Security

Double-edged Sword: Vigilantes in African Counter-insurgencies

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Vigilante groups have been successful in providing local security. But subcontracting security functions to vigilante groups for counter-insurgency purposes is a dangerous option for fragile African states. African leaders should set clear objectives and mandates when enlisting vigilantes and invest in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programs. ICG Executive Summary As weak African states face growing insurgencies, they do what weak states tend to do: subcontract certain security functions to non-state actors or vigilante groups, many of which had taken up ... Read More »

Massacre at Tula Toli: Rohingya recall horror of Myanmar army attack

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Exclusive: Villagers who fled attack and crossed border into Bangladesh recall seeing their family and neighbours killed by Oliver Holmes in Cox’s Bazar The Guardian It was the fast-flowing river that doomed the inhabitants of Tula Toli. Snaking around the remote village on three sides, the treacherous waters allowed Burmese soldiers to corner and hold people on the river’s sandy banks. Some were shot on the spot. Others drowned in the current as they tried to… Zahir Ahmed made a ... Read More »

India Should Learn the Right Lesson from China Standoff

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Why the India-China standoff near the Sikkim border happened at all and how it ended on August 28 after seventy one long and anxious days will never be fully known MELKULANGARA BHADRAKUMAR Strategic Culture The Indian government maintains cryptically that «following diplomatic communications, expeditious disengagement of border personnel of India and China at the face-off site at Doklam» took place. It falls far short of claiming any mutual agreement or understanding – or of any mutual withdrawal as such. And ... Read More »

World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

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World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in MyanmarPersecution of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s security forces has escalated to its worst level in years, becoming one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. Editorial The Age So extreme is the systematic brutality against this stateless, downtrodden and demonised minority of 1.1 million people in a nation of 54 million, 90 per cent of whom are Buddhists, that the United Nations is suggesting it is tantamount to ethnic cleansing ... Read More »

The Kurds Are Not Children

Iraqi Kurdish demonstrators wave the Kurdish flag during a protest demanding for the independence of Kurdistan outside the United Nations offices in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region, on August 23, 2014. About 700,000 Iraqis have gathered in the Kurdish north after being driven from their homes by jihadist Islamic State (IS) fighters, the UN said as it stepped up a massive aid operation to the region. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

They have earned their independence, and the West must get out of the way By Bernard-Henri Lévy  Foreign Policy The timidity of the international community in the face of the Sept. 25 referendum on an independent Kurdistan is a trifecta of shame, absurdity, and historic miscalculation. We are talking about a people who have been deported, Arabized by force, gassed, and pushed into the mountains where, for a century, they have mounted an exemplary resistance to the tyranny their Baghdad ... Read More »

Turkey Can Forget About EU Membership

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Turkey will never become a member of the European Union, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally said so in public. Michael J. Totten World Affairs Journal “The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU,” she said in an election debate with her opponent, Martin Shulz. “I’ll speak to my colleagues to see if we can reach a joint position on this so that we can end these accession talks.” The only thing surprising here ... Read More »

US-China clash of civilisations is being played out in the South China Sea

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Mark Valencia says the hard and soft power confrontation between the two has all the makings of an existential contest because both see it as their right and destiny to dominate and shape the international order. A clash may be inevitable. Mark J. Valencia South China Morning Post The struggle between the US and China for control of the South China Sea is symptomatic of a much deeper “clash of civilisations”. According to Samuel Huntington, the originator of this theory, ... Read More »

North Korea Nuke Tests Show Need for New Policy Response

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North Korea’s sixth nuclear test heightens regional anxieties and is dangerous for populations living nearby. But in itself it does not fundamentally alter the situation nor should it raise the risk of military conflict. Instead, it should spur the U.S., South Korea and China to forge a stronger, more effective and more united diplomatic approach. ICG In a season of repeated North Korean provocative steps, the 3 September underground nuclear test ranks as the most serious to date. Not only will ... Read More »

A new multilateral world without the US

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A global consensus is emerging without the US. Canada and other countries that rely on a liberal world order must reinforce key multilateral institutions. Colin Chia Policy Options Can multilateral cooperation keep the international order going with the most powerful country acting as dead weight? Canada is adopting a broad foreign policy posture that presumes the answer is yes. With the US taking a hard line in NAFTA negotiations and seeing the bilateral relationship in “win-lose” terms, upholding a broader ... Read More »

How America Can Keep From Losing in the South China Sea

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Washington is losing ground in the South China Sea, and risks making the situation lasting unless America imposes “real” strategic costs to China. Tuan N. Pham The Diplomat Part one of this two-part series provided strategic perspectives and context to the recent uptick in tensions in the South China Sea (SCS) following a year of relative calm since the International Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague handed down its historic and sweeping award on maritime entitlements ... Read More »

Turkey eyes deal for Russian air defense system, irking West

US forces, accompanied by Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters, drive their armoured vehicles near the northern Syrian village of Darbasiyah, on the border with Turkey on April 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / DELIL SOULEIMAN

Experts skeptical Ankara will end up inking purchase of S-400 batteries, but say the message of dissatisfaction with NATO is what’s important Stuart Williams The Times of Israel ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) — Turkey and Russia are inching toward an accord for the first major Turkish weapons purchase from Moscow, troubling Ankara’s allies in NATO even though the deal may not ultimately materialize. According to Turkish and Russian officials, all preparations have been made for the purchase of a sophisticated S-400 ... Read More »

Xi, Putin agree to enhance strategic coordination, appropriately deal with DPRK nuclear test

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XIAMEN, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sunday, calling for enhancing mutual support and strategic coordination. Source: Xinhua Editor: Mu Xuequan The two leaders also agreed to appropriately deal with the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Putin is in the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian Province, to attend the ninth BRICS summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries ... Read More »

Three Dangerous Delusions about Korea

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They say that most of the world’s real dangers arise not because of what people don’t know but because of what they do «know» that just ain’t so. JAMES GEORGE JATRAS Strategic Culture As a case in point, consider three things about Korea that the bipartisan Washington establishment seems quite sure of but are far removed from reality:Delusion 1: All options, including U.S. military force, are «on the table.» – Everyone knows there are no military «options» the U.S. could ... Read More »

The Burundian army’s dangerous over-reliance on peacekeeping

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Burundi needs international peacekeeping missions to keep its troops paid and happy. Peacekeeping missions need Burundian troops. But for how long? BY RICHARD MONCRIEFF & THIERRY VIRCOULON African Arguments The crisis that has engulfed Burundi since April 2015 is the result of infighting among a small number of insiders belonging to the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD. Having all fought in the bush together, some of them felt that the president, Pierre Nkurunziza, should make way for others to have a turn at the top job, ... Read More »

Colombia’s FARC rebels reborn as legal party

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Colombia’s FARC former guerrilla group has re-launched itself as the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force, sealing its transformation into a leftist political party following its disarmament after a half-century civil conflict. Hurriyet The name controversially retains the same acronym and the revolutionary spirit of the communist guerrilla group, which fought a bloody 52-year campaign against the state before signing a peace deal last year. The party was set to hold a formal launch ceremony on Sept. 1 on Bolivar Square, near ... Read More »

Nawaz Sharif’s Exit and the Pakistan-China-India Triangle: Why Islamabad needs a serious re-think

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All eyes in the next few months, into the elections of 2018, will be on how Nawaz Sharif, who  resigned last month, as Prime Minister of Pakistan after being disqualified from Parliament by the Supreme Court, will play his cards vis-à-vis the Pakistan army. TRIDIVESH SINGH MAINI IPP Review Will Sharif, who was also forced to resign as president of his party, PML-N, adopt an aggressive posture with the Pakistan army, or play it smartly? In his first two tenures as Prime Minister, his ... Read More »