An artist’s rendition of the new light-bending metamaterial, as published in a National Science Foundation press release, October 2007.
Image: Keith Drake.
Fiction and reality have meshed to incredible extents in the past decades, and it is no longer a surprise to see sci-fi-inspired inventions used in everyday life. The military field has been no exception and is now at the cusp of groundbreaking innovations that could change war-making to its core.
The next frontier in defense technology is so-called “stealth” technologies, in which the U.S. military has already invested huge funds. New research is opening up the prospect of achieving something close to invisibility on the battlefield, a breakthrough likened to Harry Potter`s famous invisibility cloak. While most stealth technologies are designated to elude enemy radars, new invisibility technologies could conceal objects in real time, not just from radar but from the naked eye.
The science of invisibility took off in the mid 2000s. This research has mostly involved the use of metamaterials, which are extremely thin composites that bend electromagnetic waves in a way that negatively refracts lights. Cloaking mechanisms use metamaterials to route light waves around an object and create the sensation of looking through the object.
The use of metamaterials for electromagnetic cloaking has been intensely studied in the past decade and has achieved some successes. Recent research, mostly sponsored and initiated by militaries, has revealed the potential for full 3D cloaking and invisibility in free space. In 2011, for instance, scientists devised an “invisibility carpet,” which conceals objects under etched layers of silicon oxide and silicon nitride. By bending light waves away, it masks the “bump” of the object to be hidden so the cloak appears flat and smooth.
The range of technologies of deception providing something close to invisibility also includes so-called “active” or “adaptive camouflage.” This type of camouflage uses optical technology that replaces in real time the appearance of what is masked with the appearance of the surroundings by placing a thin screen between the observer and the concealed objects. Research in the field of active virtual camouflage has already been tested or applied in military aviation, the maritime domain, or on the ground, such as to cloak tanks.
The private sector is teaming up with national defense agencies to develop real-time active camouflaging of military vehicles. BAE Systems has proposed a model of adaptive technology based on hexagonal pixels that mimics the heat signals in the surroundings. With such momentous developments, the military is not only opening new gates to innovation but also creating new unknowns. Cloaking technologies would make warring actors less detectible and therefore less predictable.
In the “stealth era,” battlefield strength might just be dictated by the level of stealth or invisibility technology at the disposal of combatants. This is likely to trigger a scientific and technological race, as well as provide new platforms for countries to enhance their prestige domestically and internationally. China has already openly joined the competition to develop visual and electronic cloaks of invisibility. The central government has funded over 40 research teams in the past three years to develop invisibility technologies. Considered instrumental to spying or hiding of military equipment, the project has so far been carried with high discretion, or as one of the researchers described it, “We are invisible people studying invisible technology.”
The era ushered in by stealth technologies could revolutionize war-making, surveillance, and military-technological relations, creating new interstate competitions and potential security dilemmas. Increasingly, these technologies are treated not as possibility, but as reality. A 2012 contracting document at the Pentagon, for instance, mentions “clandestine mobility” as one of the Air Force’s key capabilities, stating that security forces should focus on “detection avoidance and solutions that reduce signatures to cloak Special Operations Forces’ presence in the area of operations.”
Though the research and testing of the invisibility technology are already at an advanced stage, the technology’s practical usage is still in its infancy. Current designs mostly hide objects from microwaves or infrared waves, and scientists are skeptical that cloaking devices could be fully functional soon. Even so, the emerging field of stealth and invisibility technologies is expected to grow in attention and importance. This could boost the role of private technology companies as states expand funding for military research in order to keep pace with their rivals. Just as the technology it aims to create, the achievement of invisibility (or something close to it) will result in more elusive and obscure threats and challenges to states by further reducing military transparency. Expect that more national militaries will embark on a mission to catch up with these technologies and develop their own.
Nayef Al-Rodhan is a Philosopher, Neuroscientist and Geostrategist. He is a Senior Member of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, UK, and Senior Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Geopolitics of Globalisation and Transnational Security at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland. He is the author of The Politics of Emerging Strategic Technologies: Implications for Geopolitics, Human Enhancement and Human Destiny (sustainablehistory.com).
