Categories
Terrorism

Where Do Sahel Terrorists Get Their Heavy Weapons?

Image courtesy of Magharebia/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS) on 12 February 2020.

With arms flows from Libya declining, military barracks and poorly controlled national stockpiles are being targeted.

Terror attacks on military outposts in the Liptako-Gourma area where Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger meet are increasingly ambitious and complex. Their frequency and the damage inflicted on defence and security forces is worrying, and raises questions about where the terror groups are sourcing their heavy weapons.

Categories
Health

Hotspots for Outbreaks of New and Recurring Diseases

Why is the coronavirus affecting some territories more than others? This week’s featured graphic illustrates the hotspots for outbreaks of new and recurring diseases. For more on global health security and infectious disease containment, read Ursula Jasper’s CSS Analyses here.

Categories
Trade

The Impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Central Asia and the South Caucasus

Image courtesy of thephilippena/Pixabay.

This article was originally published by the E-International Relations on 14 February 2020.

In September 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping first announced his strategic vision of “One Belt, One Road” (subsequently renamed the “Belt and Road Initiative” or BRI) during a speech at Nazarbayev University in the Kazakh capital. In essence, the BRI is a massive Chinese project, involving more than 130 countries, over $600 billion in existing commitments, and a total price tag estimated in the trillions of dollars, to redevelop the ancient Silk Road trade routes running between China and Europe. In his speech at Nazarbayev University, Xi suggested that China and Central Asia cooperate to build “the Belt,” the continental part of the Chinese vision, as opposed to “the Road,” the maritime segment. The choice to unveil this enormous project in a country with a relatively low international profile suggests the significance that China attaches to Kazakhstan specifically as well as the broader region in which it is situated. Indeed, Central Asia and the South Caucasus will be a key part of the BRI and home to a number of major associated projects.

Categories
Peace

Mediation Perspectives: Understanding Self-immolation in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy of bestbauch/pixabay

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors.

Since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, representatives of the island’s Muslim minority and Buddhist majority have increasingly clashed violently. Attacks and counterattacks between the two communities have challenged the hope for peace on the island. Peacebuilding approaches to deal with the clashes between the religious communities require a better understanding of human non-material needs as motivation for political action. Considering the rationality of seemingly irrational acts such as self-immolation helps in understanding both these needs and the contentious issue at hand.

Categories
Defense

It’s that Time of the Decade Again: Some Considerations for NATO’s Eighth Strategic Concept

Image courtesy of NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the NATO Defense College on 22 January 2020.

In the Declaration that emerged from the December 2019 London Leaders Meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was tasked to present Foreign Ministers with “a forward-looking reflection process under his auspices, drawing on relevant expertise, to further strengthen NATO’s political dimension including consultation”.1 This new tasking has been largely attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron’s remark the previous month that the Alliance was suffering from “brain death”.2 Speaking at a press conference alongside Stoltenberg, Macron elaborated on his comment, complaining the Alliance was overly focused on “cost-sharing or burden-sharing” whereas too little attention was being placed on major policy issues such as “peace in Europe, the post-INF, the relationship with Russia, the issue of Turkey, who is the enemy?”3