Security

Putin’s Arctic land grab

How to weaken Russian expansionism and aggression in the Arctic Jed Babbin The Washington Times On Sept. 30, Britain’s Secretary of State for Defense, Gavin Williamson, announced that 800 British commandos would be sent to the Arctic for a joint military exercise with Norway next year to help stop Russia’s Arctic land grab. According to a report in The Sun newspaper, Mr. Williamson said, “Beyond the High North and Arctic we must be ready, and must show that we are ... Read More »

Japan surveying border isles to protect maritime interest, security

Japan has started surveying border-area islands, whose owners and usage often remain a mystery, to maintain its territorial waters and far-flung locations in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). By SATOSHI OKAMOTO/ Staff Writer The Asahi Shimbun Many of these outlying islands serve as fiducial points to mark the boundaries of territorial waters and the EEZ. Government officials also hope that updated, detailed information on ownership and usage will help protect against intrusions, occupations and… Japan has the world’s sixth largest ... Read More »

U.S. Claims Chinese Destroyer Encounter was Unsafe

The U.S. Navy carried out a freedom of navigation operation with the destroyer USS Decatur in the South China Sea on Sunday, with a Navy spokesperson claiming it resulted in an unsafe encounter with a… By MarEx  The Maritime Executive USS Decatur, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Chinese artificial islands at Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratley Islands. The reefs are claimed by China, the… U.S. media outlets have quoted defense officials ... Read More »

EU to hit Cambodia with trade sanctions, says Myanmar may follow

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union told Cambodia on Friday it will lose its special access to the world’s largest trading bloc, and said it was considering similar trade sanctions for Myanmar in a toughening of EU policy on human rights in Southeast Asia. Robin Emmott, Philip Blenkinsop After months of pressure from rights groups and the European Parliament, the EU’s trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said the bloc was ready to punish abuses in both countries by removing trade preferences. ... Read More »

World politics explainer: The twin-tower bombings (9/11)

At 8:46am on a sunny Tuesday morning in New York City, a commercial jet plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, cutting through floors 93 to 99. Barbara Keys The Conversation As the news was beamed around the world, shaken reporters wondered whether the crash had been an accident or an act of terrorism. At 9:03am, viewers watching the smoke billowing from the gash in the building were stunned to see a second jet plane dart ... Read More »

World Court orders U.S. to ensure Iran sanctions don’t hit humanitarian aid

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The World Court ordered the United States on Wednesday to ensure that sanctions against Iran, due to be tightened next month, do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety. Stephanie van den Berg Judges at the International Court Of Justice (ICJ) handed a small victory to Tehran, which had argued that sanctions imposed since May by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump violate terms of a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the… But U.S. ... Read More »

Pipeline Dreams

Eastern Mediterranean gas creates new allies—and deepens old enmities John Psaropoulos the weekly Standard Athens On January 30, the deepwater drillship Saipem 12000 sent its drill bit into a cavern beneath one-and-a-quarter miles of water and a mile of rock in the eastern Mediterranean. The Italian oil and gas company Eni, which had contracted the ship, announced a week later that the cavern, called Calypso, was “an extended gas column,” containing an estimated six to eight trillion cubic feet of ... Read More »

Confrontations Shape Identity

The question is how to get those confrontations right. A strong national identity is good, but a xenophobic backlash is not. Joergen Oerstroem Moeller * The National Interest Human beings need an identity. Together with self-respect, it forms the core of each individual’s life-explaining and shaping behavior. It is found by comparing themselves with people “on the other side of the hill.” Identity is conducive to depict those other people as enemies or opponents. The search for identity thus sows ... Read More »

Turkey Airstrikes Target Iraqi Christian Villages; Activists Call for War Crimes Investigation

The Turkish military launched airstrikes targeting Iraqi Christian villages in northern Iraq, a rights group warned. Samuel Smith The Christian Post Local sources have told International Christian Concern, a U.S.-based persecution watchdog, that seven predominantly Christian villages were targeted by Turkish airstrikes last month. September saw an increase in Turkish airstrikes in the north of Iraq. “Turkey attempts to justify these airstrikes by claiming that these villages support or have a PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) presence,” an ICC report reads. “Turkey is ... Read More »

New terror laws: Suspects, children to be locked up without a warrant

New counter-terrorism laws that enable the government to lock up children as young as 14 were enshrined on Monday. Chloe Booker The Age The laws allow police to detain terror suspects without a court order or a warrant for up to four days. Children aged 14 or above may be held for up to 36 hours. Suspects, including those who have never been convicted of a terrorism offence, will now be unlikely to be granted bail or parole. Meanwhile, police ... Read More »

Britain’s Constitutional Responsibilities to the Republic of Cyprus: Past, Present and Future

Thank you for your kind invitation to this inaugural seminar, I am honoured to have been invited to such an important event in relation to the Constitutional role of Britain according to the Constitution of The Republic of Cyprus. Anna Theologou * When I entered politics 2 years ago I promised myself that I will always speak the truth and my mind and adhere to my principles even at the expense of political cost, because I was never font of ... Read More »

The Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee 1960 and the Responsibilities of the UK Government

Britain’s Constitutional Responsibilities to the Republic of Cyprus: Past, Present and Future Introduction. The Basic Documents (a) The Lancaster House Agreements  The Prime Ministers of the UK, the Kingdom of Greece and the Turkish /Republic, Harold Macmillan, C. Karamanlis, A. Menteres, on 19 February 1959 signed a Memorandum in London setting out the Agreed Foundation for the Final Settlement of the Problem of Cyprus. Dr. Christos Clerides * The representatives of the Greek Cypriot community and the Turkish Cypriot community declared that they ... Read More »

“Nobody Wants Us”: The Alienated Civilians of Eastern Ukraine

With living conditions worsening, and crossfire still claiming casualties, people residing in eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone feel increasingly abandoned by the central government. ICG Reintegrating the area requires Russian withdrawal, but in the meantime Kyiv can and should better protect civilians and meet humanitarian needs. What’s new?  Ukrainians in Donbas, the country’s eastern conflict zone, are in their fifth year of a humanitarian crisis deepened by Russian intervention – and also by Ukrainian government policies. Many complain that their country ... Read More »

Arctic Options: Why America Should Invest in a Future with China

America needs to increase its engagement in the Arctic’s rapidly-changing geopolitical environment because inaction could lead to Washington losing future opportunities in the area. Alison McFarland The National Interest In August, the Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice broke up, releasing water on Greenland’s northern coast that typically remains frozen throughout the year. Occurring for the second time this year, the melting ice not only raises environmental concerns, but also brings the potential for geopolitical change. China presents a driving ... Read More »

Australia must demand Myanmar war crimes tribunal, says investigator

The Morrison government should use its regional clout to demand a peacekeeping mission and war crimes tribunal in response to humanitarian crimes in Myanmar, says a top Australian investigator. Nick McKenzie & Nicole Precel The Age Michael Stefanovic, an Australian seconded to the US State Department’s Myanmar inquiry, said he was horrified by the evidence he had gathered. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is grappling whether to use the term genocide to describe the Myanmar military’s attack on members ... Read More »

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Regional Elections Test a Brittle Status Quo

The fallout continues to settle after Iraqi Kurdistan’s fraught independence referendum one year ago. Maria Fantappie ICG In this Q&A, our Iraq Senior Adviser Maria Fantappie surveys the political landscape ahead of the first regional legislative elections since the plebiscite. What’s at stake in the 30 September elections? Voters in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will choose the 111 members of the Kurdistan National Assembly, in the fourth election since the body was founded in 1992 and the… At stake, ... Read More »