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ISN Quiz: Armed Non-State Actors

Test your knowledge of the ANSA ABC, the focus of our Special Report this week.


ISN Weekly Theme: Critical Infrastructure Protection

Oil Pumping Station in Alaska, photo: Mike Smail/flickr

This week the ISN takes a closer look at the fluid, expanding threat to those assets which are essential to the proper functioning of society and economy. Governments are finding that answers to the question of how best to protect this ‘critical infrastructure,’ ranging from telecommunications to transportation systems, remain elusive.

The Special Report contains the following content:

  • An Analysis by Dr Myriam Dunn Cavelty of the ETH Center for Security Studies examines a dual challenge facing governments: how best to protect critical infrastructure from attack and how to most quickly rebound following an inevitable attack.
  • A Podcast interview with researcher Jennifer Giroux explores the blurring of lines between political and criminal intent in pipeline attacks.
  • Security Watch stories about cybersecurity threats from Washington to Estonia.
  • Publications housed in our Digital Library, including a recent Center for Security Studies’ paper on the challenges of public-private cooperation for critical infrastructure protection.
  • Primary Resources, like the full text of the US Department for Homeland Security’s ‘National Infrastructure Protection Plan.’
  • Links to relevant websites, among them the Critical Infrastructure Protection Blog, which provides extensive information on CIP programs in the US and Europe.
  • Our IR Directory with relevant organizations, including the Center for Secure Information Systems at George Mason University that examines information secrecy, integrity and availability problems in military, civil and commercial sectors.

Cyprus: A Mediterranean Symptom

UN Buffer Zone - Ledra, Cyprus / Photo: Jpatokal, Wikipedia

The division of Cyprus embodies most of the challenges that the Mediterranean region is facing today.

In 1974, following the Greek coup attempt, the Turks invaded the island and now occupy the northern part – called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – which is recognized only by Turkey.

Since that time, the frozen conflict over Cyprus has been a sticking point for both the EU and Turkey: the EU for having one of its member states occupied by a foreign country; and Turkey for having its EU accession hopes slowed down.

Cyprus represents a divided region, divided between a Muslim and a Christian community; between an aging side looking for comfort and a youthful one looking for opportunities; between a peaceful Europe with a high GDP and a conflicting Arab world that struggles to adapt to globalization.

It is also divided by a physical wall, the Green Line, which until 2003, was not possible to cross.
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South America: Opposing Signals

F-16 jet, courtesy of Jeffk42/flickr

F-16 Jet, courtesy of Jeffk42/flickr

In his article for the ISN weekly theme, Dr Markus Schultze-Kraft explains that the “political-ideological rift that divides the region, deep mutual distrust, opposed geopolitical projects and international alliances, and not least the enormously challenging nature of the transnational security threats, such as Colombia’s armed conflict and drug-trafficking, all conspire against regional security improvements.”

I will not argue against this statement that summarizes perfectly the issues that South America is facing today. I will elaborate on something that has not been mentioned and that is, to me, crucial to the (non-)establishment of confidence and regional security in the continent: the militarization of South American countries.
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ISN Weekly Theme: South America’s Power Puzzle

A view of South America / Photo: Peter Ito, flickr

The ISN looks south to start the new year: South America that is. Our theme this week, South America’s Power Puzzle, examines the geopolitical, ideological and security issues the continent is tackling. We start with Markus Schultze-Kraft’s Tackling the Andean Security Dilemma, in which he focuses on the challenges the Andean states face and explains why they shouldn’t bear the task alone.

Senior ISN Security Watch correspondent for Latin America Samuel Logan shifts the focus to Brazil in the latest edition of ISN Podcasts, shining a light on the geopolitical struggle of Latin America’s largest country.

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