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  • 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: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Europe has become a major target of China’s push to acquire advanced key technologies. These technologies support the development of dual-use products with civilian as well as military applications, a development that is in line with China’s efforts towards civil-military integration. The EU has been slow to wake up to this trend. Despite recent efforts, including those to set up a tighter investment screening mechanism, it still lacks strong coordinated regulations to protect its research and technologies. Even more importantly, the author of our newest China Global Security Tracker, MERICS researcher Helena Legarda, warns that Europe lacks a clear policy or strategy to keep up with China’s ambitions in this area. Joint European initiatives providing strategic guidance and adequate funding for innovation in dual-use technologies will be needed to not only preserve but to advance the EU’s scientific and engineering expertise. The China Global Security Tracker is a bi-annual publication as part of the China Security Project in cooperation between Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). This issue also features the Trump administration’s tightened export controls in response to China’s civil-military integration efforts, and it tracks other security developments in China in the second half of 2018, from the launch of a number of new defense systems to an increase in China’s military diplomacy activities around the world.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, 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: Vincenza Scherrer, Alba Bescos Pou
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Multilateral organizations are playing an important role in shaping the SSR agenda through the development of policy and guidance and by engaging in the provision of a wide range of SSR support on the ground. However, despite their significant engagement in this area, there is no predictability in terms of the type of support that multilateral organizations will take on. While policy frameworks concur that international support should be well coordinated, the support provided by these organizations tends to be compartmentalized in practice. As a result, considerable time is often lost while each organization separately assesses a conflict, maps what others are doing, and agrees on a division of labour. The report presents the findings of a multi-year research project on the approaches of the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to supporting nationally-led SSR processes. The study aims at developing an empirically-based understanding of the roles and potential comparative advantages of these organizations in SSR support, as well as avenues for enhanced cooperation. For this purpose, the study examines the following three categories related to the role of multilateral organizations in SSR support: normative frameworks, institutional capacities, and operational practices. This report was commissioned from DCAF by the Security Sector Reform Unit (SSRU) of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Peacekeeping, Reform, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Africa, Europe, United Nations, European Union, African Union
  • Author: Sarah Ferbach, Audrey Reeves, Callum Watson, Léa Lehouck
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Since 2007, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly has pursued an original and ground-breaking approach of mapping the distinctive contribution of its member parliaments to advancing the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. Following on from previous reports in 2013 and in 2015, this study provides an up-to-date analysis of the 28 national responses to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly WPS survey in 2018. The main findings are as follows: 1. There was an increase in parliaments’ reported activity in the field of WPS, from 81% of respondents reporting some degree of involvement in 2015 to 100% in 2018. Countries with a National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security remain twice as active as countries without a NAP. 2. Of all participating delegations, 91% report that women recently occupied prominent functions related to peace and security in their parliament, thus contributing to enhancing women’s leadership in public debate on peace and security. 3. Parliamentary reports suggest that their engagement as legislative and oversight bodies has remained stable or slightly decreased in quantitative terms. Encouragingly, this engagement has nonetheless diversified in qualitative terms. Parliaments now report the development of legislation and resolutions on a greater variety of WPS themes and 36% mention using two or more monitoring mechanisms in overseeing the implementation of the WPS agenda, an increase from 24% in 2015. 4. Parliaments of NATO member countries have taken up NATO policy recommendations regarding dialogue with civil society organisations and cooperation with other NATO member states, with 17 delegations (61% of respondents) now reporting some activity in this area. The report includes full details and analysis of the survey responses as well as recommendations for parliaments in NATO member countries going forward.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Development, Gender Issues, Refugee Issues, Peacekeeping, Women, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Europe, United Nations
  • 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: Dlawer Ala'Aldeen, Susan Cersosimo, Kamaran Palani
