Stokes writes that the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission “maintains strict control over China’s operational nuclear warheads through a centralized storage and handling system managed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Second Artillery.” In peacetime, warheads are managed through a system that is “separate and distinct” from PLA Second Artillery missile bases as well as apart from China’s system for keeping tabs on its civilian-use fissile materials. In addition, he says, the Second Artillery appears to control and manage nuclear warheads that could be used by the PLA’s air force and navy.
This week the ISN examines the evolving concept of security in relation to the profound environmental challenges of the 21st century – concluding that international policymakers must address the complex interplay between resource scarcity and violent conflict with a clarity of vision and cultural sensitivity.
This ISN Special Report contains the following content:
- An Analysis by UNDP advisor Dr Marwa Daoudy provides an overview of the international policy and academic communities’ reactions to the increasing securitization of natural resources in recent decades.
- A Podcast interview with ISN founder Professor Kurt Spillmann examines the environmental factors that impact on conflict – concluding that cultural sensitivity and vision are needed for successful resolution.
- Security Watch stories about the global grab for resources and the tensions that ensue – from the Tajik-Uzbek border to Bangladesh, India and beyond.
- Publications housed in our Digital Library, including an East/West institute paper on ‘Improving Regional Cooperation on Water’ and case studies on the relationship between oil and conflict from Nigeria to Venezuela.
- Primary Resources, like the recent European Commission’s paper, ‘Climate Change and International Security.’
- Links to relevant websites, among them a Global Politics magazine article about the possibility of increased conflict due to climate change-induced resource scarcity and migration.
- Our IR Directory with relevant organizations, including the Oakland-based Pacific Institute think tank that offers research and policy analysis on issues at the intersection of development, environment and security – with a special focus on water and climate.
We challenge you to test your knowledge about education worldwide, part of our theme this week: Challenging Education
This blog is part of a series of contributions documenting time spent in southern Nigeria to attend a conference and gather data for the targeting energy infrastructure (TEI) project.
In Nigeria, people celebrate when the lights come on. Admittedly, after barely a week in the country I too found myself joining in the collective, nationwide jubilee. The regular power outages throughout the country have created an emotional rollercoaster, whereby the mere act of sitting in a dark room that is at one moment illuminated by nothing more than a few flashlights (most of which are from mobile phones) and then at another buzzing with electricity. It’s nothing short of thrilling.
Yet the thrill soon dissipates in exchange for bewilderment. How can one of the top oil and gas producers in the world be short of energy to power its economy? Unfortunately, the irony doesn’t stop there. While millions of barrels of sweet, easily refined crude oil are shipped out of here daily to feed other economies, domestic fuel shortages have been a common feature in Nigeria. Years of militancy and criminal exploitation aimed at the oil and gas infrastructure in the energy-rich Niger Delta region mean there has been no development of new infrastructure, and overall mismanagement has limited the amount of supplies needed to feed domestic consumption. It wasn’t until last month that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced that fuel supplies exceeded national daily consumption rates for the first time in months. Accustomed to such scarcity, I found that most people frequently note when they see a station with short lines.
But the Nigerian civil society (and I would go further, to say African civil society) are extremely powerful, resourceful and innovative. What the state doesn’t provide, the community finds a way to supply. In the case of the energy shortages, Nigerians manage considerably well. For instance, the lively cyber café in Warri (which has become somewhat of a second home for me) is being powered by a generator as I scribble this blog. The actual power went off a long time ago. In fact, stepping outside one finds that the traffic noise is almost overwhelmed by the sounds of generators humming from most businesses. » More