Category Archives: fragile states

A Darwinian world-AFJ


I think he is incorrect in giving future global influence credit to IGOs…if his argument is the economy, then it would be corporations and/or illicit corporations. IGOs will only give credibility to actions so that one nations actions are not perceived as one sovereign infringing on another sovereign.

At least we have conflict to look forward too.

Libya points to a new era of aggression and turmoil
BY BOB KILLEBREW

As these words are written, U.S., British and French warplanes are striking Libyan ground forces along the Mediterranean littoral; American and other NATO troops are pounding out “fragile and reversible” gains in Afghanistan; and unrest continues to roil governments in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. To our south, criminal cartels and violent gangs murder government officials, civilians and one another in Mexico and points south. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, whose state policy protects cocaine production and smuggling, invites into his country the Iranian Republican Guard and Hezbollah, while, over the horizon, China continues its naval buildup.

Whatever happened to the “peace dividend” and the long rest the world was supposed to get after the end of the Cold War? Those days are long gone, obviously, in the tectonic forces moving the world forward into a century more unstable than many had predicted.

Three years from now will be the centennial of the 1914 disaster that set the 20th century careering down the road to two world wars and the mass murders of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. We can hope that the 21st century is more peaceful, but it’s not looking good. For all the hope that globalization and the communications revolution would bring people together — and they have — at least part of the result has been to make aggression and murder more practical.

via Armed Forces Journal

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In Greece, austerity kindles deep discontent – The Washington Post


Just how far north will economic and social discontent travel?

Athens — Already struggling to avoid a debt default that could seal Greece’s fate as a financial pariah, this Mediterranean nation is also scrambling to contain another threat — a breakdown in the rule of law.

Thousands have joined an “I Won’t Pay” movement, refusing to cover highway tolls, bus fares, even fees at public hospitals. To block a landfill project, an entire town south of Athens has risen up against the government, burning earth-moving equipment and destroying part of a main access road.

The protests are an emblem of social discontent spreading across Europe in response to a new age of austerity. At a time when the United States is just beginning to consider deep spending cuts, countries such as Greece are coping with a fallout that has extended well beyond ordinary civil disobedience.

Perhaps most alarming, analysts here say, has been the resurgence of an anarchist movement, one with a long history in Europe. While militants have been disrupting life in Greece for years, authorities say that anger against the government has now given rise to dozens of new “amateur anarchist” groups, whose tactics include planting of gas canisters in mailboxes and destroying bank ATMs.

Some attacks have gone further, heightening concerns about a return to the kind of left-wing violence that plagued parts of Europe during the 1970s and 1980s. After urban guerrillas mailed explosive parcels to European leaders and detonated a powerful bomb last year in front of an Athens courthouse, authorities here have staged a series of raids, arresting dozens and yielding caches of machine guns, grenades and bomb-making materials.

The anarchist movement in Europe has a long, storied past, embracing an anti-establishment universe influenced by a broad range of thinkers from French politician and philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to Karl Marx to Oscar Wilde. Defined narrowly, the movement includes groups of urban guerillas, radical youths and militant unionists. More broadly, it encompasses everything from punk rock to WikiLeaks.

“Many of these are just a few frustrated high school students with a Web site,” said Mary Bossi, one of Greece’s leading terrorism experts. “But as we continue to see, others have the potential to be dangerous.”

via In Greece, austerity kindles deep discontent – The Washington Post.

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Deviant globalization


The international organs, drugs, malware and weapons trades (among others) have been growing and flourishing, and the reason is globalization says Nils Gilman a consultant and scenario planner. Well, not regular old Thomas Friedman-style World is Flat type globalization, but deviant globalization. Gilman outlined his concept at the 2008 European Futurists Conference in Switzerland. Watch him describe how the global illicit economy works alongside — and expands with — the licit economy in an era of globalization 

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New Wrinkle for Gates’ Successor – Defense News


New Wrinkle for Gates’ Successor – Defense News.

Both the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review and State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review identify weak or failing states as one of the core security challenges facing the United States. For this reason, the Pentagon now considers building the security capacity of partner states to be a top Defense Department objective.

However, the Pentagon’s expansion into this area has taken security assistance out of the context of U.S. foreign policy and placed it into an operational one, Adams said. By default, foreign policy decisions are increasingly being made by the military, he said.

In the foreign countries where the United States is providing security assistance, it often means military capacity is being strengthened without equal strengthening of the government’s other institutions.

The current setup “de-links support for security forces from the need for effective, efficient, and accountable governance,” the report says.

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Why failed states shouldn’t be our biggest national security fear – The Washington Post


Only a handful of the world’s failed states pose security concerns to the United States. Far greater dangers emerge from stronger developing countries that may suffer from corruption and lack of government accountability but come nowhere near qualifying as failed states.

via Why failed states shouldn’t be our biggest national security fear – The Washington Post.

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America in Africa: A light footprint | The Economist


Congress happily pays for weapons but despises weaselly diplomats and woolly development aid, yet they are vital to ensuring that arms stay sheathed.

via America in Africa: A light footprint | The Economist.

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Terra Incognita – How the Frugal Superpower Navigates Democracy’s Latest Wave – Wikistrat


In the rush to define President Barack Obama’s “doctrine” following his decision to lead NATO’s initial no-fly-zone operations in Libya, experts have latched onto every detail’s possible meaning. But in the end, it’s easier to say what his strategy is not than what it is. While frustrating, such ambiguity makes sense for a cost-conscious superpower navigating what is arguably democracy’s emerging 4th great wave (see Samuel Huntington re: 1-3).

via Terra Incognita – How the Frugal Superpower Navigates Democracy’s Latest Wave – Wikistrat.

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NATO’s Last Mission? – The Washington Post


But if this historically unreliable Anglo-French coalition proves unable to sustain a long operation, what then? There is certainly no European force that can replace it. There isn’t even a European foreign policy: Years of diplomacy, debate and endless national referendums culminated, a couple of years ago, in the selection of two powerless figureheads as Europe’s “president” and “foreign minister.” Attempts to create a united European army have never moved beyond pure symbolism. If Britain and France run out of planes, fuel, money or enthusiasm, it’s over. And NATO — an organization that, I repeat, did not plan for, prepare for or even vote for the Libyan operation — will shoulder most of the blame. The use of NATO’s name, in Libya, is a fiction. But the weakening of NATO’s reputation in Libya’s wake might become horribly real.

via Will the Libya intervention bring the end of NATO? – The Washington Post.

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America Addicted to War? Hardly | Atlantic Council


By Derek S. Reveron
To be sure, U.S. military interventions are violent, but they are quickly followed by a more intense effort to provide humanitarian relief, promote security, and develop indigenous militaries. Critics of U.S. military intervention fail to take into account that the United States does not invade countries to take territory or install puppet regimes. Rather, the United States with its allies set in place, no matter how flawed, democratic processes to allow self-determination. And it aids new (e.g. Kosovo), struggling (e.g. Mexico), or transforming states (e.g. Georgia) with security and development assistance programs. Relatively unlimited, the United States provides security assistance to about 150 countries. As I wrote in Exporting Security, these efforts are driven both by a liberal ideal of making the world better, but also an instrumental understanding that allies expect it. By doing so, the United States seeks to improve its international image, strengthen the state sovereignty system by training and equipping partners’ security forces, prevent localized violence from escalating into regional crises, and protect U.S. national security by addressing underlying conditions.

via America Addicted to War? Hardly | Atlantic Council.

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The Balkanization of the European Union a Blessing in Disguise? « The Global Journal


Thus the denouement of the economic crisis in the European Union threatening it with dismemberment may give rise to a savior who will salvage it from its ultimate catastrophe, the Islamization of Europe.

The Balkanization of the European Union a Blessing in Disguise? « The Global Journal.

 

 

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