Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Security Briefs

Democracy remains unimaginable without freedom of the press

By Detlef Prinz

In Germany, we are proud of our constitution – and rightfully so. After the terror regime of the National Socialists, the authors of the German Basic Constitutional Laws decided that it was of utmost importance to create a constitutional democracy in which the protection of human dignity, fundamental human rights and civil liberty was guaranteed and enforceable.

Freedom of the press, speech, opinion and information are secured in Article 5 …

The Islamic State’s nature and dynamics are certain to change

By Peter R. Neumann

Over three years after the launch of the military campaign against the Islamic State, the US-led global coalition, together with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, have accomplished their mission. Ninety-eight percent of the territory IS once held in Syria and Iraq has been recaptured. The caliphate’s most important cities, Raqqa and Mosul, are no longer controlled by jihadists. And of the 40,000 men who once fought for IS, only 3,000 are …

Preventing a cyber-Pearl Harbor is not the only digital challenge nation states face

By Joseph S. Nye, JR.

Cyber security is a relatively new foreign policy problem. A decade ago it received little attention, but in 2013 the US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared cyber security risks to be the biggest threat facing the nation.

In 1996, only 36 million people or about 1 percent of the world population used the internet. In a mere two decades, that grew to half the world population. Now with …

The future of arms control remains in the hands of Russia and the US

The future of arms control remains in the hands of Russia and the US
By Dan Smith

The arms control horizon is both grim and complex, bogged down by a triple tangle of geopolitical, strategic and technological factors while reflecting the depth and difficulty of today’s security dilemmas. The continued inability to move forward risks deepening them, yet even small advances could signal and encourage an easing of global tensions.

In the 1970s, Cold War arms control negotiations were a key element of US-Soviet détente. When relations …

The South Korean military is catching up with a new drone army

By Kim Min-Seok

Conventional warfare tactics, traditionally maintained through rifles and tanks, artillery, and fighter jets, is now centered on the rapid innovation and advancement of IT, artificial intelligence (AI), avionics and cyber technology in developed countries. The battlefield is expanding to five dimensions – ground, sea, air, space and cyber. However, the South Korean military faces a triple handicap. Thus, without technical innovation, it will be difficult to maintain its combat power.…

Building a lethal autonomous weapon is easier than building a self-driving car. A new treaty is necessary

Building a lethal autonomous weapon is easier than building a self-driving car. A new treaty is necessary
By Stuart Russell

Beginning in 2014, the High Contracting Parties of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) have held meetings at the United Nations in Geneva to discuss possible limitations on the development and deployment of lethal autonomous weapons systems (AWS). In November 2017, the CCW convened a formal Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), chaired by India’s Ambassador to the UN Amandeep Singh Gill, with a mandate to “assess questions related to …

The moral obligation of using AI to reduce atrocities

The moral obligation of using AI to reduce atrocities
By Ronald Arkin

Let me unequivocally state: The status quo with respect to innocent civilian casualties is utterly and wholly unacceptable. I am not in favor of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) nor of lethal weapons of any sort. I would hope that LAWS would never need to be used, as I am against killing in all its manifold forms. But if humanity persists in entering into warfare, which is an unfortunate underlying …

Return to reason. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is highly contentious. Two German experts present their different views for The Security Times.

Return to reason. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is highly contentious. Two German experts present their different views for The Security Times.
By Friedbert Pflüger

As polarized as the discussion surrounding Nord Stream 2 may be, each side posits legitimate arguments deserving of careful consideration. It is thus essential to discard doomsday scenarios, return to reason and soberly substantiate the debate. Four main issues are at stake:

Detractors of Nord Stream 2 argue that European energy security is already impaired by an over-dependency on Russian gas. As was the case with previous energy cooperation projects, …

Superfluous and politically lethal. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is highly contentious. Two German experts present their different views for The Security Times.

Superfluous and politically lethal. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is highly contentious. Two German experts present their different views for The Security Times.
By Ralf Fücks

If we listen to those groups advocating on behalf of Nord Stream 2 – the second double pipeline designed to move Russian natural gas through the Baltic Sea – we might come to think the new project is a highly energy-efficient project and politically quite harmless. According to them, Nord Stream 2 will increase European energy security – after all, the Soviet Union was a reliable provider – and remain …

Terror is the dark side of globalization, where people, alliances and old institutions are losing their base

By Elmar Thevessen

What is the difference between the West and the terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda? They want to save the world, but the West only wants to save itself. Sounds far-fetched? Provocative? Insulting? None of the above. It is a realistic analysis, as long as the West allows it to be seen that way by possible followers of Islamist ideology.

History offers a number of comparable time …