Monday, November 30, 2020
Security Briefs

How Europe should counter the rise of illiberal democracies

By Ivan Krastev

On Dec. 10, 1948, shattered by the horrors of World War II, the international community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of the United Nations’ 58 member states, 48 voted in favor of the declaration, eight abstained (the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies plus Saudi Arabia) and two did not vote. The world was far less liberal in 1948 than it is today, and the concept of …

European arms manufacturers under scrutiny

European arms manufacturers under scrutiny
By Markus Bickel

The allegations are nothing new. Human rights organizations have been accusing European arms manufacturers of aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen since 2015. That was the year Saudi Arabia’s air force began bombing military and civilian targets in the country sometimes referred to as “the poorhouse of the Arab world.” As a result of the bombings, the judiciary in Italy launched an investigation into RWM Italia, a subsidiary of …

The indefensible US defense budget

The indefensible US defense budget
By Jessica T. Mathews

The sheer size of the United States military establishment and the American habit of equating military spending with patriotism have made sound management and serious oversight in the area increasingly rare. For a democracy, that puts the US on an unusual and risky path. Capitol Hill’s annual debate about military spending no longer compares military with domestic needs or asks where real cuts could be made – it only asks …

Will the US terminate the Open Skies Treaty?

Will the US terminate the Open Skies Treaty?
By PHK

To date, the best thing we can say about the arms control agreement known as the Open Skies Treaty (OST) is that it’s not dead yet.

There have been reports, however, that US President Donald Trump raised the prospect of withdrawing from the OST in a memorandum issued in October 2019. Of course, that was also the year that Trump pulled out of the Cold War-era deal known as the …

How drone systems are changing warfare

By Nana Brink

At first glance, the YouTube presentation by DARPA looks a lot like an amateur video. Young men – some in camouflage – holding tablets are flying drones. About the size of a man’s palm, they whirr around like a swarm of birds – changing direction on a dime, suddenly dispersing, then reconvening. Cut. The clip then shows the target area, a square. Cut. Hundreds of black dots move onto the …

Europe needs a plan for AI in the military realm

By Ulrike Franke

In Europe, 2019 was the year of artificial intelligence (AI). Governments put together expert groups, organized public debates and published national strategies designed to grapple with the possible implications of AI in areas such as health care, the labor market and transportation. European countries developed training programs, allocated investment and made plans for research cooperation. In 2020, the challenge for governments will be to show that they can fulfill their …

Managing a world of weaponized interdependence

By Amrita Narlikar

Speaking at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau eloquently declared: “Economic aggression can have no other offspring than war. It is as dangerous as it is futile.” His speech reflected an understanding shared by many at the time – that peace and prosperity were indivisible. Many of the multilateral institutions, built in the aftermath of World War II, thus aimed to reduce the …

NATO must address the looming threat of cyberattacks

By Julia Berghofer

Today, the risks associated with severe cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and military systems in general are drawing increased attention. Not only are cyberattacks becoming more frequent and more professional, their destructive capabilities are also more widely available than ever for state and non-state actors alike. The risk of cyber interference in critical civil and government systems poses a threat with incalculable consequences for the Euro-Atlantic community.

Because of their complacency, …

“Hardball” at the 2020 Munich Security Conference

By Lutz Lichtenberger and Oliver Rolofs

The MSC conference edition of The Security Times focuses on the decay of the Western world order

 February 13, 2020 – As representatives of international politics gather to discuss current crises and conflicts at the Munich Security Conference (MSC), they will once again have a special edition of the English-language newspaper The Security Times to guide their way.

The Security Times, published by Berlin-based Times Media GmbH, has been a …

The number of Africans migrating overseas is bound to rise significantly, and most will head for Europe

By Stephen Smith

A growing security threat at Europe’s southern borders has remained unacknowledged for almost a century. It has never been conceived in military terms and, I believe, rightfully so. But it has been depoliticized as merely a matter of economic expediency – the intake, first, of a cheap and much needed low-skilled labor force and, then, of a vital demographic to rejuvenate the Old Continent’s faltering social security systems, “retirement fodder” …