Security

Ban ‘killer robots’ to protect fundamental moral and legal principles

When drafting a treaty on the laws of war at the end of the 19th century, diplomats could not foresee the future of weapons development. Bonnie Docherty The Conversation But they did adopt a legal and moral standard for judging new technology not covered by existing treaty language. This standard, known as the Martens Clause, has survived generations of international humanitarian law and gained renewed relevance in a world where autonomous weapons are on the brink of making their own ... Read More »

Russia Considers Its Next Moves in Syria

The Syrian civil war has entered a new phase since the government takeover of Daraa and Quneitra in the country’s southwest. Stratfor Now, for the first time in the conflict’s seven-year history, all meaningful territory in Syria is either under the direct control of loyalist forces or subject to a significant foreign presence. The Syrian Democratic Forces and allied U.S. troops control the northeastern portion of the country, while Turkish troops are embedded in northern Aleppo province and Idlib province, ... Read More »

Can Manila get a good joint exploration deal with China in the West PHL Sea?

NOW that the ball has started rolling for the possible joint exploration by the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea, analysts are wary of the risks it will bring. Bernadette D. Nicholas Business Mirror At the same time, however, they see that this can be averted if the technical working group (TWG) entrusted with the hard task of crafting the nitty-gritty of such an initiative will do its job well. Experts also believe that the TWG must ensure ... Read More »

A Nuclear Armed Germany Would Be a Mistake

It was a mistake to consider it in 1957 under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and it is a mistake to consider it now in 2018. Tobias Fella The National Interest In German post-war mythology, the Federal Republic’s first chancellor Konrad Adenauer is synonymous with Western Integration and unshakeable trust in America. Yet, if push came to shove, he did not want to have to trust in U.S. nuclear protection. Thus, in a cabinet meeting in December 1956, he called for the Bundeswehr to ... Read More »

China can’t selectively choose its interests from Law of the Sea – del Rosario

China cannot selectively choose what is convenient for their interests when it comes to interpreting the rule of law in the South China Sea, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del… Frances G. Mangosing Inquirer In his speech in a forum on rules-based international system organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute in Taguig City, the former top diplomat said that China has continuously rejected the rule of law by snubbing the… He said the Asian superpower’s militarization of the disputed waters ... Read More »

US ‘picking and choosing’ from the Law of the Sea

A recent article argues that China is ‘selectively choosing the parts of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that it likes and is ignoring or reinterpreting the parts that it does not like or… Mark J Valencia EastAsiaForum The argument is made on the basis that China sent a ‘spy ship’ to observe the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest joint naval exercise, held in June and July 2018. But this account ignores that ... Read More »

This new Defense Department map shows how China says one thing and does another with its military operations at sea

China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea and its broad interpretations of international law often lead it to protest what many other countries consider to be normal naval maneuvers in the area. Christopher Woody Business Insider But farther afield, Beijing’s activity indicates that it doesn’t abide by the standard it applies to others. China frequently protests military operations by US and other countries in its Exclusive Economic Zone, which can extend up to 230 miles from a country’s coast. ... Read More »

Europe Needs Its Own Charles de Gaulle

There’s nothing wrong with today’s European Union that France’s legendary 20th-century leader didn’t see coming—and didn’t try to fix when he had the chance. Βy Bruno Maçães FP Julian Jackson’s new biography of Charles de Gaulle is a gripping and enlightening reflection on political power and its mysteries. The book fulfills the minimum requirements, of course, by recounting the major events of de Gaulle’s life: his heroic service in World War I, his prescient warnings in the interwar years about ... Read More »

Gunmen besiege Kabul compound as Afghans mourn Shite dead

Gunmen besieged a compound belonging to the Afghan intelligence service in Kabul on Thursday, police said, as the city’s Shiite residents held funeral services for the victims of a horrific suicide bombing the… KABUL – Associated Press Hurriyet Police officer Abdul Rahman told The Associated Press from the location of the morning siege in a northwestern neighborhood of Kabul that the gunmen were holed up in a partially constructed building near the… The shooting – which underscored the near-daily, persistent ... Read More »

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought. Zach Dorfman FP It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle. How were the Chinese able to roll up the network? Now, nearly eight years later, it ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Far North: A New Chapter in the Fight Against Boko Haram

The Cameroonian government should aim at encouraging more Cameroonian Boko Haram members to surrender. ICG Community service, public confessions, symbolic ceremonies and vocational training can help reintegrate those who do not pose a threat. The government should also prepare for the demobilisation of some vigilantes. What’s new? As fighting between government forces and the Boko Haram insurgents in Cameroon’s Far North diminishes, a lasting peace depends on how the government deals with former members of the… Why does it matter? A well-designed policy toward ... Read More »

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »

The US-Turkey Crisis: The NATO Alliance Forged in 1949 Is Today Largely Irrelevant

There has been some reporting in the United States mass media about the deteriorating relationship between Washington and Ankara and what it might mean. Philip Giraldi American Herald Tribune Such a falling out between NATO members has not been seen since France left the alliance in 1966 and observers note that the hostility emanating from both sides suggests that far worse is to come as neither party appears prepared to moderate its current position while diplomatic… The immediate cause of ... Read More »

Taliban Kill More Than 200 Afghan Defenders on 4 Fronts: ‘a Catastrophe’

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan government forces lost more than 200 officers and soldiers in fighting over the past three days as Taliban insurgents launched sustained attacks on four different fronts. By Rod Nordland, Fahim Abed and Mujib Mashal The New York Times The hardest-hit area was the southeastern city of Ghazni, where more than 100 police officers and soldiers had been killed by Sunday, a hospital official said, and the insurgents appeared to be in control of most of the… Ninety miles west, in Ghazni Province, ... Read More »

Trump and Erdoğan are impatient players in a chess match – Hareetz

The fraught relations between the United States and Turkey may resemble a chess game, but neither President Donald Trump nor President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have the patience or the… Ahval Turkey’s reconciliation with Russia after Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane over the Syrian border in 2015, leading to an impasse in relations between the two countries, shows that… In June 2016, Erdoğan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, apologising for the death of the Russian pilot and ... Read More »

US suspends military training program for Pakistan

The United States has started cutting scores of Pakistani military officers from the education and training program, Pakistani media reported on Aug. 11. ISLAMABAD – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The U.S. military institutions are “struggling” to fill the 66 slots,  which they had kept aside for Pakistani officers, for next academic year, the daily Dawn quoted anonymous sources as saying. The move comes a few days after Pakistan and Russia signed an  agreement to allow Pakistani military officers to receive training in Russian military institutions. “The fund for ... Read More »