Categories
Security Development

Violent Straw Men? Sex Ratios, Conflict, and a Methodological Disconnect

Kashmiri women watching a rally in Srinagar, courtesy of Kashmir Global/flickr

This article was originally published April 23 2014 by New Security Beat, the blog of the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) at the Wilson Center.

The emerging subfield of “security demographics” is interested in how demographic trends, such as youth bulges, high or low fertility rates, and sex ratios affect the security and stability of nation-states and regions. In our research, Andrea Den Boer and I have attempted to show that abnormally high sex ratios – situations where there are significantly more men than women – have been a security concern in the past and may affect security and stability in the future.

Categories
Security Conflict Defense

An Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter for Tomorrow’s Conflict

Marine attack helicopter landing aboard ship

This article was originally published April 18 2014 by Small Wars Journal

In January the Army Aviation Center of Excellence announced its plan to divest the army inventory of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior in favor of an attack and reconnaissance aviation force consisting of the AH-64 Apache and unmanned aircraft systems. The announcement drew both criticism and praise from various blogs and media sources. Most of this commentary centered on questions of the ability of the Apache helicopter and UAS to fulfill the aerial scout role,
and whether or not the Kiowa Warrior is truly obsolete. It is arguable however that the decision was driven as much by fiscal austerity as battlefield requirements.

Categories
Government Security Defense

Obama Administration Decision Weakens New START Implementation

START Treaty meeting
Image: Wikimedia

This article was originally published by the Federation of American Scientists

After four years of internal deliberations, the U.S. Air Force has decided to empty 50 Minuteman III ICBMs from 50 of the nation’s 450 ICBM silos. Instead of destroying the empty silos, however, they will be kept “warm” to allow reloading the missiles in the future if necessary.

The decision to retain the silos rather than destroy them is in sharp contrast to the destruction of 100 empty silos currently underway at Malmstrom AFB and F.E. Warren AFB. Those silos were emptied of Minuteman and MX ICBMs in 2005-2008 by the Bush administration and are scheduled to be destroyed by 2016.

Categories
Security Defense

Book Review: When Soldiers Say No: Selective Conscientious Objection in the Modern Military, edited by Andrea Ellner et al.

Image: Wikipedia

This article originally appeared at LSE Review of Books.

When Soldiers Say No: Selective Conscientious Objection in the Modern Military. Andrea Ellner, Paul Robinson and David Whetham (eds.) Ashgate. January 2014.

When Soldiers Say No brings together arguments for and against selective conscientious objection, as well as case studies examining how different countries deal with those who claim the status of selective conscientious objectors Gary Wilson writes that this collection adds considerably to the literature by bringing together a range of perspectives on the merits of selective conscientious objection, as well as consideration of its application (or lack thereof) in a number of states.