A Somali fisherman carries fish from a car in Hamar Weyn distrct’s fish market. Mogadishu, Somalia. Image: AMISOM Public Information/Flickr
This article was originally published by the World Policy Blog on 6 October, 2015.
Extensive illegal fishing by foreign vessels in Somali waters threatens economic development in the Horn of Africa. Somali fishermen are unable to compete because the foreign fishers are better equipped and better skilled. Some Somalis believe that the only way to protect their resources and make a living is by committing piracy.
Piracy slowly grew from unorganized vigilante “coast guards” in the 1990s to transnational organized crime networks, wreaking havoc on the global shipping industry, in the early to mid-2000s. It reached its peak in 2011, when more than 28 vessels were hijacked in the waters off the Horn of Africa. Maritime crime has declined intensively over the past few years, as international naval patrols and armed guards on ships have increased. However, a recent report by Secure Fisheries, warns that those advances could be reversed if illegal fishing is not stopped. » More
The Prime Minster of Japan, Shinzo Abe. Image: vrchase/Flickr
This article was originally published by the East Asia Forum on 9 October, 2015.
Japan’s new security laws, which were passed on 19 September and allow for limited forms of collective self-defence, have been described as a ‘move away from pacifism’, the opening of a ‘Pandora’s box’ and the ‘unsheathing of a new Japanese sword’. But considering the bill’s extreme limitations and significant domestic constraints — including a greying and shrinking population, mounting domestic debt and deeply embedded pacifist norms — one wonders how and why this narrative has taken root so deeply. » More
Marines from Headquarters & Service Company, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines, conducting a dawn patrol in Nawa District, Afghanistan. Image: Sgt. Mark Fayloga/Wikimedia
This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 6 October, 2015.
The armies of the Islamic State running roughshod over government forces in Iraq and Syria. Russian little green men infiltrating eastern Ukraine following the military annexation of Crimea. Houthi rebels overthrowing the Yemeni government and seizing large swaths of the country. Taliban fighters seizing an Afghan provincial capital and carving out ever-larger strips of the countryside. Groups inspired by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State attacking government forces in the Sinai, Libya, West Africa and Pakistan.
AirSea Battle seems so yesterday. » More
Secessionist statement on a mural in Vilassar de Mar, Catalonia. Image: 1997/Wikimedia
This article was originally published by LSE EUROPP, a blog hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science, on 2 October, 2015.
Catalonia’s independence movement secured a majority of seats in the regional parliament on 27 September, but fell short of winning an outright majority of the vote. The result strengthened the case for a referendum, which Madrid has for long rejected, but weakened the case for independence: after years of campaigning and mobilising Catalans, the pro-independence camp is still unable to secure half the regional vote.
The path to independence will remain a long, contentious and indeed controversial one. But what lessons can Spain draw from other secessionist movements around the world? The primary lesson is that secession, whether it takes place in Europe, the Middle East or Africa, in industrialised democratic countries or war-torn developing countries, tends to bring more problems than it solves. » More