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: There are major security events, issues and trends within Iraq since 2003 and Syria since 2011, that have influenced and impacted Turkey-European Union (EU) relations. In this policy paper we deconstruct the causal mechanisms that act as the primary drivers impacting bilateral relations. We then compare and contrast Ankara’s and Brussels’ current security interests, priorities and perceptions toward security threats originating in this troubled neighbourhood. Finally, we classify opportunities as culminating in three possible discrete or combined security policy scenarios: conflict, cooperation and/or convergence and make recommendations to improve Turkey-EU relations. To address how Iraq’s and Syria’s security environment evolved to its current state and predict the subsequent outcomes and impacts on EU-Turkey relations, we look back and critically analyse Ankara’s and Brussels’ views on the following key events, issues and trends: security and political dynamics following the second term of al-Maliki, the withdrawal of the US forces in 2011, the 2011 Syrian revolution, the war against the Islamic state (IS), The Global Coalition against Daesh (GCD) backing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria, the rise of Kurdish nationalism and aspirations for statehood in Iraq and autonomy in Syria, the enhanced influence of Iran in Iraq and the growth of IS with subsequent mass displacement of person across both Iraq and Syria. Iraq is now largely free of IS reign, yet is still threatened by terrorism, mass population displacement and weak governance, among other ills. In parallel, now that the Syrian civil war enters its seventh bloody year, generating large numbers of casualties and millions of displaced persons, Brussels and Ankara are strongly incented to converge and/or cooperate on security policies which mitigate the escalating humanitarian crisis and ease the path to a durable peace agreement. However, finding durable solutions to address high value, high impact problems stemming from Iraq and Syria requires identifying and mitigating the causes vs symptoms of these countries’ instability and insecurity affecting Ankara’s and Brussels’ own security interests, priorities and threat perceptions. Central security priorities for the EU in post-IS Iraq include stabilization, the return of internally displaced people and refugees and eliminating violent jihadist organizations and ideologies. While Turkey shares these objectives in principle, Ankara’s security interests concentrate primarily on neutralizing the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and its affiliates’ presence and influence. Since 2014, Ankara and Brussels have mostly bifurcated on how they perceive security threats in Syria. Turkey-EU leaders continue to disagree on the Kurd’s role in the Syrian war and how Turkey should control its borders to cut flows of foreign fighters into Syria. As the IS invaded parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014, European states began providing PKK affiliated Kurdish groups in Syria with both intelligence and military support. Alternately, since the Kurdistan Region of Iraq held its referendum for independence on 25 September 2017, EU and Turkish leaders have mostly converged on how they perceive security threats in Iraq with both staunchly supporting the country’s territorial integrity, thus, both refused to recognize the referendum’s legitimacy. We consider the issue of terrorism as a highly relevant driver of EU and Turkish security policies, perceptions and priorities. Though we see both countries as highly concerned with this issue, they diverge on which organizations pose the greatest threat. Ankara places the PKK at the top of its terrorist list – both within its borders and across the region – while Brussels prioritizes neutralizing jihadi terrorist threats on its soil, thus, the probability of convergence and cooperation and positive impact on EU-Turkey relations is moderate for this issue. Moreover, the IS is not given the same degree of priority by the two sides in the neighbourhood, including Iraq and Syria. Unlike the EU, Turkey considers the threat posed by the IS equal to the one posed by the PKK, but not as strategic. Here, the two sides diverge. In sum, dissent between Brussels and Ankara is highly likely given the Turkish Armed Forces’ broad kinetic engagement in both Iraq and Syria which negatively impacts EU and US efforts to roll back terrorism, stabilise the region, deliver humanitarian aid and help displaced persons return to their homes. Thus, regardless of whether Baghdad and/or Damascus formally grant Ankara permission to launch assaults, the EU views these actions as bellicose destabilizers competing with its own interests, thus, degrades EU-Turkey relations. Ultimately, this study calls for the EU and Turkey to prioritize mending cracks and fissures in their relationship and focus on the gains to be made through rapprochement on security issues originating in Iraq and Syria. Likewise, the EU can use its tremendous mediating capacity as an honest broker to settle entrenched disputes between warring parties in Iraq and Syria and for Turkey restart the peace process at home. More than ever, both must develop a long-term strategic security framework to ensure that bilateral security interests, priorities and interventions do not derail current stabilisation and reconstruction procedures in Iraq and/or progress toward a durable peace in Syria.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • 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.