Author: Margarita Yakovenko

Gender, Security and SSR in Lebanon

This report is part of a series of publications that explore Lebanese citizens’ perceptions of security institutions and threats. This report focuses specifically on the links between gender and security. It examines “the role of gender in Lebanese security perceptions, Lebanese perceptions of security institutions, as well as gender dynamics within security institutions.” This summary will discuss the most important points of the report in these areas.

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Could New Laws to Fight Terrorism Actually Help Fuel It?

Last week in Australia, 230 suspected jihadists were prevented from flying to the Middle East, highlighting a trend among governments to implement tough new counterterrorism laws. While these laws have a purported purpose of improving national security, there is a risk that punitive measures that widen police and intelligence powers could among other things, prove counterproductive to fighting terrorism by increasing the marginalization of communities.

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Insider Attacks – A Persisting Afghan Threat and Lessons for the Future

As Western forces pull-out of Afghanistan and hand over combat and security responsibility to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), a large proportion of the remaining personnel will be working closely with members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Without the benefit of protection measures, such as armed guards and escorts, ISAF members are vulnerable to “insider attacks” from ANSF members.

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Building the capacity of the Malian police: Why MINUSMA needs to think outside the box

This article summarizes the policy brief “Building the capacity of the Malian police: Why MINUSMA needs to think outside the box” by the Institute for Security Studies. This policy brief examines the police component of the MINUSMA and recommends how the capacity-building aspect of the peacekeeping mission can be strengthened. It also identifies the real challenges facing MINUSMA and pin points its shortcomings.

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Learning from failure? British and European approaches to security and justice programming

The author argues it is possible to better understand what we can learn from failure and what are ways forward for better, more effective security and justice assistance. He highlights three main elements: 1) the key problems and challenges associated with security governance; 2) what we can learn from failure in the British and European examples; and 3) what we can learn from broader debates about international development and more politically focused approaches.

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Munich in Minsk?

The Minsk meeting of February 2015 has several important parallels with the Munich encounter of September 1938. In this article, the author highlights three important parallels that are particularly relevant to the security situation in Europe and internationally.

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Terrorism: Learn To Live With It. Why Canada and its partners need to focus on defining, mitigating and managing – not eliminating – terrorism

As much as we have not eliminated or eradicated crime, we have not and will not be able to eliminate or eradicate terrorism – both being idealized behaviours. But we can manage and mitigate the sub-types of terrorism in their respective contexts and settings with active advancement to analyzed definitions and responsible use of terminology.

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Defence and Security Sector Oversight in the Fight Against Corruption

Ratification of a UN treaty ultimately involves the legislative process and it is therefore fitting, in this context, to speak of the role parliamentarians play as overseers of the defence and security sectors. Secrecy is necessary but not sufficient for public safety; accountability is paramount. Oversight is, after all, the continuation of democracy by other means.

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ISSAT Blog: 10 tips for police internal oversight

Internal oversight of a police service is key to ensuring its smooth functioning. Internal oversight is a sensitive topic since it can lead to the questioning of certain practices that are deeply rooted within the traditions and culture of the police. This blog article aims to provide 10 key tips that the authors believe are the most important when attempting to ensure effective internal oversight.

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Getting Ready for President Putin’s Successor

President Putin’s current mandate runs out in 2018. It has long been expected that he will go for a second six-year term – after two four-year terms from 2000-2008, followed by the Medvedev interregnum from 2008-2012. This would keep him in office until 2024, when he would attain the ripe old age of 72 or 73. This article outlines several reasons to assume that Putin’s time may be well shorter than this roadmap suggests.

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Democratic Policing in Security Sector Reform

Intergovernmental organizations and more recently international foundations and NGOs have provided a wealth of “how to” handbooks and guides. Such organizations are complimented by resource-rich websites from practitioners, networks, global watch dogs, think-tanks and academia. This reading list is a compilation of a number of useful works, on Democratic Policing in Security Sector Reform.

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Security Corruption and Governance Recommended Readings

Corruption in security sector reform (SSR) and peacebuilding is often acknowledged as a problem, but there is a capacity challenge of how to address it. This list of five readings is intended to demonstrate that corruption’s impact on security and peacebuilding cannot be ignored, as well as to provide some practical readings that can give practitioners and policy makers starting points to tackle the problem.

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SSR, DDR and SALW Tools for Peacebuilding Practitioners

The Peacebuilding Centre is a Canadian NGO that consolidates good practice for peacebuilding and human security. Over the years, it has produced a consolidation of operational tools to make it easier for peacebuilding practitioners to find practical approaches to: engage with fragile states, conduct Early Warning – Early Response assessments to address root causes of conflict, and design conflict-sensitive approaches for project programming in fragile states.

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The US – Cuba Rapprochement and its Broader Implications

Cuban communists can count. They understand that they have a maximum of three or four years either to become a different kind of politician or to open their own businesses, taking advantage as best they can of the new economic opportunities opened by the rapprochement with the US. Or they can bet on world revolution, Putin-style.

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Security Sector Reform and the Rule of Law in South Sudan

On June 17, 2014, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies held its 15th Senior Leaders Seminar in Washington D.C. The theme was Regional Responses: Security Sector Reform and Rule of Law. This is a video of a presentation made at the seminar by Ibrahim Wani, the Director of Human Rights, United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

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Extending the FDLR disarmament deadline will only prolong the agony

All eyes would have been on the now cancelled, joint summit between the South African Development Community (SADC) member states and their counterparts from the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR). It was hoped that the SADC would propose a more holistic approach to disarming the FDLR. Simply extending the disarmament deadline again will only prolong the agony and discredit the organisation.

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The UN Mission in South Sudan’s Growing Challenges

The Stimson Center’s report “Will They Protect Us for the Next 10 Years?” Challenges Faced by the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan, examines the growing challenges faced by the UN mission (UNMISS) and how best to address them. In addition to examining the threats and challenges faced by the UNMISS, the report provides recommendations on how it can best prioritize its scarce resources. These recommendations are summarized here.

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A Window of Opportunity for Reforms in the Congo’s Security Sector?

Reports about SSR and DDR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are nowadays often ignored by analysts and researchers alike for several reasons – the context rarely changes dramatically, and the key actors remain the same, which makes for few new insights and revelations. However, in 2012 and 2013, things changed quite radically and it appeared as if a window of opportunity finally had opened up for some serious change in the Congo.

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Security Sector Reform in North Africa: Why It’s Not Happening

Along with removing authoritarian governments, reform of security institutions was a primary goal of the Arab Spring. In the aftermath of regime change, it was evident in all countries that reform of the security sector was not just symbolically important; it was an essential requirement. Yet almost four years later there has been little progress. Why has it been so difficult for regional states to reform their security institutions?

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The Boko Haram Ceasefire and the Chadian Gambit

On 17 October, the Nigerian government unilaterally declared that it had entered into a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram Islamists. The prevailing situation has sparked widespread debate on varying aspects of the alleged ceasefire. One aspect of the ceasefire which has not garnered as much attention, however, is the role Chad is playing in the negotiation process. What does the country have to gain by facilitating talks between Nigeria and the extremist group?

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America’s Chamberlain? Obama and the Challenge of American Power

Neville Chamberlain had to deal with a public opinion that was in many quarters vehemently against military engagement of any kind. Obama faces a similar challenge. After two, painful and largely unnecessary wars, American public opinion is weary of foreign adventures. Obama is not Neville Chamberlain. But like Neville Chamberlain, Obama risks now going down in history as an appeaser to an aggressor’s rise.

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Note – Georgia’s Security Sector Review Project Final Report 2014

The Atlantic Council of Georgia has published the Final Report of its Georgia Security Sector Review Project. The report offers a “review of the institutional, functional and legal aspects of the Georgian security sector,” in particular, its ministries of defence, internal affairs, as well as its intelligence agencies. The report also explores the question of oversight (both parliamentary and civic) and the role of non-governmental organizations in security sector reform.

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Is Military Intervention in Libya the Answer?

Three years after the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, Libya is fragmented into an alarming number of armed groups. France has called for action to be taken against what it calls the ‘terrorist threat on Europe’s doorstep.’ In light of a number of questionable post-9/11 interventions, the issue is whether military intervention is, in fact, the way to contain Libya’s instability, or whether it would only sink the country further into chaos.

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