Security

Uzbeks Feel Challenged by October Terror Attack

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As more Central Asians become U.S. citizens and voters, their impact and influence on domestic American political dynamics will inevitably grow. Navbahor Imamova The National Interest Immigrant communities in America have grown cohesive—and sometimes even powerful—by organizing themselves into civically aware and politically active diasporas. But for immigrants from Central Asia, one of the youngest communities in the United States, growing numbers have yielded little in the way of political cohesion. Some 350,000 immigrants have arrived from these former Soviet ... Read More »

How Washington Lost Its Status as an Arab-Israeli Mediator

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The Trump administration has abdicated Washington’s role as a responsible custodian for Arab-Israeli affairs Evan Gottesman The National Interest Much has been made of the immediate ramifications of President Trump’s Wednesday announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiating the relocation of the U.S. Embassy: namely, the specter of Palestinian violence in Israel and the occupied territories and implications for a future two-state… Yet, perhaps the most underappreciated impact will be on the United States’ standing in the Middle East, ... Read More »

British troops breached Geneva conventions in Iraq, high court rules

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Court says soldiers subjected civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment, in cases that may determine handling of further claims Ian Cobain The Guardian British troops breached the Geneva conventions and subjected Iraqi civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment by hooding them and taking turns to run over their backs, the high court has ruled. Furthermore, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) breached the conventions as well as the 1998 Human Rights Act in the way in which it detained civilians after the 2003 invasion, the ... Read More »

China’s CCTV surveillance network took just 7 minutes to capture BBC reporter

Flag of the People's Republic of China (Photo: Sam Bloomberg-Rissman/Getty Images)

It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology Jon Russell TC This wasn’t a case of a member of the media being forcibly removed from the country. The chase was a stunt set up to illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government’s surveillance system can be. It’s a stark example of the type of monitoring that China has invested heavily in over ... Read More »

The Sultan and the Sultan

CBDRWN Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Ottoman Sultan of Turkey as Sick Man of Europe. Cover of French Satirical Magazine, 'Le Rire', May 1897

Faced with a vast, decaying empire, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II ruled with an iron fist, curtailing press freedom, promoting Islam and severing ties with the West. William Armstrong Miscellanies History Today His similarities with Turkey’s current president have not gone unnoticed. Turkey’s relationship with the West is in the middle of a slow-motion car crash. After years of tension, the country’s rift with its western allies has widened since an attempted military coup against the government of the country’s ... Read More »

US national security adviser: Qatar and Turkey are new sponsors of radical ideology 

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General HR McMaster attributed the rise of the Justice and Development party in Ankara to Turkey’s growing problems with the West Joyce Karam The National US national security adviser HR McMaster condemned Qatar and Turkey for taking on a “new role” as the main sponsors and sourcesof funding for extremist Islamist ideology that targets western interests. “Radical Islamist ideology isa grave threat to all civilised people,” Gen McMaster said. The US national security adviser said this threat has been identified “myopically” ... Read More »

A confident and upbeat Putin goes on Mideast ‘victory’ tour

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Ρussian President Vladimir Putin declared “victory” in Syria during a surprise visit Monday to a military base there, then traveled to Egypt and Turkey, where he celebrated Moscow’s deepening ties with those key regional powers. Hamza Hendawi and Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press Chicago Tribune The tour highlighted Russia’s expanded reach in the Middle East and the global clout of its leader, who announced last week he is seeking re-election for another six-year term in March. Speaking to Russian troops on ... Read More »

Budding nuclear power Turkey casts a darkening shadow over Middle East

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Turkey is rapidly developing into a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. Sol W. Sanders  The regime of President [formerly Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP Justice and Development Party are increasingly authoritarian. World Tribune Their effort to obtain nuclear power with its military offshoots would make it an imposing and new threat to the whole region. Behind Erdogan’s efforts, of course, is nostalgia for Turkey’s once dominant role in that part of the world. ... Read More »

Netanyahu: Palestinians must face reality over Jerusalem

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Israel’s prime minister has said Palestinians must “get to grips with” the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital in order to move towards peace. BBC Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem had been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and had “never been the capital of any other people”. He spoke amid ongoing protests in the Muslim and Arab world at a US decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital. Violence flared near the US embassy in Lebanon and elsewhere on Sunday. ... Read More »

Microbes by the ton: Officials see weapons threat as North Korea gains biotech expertise

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Five months before North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006, U.S. intelligence officials sent a report to Congress warning that secret work also was underway on a biological weapon. Joby Warrick The communist regime, which had long ago acquired the pathogens that cause smallpox and anthrax, had assembled teams of scientists but seemed to be lacking in certain technical skills, the report said. The Washington Post “Pyongyang’s resources presently include a rudimentary biotechnology infrastructure,” the report by the director of ... Read More »

Nobel Peace Prize winner says choice is clear: ‘The end of nuclear weapons or the end of us’

Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) holds two paper cranes in Oslo, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017.  ICAN, the recipient on this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, has installed 1,000 paper cranes made by children in Hiroshima, the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack in Japan, outside the Norwegian Parliament ahead of formally receiving the prize. (AP Photo/David Keyton)

‘An impulsive tantrum, a calculated military escalation, a terrorist or cyberattack or a complete accident — we will see the use of nuclear weapons,’ Beatrice Fihn said The Associated Press David Keyton National Post OSLO — As long as atomic bombs exist, a disaster is inevitable, the head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said Saturday. “We are facing a clear choice right now: The end of nuclear weapons or ... Read More »

Don’t panic: three myths about the North Korean threat

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The US has talked itself into Kim Jong-un’s trap of exaggerating how much power his rocketry gives him Joseph S. Nye Asia Times North Korea recently tested its Hwasong-15 ballistic missile, which reached an altitude of 2,780 miles (4,475 kilometers) during its 53-minute flight. Using a flatter trajectory could provide Kim Jong-un’s regime with the capability of hitting the east coast of the United States. Although it has not yet demonstrated a re-entry vehicle capable of surviving atmospheric friction, North ... Read More »

Japan plans long-range missiles amid N Korea threat: Minister

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Japan plans to purchase offensive air-to-surface missiles to counter North Korea’s rising military threat, its defence minister said on Dec. 8, a move likely to stir debate over its decades-long pacifist policy. TOKYO – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Itsunori Onodera said the ministry intends to request a special budget for the fiscal year starting April 2018 to purchase long-range cruise missiles deployed on fighter jets. According to local media, the ministry plans to buy JASSM and LRASM long-range, air-to-ground missiles with ... Read More »

Social media reaction: Arabs helpless and hopeless

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After US President Donald Trump ignored warnings from the international community and formally recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, some Twitter users focused on how Arabs contributed in the loss of Jerusalem. AlJazeera The status of the holy city is an extremely sensitive aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While Israel claims the whole city its capital – following the occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan – Palestinians have long seen East Jerusalem as the capital of their future… ... Read More »

Counting the Costs of U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

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President Donald J. Trump on 6 December 2017 declared U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking decades of precedent even while saying the U.S. was not “taking a position of any final status issues”. ICG In this Q&A, Ofer Zalzberg and Nathan Thrall, Senior Analysts for Israel/Palestine, examine what the decision means for Israelis, Palestinians and the future of their conflict. Has President Trump endorsed Israel’s position on the status of Jerusalem? Not precisely, although many are understanding it ... Read More »

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on new foreign interference laws

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The government’s new foreign interference laws propose broad changes to political donations, counter-surveillance, and lobbying in Australia. Michelle Grattan John Blaxland ANU professor John Blaxland has some real concerns about the unintended consequences of the legislation for academic debate. The Conversation He says there’s a real chance that good people engaging intellectually with issues might get caught up in the broader crackdown. On the controversy surrounding Sam Dastyari’s dealings with a Chinese businessman, Blaxland says its been a “sobering” lesson ... Read More »