Month: May 2014

Rethinking Tunisian Border Security

Following the Arab Spring uprisings, border security in Tunisia became a major concern. With relatively long borders, including land borders that extend 900 kilometers with Algeria and 459 kilometers with Libya and a stretch of coastline 1,148 kilometers long that borders the Mediterranean Sea, Tunisia faces many border security challenges. What follows is an assessment of Tunisia’s border security challenges and the government’s response.

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Political and Economic Reforms in Burma/Myanmar

Although China dominated much of the discussion at the 2014 ASEAN Summit, the gathering of the Southeast Asian nations in Myanmar provided the host country an opportunity to showcase the progress it has made since the implementation of key political and economic reforms. Despite these efforts, the country’s political system continues to be fragile and uncertainty over the role of its security sector remains.

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Shifting Minefields: Bosnia’s Violent Legacy in the Wake of the Balkan Floods

Bosnia-Herzegovina has suffered tremendously from the recent Balkan floods – unexpected flash flooding, bursting rivers, and landslides have resulted in a state of emergency. Particularly troubling are the 2,000 landslides which have occurred as a result of the floods. As a result of the heavy rainfall, thousands of landslides have dislodged landmines from their carefully mapped locations, compounding the many dangers from the floods.

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Reforming Libya’s Post-Revolution Security Sector: The Militia Problem

Libya’s new government must contend with a rapidly deteriorating security situation – to the East, it faces armed Federalist militia groups that have already shown a strong inclination for blackmail. Along its periphery, Tripoli had shown little capacity to control its porous borders or militia groups involved in the cross-border illicit economy. In this blog post, the author discusses the serious problem of militias in Libya.

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Al-Shabaab’s New Face in Kenya?

Terrorists in Kenya have tended to be sympathetic to al-Shabaab’s ideology but unlikely to have direct ties to the group. However this appears to be changing. A “new, shadowy” Kenyan radical group made up almost exclusively of ethnic Somalis, a group to which the Pangani suicide bombers had belonged, seems to have emerged. Does Al-Shabab have anything to do with this new group? This question will be explored in this article.

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Planning for “What’s Next”: The Annexation Shock and its Impact on SSR in Ukraine

Among the pressing security concerns of the day (Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan, and the South China Sea stand out most prominently), Ukraine continues to dominate discussions across the North Atlantic. With continuous Russian pressure and Ukraine’s internal problems in its east, what institutional changes might be possible within the Ukrainian government, and within the security apparatus more specifically?

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Sending in the Military: Not a Long-Term Solution to Mexico’s Security Problems

The recent security crisis in Mexico suggests a repetition of past strategies that have been ineffective at reducing crime and violence. Mexico’s experience has shown that deploying the military cannot be a substitute for building police forces that fight crime with the population’s trust and cooperation. Deploying soldiers for tasks they have not been trained to handle in an environment permissive of abuse has only resulted in human rights violations.

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Corruption’s Poster Child? Understanding the Challenge to Azerbaijan’s Security Sector

Corruption’s Poster Child? Understanding the Challenge to Azerbaijan’s Security Sector By: David Law and Eric Muller [et_pb_text... Article In 2012, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project named Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev its corruption “person of the year.” According to the project, Aliyev was awarded this dubious distinction based on extensive reports and “well-documented evidence” that the Aliyev family had used its influence over a period of many years to take advantage of profitable business deals being done in Azerbaijan. As a result, the family held preferential stocks in most of the country’s key economic holdings. In Azerbaijan, like...

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Agency and Security Sector Reform: Insights from Southeast Asia

Agency and Security Sector Reform: Insights from Southeast Asia By: Felix Heiduk [et_pb_text... Article Southeast Asia makes for an interesting area of study as it provides us with a number of case studies where security sector reform (SSR) has not been imposed as a result of external interventions – with the exception of Timor-Leste. Instead SSR has made inroads as part of the socio-political and economic transformation processes, dubbed the ‘third wave of democratization,’ from the late 1980s (Thailand, Philippines) and 1990s (Indonesia, Timor-Leste). More so, these cases can provide insights on the role of local agency in designing...

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Caught on the Brink: Critical Reflections on Nigeria’s Counter-Insurgency/Terror Strategy

Caught on the Brink: Critical Reflections on Nigeria’s Counter-Insurgency/Terror Strategy By: Chris Kwaja [et_pb_text... Article In his seminal work, the former US Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell was unequivocal in his argument that Nigeria was “dancing on the brink” of real political instability, of the kind that was fully capable of truncating the state-building project. He identified several key factors that act as pointers to possible instability, including increased violence, widespread human insecurity, and the corruption and fraud associated with the conduct of elections at all levels of governance. Presently, Nigeria has so far opted for a reactive posture...

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First we take Crimea, then we take Brighton Beach (and retake Alaska)?*

First we take Crimea, then we take Brighton Beach (and retake Alaska)?* By: David Law [et_pb_text... Article Vladimir Putin’s ideology has three basic tenets. The first is that Russia has a right and a responsibility to protect Russian speakers outside the country, no matter what. The second is that Russia’s natural borders have been reduced by questionable diplomatic and political deals that must be reversed. The third is that Russia, like the America he recently criticised for just this reason, is an exceptional country. For Putin, Russia has a historical calling to reshape not only post-Soviet realities but also...

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