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  • Author: Andris Banka
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In recent years NATO has markedly increased its presence in the Baltic states. Relatively “light”, yet highly diverse multinational forces have been placed across the Alliance’s frontline with an underly- ing objective: to deter Russia. In this effort, the United States has served as a critical ballast. The Pentagon has directed sophisticated military exercises and rotated US service members throughout the region. These mea- sures, however, often did not align with US President Donald Trump’s spoken words nor written tweets. This obvious dichotomy disoriented Allied governments and shook bedrock assumptions about US security commitments. As political power changes hands in Washington, this lends an opportunity for a retooling of the transatlantic partnership. Domestically, incoming US President Joe Biden ran on the platform “Build Back Better”. In the spirit of that slogan, this Policy Brief lays out policy cor- rectives that both sides of the Atlantic could pursue to strengthen the US-Baltic security link.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the sixth in a series of TRANSITION 2021 memos examining the Middle East and North Africa, Matthew Levitt reimagines the U.S. counterterrorism enterprise with a view to its long-term sustainability. Since the September 11 attacks, Washington has poured funding into a largely military-led response to terrorism, but today both Democrats and Republicans stress the need to end “forever” wars, focus limited resources on protecting the homeland, and lean more on foreign partners to address terrorism in their neighborhoods. Yet any shift in posture must seek a maximum return on the twenty-year U.S. investment in counterter­rorism while also keeping up with terrorists’ exploitation of new technologies, from drones to encrypted communication to social media. This will require finding areas of policy overlap between counterterrorism and Great Power competition, and disentangling U.S. counterterrorism budgets from the military budgets on which they have been grafted over the past two decades. More broadly, the author explains, “convincing partners to share more of the counterterrorism burden will require that Washington repair its damaged credibility and demonstrate the staying power to meet its alliance commitments.” In the coming weeks, TRANSITION 2021 memos by Washington Institute experts will address the broad array of issues facing the Biden-Harris administration in the Middle East. These range from thematic issues, such as the region’s strategic position in the context of Great Power competition and how to most effectively elevate human rights and democracy in Middle East policy, to more discrete topics, from Arab-Israel peace diplomacy to Red Sea security to challenges and opportunities in northwest Africa. Taken as a whole, this series of memos will present a comprehensive approach for advancing U.S. interests in security and peace in this vital but volatile region.
  • Topic: Security, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism, Military Spending, 9/11
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Saud Al-Sharafat
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The pandemic has not ended terrorism in Jordan, and ISIS is still a significant threat. Last year’s abnormally low terrorist activity in Jordan could be interpreted as an indication that the threat of ISIS in the country has diminished significantly. Unfortunately, this is not the case; while there are several explanations for the low occurrence of terrorist attacks in Jordan in 2020, none of them point to a future in which ISIS does not continue to pose a threat to Jordanian security. On the contrary, the decrease in ISIS activity in Jordan last year was primarily a result of effective counterterrorism efforts, not the special circumstances of the pandemic or any other factor. Accordingly, Jordanian anti-terror institutions should not relax their guard. Rather, they should capitalize on their successes, expanding cooperation with their partners and enhancing their resources in combatting extremism. Jordanian security forces should be especially concerned with activities along their borders. There have been several recent international and UN reports that confirmed the rising activities of terrorist groups in countries that border Jordan. Iraq in particular has seen a recent rise in terrorist attacks, including two suicide bombings in Baghdad on January 21, 2021 that killed 32 people and injured 110 others. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks. In turn, ISIS's mounting activities in Iraq have led to increased terrorist activity in the Badia al-Sham region and the Jordanian Syrian-Iraqi border triangle, where terrorist militants move in small, highly mobile groups. This increase in activity has prompted Jordanian security forces to strengthen their presence on the borders with Iraq and Syria. Following a Russian air campaign in the Badia region in late February, in which Russian planes launched at least 130 air strikes in one day against terrorist groups in the area, Jordan started to strengthen and tightened its security presence on the borders to prevent infiltration of ISIS elements into Jordan. Russian strikes were especially targeted at ISIS, which extends between the governorates of Homs and Deir al-Zour at the border with Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Counter-terrorism, Peace, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Robert Satloff, Sarah Feuer
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Modest invest­ments of U.S. diplomatic capital, economic aid, and security assistance can help these three countries and advance American interests. In the third in a series of TRANSITION 2021 memos examining the Middle East and North Africa, Robert Satloff and Sarah Feuer look at the U.S. relationship with Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. All three countries are facing sharp challenges, from economic strains exacerbated by the pandemic to potential instability arising from the conflicts in Western Sahara and Libya. But this far corner of the region also offers strategic opportunities for the Biden administration to help these countries and, in turn, advance a range of key U.S. interests. “In contrast to many other areas of the Middle East, northwest Africa offers a realm in which relatively modest invest­ments of American diplomatic capital, economic aid, and security assistance can yield substantial returns, and the point of departure for the incoming administration’s bilateral engagement will, for the most part, be not one of tension but rather of opportunity,” write the authors. In the coming weeks, TRANSITION 2021 memos by Washington Institute experts will address the broad array of issues facing the Biden-Harris administration in the Middle East. These range from thematic issues, such as the region’s strategic position in the context of Great Power competition and how to most effectively elevate human rights and democracy in Middle East policy, to more discrete topics, from Arab-Israel peace diplomacy to Red Sea security to challenges and opportunities in northwest Africa. Taken as a whole, this series of memos will present a comprehensive approach for advancing U.S. interests in security and peace in this vital but volatile region.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, Economy, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Algeria, North Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, United States of America
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, David Pollock
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Areas for especially timely U.S.-Israel cooperation include climate resilience, agtech, and medical research, as well as longstanding work in the military and security arenas. In the fifth in a series of TRANSITION 2021 memos examining the Middle East and North Africa, Michael Eisenstadt and David Pollock assess the multifaceted strengths of the U.S.-Israel partnership and its prospects for growth under the Biden administration. Areas for especially timely cooperation include climate resilience, agtech, and medical research, as well as longstanding work in the military and security arenas. Israel’s recent normalization deals with several Arab states only further widen the horizon. “Israel is a world-class innovator in technologies that will be critical to meeting future challenges, including artificial intelligence, information technology, and cybersecurity; sustainable water, food, and energy solutions; and high-tech medicine,” explain the authors. “All these areas are supportive of America’s foreign policy priorities.” In the coming weeks, TRANSITION 2021 memos by Washington Institute experts will address the broad array of issues facing the Biden-Harris administration in the Middle East. These range from thematic issues, such as the region’s strategic position in the context of Great Power competition and how to most effectively elevate human rights and democracy in Middle East policy, to more discrete topics, from Arab-Israel peace diplomacy to Red Sea security to challenges and opportunities in northwest Africa. Taken as a whole, this series of memos will present a comprehensive approach for advancing U.S. interests in security and peace in this vital but volatile region.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, International Cooperation, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, North America, United States of America
  • Author: M. Patrick Hulme, Tai Ming Cheung
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC)
  • Abstract: Growing distrust in East Asia, especially in the security arena, is increasingly critical as new and long-standing hotspots— including the Taiwan strait, Korean peninsula, East China Sea, and South China Sea—become more volatile. The need for confidence-building measures is clear, and a central tool of confidence building is defense transparency. The Defense Transparency Index (DTI), a project of the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, ranks six countries on their efforts to promote transparency in defense and national security, including the People’s Republic of China, Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea, and the major external powers most involved in the region—the United States and Russia.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Geopolitics, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, Taiwan, East Asia, Asia, North Korea, Korea, East China, United States of America
  • Author: Catherine Turner, Aisling Swaine
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The protection of women in armed conflict and their participation in peace and security activities are central pillars of the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda. Overall, however, the WPS agenda has overlooked the relationship between participation and protection. This perpetuates a false binary between the participation of women as leaders with agency and the protection of women as victims of conflict. It also misses the gendered, context-specific, and conflict-related protection risks that accompany women’s participation. Finally, it overlooks the critical link between the harms women experience and their low levels of representation. This paper considers the intersection between women’s participation and protection in the context of Northern Ireland. While often assumed to be free of “global policy” concerns such as WPS, Northern Ireland starkly illustrates the intrinsic connections and tensions between women’s leadership and protection in conflict and post-conflict situations. After providing an overview of these connections and tensions more broadly, this paper examines the participation and protection of women in Northern Ireland since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. It draws from twenty-five semi-structured interviews with women in leadership positions in Northern Ireland. The paper concludes that gender inequalities and gendered insecurities intersect with sectarianism, the legacy of violence, and political crises arising from power-sharing arrangements under the peace agreement. These, in turn, intersect with emerging technologies such as social media to stymy women’s participation across all areas of post-conflict political life. While these findings underscore the continued relevance of the WPS agenda, they also signify that deeper engagement with gendered protection issues is required if the agenda is to substantively advance women’s equality and participation in the longer term.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Europe, Northern Ireland
  • Author: Lisa Sharland
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Peacekeeping mission mandates now routinely include language on women, peace, and security (WPS). Despite this progress, negotiations in the Security Council on the inclusion of WPS language in mandates have at times been contested, and it is not always clear that more detailed or “stronger” language on WPS in mandates translates to changes in peacekeeping missions. The language included in mandates can even perpetuate stereotypes, including the assumption that every uniformed woman is responsible for implementing a mission’s WPS mandate. This paper explores the different elements of the WPS agenda that are included in peacekeeping mandates, assesses the factors that influence the inclusion of language on WPS, examines the drivers behind the implementation of the WPS agenda in the field, and assesses the impact that mandate language has on uniformed women peacekeepers. It concludes by considering how the Security Council and other stakeholders could advance the WPS agenda through mission mandates, including by: Proposing WPS language early in the Security Council’s mandating process; Facilitating engagement between country experts and WPS experts in member states’ permanent missions to the UN; Using informal consultations to understand the needs of women affected by conflict; Including language in mandates that reflects the contributions of both women and men to operational effectiveness; and Ensuring that approaches to WPS in the Security Council consider the full spectrum of gender.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Women, Conflict, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Liezelle Kumalo
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the UN has undertaken several initiatives to increase the number of women police officers deployed to peace operations. Collectively, these initiatives have increased the proportion of women police officers deployed to UN missions. However, women police still face challenges deploying to missions and effectively contributing to mission mandates. This paper interrogates the experiences, concerns, and needs of women police officers deployed to UN peace operations. First, it analyzes progress on including more women in UN police forces. Second, it provides arguments for including more women police officers. Third, it describes the multifaceted challenges that women police officers face both before and during deployment. Finally, it provides recommendations for how police-contributing countries (PCCs) and the UN can move toward a shared, sustainable approach to the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women police officers in peacekeeping. While the UN often argues for deploying more women peacekeepers because they will increase missions’ operational performance, this rationale risks reinforcing some of these challenges by perpetuating stereotypes about the role of women in missions. Missions should instead focus on women police officers’ right to deploy. To ensure women have this right, both PCCs and missions need to foster an enabling working environment and address structural barriers to women’s participation.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Women, Peace, Police
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Farhan Zahid
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province has experienced a fresh wave of nationalist-separatist terrorist attacks since 2019, with new targets indicating shifting trends. Baluch nationalist–separatist militant groups have not only ramped up their attacks, but also have changed strategy and formed a new alliance. The implications of this are a steep incline in attacks against the Pakistani security forces.
  • Topic: Security, Nationalism, Insurgency, Non State Actors, Islamism, Separatism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • Author: Lior Lehrs, Moien Odeh, Nimrod Goren, Huda Abu Arqoub
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: peace processes and have the potential to contribute to the advancement of Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution. A team of Israeli and Palestinian policy experts developed a joint proposal for an international package of incentives for peace. The proposal defines the central needs of the parties that the incentives package must address, focusing on security, recognition and legitimacy, religious rights, economic prosperity and domestic needs. It examines which international actors can be relevant in addressing those needs and should be part of an international incentives package, elaborating on the potential role of the US, the EU, and the Arab and the Muslim world. The proposal also discusses when and how a package of incentives should be introduced and delivered, and what should be the international mechanism required to promote it.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, European Union, Peace, Incentives
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, United States of America
  • Author: Thomas S. Wilkins
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In November of 2020, Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison was the first head of government to physically visit Japan to meet with his new counterpart Yoshihide Suga since the latter’s assumption of office for the annual summit meeting of their bilateral strategic partnership. Commentators were surprised that Mr Morrison would travel internationally in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but his determination to do so, enduring quarantine measures upon his return, was indicative of the high value that Australia ascribes to its “Special Strategic Partnership” with Japan. At a time of simmering strategic rivalr y in the Indo-Pacific region, Canberra places a premium on its close collaborative relationship with Tokyo, as both countries confront similar challenges in navigating the turbulent and unstable regional environment. It is in this context they affirmed their intent ‘to elevate bilateral security and defence cooperation under the Special Strategic Partnership to a new level.
  • Topic: Security, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Australia, Oceania
  • Author: Daniela Philipson García, Ana Velasco Ugalde
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: On January 11, 2021, the Mexican government presented its first National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).1 The NAP is part of Mexico’s feminist foreign policy, launched in January 2020, and it is a joint effort of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, the Secretariat of Defense (which encompasses the Army and the Air Force), the Secretariat of the Navy, the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection and the National Institute for Women (INMUJERES). An interagency group is responsible for coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the NAP, which is subject to an overall review in 2024. In this policy brief, we analyze Mexico’s NAP and make three arguments. First, NAPs are not only relevant for a country’s foreign policy and international engagements but are also significant for a country’s domestic security. Unfortunately, Mexico’s NAP is almost exclusively outward focused and does little to address Mexico’s own security challenges and their impact on women, LGBTQ and nonbinary persons. Second, we argue that the NAP’s outward-facing objectives are limited to a Western format that overlooks local contexts. Third, the most effective NAPs are those that have active civil society engagement. We therefore advocate for a formal, institutionalized and expanded role for Mexican civil society organizations. We conclude with recommendations for the Mexican government and civil society organizations and sketch what a more innovative and inclusive NAP could look like.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Women, LGBT+, Peace, WPS, Civil Society Organizations
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Molly Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: By interweaving an analysis of the achievements with reflections from Women, Peace and Security (WPS) giants, this Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) seeks to flip the narrative around by focusing on the achievements in advancing and promoting women’s participation in peace processes, and highlighting all the reasons to celebrate the advances in the WPS agenda.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Women, Peace, WPS
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Alice Billon-Galland
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: At the time of writing, the COVID-19 pandemic still wreaks havoc around the world. Its scale and duration, as well as the full social and economic impact of lockdowns and social distancing measures, are yet to be seen. Exactly how the pandemic and its aftermath will impact the defence policies of European states in the long-term remains uncertain for a while yet. However, some Europe-wide trends--economic strategic, and geopolitical--are already visible. These will impact how Europeans (re)think their security after the pandemic, and therefore have implications for defence planners, decision-makers and armed forces throughout the continent.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Geopolitics, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Claudia Major
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 crisis is teaching European countries that a pandemic can destabilize societies, the economy and political institutions to the same extent that military or hybrid threats do. However, while the pandemic's impact on European security seems massive, it is difficult to isolate the COVID-19 factor: what is uniquely pandemic-driven, and what is the result of other elements, such as the lack of US leadership, is not always easy to determine.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Institutions, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stephen J. Mariano
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: NATO created the Strategic Direction South--the "Hub"--in 2017, in response to illegal migration into Europe from war-torn Libya, Syria, and Iraq, highlighting humanitarian and internal security concerns. As evidence began to emerge that criminal organizations and terrorist groups were leveraging migration flows, these fears coalesced with other security concerns, not only disrupting the stability of European societies but also threatening the security of European societies but also threatening the security of the Alliance. Eventually, NATO recognized that the situation was connected to deeper sources of instability and that solutions would require a comprehensive approach to the southernmost parts of "the South".
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Tina J. Park
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg puts it, North Korea remains a "global threat that requires a global rsponse". The threats posed by North Korea are arguably imminent, with the potential to cause serious harm to the security of NATO member states. Since 2006, North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests, in clear defiance of the Treaty on Non -Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that the regime withdrew from in 2003. To date, the international community has failed to tame North Korea's nuclear ambitions, despite various diplomatic and political efforts. In addition to its nuclear capabilities, Pyongyang has made significant advances with conventional weapons, both chemical and biological, as well as with its cyber capabilities. North Korea's substantive linkages to China and Russia, and non-state terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas in the Middle East, amplify their threats beyond the borders of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Diplomacy, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Michael Ruhle
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Environmental change is increasingly recognized as one of the major factors that will shape the global security environment. According to most experts, rising global temperatures will lead to rising sea levels and cause more extreme weather events, such as storms, flooding, droughts and wildfires. The firestorms that engulfed parts of Australia in late 2019 and early 2020, burning an area the size of Belgium and Denmark combined, and severely decimating that continent's wildlife, were a stark reminder of the force of these changes.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeffrey H. Michaels
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In the Declaration that emerged from teh December 2019 London Leaders Meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was tasked to present Foreign Ministers with "a forward-looking reflection process under his auspices, drawing on relevant expertise, to further strengthen NATO's political dimension including consultation.". This new tasking has been largely attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron's remark the previous month that the Alliance was suffering from "brain death". Speaking at a press conference alongside Stoltenberg, Macron elaborated on his comment, complaining the Alliance was overly focused on "cost-sharing or burden-sharing" whereas too little attention was being placed on major policy issues such as "peace in Europe, the post-INF, the relationship with Russia, the issue of Turkey, who is the enemy?"
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Thierry Tardy
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 25 November 2020 the independent Reflection Group, established by the NATO Secretary Gen- eral following the December 2019 London Lead- ers meeting, released its report titled “NATO 2030: United for a New Era”.1 Composed of ten leading personalities,2 the Group was mandated to look at NATO’s current and future role and suggest recommendations on how to rein- force Alliance unity, political consultation between Allies, and NATO’s political role. The initiative came implicitly as a response to the French President’s statement about NATO being “brain dead”, made in the context of the October 2019 US withdrawal from northern Syria and the subsequent Turkish operation there, both apparently carried out without consultation within NATO. The Report is divided into three parts, looking in se- quence at: the vision and main findings; the security and political environment; and recommendations.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Louise Riis Andersen, Richard Gowan
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: UN peacekeeping is in need of change. Missions struggle to fulfil ambitious mandates in hostile environments. To improve performance and regain global trust, the UN needs tangible support and engagement from its member states, including smaller states with specialized military capabilities. RECOMMENDATIONS Smaller member states can contribute to UN peacekeeping operations by: ■ offering critical enablers (intelligence expertise, tactical air transport, medical services) and working with larger troop contributors to enhance their capacity in these areas. ■ developing guidance materials, technological tools and additional training for troop contributors, e.g. on medical support, prevention of sexual abuse and data analysis. ■ if aid donors, triangulate with the UN and the World Bank to identify projects to sustain security in countries where UN forces are drawing down.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Organization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark, Global Focus
  • Author: Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Much of Europe’s attention to Asia is currently being captured by China. However, if the European Union and its member states are serious about maintaining a rules-based global order and advancing multilateralism and connectivity, it should increase its work in building partnerships across Asia, particularly in the Indo-Pacific super-region. To save multilateralism, go to the Indo-Pacific. RECOMMENDATIONS: ■ Multilateralism first. Unpack and differentiate where the United States and China support the rules-based order and where not, but also look to new trade deals and security pacts with India and Southeast Asia partners. ■ Targeted connectivity. The EU should continue to offer support to existing regional infrastructure and connectivity initiatives. ■ Work in small groups. EU unanimity on China and Indo-Pacific policy is ideal, but not always necessary to get things done. ■ Asia specialists wanted. Invest in and develop career paths for Asia specialists in foreign and defence ministries and intelligence services.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Emerging Markets, International Organization, Science and Technology, Power Politics, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Camilla Tenna Nørup Sørensen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S.-China strategic rivalry is intensifying – and nowhere more so than in the Indo-Pacific. This is likely to result in new US requests to close allies like Denmark to increase their security and defense policy contributions to the region. French and British efforts to establish an independent European presence in the Indo-Pacific present Denmark with a way to accommodate US requests without being drawn directly into the US confrontation with China. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ The importance of the Indo-Pacific region for Danish security and defense policy is likely to grow in the coming years. The focus and resources should therefore be directed towards strengthening Danish knowledge of and competences in the region. ■ Several European states, led by France and the UK, are increasing their national and joint European security and defense profiles in the Indo-Pacific by launching new initiatives. Denmark should remain closely informed about these initiatives and be ready to engage with them. ■ Regarding potential requests to the Danish Navy for contributions to the Indo-Pacific, Denmark should prioritize the French-led European naval diplomacy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Politics, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Denmark, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ghaith al-Omari
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: By granting Israel much more say over the sovereignty of a future Palestinian state and its ability to absorb refugees, the document may undermine the administration’s ability to build an international coalition behind its policies. President Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan was presented as a departure from previous approaches—a notion that invited praise from its supporters (who saw it as a recognition of reality) and criticism from its opponents (who saw it as an abandonment of valued principles). The plan does in fact diverge from past efforts in fundamental respects, yet there are also some areas of continuity, and ultimately, the extent to which it gains traction will be subject to many different political and diplomatic variables. Even so, the initial substance of the plan document itself will play a large part in determining how it is viewed by various stakeholders, especially those passages that veer away from the traditional path on core issues. Part 1 of this PolicyWatch assessed what the plan says about two such issues: borders and Jerusalem. This second installment discusses security, refugee, and narrative issues.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Refugees, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even as their lack of transparency worsens the public health crisis, the Supreme Leader and other officials have systematically gutted any civil society elements capable of organizing substantial opposition to such policies. Iran’s ongoing coronavirus epidemic has left the people with less reason than ever to trust the information and directives issued by their leaders. Part 1 of this PolicyWatch discussed the clergy’s role in aggravating this problem, but the state’s mistakes and deceptions have been legion as well. They include scandalous discrepancies between official reports after a period of denial that the virus had entered the country; a health system that was unprepared to deal with such a disease promptly and properly; and official resistance to implementing internationally recommended precautionary measures, such as canceling flights from China and quarantining the center of the outbreak. These decisions have sown widespread confusion about facts and fictions related to the virus, the most effective medically proven ways to control it, and the degree to which it is spreading throughout the country. As a result, an already restive population has become increasingly panicked about the future and angry at the state. Yet can the coronavirus actually bring down the regime? The harsh reality is that the state has left little space for opposition to organize around health issues, or any issues for that matter. Instead, it has sought to confuse the people and redirect their anger toward external enemies, even as its own policies contribute to the crisis.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Health, Public Health, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Saeid Golkar
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since its formation in 1979, the Islamic Republic has seen multiple cycles of unrest, from ethnic movements in the early 1980s to urban riots in the early 1990s, student protests spanning 1999-2003, the Green Movement response to the 2009 election, and the December 2017-January 2018 upheaval in smaller cities and urban fringes. The most recent instance, sparked in November 2019 by a gas tax hike, spread to as many as one hundred municipalities and still reverberates today. The hardline Iranian regime has successfully put down all challenges to its authority thus far, causing numerous injuries and deaths in the process. State agents are also known to have perpetrated torture in prisons. But as Saeid Golkar contends in this prescient Policy Note, a climate of coercion has undermined Tehran’s legitimacy and its ability to coopt various social classes. Future protests, if they continue to grow in volume and violence, could exhaust even the regime’s multilayered security forces.
  • Topic: Security, History, Social Movement, Protests, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In this study, counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt explores the history and current status of Hezbollah operations against French interests, and details how a change in Paris's longstanding opposition to designating the group could bolster French efforts to stabilize Lebanon. Lebanon’s corrupt political system needs major reforms, but Hezbollah has indicated, unsurprisingly, that it will reject any changes that diminish its political status. Specifically, the group insisted in late September that it maintain control of key ministries in any future government. This demand cut against the work of French authorities seeking to help stabilize the country following the devastating port blast in early August. In his response, President Emmanuel Macron signaled a break from typical French passivity toward Hezbollah. He denounced the group’s attempts to pose as a legitimate political party while engaging in militant activity independent of the Lebanese state. In this Policy Note, counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt shares the little-known story of Hezbollah’s targeting of French interests, dating to the early 1980s. He then shows how the group poses a unique and growing set of challenges to France, both at home and abroad, and argues that Paris should reconsider its longtime opposition to designating Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. Such a policy change, he contends, would bolster Macron’s efforts to stabilize Lebanon while mitigating threats within French territory.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Counter-terrorism, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, France, Lebanon
  • Author: Frank Aum, Jacob Stokes, Patricia M. Kim, Atman M. Trivedi, Rachel Vandenbrink, Jennifer Staats, Joseph Yun
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: A joint statement by the United States and North Korea in June 2018 declared that the two countries were committed to building “a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.” Such a peace regime will ultimately require the engagement and cooperation of not just North Korea and the United States, but also South Korea, China, Russia, and Japan. This report outlines the perspectives and interests of each of these countries as well as the diplomatic, security, and economic components necessary for a comprehensive peace.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy, Economy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korean Peninsula, United States of America
  • Author: Charles T. Hunt
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since first deployed in 1960, United Nations police (UNPOL) have consistently been present in UN missions and have become increasingly important to achieving mission objectives. Since 1999, these objectives have often included the protection of civilians (POC), especially in places like the Central African Republic, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, and South Sudan. But despite its rise in prominence, the protective role of UNPOL is generally undervalued and regularly overlooked, and missions have tended to overly rely on militarized approaches to POC. This report examines the roles and responsibilities of UNPOL regarding POC. It outlines UNPOL’s contributions to POC and perceived comparative advantages, using examples of their role as compeller, deterrent, partner, and enabler. It also identifies and draws lessons from challenges to police protection efforts, including ambiguous mandates, policies, and guidance; poor coordination; problematic partnerships; and deficits in capabilities, capacities, and tools. Drawing on these lessons from past and current deployments, the report proposes recommendations for how member states, the Security Council, the UN Secretariat, and field missions can improve UNPOL’s efforts to protect civilians going forward. These recommendations include: Clarifying the role of UN police in POC through mandates, policies, guidance, and training to align the expectations of UN peace operations, the Secretariat, and member states for what UNPOL are expected to do; Involving all UN police in POC and giving them a voice in decision making and planning to infuse whole-of-mission POC efforts with policing perspectives and empower UNPOL to act more readily; Enhancing partnerships between UN police, host states, and other mission components to enable more responsive, better coordinated, and more comprehensive approaches to POC; and Providing more appropriate and more flexible capabilities, capacities, and tools to address critical capabilities gaps and adapt existing resources to better meet UNPOL’s latent potential for POC.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Reform, Rule of Law, Civilians, Police
  • Political Geography: Africa, Darfur, Mali, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Congo
  • Author: Namie Di Razza, Jake Sherman
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The effectiveness of UN peace operations depends on the “operational readiness” of their personnel, which refers to the knowledge, expertise, training, equipment, and mindset needed to carry out mandated tasks. While the need to improve the operational readiness of peacekeepers has been increasingly recognized over the past few years, the concept of “human rights readiness”—the extent to which consideration of human rights is integrated into the generation, operational configuration, and evaluation of uniformed personnel—has received less attention. This policy paper analyzes opportunities and gaps in human rights readiness and explores ways to improve the human rights readiness of peacekeepers. A comprehensive human rights readiness framework would include mechanisms to integrate human rights considerations into the operational configuration and modus operandi of uniformed personnel before, during, and after their deployment. This paper starts the process of developing this framework by focusing on the steps required to prepare and deploy uniformed personnel. The paper concludes with concrete recommendations for how troop- and police-contributing countries can prioritize human rights in the force generation process and strengthen human rights training for uniformed peacekeepers. These actions would prepare units to uphold human rights standards and better integrate human rights considerations into their work while ensuring that they deliver on this commitment. Ultimately, improved human rights readiness is a key determinant of the performance of UN peacekeepers, as well as of the UN’s credibility and reputation.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gretchen Baldwin, Sarah Taylor
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past twenty years, UN peace operations have made progress toward gender equality. Most of their mandates refer to women or gender, and the UN and member states have agreed to numerical targets to increase the percentage of women peacekeepers. Meeting, and exceeding, these targets, however, will require the UN to better understand the barriers and often-unrealistic expectations facing uniformed women. This paper provides an overview of how the UN and troop- and police-contributing countries are trying to integrate uniformed women into missions and how mission mandates interact with the women, peace, and security agenda. It also expounds upon expectations of uniformed women in peacekeeping operations, specifically regarding the protection of civilians, as well as structural barriers, taboos, and stigmas that affect uniformed women’s deployment experiences. It is the first paper published under the International Peace Institute’s Women in Peace Operations project and provides an overview of research that will be conducted through May 2022. The paper concludes with initial findings and guidance for researchers and practitioners. It calls for the UN and member states to consider transformative possibilities for increasing women’s participation that push back against existing assumptions and norms. This requires grounding integration strategies in evidence, transforming missions to improve the experiences of women peacekeepers, and implementing a gendered approach to community engagement and protection.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Peacekeeping, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jake Sherman, Florian Krampe
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Climate change and the associated climate-related security risks increase instability and have significant adverse effects on peacebuilding. Within the UN, however, there is a lack of consensus on which organs are most appropriate to respond to climate-related security risks. Most of the bodies addressing climate change do not address its intersection with peace and security, while many member states have concerns about the role of the UN Security Council on climate change. In this context, the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) seems well placed to complement and advance discussions on climate-related security risks in other UN bodies, including the Security Council. This paper—a joint publication of IPI and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)—aims to identify areas and ways in which the PBC is preventing and mitigating climate-related security risks and to map the political positions of PBC members on this topic. It also looks at opportunities for the PBC to strengthen its engagement on climate-related security issues. The paper identifies a number of attributes that uniquely position the PBC as a forum for states to seek international support for addressing climate-related security challenges: it emphasizes national ownership, has a mandate to work across the three pillars of the UN, brings together a wide range of UN organs, and convenes relevant stakeholders from within and outside the UN system. The paper concludes that a gradual but steady approach to addressing climate-related security risks in the PBC is likely to encourage more countries to seek its support on these issues.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, United Nations, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lotte Vermeij
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Despite efforts to increase the participation of women uniformed peacekeepers, military women continue to face taboos and stigmas that are barriers to their inclusion and successful deployment. These range from gender stereotypes that cause military women to face more scrutiny than their male counterparts to difficulties speaking up about discriminatory and sexualized behavior, including racism, sexual harassment, and assault. Being confronted with persistent taboos and stigmas can have far-reaching consequences for military women before, during, and after deployment. This paper, which is based on interviews with 142 military women from fifty-three countries, assesses the taboos and stigmas facing military women at three levels: (1) at the individual and community levels; (2) within their national defense structures; and (3) during deployment to UN peace operations. It also looks at the strategies women use to mitigate these taboos and stigmas and the formal and informal support structures they turn to. The paper concludes with recommendations for national defense structures and the UN: For national defense structures, it recommends improving standards of behavior and accountability, educating men and women on taboos and stigmas, recruiting and retaining more women, proactively reaching out to and selecting women for deployment to peace operations, providing women the support they need, and designing equipment that better suits women’s needs. For the UN Department of Peace Operations, it recommends strengthening narratives on the importance of female peacekeepers, ensuring that all peacekeepers respect UN values, developing mission-specific gender strategies and plans, engaging more firmly with troop-contributing countries, making recruitment and selection processes more gender-sensitive, holding personnel accountable for discriminatory and sexualized behavior, and establishing in-mission support systems.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gabriel Delsol
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In recent years, pastoralism has increasingly become associated with violent conflict. In the Sahel, pastoralism-related insecurity is directly linked to macro-level conflict dynamics in contexts with UN peacekeeping missions, including Mali, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Abyei, and South Sudan. However, the UN system has been slow to adopt a coordinated response to this phenomenon. This issue brief provides a preliminary overview of peacekeeping missions’ efforts to mitigate growing pastoralism-related insecurity in their areas of operation. It analyzes six missions that are active within or near the Sahel region. After framing pastoralism-related security, it explores how the Security Council has addressed this issue in mission mandates. It then looks at how missions have tried to address pastoralism-related insecurity and how they can leverage partnerships with other actors as part of a multi-stakeholder approach. The paper concludes that while peacekeeping missions are not the primary means for addressing the multidimensional drivers of pastoralism-related insecurity, they can help mitigate risks, including through political and logistical support to other actors. Together with these partners, peacekeeping missions should leverage their comparative advantages to help address pastoralism-related insecurity in the Sahel.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Pastoralism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé, Stefanie Von Hlatky, Savita Pawnday, Marie-Joelle Zahar
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: As more and more states and organizations adopt a gendered approach to international policy, trainings on how to conduct gender-based analysis and integrate gender perspectives into policies and programming have proliferated. But despite this increase in gender trainings, it remains unclear how effective they have been due to challenges related to their design, delivery, targeting, and evaluation. After mapping the ecosystem of gender trainings in the realm of international peace and security, this issue brief unpacks each of these challenges. It concludes with a set of recommendations for improving gender trainings, suggesting that those designing gender trainings should consider the following: Conducting a preliminary needs assessment to adapt trainings to their audience; Soliciting feedback at every stage of the training, including “live” feedback during the training; Grounding training in local contexts and providing evidence to back up claims; and, Generating self-reflection by both participants and trainers during evaluations.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Masooma Rahmaty, Jasmine Jaghab
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This year was expected to be an opportunity to assess the past twenty years of progress on the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda. Instead, it has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has dominated the international community’s attention and put recent gains for WPS at risk. One of the areas most at risk is the participation of women in peacebuilding efforts and peace processes, which is already a part of the WPS agenda where progress has been limited. This paper looks into what actions states and international actors can take to ensure women’s participation in peacebuilding and peace processes during the pandemic. It draws on two virtual meetings—one at the ministerial level and one at the ambassadorial level—convened in partnership with the government of Sweden. Based on these meetings, the paper identifies five key factors that could help the UN and its member states keep the focus on women peacebuilders during the pandemic: State leadership on WPS in multilateral fora: In the face of the pandemic, it is critical for UN member states to defend recent gains made in implementing the WPS agenda in multilateral fora, especially the Security Council. Women’s participation in formal peace processes: While the pandemic has made it even more difficult for many women to participate in formal peace processes, the normalization of virtual convenings could be an opportunity to bring more women to the table. Protection and security of women peacebuilders: The UN and its member states have a role to play in providing women peacebuilders both physical protection and international legitimacy and recognition. Financing for women peacebuilders: The pandemic has made funding even more of a challenge for women peacebuilders. Donors should recognize the important role of women’s organizations in the pandemic response and recovery when deciding how to allocate funding. Data-driven responses: There is a need for a coordinated, risk-sensitive approach to data collection to ensure that the COVID-19 response reflects an understanding of how the pandemic affects women.
  • Topic: Security, Women, Peace, COVID-19, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vane Moraa Aminga, Florian Krampe
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: There has been considerable attention on the conventional climate mitigation and adaptation debate in Africa, including the prominent efforts of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change in global climate forums. However, there is little understanding of how the African Union (AU) is discussing and responding to the security implications of climate change. This Policy Brief outlines key strengths of the African Union’s response, such as a rapidly evolving discourse around climate security and efforts to improve collaboration and coordination among different parts of the institution. But also, key weaknesses in the discourse around AU policy responses, such as the lack of tangible policy operationalization as well as financial unpreparedness and limited member state accountability. The Policy Brief makes recommendations highlighting entry points for advancing the understanding and response to climate-related security risks within the AU, such as: (a) develop and institutionalize coordinated responses to climate-related security risks, (b) develop strong climate security leadership within the African Union, and (c) change the narrative to focus on shared problems and therefore shared solutions—multilateralism rather than nationalism.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Multilateralism, Risk, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Richard Weitz
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China and Russia are the two most influential space players besides the United States. Whereas in the past NASA was Moscow’s partner of choice, many influential Russians now look to China as their main future partner. Sino-Russian cooperation regarding global positioning and navigation satellites, space exploration, and space security has been growing and will likely continue.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Weapons , Space
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: According to the UN Human Rights Council-mandated Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM), the treatment of the Rohingya population during the “clearance operations” amounts to genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, the commission of which evoke specific obligations and responsibility under international law. In its final report, published in September 2019, the FFM concluded that “the State of Myanmar breached its obligation not to commit genocide” and found that Myanmar “continues to harbor genocidal intent” towards the Rohingya, emphasizing the need for accountability. This fact sheet answers fundamental questions about the ongoing ICJ case, Myanmar’s responsibility for genocide and its impact on the Rohingya population. (Answers to questions about the early stages of the lawsuit are here.)
  • Topic: Security, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), International Court of Justice (ICJ), Rohingya
  • Political Geography: Myanmar, Global Focus, Gambia
  • Author: Phil Thornton
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The world is facing unprecedented health and economic crises that require a global solution. Governments have locked down their economies to contain the mounting death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic. With this response well underway, now is the time to move into a recovery effort. This will require a coordinated response to the health emergency and a global growth plan that is based on synchronized monetary, fiscal, and debt relief policies. Failure to act will risk a substantial shock to the postwar order established by the United States and its allies more than seventy years ago. The most effective global forum for coordinating this recovery effort is the Group of 20 (G20), which led the way out of the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2009, the closest parallel we have to the current catastrophe. Eleven years ago, world leaders used the G20 meeting in London as the forum to deliver a unified response and a massive fiscal stimulus that helped stem economic free fall and prevented the recession from becoming a second Great Depression. A decade on, it is clear that the G20 is the only body with the clout to save the global economy. This does not mean that the G20 should be the only forum for actions for its member states. The United States, for example, should also work closely with like-minded states that support a rules-based world order, and there are many other fora where it can and must be active with partners and allies. But no others share the G20’s depth and breadth in the key focus areas for recovery. The other multilateral organizations that could take up the challenge lack either the substance or membership. The United Nations may count all countries as members but is too unwieldly to coordinate a response. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has the resources but requires direction from its 189 members. The Group of Seven (G7), which once oversaw financial and economic management, does not include the fast-growing emerging economies. The G20 represents both the world’s richest and fastest-growing countries, making it the forum for international collaboration. It combines that representation with agility.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, G20, Global Markets, Geopolitics, Economy, Business , Trade, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Canada, Asia, Saudi Arabia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: JD Work, Richard Harknett
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Reported Iranian intrusions against Israeli critical infrastructure networks and alleged Israeli actions against Iranian proliferation-associated targets pose substantial new challenges to understanding ongoing competition and conflict in the Middle East. These cyber exchanges may be interpreted through two distinct lenses: as the struggle to achieve deterrence using the instrument of cyber operations, or as the contest for initiative in order to establish conditions for relative security advantage in a cyber-persistent environment. Either way, these ongoing incidents are best understood not as “bolt out of the blue” attacks, but rather fleeting glimpses of continuing cyber campaigns leveraging previously disclosed and newly developed capabilities as each side grapples to anticipate cyber vulnerability and shape the conditions of exploitation. The opaque nature of these interactions is further complicated by potential bureaucratic politics and interservice rivalries, as well as unknown dynamics of a counter-proliferation campaign to slow, disrupt and potentially destroy Iranian nuclear capacity. In the end, observed cyber actions may not represent reflections of accurate strategic calculation, and even if aligned to the operational environment they may not lead to intended outcomes. Continuous failure to deter, or inability to manage persistent interactions, may lead to greater dangers.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cybersecurity, Non-Traditional Threats
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Jeffrey Cimmino, Matthew Kroenig, Barry Pavel
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is a strategic shock, and its almost immediate, damaging effects on the global economy constitute a secondary disruption to global order. Additional secondary strategic shocks (e.g., in the developing world) are looming. Together, these developments pose arguably the greatest threat to the global order since World War II. In the aftermath of that conflict, the United States and its allies established a rules-based international system that has guaranteed freedom, peace, and prosperity for decades. If the United States and its allies do not act effectively, the pandemic could upend this order. This issue brief considers the current state of the pandemic and how it has strained the global rules-based order over the past few months. First, it considers the origins of the novel coronavirus and how it spread around the world. Next, it examines how COVID-19 has exacerbated or created pressure points in the global order, highlights uncertainties ahead, and provides recommendations to the United States and its partners for shaping the post-COVID-19 world.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Politics, European Union, Economy, Business , Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Asia, Eurasia, India, Taiwan, Asia, North America, Korea, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Scott Crino, Conrad "Andy" Dreby
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The use of drones as weapons in the Middle East and North Africa has grown rapidly in recent years, especially as non-state actors from the Houthis in Yemen to militants in Syria seek to level the playing field. Often powered by widely available commercial technology, these systems present a real and present security challenge. What should policymakers do to adapt to this new threat? How can they best structure defenses and leverage available technology to protect key assets? “Drone Attacks Against Critical Infrastructure,” by Dr. Scott Crino and Conrad “Andy” Dreby, addresses these questions and more. Crino is founder and CEO and Dreby is director of red-teaming at Red Six Solutions, LLC. The authors analyze developments in the use of weaponized drones in the Middle East and beyond, exploring how regional policymakers can adapt to mitigate this threat.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Weapons , Drones
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Matthew Kroenig, Mark Massa, Christian Trotti
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced five new nuclear-capable, strategic weapons systems. These systems include a nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile and a nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed submarine drone. What does Russia have to gain from developing these novel and exotic nuclear weapons? And what should the United States and NATO do about it? This new Atlantic Council issue brief, Russia’s Exotic Nuclear Weapons and Implications for the United States and NATO, answers these questions. Informed by a workshop convened by the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and Los Alamos National Laboratory, authors Matthew Kroenig, Mark Massa, and Christian Trotti evaluate the potential utility, motivations, and consequences of these new systems. Among other conclusions, the most significant may be that great-power competition has returned, and with it, the importance of nuclear weapons in international politics.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Power, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jennifer T. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: It is critically important for global safety standards, nonproliferation agreements, and geopolitics that the United States play a leading role in the export of nuclear energy technologies. However, the domestic reactor fleet has struggled due to the deregulated US electricity market, inexpensive gas, and subsidies for renewables, which—in turn—has hampered US nuclear exports, since it is challenging to export a product that lacks a domestic market. However, building new reactors and bringing first-of-a-kind reactors to demonstration involve high capital costs and financial risk, for the purchasing party as well as the vendor. If the United States is to play a role at all in building new nuclear plants, it must address the challenges inherent in financing new nuclear builds; one mechanism to do this is through partnering with close US allies to co-finance new nuclear projects. If the United States and its allies fail to make their nuclear exports competitive, they will likely cede the mantle of global leadership in that area to Russia and China, where nuclear companies are state owned, easily able to finance nuclear exports, and already exploring emerging markets for nuclear exports.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Robert F. Ichford
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Governments across South Asia face many challenges as they seek to improve the lives of the more than 1.8 billion people that live in the region. Increasing geopolitical competition—especially between and among China, Russia, and the United States—is one factor that is affecting progress. This “great power competition,” including over the South China Sea, is intertwined with regional rivalries (e.g., India and Pakistan, India and China, and the United States and Iran) and has important economic, military, technological, and environmental consequences. Energy is a key strategic sector in this competition as China pursues its expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure and trade vision, Russia uses arms sales and nuclear energy to expand its regional presence, and the United States confronts Iran and gears up its free and open Indo-Pacific Strategy and Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) initiative. This issue brief considers the transformation of the electricity sector in Bangladesh. It is the fourth country analysis in the Atlantic Council’s “Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries” series. This issue brief applies to Bangladesh the analytical framework developed in the first report in the series, which presents general challenges and strategic priorities for developing countries in the context of their implementation of electric power policies and reforms following the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, Governance, Geopolitics, Gas, Renewable Energy, Fossil Fuels, Transition
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This policy paper sets out the various interests and goals of global powers (the US, Russia, China and the EU) in the Mediterranean, and the measures they are undertaking to implement them. The document also describes Israeli policies vis-àvis the powers’ activities in this region, and points to the principles that should guide them. The paper is based on a July 2019 meeting in Jerusalem of the research and policy working group on Israel in the Mediterranean, held at the initiative of the Mitvim Institute, the Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and Haifa University’s National Security Studies Center.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Israel, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Alban Dafa, Wouter Zweers
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years the Netherlands has voiced security-related concerns about the involvement of Albanians nationals in organised crime in the Netherlands. These concerns culminated in a request to the European Commission to suspend visa-free travel for Albanians to the EU. This policy brief argues that the current Dutch approach does not provide the best means to address issues of organised crime, such as drug trafficking, related to Albanian nationals. It identifies several inadequacies in the crime data used to substantiate the Dutch position and the way Dutch authorities publicly communicate them. It posits that greater bilateral cooperation beyond the EU accession framework could improve efforts to fight transnational organised crime effectively. The opening of EU accession negotiations with Albania may offer a window of opportunity to formulate a constructive agenda of cooperation beyond the formal EU enlargement framework. This policy brief was written by Alban Dafa from the Institute for Democracy and Mediation and Wouter Zweers (the Clingendael Institute).
  • Topic: Security, Law Enforcement, Transnational Actors, Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: Europe, Albania, Netherlands
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The 20th and 21st centuries will be remembered for many things, including primacy of the vast and seemingly endless seas and oceans. In this setting, the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) finds itself at the heart of the world map connecting distant nations through limitless waters. As a Northeast Asian island nation, Japan’s involvement with the Indian Ocean is heavily defined by virtue of its trade, investment and supplies from this region. Japan’s story in this reference dates back to the 17th century when a prominent Japanese adventurer, merchant, and trader, Tenjiku Tokubei sailed to Siam (Thailand) and subsequently to India in 1626 aboard a Red Seal ship via China, Vietnam and Malacca. Often referred to as the ‘Marco Polo of Japan’, Tokubei’s adventurous journey and account of his travels to India gained distinction also because he became perhaps the first Japanese to visit Magadh (which was an Indian kingdom in southern Bihar during the ancient Indian era).
  • Topic: Security, Development, Regional Cooperation, History, Capacity
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Indian Ocean
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The border dispute between India and China does not pertain to the definition of a boundary that can be marked physically on ground, and, on a military map, alone. It also takes on board vast tracts of disputed territorial frontiers. China continues to be in illegal physical occupation of large territorial land areas of India’s territory, starting with the entire Aksai Chin plateau in Ladakh, approximately 38,000 sq kms, since the mid-1950s. In addition, India maintains that in 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded to China, 5,180 sq kms of Indian Territory in the Shaksgam Valley of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), north of the Siachen Glacier, under a bilateral boundary agreement that holds no legal validity. Besides, China also stake claim to about 96,000 sq kms of Indian Territory in north-eastern Arunachal Pradesh, which it terms as ‘Southern Tibet’. The statements regarding Arunachal Pradesh being “Chinese territory and part of southern Tibet” are a key instrument of the marked shift in China’s strategy and stance in the early 1980s when Beijing began signaling that the eastern sector was the larger part of the boundary dispute. China’s stated position is that reunification of Chinese territories is a ‘sacred duty’ of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). China shares a 22,000 kms land border with 14 adjacent states. It has resolved territorial disputes with 12 of them, but still needs to resolve the territorial and boundary dispute with India. Beijing, for that matter, also challenges the total length of the Indo-China International Land Border, which runs 3,488 kms according to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs. This was also acknowledged by Indian Prime Minster, Narendra Modi, while addressing the India-China Business Forum in Shanghai on May 16, 2015.
  • Topic: Security, Territorial Disputes, Borders
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Andrew Lebovich
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: France, Germany, and Sahel countries launched the Sahel Alliance in 2017 with the aim of bringing together major international donors to better coordinate development assistance and other financing efforts for the region. The Alliance aimed to integrate security, development, and governance perspectives but has struggled to find coherence and effectiveness – although it has adopted some novel approaches. The worsening security situation in the Sahel led international actors to then set up new initiatives, including the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel and, more recently, the Coalition for the Sahel. However, the relationship between these initiatives remains largely theoretical, with the practicalities of cooperation and burden sharing yet to be fully defined. These new initiatives risk privileging security solutions to complex problems, meaning that necessary governance reforms may fall by the wayside. This is despite widespread acknowledgement, including from senior French officials, that there is no purely military solution to the varied conflicts and challenges in the Sahel.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Diplomacy, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, North Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Gustav Gressel, Nicu Popescu
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The European Union and its member states have yet to start upgrading EU policies to their declared ambitions of a more geopolitical and strategically sovereign EU. The EU spends more on support for Eastern Partnership countries than the United States does, but Washington has long taken care of security sector reform and capacity building there. If the EU is to be more geopolitically influential in its own neighbourhood, it needs to start developing strategic security partnerships with key neighbours to the east and the south. The bloc should do so by creating a security compact for the Eastern Partnership, comprising targeted support for intelligence services, cyber security institutions, and armed forces. In exchange, Eastern Partnership countries should conduct anticorruption and rule of law reforms in the security sector. The EU should treat this compact as a pilot project that it will implement with important partners in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Amandine Gnanguênon
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Regional organisations have proliferated in Africa in recent decades, with many organisations attempting to address similar issues in similar parts of the continent. International donors have helped create this situation by funding new and existing African regional organisations without questioning the downsides of doing so. In recent years, African regional organisations have increasingly sought to concentrate on security issues, contributing to a rise in the use of ‘hard security’ solutions at the expense of ‘people-centred’ approaches. This proliferation comes with further costs, such as wasted resources, and ‘forum shopping’ by state leaders. Europeans and other international donors should take stock of the situation they have helped create. As a first step, they should agree a tacit ‘non-proliferation agreement’ before considering other options.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Regional Cooperation, Peace, Development Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Beáta Huszka
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Aspiring EU members must resolve outstanding disputes as part of the membership process. This has proved a powerful tool over the years. Resolving bilateral problems, including border disputes, is especially crucial in the Western Balkans, where they are numerous. France’s October 2019 veto of accession talks for North Macedonia and Albania has already weakened Western Balkans publics’ trust in the EU. Should the EU’s influence wane, nationalist leaders will exacerbate tensions with neighbouring countries. The future of North Macedonia’s Prespa Agreement with Greece is under threat, and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Montenegro could also prove a potential flashpoint. The EU should demonstrate its commitment to the Western Balkans by encouraging countries there to resolve their outstanding disputes, both to make them better candidates and to strengthen security in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, European Union
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Linda Zeilina
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Linda Zeilina wrote a policy paper as a part of the Think Visegrad platform on the topic of sustainable finance and energy security of the Visegrád group countries. The coronavirus outbreak has made the unthinkable happen, with major economies grinding to a halt and international travel coming to a standstill. Now, it is time to think what is often seen as unthinkable: to reimagine economic models and energy systems, and to position the Visegrad countries well for the economic models of the future. By doing so, the region will also make itself much more secure and prosperous.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Finance, Coronavirus, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian Mölling, Heinrich Brauß
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The decision about the successor aircraft for the Tornado is important not just for Europe’s security and for Germany’s role in NATO. It also has consequences for the future of the defense industry in Germany and Europe. Finally, whether the choice is made in favor of a European or a US solution will impact both the transatlantic and the Franco-German relationship.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, Weapons , Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, United States of America
  • Author: Heinrich Brauß, Christian Mölling
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Germany will need to replace its aging “Tornado” combat aircraft from 2025. To date, the federal government is considering purchasing F-18 aircraft from the United States or refitting Eurofighter planes. Buying state-of-the-art F-35 planes has been ruled out. Given Russia’s deployment of new intermediate-range missiles on its Western territory, this decision should be reconsidered.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Nuclear Power, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: The security crisis facing the Kadhimi government and the Iraqi state is a major obstacle to stability and economic development in Iraq, representing a significant drain on the country’s resources and capacities.
  • Topic: Security, Natural Resources, Governance, Economic Development , Militias
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: A group of Malian soldiers overthrew President Keita and formed a committee to lead the country. This was welcomed internally and denounced externally. However, their mission now faces domestic and foreign pressures that necessitate them to find a consensual solution to this crisis.
  • Topic: Security, Coup, Peace, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: David Carment
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: After three years of limited discussion, the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine renewed their peace talks to resolve the separatist conflict in Eastern Ukraine (Donbas). Efforts to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Donbas began five years ago with the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine. This framework, developed by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), attempted to facilitate a dialogue between Russia and Ukraine through the mediation of an impartial actor, and it culminated in the Minsk I (September 2014) and then Minsk II (February 2015) agreements. The Minsk II agreements comprised a 13-point peace plan, chief among which is an arrangement specifying support for the restoration of the Ukrainian-Russian border. While the implementation of the military portions of the Minsk II agreements were finalized within three months of signing, the political and security portions remained unresolved. Though President Vladimir Putin has declared his intent to protect the Russian-speaking peoples of the region, he has also stated he has no interest in reclaiming Eastern Ukraine. Not surprisingly, since Russia’s ultimate goal is undeclared, the conflict has proved very difficult to resolve.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Territorial Disputes, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Canada, France, Germany, United States of America
  • Author: Jai Chul Heo
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: China is actively building Network Power in economic and traditional security and non-traditional security areas, while in some cases maximizing its own interests by using the Network Power already formed. In particular, China is building Collective Power at a rapid pace in significant areas. China also actively participated in existing networks and established Positional Power by preoccupying important positions. However, China’s Network Power still seems to have a long way to go in terms of Programming Power to build new systems, unlike Collective or Positional Power. What is notable in the process of analyzing China’s Network Power is that competition between the U.S. and China is fierce over Network Power.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Economics, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Liel Maghen, Shira Kronich, Christiane Frohlich, Mahmoud Shatat, Tobias von Lossow, Ali Oguz Diriöz, Giulia Giordano, Desirée A.L Quagliarotti
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Israel/Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI)
  • Abstract: Over the last decades, desertification and water-scarcity have become major problems in the Middle East, and more specifically in the Eastern Mediterranean region (Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Syria). These developments have had significant political and socioeconomic impacts for the region. Increasingly securitized, water has been transformed into a political card, discouraging inter-state cooperation. Securitization of water has also led to exclusion of civil society and non-governmental actors from resource management. ​ This Joint Policy Study resulted from a partnership between IPCRI, AIES and Euromesco. IT discusses securitisation and de-securitisation trends in the region and examines the policies that can ensure water security. It argues that multilateral cooperation can trigger effective cooperation over shared water resources. Furthermore, civil society should be reincorporated into management and monitoring of water resources, which would lead to gradual desecuritisation of this resource.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan
  • Author: Kristi Raik, Josef Janning
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: This policy paper examines Estonia’s partners in the European Union with the aim of identifying ways to enhance its influence on policy-making. Effective coalition-building is also important for the EU as a whole, since it can improve the Union’s capacity to take decisions and act. The paper highlights that: Estonia has a relatively strong position in the EU, considering its small size and limited resources. It is particularly well-connected with the Nordic-Baltic partners and should seek ways to use this grouping more effectively as a means to reach out to larger member states and shape decisions in the Union. The main challenge is to build stronger links with France and Germany, something that has become all the more important due to Brexit. Teaming up with other countries that are better connected to Berlin and Paris, such as Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium, is one way to pursue this goal. It is too early to draw conclusions about the impact of the latest change of government in Estonia on the country’s influence and image among partners in the EU. However, the research interviews show some indications of a weakened position. Estonia should avoid losing its reputation as a results-oriented member state that takes into consideration the priorities of others while pursuing its own interests in a constructive manner.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Helen Scanlon, Pravina Makan-Lakha, Molly Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The year 2020 marked two milestones for women’s rights and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda: the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). Both of these international commitments stressed the importance of advancing women’s rights, particularly in relation to their participation efforts to achieve peace and security. However, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed existing plans to mark these achievements. Instead of allowing the pandemic to further disrupt the strides that have been made to advance women’s human rights over the last two decades, it is critical that peace and security activists reframe the circumstances created by the pandemic as an opportunity to secure meaningful change. Within this context, this Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) will critique the progress made in the WPS’ agenda since the adoption of UNSCR 1325 and provide African perspectives on what should be prioritised over the next 20 years.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Women, Peace, COVID-19, WPS
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Liz Hume, Megan Schleicher, Sahana Dharmapuri, Erin Cooper
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Our Secure Future
  • Abstract: This brief provides a summary of key recommendations from civil society on how to integrate gender into the GFS. It is critical that the GFA country and regional plans go beyond the individual empowerment of women in a society and aim to transform the societal power structures that fuel instability and inequality.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Peace, WPS
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Kelly Case, Sahana Dharmapuri, Hans Hogrefe, Miki Jacevic, Jolynn Shoemaker, Moira Whelan, Erin Cooper
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Our Secure Future
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic does not respect borders or power. Armies, weapons, and fortifications will not destroy it. COVID-19 is a national security threat of a different kind. It has killed tens of thousands of Americans so far and has resulted in the complete shutdown of the American economy in just a few months. The United States and countries around the world need to reexamine what it takes for people to be safe. Policymakers can look to the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS) for guidance and urgently needed solutions. Policymakers have primarily focused on the Women, Peace and Security agenda exclusively in the foreign policy arena. It has important application for domestic policy as well, especially for achieving policy goals that link to security and prosperity for American families and communities.
  • Topic: Security, Women, Peace, WPS
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Admiral Jean Casabianca
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Robert Schuman Foundation (RSF)
  • Abstract: Looking back at my military career, during which I sailed and battled above and below so many oceans, I am struck by the duality of the Mediterranean Sea. It is indeed for me as well a familiar environment as an area of perpetual uncertainty, which contributed to define me as a man, a sailor and a military leader. Predicators say that the Mediterranean, stage of the first major clashes between civilizations, will not be anymore the international centre of gravity and that the Pacific Ocean will take over this role. It remains however a major hub for the interactions of key strategic competitors.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Mediterranean
  • Author: Fiifi Edu-Afful, Kwesi Aning, Emma Birikorang, Maya Mynster Christensen, Naila Salihu, Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Contributing personnel to UN peacekeepinghas been central to Ghana’s foreign policy andessential in shaping the country’s security sector. However, with the police and militarystill facing considerable challenges at home, and with the prospect of funding for UN peacekeeping missions being cut, Ghana’s domestic stability might be affected. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Peacekeeping experiences should be used more forcefully to create accountability among Ghana’s security forces. ■ There should be a comprehensive review of Ghana’s approach to international peacekeeping with a view to understanding and articulating more clearly the relationship between strategic foreign-policy objectives and the provision of domestic security. ■ The UN and troop-contributing countries should make an effort to understand the implications for them both of planned cuts in peacekeeping budgets.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Development, Non State Actors, Fragile States, Violence, Peace, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Festus Aubyn, Kwesi Aning, Emma Birikorang, Fiifi Edu-Afful, Maya Mynster Christensen, Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The UN deploys thousands of peacekeepers in support of peace processes and state-building in countries and regions that are emerging from conflict. The example of Ghana shows that the impacts of these missions are not just felt in countries that host UN missions, but also in those that provide them with troops. Recommendations ■ The Ghanaian government should conduct a comprehensive assessment of the impacts of peacekeeping on the country’s security sector in order to inform its contributions to the UN in the future. ■ The Ghanaian army and police should continue to build on the lessons learned from deploying security personnel abroad and maintain their focus on consolidating the democratic and accountable foundations of the security sector. ■ The UN should build a stronger understanding of how countries that contribute to peace- keeping missions are affected politically, financially and in respect of their security by making these contributions.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Development, Non State Actors, Fragile States, Violence, Peace, Police, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Maja Touzari Greenwood
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The broad definition of the term ‘foreign fighter’ causes operational problems for risk assessments. It is therefore important for security officials to identify significant variations by classifying actors into major categories. RECOMMENDATIONS ■When assessing the risk of continued security threats from foreign fighters, it is crucial to distinguish strategically between foreign fighters who join local rebel groups and those who join globalist groups. ■Ways should be provided for foreign fighters who have joined local rebel groups to ‘opt out’ and return home after the end of fighting in order to discourage them from becoming globalist foreign fighters and to stem potential flows of foreign fighters to new theatres of conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism, Fragile States
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The digital domain is an arena of opportunity for Russia in which to attempt to achieve its various objectives. However, it is also a source of threat, as it contains the possibility of attacks on Russia’s digital infrastructure, including the ability to send a relatively uninterrupted flow of information to the public. The continued development of artificial intelligence has the potential to upset the system, and Russia, which will trail the leading states within this field, is still in the early phases of formulating a response to this challenge. Recommendations ■ Remember that the digital domain in Russia is seen not only as an arena of opportunity, but also as a source of threat to the state (or rather to the regime). ■ Be prepared for Russia to think creatively to minimize the gap separating it from the world’s leaders in the development of AI. ■ Be prepared for Russia to work for an international regime restricting the use of AI for military purposes.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Power Politics, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Adam Moe Fejerskov, Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Political technologies executed from within the digital domain are increasingly deployed in the Global South. Here, social media monopolies and an upsurge in the number of new digital media users allow information operations to reach millions and affect important political developments. The consequences can be fatal, as seen in Myanmar. Recommendations Be prepared for a rapid transfer of the political technology of contemporary information operations to political actors in the Global South ■ Anticipate information operations, including the use of disinformation, that exploit the combination of social media monopolies and an upsurge in the number of new digital media users ■ Invest in digital media literacy and social media accountability mechanisms in states that have recently been affected by media disruption
  • Topic: Security, Development, Science and Technology, Fragile States
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Maria-Louise Clausen
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The conflict in Yemen will not be solved by a peace agreement between the Houthis and the internationally recognized government due to the increased fragmentation of internal political and economic structures. RECOMMENDATIONS ■Denmark is well positioned to take on a bigger role in pushing for a sustainable peace agreement and a realistic transitional framework. ■Denmark should prioritize building close links with local actors. ■Denmark should support and empower local authorities and communities in parallel with an effort to build the capacity of the Yemeni state.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Non State Actors, Fragile States
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Yang Jiang
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite China’s strong economic influence over Southeast Asian countries, tensions in the South China Sea have been flaring up again this year, as domestic oppositions and external interventions create dilemma for Southeast Asian governments. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ When considering joining the freedom of navigation operations in the SCS Denmark should consider that foreign interference will likely escalate Chinese military activities. ■ Denmark’s delicate relationship with the US and China must be carefully evaluated and managed. ■As a major maritime nation it is important for Denmark to secure a free sea through diplomacy and UN institutions. ■European countries have much room to enhance their contribution to regional development in Southeast Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, International Organization, History, Power Politics, Economy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: A common refrain in Denmark is that China is too far away to be a threat to Danish economic, foreign and security policy interests. This is no longer the case. Danish policy-makers acknowledge that China’s rise as a global superpower presents Denmark with new challenges. However, transforming this strategic thinking into practice is no simple task. Recommendations Intensify cooperation between the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs to ensure Denmark’s initiatives in foreign policy, security and economic relations with China are more closely integrated. Beware of the bilateral. Beijing’s new assertive foreign policy and US-China strategic competition require that Denmark leverage its interests increasingly through the EU, NATO and other multilateral bodies. Assess the economic vulnerabilities of Danish industries in China and diversify trade and investment across Asia’s emerging markets and developed economies in the G7/EU.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Power Politics, Bilateral Relations, Cybersecurity, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Denmark
  • Author: Maria-Louise Clausen
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The state of Iraq is struggling to exert control over its territory. As a result, remote surveillance is being used to enhance the effectiveness of policing. However, constant surveillance may have a negative impact on emerging state–society relations. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Invest in research focusing on the impact of surveillance on state–society relations in the Global South. ■ Work to introduce transparency in the use of surveillance in the Global South. ■ Encourage a discussion of issues of privacy and the regulation of airspace in the Global South.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Fragile States, Surveillance, Violence, Justice
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Global South
  • Author: Gonzalo Huertas
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The unrelenting surge in prices in Venezuela has crippled the economy and deepened the humanitarian crisis there. Huertas lays out a feasible stabilization plan to stop Venezuela’s hyperinflation. The extent of the humanitarian crisis and shortage of basic goods and services suggests that, on the fiscal side, a stabilization plan should focus primarily on reallocating rather than reducing spending. The authorities should avoid austerity policies and instead spend on taking care of the Venezuelan people. Stabilizing the price level while providing relief to the country’s population would require significant financial assistance from the rest of the world, so it is critical that Venezuela secure strong financial support from the international community. Successful stabilization requires a credible plan to transition to a responsible fiscal policy, the financial resources to carry it out, and the political will to sustain it.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Finance, Inflation, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: South America, Venezuela
  • Author: Adnan Mazarei
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Suffering under Western sanctions and security challenges, Iran faces problems as well from its fragile banking system, which has been languishing for decades. Liquidity and solvency weaknesses pose a growing risk to the country’s financial stability. The sanctions reimposed by the United States in 2018 have heightened these vulnerabilities, but the problems also result from the heavy-handed role of the state, corruption, and the Central Bank of Iran’s failure to regulate and supervise the system. Iran’s ability to avoid a run on its banks is aided by their reliance on liquidity assistance, deposit insurance, and regulatory forbearance from the central bank. Depositors are forced to be patient because they have limited options to invest elsewhere. Iran has thus avoided a full-blown banking crisis. But the situation is not sustainable. Banks remain susceptible to external shocks, which could come from a complete halt to oil exports or war.
  • Topic: Security, Financial Crisis, Sanctions, Banks, Financial Institutions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Claudia Biancotti, Paolo Ciocca
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Over the past few years, it has become apparent that a small number of technology companies have assembled detailed datasets on the characteristics, preferences, and behavior of billions of individuals. This concentration of data is at the root of a worrying power imbalance between dominant internet firms and the rest of society, reflecting negatively on collective security, consumer rights, and competition. Introducing data sharing mandates, or requirements for market leaders to share user data with other firms and academia, would have a positive effect on competition. As data are a key input for artificial intelligence (AI), more widely available information would help spread the benefits of AI through the economy. On the other hand, data sharing could worsen existing risks to consumer privacy and collective security. Policymakers intending to implement a data sharing mandate should carefully evaluate this tradeoff.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Science and Technology, Privacy, Internet, Monopoly, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This policy brief examines how ECOWAS has successfully addressed the concerns of their member states in West Africa to build nationally led, upstream prevention strategies. ECOWAS’ upstream prevention approaches support national sovereignty by putting the ownership of early response and structural prevention in the hands of national actors.
  • Topic: Security, Sovereignty, Governance, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In this policy briefing, our fifth in our series on prevention at the UN, we draw on examples from Côte d’Ivoire and Timor-Leste to illustrate how countries have developed integrated actions on prevention that cut across sectors, including security, development, and human rights. We then highlight options for the UN to better support these strategies through cross-pillar approaches and identify practical ways forward for governments implementing prevention approaches.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Timor-Leste, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Paul von Chamier
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This discussion brief is a contribution to the Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion, an initiative of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. Inequality and exclusion harm society in a number of ways, ranging from fraying trust in institutions and increasing volatility in politics, to causing economic damage, physical insecurity, and higher rates of crime and suicide. This brief lays out an array of tangible costs to show that inequality is damaging not only on normative, but also social and economic grounds. The areas of analysis include public health problems, such as anxiety, obesity, and unplanned teenage pregnancies; impacts on safety and security, including homicide rates and violent conflict; and the economic effects of GPD gaps caused by gender discrimination, vertical income inequality, and ethnicity-based discrimination. It also addresses the territorial dimensions of inequality and exclusion, and presents evidence that inequality is a force driving volatile politics, social unrest, and falling levels of trust in public institutions today.
  • Topic: Security, Inequality, Public Health, Exclusion , Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ghaith al-Omari, Ben Fishman
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the peace treaty, both parties and the United States have strategic interests in upholding and reinforcing the relationship. The optimism that characterized the signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty a quarter-century ago has long since dissipated. Today, the peace rests on a strong security foundation but lacks popular support, particularly on the Jordanian side. Nevertheless, there remain important opportunities for strengthening Israel-Jordan relations and preserving that pillar of America’s steadily eroding security architecture in the Middle East. It is critical for Washington to prioritize Jordan on its agenda. This includes urging the still-to-be-formed Israeli government to take responsible action on two fronts: keeping Amman’s interests in mind when formulating policy toward the West Bank, and implementing long-delayed initiatives that would help Jordan’s struggling economy.
  • Topic: Security, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, Negotiation, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem, Jordan, United States of America
  • Author: Lisa Denney
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This Tool is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit, which comprises nine Tools and a series of Policy Briefs. Within police services, this Tool is aimed at the policy rather than the operational level, with relevance for senior police, gender units and those interested in improving police effectiveness through integrating a gender perspective. While police services are a key audience for this Tool, it is intended for a wide readership – including parliaments, government departments with policing responsibilities, civil society organizations, development partners, international police assistance providers and researchers working to improve policing and gender equality. Police reform is not solely the work of police services, but of a wider set of actors who support and influence the police and their operating environment. This Tool sets out a range of options for integrating a gender perspective and advancing gender equality in and through policing, drawing on experience from multiple contexts. While it provides guidance in terms of examples and checklists which borrow from good practices in different contexts, what is relevant will differ across time and place and require adaptation. For that reason, the Tool also sets out conditions that are important in achieving progress. The Tool includes: why a gender perspective is important for policing; what policing that advances gender equality and integrates a gender perspective looks like; how policing can advance gender equality and integrate a gender perspective; case studies that draw out learning from specific contexts; suggestions for assessing a police service’s integration of gender; other useful resources.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Governance, Law Enforcement, Women, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Europe, United Nations, Switzerland, Global Focus
  • Author: Anna Marie Burdzy, Lorraine Serrano, Megan Bastick
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit, which comprises nine Tools and a series of Policy Briefs. The other Tools and Policy Briefs in this Toolkit focus on specific security and justice issues and providers, with more focused attention on what gender equality looks like and how to achieve it in particular sectors. It is intended that the Toolkit should be used as a whole, with readers moving between Tools and Policy Briefs to find more detail on aspects that interest them. This Policy Brief explains why integrating a gender perspective is important to the regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) and provides guidance to States on doing so in national legislation, contracting and procurement policies, as well as certification, oversight and accountability frameworks for PMSCs. The Policy Brief: Outlines what PMSCs are and the role of States in their regulation; explains why a gender perspective is needed for effective regulation of PMSCs; and presents a range of priorities and entry points for States to integrate a gender perspective in regulation of PMSCs.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Law Enforcement, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Marta Ghittoni, Léa Lehouck, Megan Bastick
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit, which comprises nine Tools and a series of Policy Briefs. The other Tools and Policy Briefs in this Toolkit focus on specific security and justice issues and providers, with more focused attention on what gender equality looks like and how to achieve it in particular sectors. It is intended that the Toolkit should be used as a whole, with readers moving between Tools and Policy Briefs to find more detail on aspects that interest them. This Policy Brief explains how applying the principles of good security sector governance and engaging with security sector reform (SSR) can help to achieve the goals of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. Over the last decade the UN system and many states and international actors have recognized that SSR should be gender responsive, identifying and addressing the different security and justice needs of women and men, girls and boys, across different parts of the community. In some SSR programmes, priorities have been set to promote the participation of women in the security sector. At the same time there is a need to step up the engagement of the WPS community with issues of security sector governance. This Policy Brief argues that applying a security sector governance lens to WPS helps to reveal the key barriers to and drivers of change. This Policy Brief: Explains the principles of good security sector governance; examines how security sector governance and SSR are addressed in the WPS Agenda; outlines how a security sector governance approach can catalyse the transformative and sustained change needed to realize the WPS Agenda.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Law Enforcement, Women
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Henri Myrttinen, Megan Bastick
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This Tool is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit, which comprises nine Tools and a series of Policy Briefs. Tool 1 is mainly intended for use by policymakers and practitioners working in or working with security and justice sector institutions to increase gender equality – be it equality within the institutions themselves, or achieved through the work of the institutions within society. Some users might be approaching these issues through implementation of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) commitments, or in relation to a security sector reform (SSR) process. The Tool also aims to be of use more widely to justice and security providers, people involved in oversight and management, civil society organizations, the media and academic researchers. The other Tools and Policy Briefs in this Toolkit focus on specific security and justice issues and providers, with more focused attention on what gender equality looks like and how to achieve it in particular sectors. It is intended that the Toolkit should be used as a whole, with readers moving between Tools and Policy Briefs to find more detail on aspects that interest them. The Tool: Introduces why gender matters in security sector governance (SSG) and in SSR processes, and outlines the benefits of integrating a gender perspective. It explains key concepts that are used in the Toolkit: gender, intersectionality, masculinities, femininities, LGBTI, gender equality and gender perspective, and also SSG and SSR. It gives an overview of some of the relevant international, regional and national legal obligations with respect to gender and SSG and SSR processes. It presents a vision of what integrating a gender perspective and promoting gender equality mean for security and justice providers, for management and oversight of sector and justice services, and for SSG and SSR processes. It presents several different pathways for the security and justice sector to integrate a gender perspective into SSG and SSR processes and advance gender equality. It focuses upon: defining security needs in an inclusive, gender-responsive manner; adopting policy frameworks to integrate gender equality into justice and security governance; gender training for security and justice providers; using staff with specialized gender expertise; changing masculine institutional cultures to increase women’s participation and diversity. It offers advice on how to overcome resistance to working on gender equality within the security and justice sector. It suggests elements of an institutional self-assessment checklist on integrating a gender perspective. It lists other useful resources to support work on gender equality with the security and justice sector, and in relation to SSG and SSR.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Law Enforcement, Women, Criminal Justice, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Graeme P. Herd, Detlef Puhl, Sean Costigan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Security challenges are ‘emergent’ or ‘emerging’ when the wider community of security experts begin to discuss and debate a given issue as a prelude to developing, resourcing and then implementing appropriate policy responses. Some security challenges are "ab ovo" – they emerge onto the policy landscape at incredible speed, complete and entire, rather than slowly over a long gestation period. For some institutions, the ‘real’ emerging challenge is defined as much by institutional and cultural change needed to enable more efficient, effective and legitimate policy response as it is by the inherent complexity of the challenges themselves. Highest priority challenges (e.g. climatological, nuclear, biological, health and agriculture-related) are those that threaten the survival of people and institutions. Second order priority challenges undermine essential ways of life and the fabric of state-society relations, the nature of democratic governance and the integrity of the ‘social contract’.
  • Topic: Security, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Global
  • Author: Daniel Forti, Priyal Singh
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The United Nations and the African Union (AU) have worked in tandem since the AU’s establishment in 2002. During this time, their partnership has evolved to focus increasingly on conflict prevention and crisis management, culminating in the 2017 Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. But while the organizations’ collaboration on peacekeeping has been extensively studied, other dimensions of the partnership warrant a closer look to understand how to foster political coherence and operational coordination. This report, done in partnership with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), therefore considers the evolution of the strategic partnership between the UN and the AU, with a focus on their approach to conflict prevention and crisis management. It looks at this partnership at the member-state level in the UN Security Council and AU Peace and Security Council, as well as at the operational level between various UN and AU entities. It also assesses the partnership across several thematic issues, including the AU’s Silencing the Guns initiative; mediation; women, peace, and security; electoral support; peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and development; and youth, peace, and security. Based on this analysis, the paper offers several recommendations to guide UN and AU stakeholders in improving cooperation. These include strengthening council-to-council engagement, working toward a collective approach to conflict prevention and crisis management, creating a dedicated team within the AU Peace and Security Department to support the partnership, better aligning work on peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and development, building momentum on the AU’s Silencing the Guns initiative, and expanding diplomatic capacities to support the partnership.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Crisis Management, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Forti
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In the face of evolving security dynamics and geopolitical pressures, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council initiated the withdrawal of the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in 2017. This transition is a uniquely complex undertaking—all the more so following Sudan’s political revolution in April 2019, which required the UN and AU to rapidly adapt their support to the country. This complex environment is putting all the principles of peacekeeping transitions to the test. This paper examines the dynamics of this peacekeeping transition in Darfur, focusing on UNAMID’s drawdown and reconfiguration, as well as the UN’s efforts to build the capacity of other actors to sustain peace following the mission’s exit. It highlights five broad priorities for this transition going forward: Strengthening political engagement between the UN Security Council and AU Peace and Security Council; Translating the AU-UN joint political strategy into an effective follow-on presence; Reinforcing the transition concept; Integrating human rights and protection in all areas of work; and Sustaining international attention and financial support. This paper is part of a larger IPI project on UN transitions and is complemented by similar case studies on UN peacekeeping transitions in Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, and Liberia, as well as a paper exploring experiences and lessons from these three transitions.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Geopolitics, Crisis Management, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Darfur, Haiti, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Lesley Connolly, Sarah Taylor
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Comprehensive leadership training is necessary to ensure that peace operations are effective and that senior leaders are prepared for both the daily challenges and the inevitable crises of peacekeeping. A gender perspective is of central importance to such training. However, gender considerations—from gendered conflict analysis to recognition of who is in the room when decisions are made—remain poorly understood at a practical level, including among senior mission leaders. This issue brief discusses what it means to apply a “gender perspective” and the importance of such a perspective for senior leaders to effectively implement mission mandates. It provides an overview of existing gender-related training and preparation techniques for senior leaders, including gaps. It concludes with a series of recommendations on how trainings and approaches to senior leadership training can better reflect these considerations: The current status of gender training for senior leaders should be assessed. Facilitators of trainings should ensure that their curricula address and respond to a peacekeeping workspace dominated by men. Facilitators should be aware that leaders often think they do not need training. Trainings for senior leaders should be designed to reflect the complexity of implementing women, peace, and security obligations in a mission. Efforts to ensure gender parity in senior mission leadership should be strengthened. Gender advisers should be included as formal members of a mission’s crisis management team and play an active role in decision-making bodies. Facilitators should understand the gender dimensions of a given training scenario and be aware of the gender balance among participants. The UN should develop resources for leaders, including key documents and guidance on understanding the gender dimensions of their mission.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fiona Blyth
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: When the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) deployed in 2007, the AU and the UN Security Council expected that the United Nations would eventually take over from the AU force. But while a UN peacekeeping operation remains a theoretical option for the council, its prospects have diminished. Instead, the focus of Somali and international efforts has shifted to planning for AMISOM to transition directly Somali security forces without an interim UN mission. This issue brief outlines the factors behind this shift in intentions, including the new Somali administration’s commitment to assuming responsibility for security, a general agreement that the time had come for an exit strategy, and the Security Council’s reduced appetite for peace operations. It also lays out the objectives, approaches, and status of implementation of the Somali Transition Plan. Despite steady progress, there is still a long way to go in implementing this plan. Reforms are encountering resistance from vested interests, and al-Shabab poses an ongoing threat. Any sustainable transition from AMISOM must be a long-term project that includes not just a military handover but also political decisions on security and the structure of the state. It also depends on aligning national priorities and international efforts and the willingness of all security actors in Somalia to work together in a pragmatic, transparent, and coordinated way.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Transition, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Chuck Thiessen
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In response to the threat of violent extremism, the UN has adopted a comprehensive approach that involves both aligning ongoing interventions with the goals of preventing violent extremism (PVE) and implementing PVE-specific programming. These initiatives aspire to use human rights-based approaches as opposed to hard-security counterterrorism responses. To date, however, there has been inadequate research on how the UN and other international organizations can promote human rights as part of their PVE programming. This issue brief introduces findings on the strategic shift of UN peacebuilding interventions toward PVE and the barriers these interventions face to protecting human rights, drawing on research conducted in Kyrgyzstan. It concludes that PVE approaches to peacebuilding are fundamentally ambiguous, which may be hindering promotion of human rights. These ambiguities lie both in the terminology and strategies of intervention and in the drivers of radicalization and violent extremism. By clarifying its approach to PVE, the UN can dilute the inherent contradiction in its dual role as a critic and supporter of host states and reduce the odds that its interventions legitimize human rights violations.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, United Nations, Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Taylor, Gretchen Baldwin
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: For two decades, the women, peace, and security agenda has been the subject of policy development internationally, regionally, and nationally. But by many indicators, the global status of these commitments to gender equality is under threat. In the multilateral system, a growing number of states are questioning established standards of women’s rights, while international policy and programming struggle to adapt to the gendered implications of the changing nature of conflict. This issue brief takes stock of the state of the women, peace, and security agenda in the current geopolitical context, with a view to supporting strategic advances at the upcoming twentieth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000). It looks at characteristics of the current geopolitical context that are of concern to the defense of women’s rights, what these changes have meant for how the international community seeks to build peace and improve security, and how we can evaluate approaches to implementing WPS commitments in relation to these pressures on the multilateral system. The paper concludes that in order for the women, peace, and security agenda to be an effective tool, it must move beyond rhetoric and be woven into actionable policy. It must become a driving force behind the development and implementation of peace and security policy and programming rather than being buffeted by political considerations that elide the status and rights of women. This depends on a sustainable increase in resources and improved accountability within the multilateral system.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Women, Multilateralism, Accountability, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Taylor, Gretchen Baldwin
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: As the twentieth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace, and security (WPS) approaches, the ad hoc nature of and limited accountability for implementation of the WPS agenda are undermining its full promise. This is despite increasing recognition that efforts to build and sustain peace are dependent upon the full participation of women and respect for their rights. There is thus a need for concerted, strategic commitment to addressing the remaining gaps in implementation of the WPS agenda. This paper identifies opportunities for the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1325, particularly for the UN Security Council, its member states, and the UN system. It builds on IPI’s scene-setting issue brief “The Global Pushback on Women’s Rights: The State of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda.” The paper concludes with several steps the UN and the international community can take to support substantive progress on WPS: Use creative mechanisms to increase women’s participation: The multilateral system can support new initiatives such as the regional women mediator networks. Leverage the tools of the UN Security Council: The council should consistently request gender-sensitive analysis and recommendations, mainstream the WPS agenda across all policies, and better integrate the work of the Informal Expert Group on WPS into its daily work. Significantly strengthen accountability: Increasing accountability requires changing the political calculus for engaging on the WPS agenda, particularly at the national level. Move the focus to the field: Dialogue around WPS needs to shift from UN headquarters in New York to focus more on the countries and regions grappling with conflict. Increase financing: Donors should increase their financial commitments to the WPS agenda and ensure funding supports long-term peacebuilding efforts.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Deployed to Mogadishu in March 2007, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) operates through a complicated and extensive system of partnerships. This has been referred to as the “AMISOM model” of “partnership peacekeeping.” While this specific configuration of forces and mechanisms is unlikely to be repeated, AMISOM remains the longest-standing case of a peace enforcement operation built on such international partnerships. If the AU and UN are going to continue deploying missions into such difficult environments, AMISOM’s experience offers lessons for how partnership peacekeeping can work better. This report summarizes the main operational-level lessons across seven themes: force generation, logistics, security sector reform, protection of civilians, strategic communications, stabilization, and exit strategy. Many of these lessons have not been truly learned, internalized, and acted upon by the actors and organizations in question.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Reform, Partnerships, Africa Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to capture the African Union’s attitude towards terrorism in a relatively lesser extent to the activities of Boko Haram. In so doing, a brief background is coined together with this introductory section. This is followed by sub-sections which shall explore the following, Boko Haram’s territorial capture, Boko Haram’s status as a terrorist group and what encompasses terrorism. Subsequently, AU’s evolving attitude towards terrorism will be traced in addition to how it has set its agenda against terrorism. The AU’s counter-terrorism activities in the context of Boko Haram will be assessed with its role in the prevention and combat of terrorism in Africa analyzed. The AU’s challenges as far as terrorism is concerned will also be highlighted with suggestions on possible alternatives as well as concluding thoughts.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Boko Haram, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Benjamin Jensen, Brandon Valeriano
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Do cyber operations alter how states respond to international crises in a way that creates incentives for decision makers to cross the Rubicon and use military force to settle disputes? This question is central to current cyber strategy debates and the idea of persistent engagement and defending forward in cyberspace. The answer is surprising: no. Based on the evidence, cyber operations offer a valuable escalatory offramp.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nick Grinstead, Christopher Solomon, Jesse McDonald
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Eagles of the Whirlwind are one of the many militias that have fought on the part of President Assad’s forces in the Syrian civil war. The regime allowed it to defend and police Syrian territory and, in some cases, to fight alongside the Syrian Arab Army on the frontlines. The group proved to be a capable and effective paramilitary auxiliary. What makes the Eagles of interest is that its parent political party - the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) – was able to increase the space for its political activities in exchange for the battlefield services of its militia. This is not a mean feat under the authoritarian system of decades of Assad-rule that brooked no political diversity whatsoever. It is all the more remarkable because the SSNP has historically been a political rival to the Syrian Ba’ath party. This policy brief analyses the main interests and dynamics by which the SSNP managed to translate the battlefield support and achievements of the Eagles into ministerial positions and open recruitment rallies for party members across regime-held territory. It also examines the SSNP as a novel form of support to the Assad regime that traded greater political auton¬omy for paramilitary mobilization in support of the regime - without, so far, resulting in a more permanent role for the Eagles in the Syrian security architecture. While accepting greater political autonomy for the SSNP was a price the Assad regime was willing to pay for extra auxiliary fighting capacity, it remains to be seen how durable the SSNP’s hard-won autonomy will be.
  • Topic: Security, Non State Actors, Authoritarianism, Syrian War, Militias, Bashar al-Assad
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria