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  • Author: Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China hits back after NATO calls it a security challenge, dormant Chinese hacking group resumes attacks, and more.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, North Atlantic, Beijing, Asia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Sara Z. Kutchesfahani
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes China’s words and actions regarding the Nuclear Security Summits to better understand what Chinese leadership on nuclear security could look like in the future. It finds that China accomplished the many things it said it would do during the summit process. The paper also explores how China’s policy and actions in other nuclear arenas could be paired with Chinese nuclear security policy to form a coherent agenda for nuclear risk reduction writ large. Consequently, the paper addresses how China doing as it says and does – per nuclear security – may be used as a way in which to inform its future nuclear security roles and responsibilities. In particular, it assesses China’s opportunities to assume a leadership role within this crucial international security issue area, especially at a time where U.S. leadership has waned.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Presenting China as a 'responsible power' – Beijing releases first major defense white paper in four years
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Canada, Taiwan, France, North America
  • Author: Sebastian Engles
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. should remain committed to Central Asian security cooperation, but must carefully evaluate each program for merit and value added to U.S. security goals in the region. Military professionalization of the Kazakh armed forces will have the most significant impact towards accomplishing these goals and help Kazakhstan attain a more capable military. U.S. security cooperation efforts in assisting Kazakhstan to improve non-commissioned officer development serve as an excellent example of effective professionalization and a way to further our strategic relationships with non-NATO countries. Training programs that professionalize the Kazakh military can offer a cost-effective way for the United States to further a lasting partnership with Central Asia’s most stable country.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Imperialism, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Eleanor Acer
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Historically, the United States has been a global leader in protecting vulnerable refugees fleeing persecution. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have recognized the moral and strategic importance of a strong commitment to refugee protection. But the Trump Administration has adopted policies that diverge from this historic leadership, to the detriment of U.S. national security interests. Under PresidentTrump’s directives, the United States has banned refugees from Muslim-majority countries, decimated the U.S. refugee resettlement program, curtailed access to asylum, taken children from the arms of asylum- seeking parents, refused to release refugees from U.S. immigration jails, and undermined due process in asylum adjudications. Thus far this fiscal year, the United States resettled only 60 Syrian refugees, a 99% drop from 2016. The president and administration officials have repeatedly employed rhetoric that paints refugees and asylum seekers as threats, frauds and criminals. Even though unauthorized border crossings are at historically low levels, the president directed that the National Guard bedeployed to the U.S. southern border “until” Congress strips away legal protections and authorizes the long-term detention of children and families seeking refugee protection. This race to the bottom has global consequences. Not only have thousands of refugees had their lives irreparably impacted, but the global humanitarian and human rights systems themselves are threatened by the Trump Administration’s statements and actions. In addition to relieving human suffering, these systems foster global stability and security. The United States should change course immediately, before the damage is irreversible. Though the global refugee crisis lacks easy solutions, there are many steps the United States could take to alleviate suffering and increase regional and global security—if the U.S. government were invested in tackling the problem. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s political strategy seems to reston fomenting public anxiety around questions of migration. Until this changes, Congress must use its legislative and oversight authorities to restore U.S. global leadership on refugee protection, the courts must stand firm behind U.S. legal obligations, and American citizens must demand an end to politicized fearmongering. The government has policy tools that would allow it to lead a comprehensive initiative to address the global refugee and displacement crisis. By working with the international community to effectively address these challenges, the United States could safeguard the stability of strategically-important countries and regions, bolster allies, enhance the ability of front-line countries to host refugees, uphold the rule of law internationally, and restore its tarnished global leadership. As the world leader in humanitarian assistance and resettlement, the United States has a unique role to play, both in leading by example and in encouraging other states to increase their aid, development investment, and resettlement contributions. Most critically, the United States should champion adherence to human rights and refugee protection conventions, promoting the rule of law globally and supporting the ability of many refugees to live safely in countries near their homes. This paper lays out key steps that the United States should take to lead a comprehensive initiative to address the global refugee crisis. Though the Trump Administration is unlikely to put these measures into effect any time soon, it is important that those interested in fixing the global refugee crisis understand that the U.S. government has many tools at its disposal should it choose to use them.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid, Refugees, Asylum
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Eleanor Acer
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Instead, the Trump Administration and Congress should focus on effective solutions that safeguard both American ideals and interests—including: Address the Actual Causes of Displacement. Instead of threats to cut aid to programs in Central America, the United States should increase targeted support for effective programs that decrease gang and other violence in these countries, promote the rule of law, and build accountability for human rights abuses. A task force co-chaired by former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge and former USAID Administrator Gayle Smith warned that cuts to foreign assistance “risk creating greater problems and greater flows of people later,” ultimately “weakening our security.” They recommended the United States increase development aid to address root causes, encourage other countries, institutions, and the private sector to invest in fragile states, and focus foreign assistance on governance and other reforms that enable private sector growth. Strengthen Refugee Protection in Other Countries in the Region. As the UN Refugee Agency has reported, Central American refugees are seeking asylum in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize, as well as the United States. The United States should increase support for the UN Refugee Agency and the development of strong refugee protection systems in Mexico and other countries. These asylum systems must actually grant protection to refugees, conduct fair and timely adjudications, and eliminate barriers that block refugees from asylum. In Mexico for instance, many are blocked from asylum by a counterproductive filing deadline, low recognition rates, lack of effective appeal procedures, and migration officers who deport asylum seekers rather than refer them for asylum processing. In addition to encouraging Mexico and other countries to uphold human rights standards by providing protection to refugees, the United States should provide a strong example by upholding its own refugee protection obligations. If Mexico and other countries build strong and rights-respecting systems, more refugees will be able to choose to seek protection in those countries. Follow U.S. and International Law at Borders. The Trump Administration and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must stop blocking, turning away, or threatening to bar from asylum people seeking refuge at U.S. border posts or after crossing the U.S. border. Instead, the Trump Administration and U.S. agencies must uphold U.S. law, end the orchestrated blockade and slow-down on processing at ports of entry, and ensure timely CBP processing of asylum seekers. Refugees turned away from U.S. ports face deadly dangers from traffickers, smugglers, and other criminals in Mexico, and the country is far from meeting the legal standards for a “safe third country.” By blocking or turning away people seeking protection, U.S. officials are violating and attempting to evade both U.S laws and treaty obligations. Given its historic role as a global leader, the United States’ failure to protect refugees at home reverberates around the world, discouraging other nations from providing refuge at their borders. This practice is also counterproductive from a border protection perspective. DHS’s own Office of the Inspector General recently reported evidence that CBP’s practice of turning away and limiting entry of asylum seekers at official border posts “leads some aliens who would otherwise seek legal entry into the United States to cross the border illegally.” A supervisor confirmed that the agency “sees an increase in illegal entries when aliens are metered at ports of entry.” Receive and Manage Refugee Arrivals While Upholding American Ideals. The United States must stop responding to the increase in refugee protection requests with punitive and threatening actions like family separation, family detention, bans on asylum, criminal prosecutions, and military deployments. These actions conflict with American ideals (confirmed by recent polling), violate U.S. law, and harm children—as the American Academy of Pediatrics has repeatedly warned. They also don’t address the real problem. As former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson explained in 2018, “[i]t is basic human instinct to save yourself and your family by fleeing a burning building.” He concluded that attempts to deter people from fleeing have ultimately proven ineffective because the “push” factors of violence and poverty persist in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. In addition to taking the steps outlined above to address root causes, the United States should launch effective, humane, and fiscally prudent strategies for receiving and managing people seeking U.S. protection—including: A Comprehensive Case Management Program. Instead of wasting more money on immigration jails and trying to overturn safeguards on detaining children, ICE should launch a community-based case management program using specially trained case managers to oversee asylum seeker cases. The Family Case Management Program operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resulted in 99% attendance for ICE check-ins and appointments, and 100% attendance at court. DHS’s own advisory committee recommended expansion of community-based programs rather than detention. This approach is cost effective and enjoys strong support from Americans according to 2018 polling. Support Access and Funding for Legal Representation. Congress should support increased funding for legal information and funds for legal counsel. Statistical studies have repeatedly confirmed that asylum seekers represented by counsel overwhelmingly appear for their hearings, making legal representation a more fiscally prudent expenditure than detention. Assure Fair, Timely, and Adequately Staffed Asylum Adjudications. Congress and the administration must ensure necessary staff levels to reduce backlogs and ensure fairness of asylum and immigration court adjudications. Reforms should include: rolling back use of expedited removal for high protection populations, a fast-track process for urgent humanitarian cases delayed by USCIS’s use of the “last in first out” approach, and removal of “cancellation” cases from the asylum system by creating a process for such applications. Critically, political appointees leading agencies conducting these adjudications must stop painting asylum claims as false or lacking in merit and altogether halt the politicization of immigration judge hiring.
  • Topic: Security, Border Control, Refugees, Asylum
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Charles Harry, Nancy Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Publicity surrounding the threat of cyber-attacks continues to grow, yet immature classification methods for these events prevent technical staff, organizational leaders, and policy makers from engaging in meaningful and nuanced conversations about the risk to their organizations or critical infrastructure. This paper provides a taxonomy of cyber events that is used to analyze over 2,431 publicized cyber events from 2014-2016 by industrial sector. Industrial sectors vary in the scale of events they are subjected to, the distribution between exploitive and disruptive event types, and the method by which data is stolen or organizational operations are disrupted. The number, distribution, and mix of cyber event types highlight significant differences by sector, demonstrating that strategies may vary based on deeper understandings of the threat environment faced across industries. EXPLORE:
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Sandro Knezović
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: The European strategic landscape has changed dramatically over the course of the last decade. The post-Cold War mantra about the obsolescence of conventional threats in the wider European space proved to be short-sighted with developments at its eastern �lanks, while security dysfunctions in the MENA region and their immanent consequences for the safety of European citizens have loaded a heavy burden on compromise-building and decision-making in the �ield of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the EU. Furthermore, the approach of the new US administration to European security and the strategic consequences of Brexit have changed the wider framework in which security of 'the Old Continent' is to be determined, hence stimulating European leaders to rethink European security in a strive for strategic autonomy of their own. The very ambitiously phrased EU Global Strategy that came out in June 2016, served as both catalyst and umbrella document for such an endeavour. However, in order to achieve measurable progress in responding to contemporary security challenges, it was clear that the EU needs to develop a structural way for member states to do jointly what they were not capable of doing at the national level. This is so especially in the environment in which China, Russia and Saudi Arabia are championing the defence spending, right after the US, while European states are signi�icantly trailing behind. The fact that the EU collectively is the second largest military investor and yet far from being among the dominant military powers only emphasises the burning issue of ef�iciency of military spending and the level of interoperability among member states’ armies. High-level fragmentation of the European defence market and the fact that defence industries are kept in national clusters is clearly contributing to that. The reality on the ground is obviously challenging traditional methods of co-operation that operate mainly in ‘national boxes’ and calling for a paradigm change in the wider policy context of CSDP. However, it remains to be seen to which extent will this new security environment actually be able to push the European defence policy context over the strict national boundaries.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Monica Salmon Gómez
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: The human rights crisis in Mexico and particularly the one with migrants in transit through Mexico is not coincidental. The increased securitization of migration has transformed it into a security issue, causing it to be a threat to the national security. The mechanisms and strategies to fight against this crisis has led to terrible consequences to the thousand of migrants that pass through Mexico every year. As stated by David Harvey, the conceptualization of the irregular migration as a threat to the Nation-States has occurred as a consequence of the “global unequal capitalist integration”. This is a structural process that promotes global inequality in a parallel way, creating the undocumented as the others unwanted (Álvarez and Guillot, 2012:24). We then have migration as a phenomenon characterized by the economic globalization and the predominance of the logic of social exclusion, that it reveals itself as a feature for nations and families in their need to seek, among other things, improved living conditions in places that are different from their place of origin
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Migration, United Nations, Inequality
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Dylan O'Driscoll, Dave Van Zoonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: This report views the Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces, PMF) as having played an intrinsic role in the provision of security in Iraq since the dramatic rise of the Islamic State (IS). However, through the lens of nationalism it analyses the negative role the PMF may play once IS is defeated. The report therefore presents suggestions to deal with the perceived threat of the PMF in the short to medium term. The various groups within the PMF essentially represent a number of subnationalisms, which to a different extent act as competition to the state. The leaders of the various militias use their own particular brand of nationalism in their attempts to gain and maintain power and in doing so they dilute any prospect of national unity or loyalty to the state. Through providing security they act as competition to the Iraqi army which directly impacts on the perception of the state and is used by members of the PMF for political gain. The multiple competing subnationalisms in Iraq do little for the fostering of Iraqi unity or the functioning of Iraq as a state, and are likely to result in the continuation of violent conflict. Therefore, dealing with the challenges surrounding the PMF will be one of the most pressing issues in Iraq following the defeat of IS. The ultimate solution to this problem would be the incorporation of these forces through demobilisation and integration into the conventional ISF. Having one inclusive army, police force and border patrol operating under unified command structures and accountable to civil bodies of oversight is not only an important symbol in aiding national reconciliation and promoting cooperation between different communities, it is also a primary prerequisite for the effectiveness of the security sector as a whole. However, the current situation on the ground, in terms of security, reconciliation, and political will, precludes an aggressive, straight-forward pursuit of this objective. This necessitates an initial phase in which significant progress in these areas is made before incorporation of most PMF units can realistically take place. The government of Prime Minister Abadi needs to use its time following IS’ defeat to build a solid political platform based on shared citizenship, unity and reform. This platform has to include serious reforms in the areas of security and national reconciliation. At the same time, an assistance programme will have to be set up for individual militia members wishing to either integrate into the ISF or make the transition from fighter to civilian immediately following IS’ defeat. This joint process will allow for the gradual dissolution of the PMF as the functioning of the Iraqi state improves, cooperation and unity is advanced, and the army grows in strength. During this time the government can stop colluding with the PMF and begin incorporating, containing, and eventually suppressing the various groups within the PMF based on the level of loyalty to the state that the group holds. Only then can a comprehensive demobilisation and reintegration programme based on formal agreements with all militias be launched as an ultimate solution to Iraq’s problem with militias and subnationalisms. It is crucial that this programme is adapted to fit the local context and that the government of Iraq can exert primary control over it. Accordingly, some conventional standards of DDR programming may have to be deviated from in order for this programme to be successful.
  • Topic: Security, Nationalism, Military Strategy, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad