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Showing posts tagged as "Conflict prevention"
Showing posts tagged Conflict prevention
Doctrines Derailed?: Internationalism’s Uncertain Future
Global Briefing 2013 opening speech from the International Crisis Group’s President & CEO Louise Arbour. In her opening remarks, Arbour looks at the pursuit of international criminal justice; the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine; peacekeeping missions; and the international promotion of the Rule of Law. The shortcomings of these existing frameworks for conflict prevention are highlighted as she argues that it is only by acknowledging the inadequacies of our approaches that we have any chance of improving them. We are encouraged to fine-tune the tools of conflict management and use them more wisely to advance peace and security.
Day 2 of the Global Briefing has come to an end. We began with an intense discussion on Syria and wrapped up with parallel sessions on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Sudan.
We’re just wrapping up day 1 of our Global Briefing event. We’ve had fascinating discussions covering topics such as the EU and conflict prevention to tension in the China seas and stability in the Sahel.
U.S. denies N. Korea commando operation | The Washington Post
The U.S. military on Tuesday denied a report that it has been sending commandos into North Korea to spy on underground military facilities, a mission that would violate the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.
A U.S. military statement said that The Diplomat, an Asia-Pacific current affairs journal, had “taken great liberal license” with the comments attributed to a top U.S. general. According to The Diplomat, Brig. Gen. Neil H. Tolley, commander of special operations forUnited States Forces Korea, said at a conference last week that both U.S. and South Korean commandos parachute into the North to conduct reconnaissance on underground tunnels that are hidden from satellites.
“Quotes have been made up and attributed to him,” the U.S. statement said. “No U.S. or [South Korean] forces have parachuted into North Korea.”
But analysts warned that North Korea, despite the U.S. denial, could seize the initial report as evidence of American aggressiveness, a central theme for its propaganda and a key rationale for its military spending and provocations. Last week Pyongyang vowed to bolster its “nuclear deterrence” if the United States continued its hostile policy toward the North.
Photo: Charles McCain/ Flickr
Lady Gaga: Indonesian hardliners’ latest victory | Al Arabiya
Lady Gaga’s decision to cancel the Indonesian leg of her world tour due to threats by Muslim hardliners highlights how groups pushing a strict view of Islam are growing increasingly powerful, analysts say.
Home to the world’s largest Muslim population, officially secular Indonesia is often touted by Western leaders as a beacon of moderate Islam and a model for the Muslim world — as visiting U.S. President Barack Obama did in 2010.
But a series of attacks on Christians, Muslim minorities and those deemed “enemies of Islam”, combined with the apparent unwillingness of the government and courts to clamp down has sparked concerns over the rise of the hardliners.
Foreign Policy | The Accidental Peacemaker
China did something very unusual in the United Nations this week: It did not abstain from, much less veto, a resolution threatening to impose sanctions unless Sudan stopped killing civilians in South Sudan. China has long treated Sudan as a client state, and it stood by Khartoum during the long years when Western powers tried to stop the atrocities the regime was committing in Darfur. Yet, after a discussion that a Security Council diplomat described as “substantive but not acrimonious,” China voted for Resolution 2046, which demands that both Sudan and South Sudan put an end to cross-border attacks and return to negotiations.
China has not, of course, become a convert to human rights, as the current standoff over activist Chen Guangcheng proves all too vividly. Nor is it having second thoughts about its foundational foreign-policy doctrine of “nonintervention,” which has made China the defender of authoritarian regimes the world over. A recent report on Chinese foreign policy by the British group Saferworld concludes that “At least for now, non-interference, stable regimes and stable relations that are conducive to maintaining China’s global economic engagement, will retain precedence in guiding Beijing’s diplomatic relations with conflict-affected states.”
But something important has happened: Facing a situation in which the principle of nonintervention doesn’t tell it what to do, China has been forced to join the United States and other countries, as well as the African Union, in actively trying to end a brutal conflict. China has supported Sudan over the last decade because Sudan supplied China with oil. Last year, however, when South Sudan became independent, Khartoum lost most of its oil-producing territory. China immediately began courting the new country with visits from senior officials and a blizzard of proposed investment deals. Only last week, while South Sudanese President Salva Kiir was in Beijing, China announced an $8 billion loan to the new country to build major infrastructure projects. But though South Sudan has most of the oil, Sudan has the pipelines and the refining equipment. So China needs both countries — and the rising spiral of violence between them, provoked largely though not wholly by Khartoum, has forced China to get off the sidelines.
Pakistan’s Relations with India: Beyond Kashmir?
Islamabad/Brussels | 3 May 2012
Their recent dialogue process provides the best chance yet for bilateral peace and regional stability, but Pakistan and India must still overcome serious mistrust among hardliners in their security elites.
Pakistan’s Relations with India: Beyond Kashmir? , the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, analyses how the deeper economic ties they are building could help repair the breach between the two nuclear-armed powers who have fought multiple wars with each other.
For over six decades, bilateral relations have been overshadowed by the Kashmir dispute. With political will on both sides to normalise relations, however, the dialogue process has resulted in some promising achievements. Broader economic ties would provide a more conducive environment to address longstanding disputes like Kashmir.
“Pakistan and India need to build on what they have achieved to reach sustainable peace”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. “Deeper economic ties have been formed. But an effective integration of the two economies requires measures that enable greater movement across the border”.
Numerous challenges still threaten the chance for peace and stability. Pakistan’s fragile democratic transition, pivotal to the success of the dialogue, is endangered by a powerful military that is deeply hostile toward India and supports anti-India-oriented extremist groups. Another Mumbai-style attack by Pakistan-based jihadists would make the dialogue untenable and could even spark a new war.
Liberalised trade, stronger commercial links and deeper bilateral economic investment would strengthen moderate forces in Pakistan’s government, political parties, business community and civil society. But New Delhi’s heavy-handed suppression of dissent and large military footprint in the portion of Kashmir it controls alienate Kashmiris, undermine Pakistani constituencies for peace and embolden jihadi groups and hardliners in the military and civil bureaucracies.
There are other impediments. With India constructing several dams in the Indus River Basin, the Pakistani military and jihadi groups now identify water disputes as a core issue, along with Kashmir, that must be resolved if relations are to be normalised. Averse to talks that do not prioritise the terror threat, Indian hardliners could also impede normalisation.
India’s concerns about jihadi groups are legitimate but should not define and encumber dialogue with Pakistan. Given its neighbour’s fragile democratic transition, New Delhi should be more flexible and patient. Such an approach, if sustained, would enable the Pakistani civilian political leadership to take the initiative on security-related and territorial disputes, including Kashmir.
“Pakistan’s ability to broaden engagement with India depends on a sustained democratic transition, with elected leaders gaining control over foreign and security policy from the military”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “This would result in new prospects to move beyond a rigid, Kashmir-centric approach to India”.
NPR | Canceling Out The ‘Background Noise’ On Egypt-Israel Relations
By ending a historic gas contract with Israel, is Egypt laying the groundwork for a fundamental shift in relations? Not quite, says Rob Malley of the International Crisis Group.
Malley, program director for the Middle East and North Africa, talks to NPR’s David Greene on Weekend Edition about last week’s announcement, which raised questions of political rifts.