Sunday, April 18, 2021

Forgotten and hidden conflicts

Forgotten and hidden conflicts
By Marc Engelhardt

Armed conflicts have become a constant feature of political reality in the world today: For years, the number has remained between 30 and 35 (33 at the end of 2018, according to the annual Alert! report compiled by the Autonomous University of Barcelona), with almost half of the conflicts taking place in Africa. They have …

IS: The EU is playing a dangerous game in the Sahel region

By Bartholomäus Grill

On a map distributed by the UN information service to humanitarian workers in the Nigerian state of Borno, each major traffic route is highlighted in a specific color. For example, green means workers can travel freely and yellow means they should travel only with an armed escort. Most of the streets are marked in red, …

Ankara’s relationship with NATO is full of misconceptions

Ankara’s relationship with NATO is full of misconceptions
By Mehmet Yegin

Every time I check my news feed alerts set for “Turkey and NATO,” I see analyses concluding that efforts to improve the relationship are a lost cause.

Some observers claim that Turkey will withdraw from NATO and enter an alliance with Russia. Others argue that the country’s authoritarian turn will continue, with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan …

Kurdish dreams and nightmares

By Andrea Böhm

After a stunning series of events…” – this is the typical opening line these days for an analysis of developments in the Middle East. Kurdish affairs are no exception. Only a short while ago, the Kurds were considered the big winners of a decade of upheaval in the region, having achieved de facto autonomy in …

How former IS members can be reintegrated into society

How former IS members can be reintegrated into society
By Frank Bachner

Thomas Mücke received the photos via WhatsApp. There’s one of a groom standing next to his bride, beaming with joy and laughter. Another is of a young man so unabashedly proud of the work uniform he’s wearing that he looks as if he’s being featured in an ad poster for his employer. Mücke, a social …

How to deal with returning IS fighters

By Peter R. Neumann

When US President Donald Trump declared the defeat of Islamic State (IS), he specifically referred to the group’s territory in Syria and Iraq – nearly all of which had been taken back by December 2018. What he did not mention were the thousands of IS supporters from all over the world who had been captured …

Russia’s new military focus on the Arctic

By Svein Vigeland Rottem and Andreas Østhagen

Few places have been the source of as much speculation, hype and broad statements as the Arctic at the start of the 21st century. Propelled onto the agenda by flag-plantings and resource appraisals, the Arctic has continued to lure researchers and journalists to venture northward to the next great game.

Fortunately, with more attention comes …

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 …

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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …