeva (Editors: Stephen Aris, Matthias Neumann, Robert Orttung, Jeronim Perović, Heiko Pleines, Hans-Henning Schröder, Aglaya Snetkov)
    Center for Security Studies (CSS)
    The three articles in this edition of the RAD examine the often dubious benefit-sharing agreements reached between oil companies and indigenous communities in Russia’s northern territories. The texts specifically look at the different types of arrangements established in two Autonomous Okrugs and Sakhalin Island, and Lukoil’s tradition-breaking benefit-sharing and consultation agreement in the Komi Republic.
  • 15 May 2017
    Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer
    War on the Rocks
    OK, so what are going to be President Macron’s primary security challenges? According to Jean-Baptiste Vilmer, they include 1) funding France’s growing defense needs; 2) adapting or replacing Operation Sentinelle, the domestic protection program put in place after the 2015 terrorist attacks; 3) renewing two component’s of France’s nuclear forces; 4) confronting Russia’s “strategies of influence”; 5) preserving Euro-Atlantic unity, and much more.
  • 12 May 2017
    Anthony Tingle, David Tyree
    National Defense University Press
    According to Anthony Tingle and David Tyree, the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) is a disruptive commercial technology which is intrusive, undetectable, and potentially lethal. In short, sUAS’ pose a unique and currently undefined threat to national security, as illustrated by the 100+ adverse sUAS reports the US Federal Aviation Administration receives each month and the growing number of altercations law enforcement agencies are experiencing. Here’s how we should respond, say Tingle and Tyree.
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Wed May 24 05:44:50 CEST 2017
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