On September 17, 2013, Michael Donald Kirby, Chairperson the Commission of Inquiry on the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea presented to the 24th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Image: Jean-Marc Ferré.
On February 17, a Commission of Inquiry established by the UN Human Rights Council—the United Nations’ top intergovernmental human rights body—released a devastating report on the human rights situation in North Korea. The nearly 400-page document enumerates a shocking litany of human rights abuses by the regime.
Amounting to “crimes against humanity,” these abuses include “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. . .and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.” “The gravity, scale, and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” concludes the report, which is based on 80 public testimonies from survivors as well as more than 270 confidential interviews.
The Commission’s report is unprecedented in detailing the extent of rights abuses in North Korea. In the words of Commission Chair Michael Kirby, “We cannot say we didn’t know. . .We now do know.”
Among other recommendations, the report calls upon the UN Security Council to refer the situation in North Korea to the International Criminal Court and to slap the regime with targeted sanctions. It also suggests that UN members should act to ensure that some form of investigatory mechanism continues the work of the Commission.
Interestingly, the Commission also sent a letter directly to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, informing the young ruler that he could very well come under prosecution for the astonishing array of rights violations in the country.
Beyond the report’s role as a step-forward toward accountability, the commission’s chair framed the undertaking in terms of human dignity. One exchange during the press conference announcing the official release of the report is telling in this regard. A journalist asked the panel:
Do you think that the people in North Korea are aware that there is something like human rights and that they are violated on a regular basis in the country?
Commission Chair and former Australian High Court Justice, Michael Kirby, responded:
That’s a question I asked when I was special representative of the secretary general in Cambodia and the response I got was mirth. They couldn’t believe I could be so stupid as to ask that question. Ordinary human beings know when things are being done that are arbitrary, cruel, ruthless, but often they can’t do anything about it. And I think it’s probably the same in North Korea. They may not know the great treaties, they may have never heard of the Palais des Nations, but that they know that they have a dignity as being a human being is something I think we should never forget.
Kirby’s candid response highlights an essential element of the concept of dignity, namely in terms of universality.
Perhaps it was the same universal sentiment of dignity that opened the door for the 47 members of the Human Rights Council to establish the Commission back in April 2013. Indeed, despite the routine vociferous objections of many UN members—including some on the Council—that it is unproductive for the United Nations to address human rights violations on a country-specific basis, the resolution creating the mandate for the Commission was adopted on a consensus basis; not a single country voted nay.
The international human rights regime—including intergovernmental institutions, individual governments, and civil society—should continue to investigate, expose, and document human rights violations of Kim Jong-Un’s regime as well as maintain the march towards justice for unconscionable violations of dignity in North Korea. With North Korea having powerful friends in institutions like the UN Security Council, this will not be easy. Nevertheless, the Commission’s report marks a key precedent moving forward.
Accordingly, both the concept of universal human dignity as well as the implementation of human rights norms should continue to drive the efforts of the Council, and more often animate those of the broader United Nations, in turn giving hope to brave human rights defenders worldwide, like those on North Korea.
More about the Commission of Inquiry, including satellite images of labor camps in North Korea and survivors’ renderings of daily rights violations, is available on the UN Officer of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website.
Ryan Kaminski is the Leo Nevas Human Rights Fellow of the United Nations Association of the United States of America.
Mark Lagon is Professor in the Practice of International Affairs, and Global Politics and Security Chair in the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University, and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at Council on Foreign Relations.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Westerners rarely associate public Islam with nonviolent political movements. Nevertheless, Muslims have a long history of peacefully working for social change. The Chisti Sufi order has pursued pacifism and social justice for centuries. Gandhi’s right-hand-man, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, is far less celebrated than his Hindu counterpart. Sénégal’s non-violent revolutionary leader, Amadou Bamba, is rarely discussed in the West. Groups such as the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights work tirelessly for peace and social justice yet are constantly overshadowed by militants and suicide bombers. Now, with the Winter Olympics being staged in Sochi, Russia, global attention is on Chechnya and Dagestan, Islamist separatist regions 280 miles away. A mere 200 miles from the Olympic games, however, is the Crimean peninsula, home to Mustafa Dzhemilev, one of the most remarkable and least known heroes of Islamic nonviolence.
Mustafa Dzhemilev has been the leader of the National Movement of Crimean Tatars since 1989 and of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People since 1998. He was among the nearly 200,000 ethnic Crimean Tatars exiled by Stalin to central Asia under false pretext in 1944. As the catalyst behind the Crimean Tatar National Movement, Dzhemilev has remained committed to the principle of absolute nonviolence. He has endured arrests, imprisonments, and exiles and has resisted his adversaries through hunger strikes, boycotts, demonstrations, international publicity, and tireless political campaigning. Under his leadership the Crimean Tatars—who constitute an ethnic (Tatar) and religious (Muslim) minority on the Crimean Peninsula—have recovered a number of basic human rights.
In fact, Dzhemilev was formally nominated to receive the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize and has won numerous other humanitarian awards. He now focuses on a range of issues confronting Crimean Tatars, including Crimean-language education, Muslim religious rights, social and political discrimination, restoration of lands, preservation of ethnic identity, healing in the aftermath of the deadly Soviet cleansing, and the continued diaspora of many tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars. In Dzhemilev’s words, the movement has made surprising progress: “My biggest dream was to die in freedom, not to be buried with a [bullet] in my head. I didn’t believe much that I [would] return [from exile to Crimea].” At the same time, Dzhemilev believes that there is still an equality gap that begs nonviolent political and social action until the realization of the “complete return of the Crimean Tatar people to its historical motherland and restoration of its rights.”
On May 18, 1944, Joseph Stalin initiated the Sürgün—the forced deportation of the entire Crimean Tatar population to Central Asia under the pretext that some Crimean Tatar leaders had been collaborating with the German Third Reich. In reality, Stalin expelled the Crimean Tatars in order to ensure that ethnic Russians constituted a majority on the peninsula, an agenda that the Kremlin has maintained even following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Historians estimate that between 20 and 50 percent of the deposed Crimean Tatars perished either during the deportation or within a year thereof. In 1961, Dzhemilev co-founded the Association of Crimean Tatar Youth, which six years and numerous arrests later would realize the Supreme Soviet Council’s retraction of the deportation decree, conceded to have included “unwarranted indictments hastily extended to the entire Tatar population of Crimea.” The struggle for repatriation continues to this day, and Dzhemilev has been the face of the movement for half a century. Today, roughly half of the Crimean Tatar population resides in Crimea (where they make up 12 percent of the population compared with 58 percent Russians and 24 percent Ukrainians) while the majority of the diaspora lives in Uzbekistan. Both within and outside of Crimea, the Crimean Tatars suffer from disproportionate levels of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and harassment.
Dzhemilev in Exile
Mustafa Dzhemilev was not immune to the injustices committed against the Crimean Tatar people, having spent approximately 15 years in prison camps for alleged crimes against the Soviet state. While in exile in Uzbekistan, he frequently led boycotts, marches, conscientious objection, and other nonviolent displays of noncooperation. While in prison for this dissent, he often protested his detention with obstinate hunger strikes (one famously lasting 303 days during which he was kept alive through force-feeding). His movement had two stated objectives: “to return Crimean Tatars to their homeland and to regain the autonomy Crimea had before 1945.” After Dzhemilev’s 1986 release (mediated by Ronald Reagan) from a hard labor prison camp, Dzhemilev ensured that he and 250,000 other Crimean Tatars were able to return to their ancestral homeland. The principled resistance which characterized Dzhemilev’s advocacy in Uzbekistan continued when he moved to Ukraine, and his nonviolent methods immediately caught the attention of the local Soviets to whom such a methodology was completely foreign. Political historian Kurtmolla Abdulganiyev notes of the Crimean Tatar National Movement that, “in the history of the USSR, the movement stands out for its dedication to the principle of non-violence, the consistency and duration of its struggle for minority rights, and its unique institutional framework.” As a result of Dzhemilev’s vision of peace through justice, Abdulganiyev further comments that, “Crimean Tatars [were] the only Soviet nationality, which, through the process of defending its rights, developed a democratic, quasi-parliamentary system of self-government and political representation.”
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dzhemilev has identified a number of factors that he believes point to the continuing injustice experienced by Crimean Tatars following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Of primary concern is the large Crimean Tatar population still in exile in Uzbekistan and Russia and the difficult path to Ukrainian citizenship for those who do return to Crimea. Another issue confronting Crimean Tatars is the problem of so-called samozakhvats—Crimean people who either cannot afford housing or cannot obtain legal permits to construct their own homes and therefore illegally squat on unoccupied lands. The fourth problem on which Dzhemilev focuses is that of cultural attrition, which takes place in the dimensions of religion, political representation, and language. The number of mosques in Crimea has decreased by more than 90 percent from the roughly 1,500 which existed during the height of the Crimean Khanate. Furthermore, those mosques that do remain are increasingly the targets of radical extremists (such as the Khyzb ut-Takhrir) who seek to replace Crimean Tatar mullahs and imams with reactionary Islamists. The Ukrainian press also stigmatizes the Crimean Tatar religiosity, frequently conjuring vague and sensationalized warnings that the Crimean Tatars comprise an unchecked Muslim population with militant aspirations that threaten to turn Crimea into Ukraine’s Chechnya.
In addition to a struggle for religious identity, Crimean Tatars face the challenge of marginal enfranchisement and political representation. Though they comprise more than 12 percent of the Crimean population, they hold only 4 percent of governmental administrative positions. Dzhemilev seeks to increase Crimean Tatar participation in both Crimean and Ukrainian politics through his role as Chairman of the Mejlis, an unofficial civil structure which claims authority over all Crimean Tatars and which functions as an intermediary between its constituents and the Ukrainian administration. Additionally, Dzhemilev advocates for the human rights of Crimean Tatars and other oppressed minorities from his seat on the Verkhovna Rada, or Ukrainian parliament.
Another crucial element in the preservation of Crimean Tatar ethnic identity is the survival of the Crimean Tatar language. UNESCO classifies the language, which was an official tongue in Crimea prior to the 1944 deportation, as being on the verge of extinction. Dzhemilev claims that 90 percent of Crimean Tatar children attend Russian-language schools and that even in the few Crimean Tatar schools instruction in Crimean Tatar is rare. According to Dzhemilev, “A total [linguistic] Russification is going on.” He asks what value there is in return from exile if the culture is not preserved: “If we are doomed to lose our identity on our land and to become Russians, why did we come back and become victims of our struggle?”
Mustafa Dzhemilev has devoted his entire adult life to the nonviolent project of rehabilitating Crimean Tatars in the peninsula. It is doubtful that the movement would have accomplished so much, and with the complete absence of organized violence, had it not been for Dzhemilev’s visionary leadership.
Assessment and Future Potential
Though Dzhemilev is approaching retirement, his legacy is still being forged. He has employed countless nonviolent strategies, individual and collective, in seeking justice for the Crimean Tatars. He has been an outspoken political advocate for countless minority groups and is known for humanizing even ‘enemy’ majority opponents. Due to his sacrifice and his commitment to democracy, peacebuilding, and justice, hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars now reside in Ukraine. At the same time, an enormous diaspora remains in Uzbekistan, those who do live in Crimea face blatant discrimination and bleak economic conditions, and the very cultural identity of Crimean Tatars is threatened by Russian policy, Ukrainian pressure, and Islamicist co-option. Clearly there is more to be done, but fortunately the National Movement of Crimean Tatars is committed firmly to the irreducibility of nonviolence and justice. In the words of Mustafa Dzhemilev, “When violent means are used innocent people die, and no just cause can justify the taking of innocent lives.”
Tasi Perkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Theological and Religious Studies at Georgetown University. He earned a B.S. from Cornell University (Statistics and Biometry), an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School, and completed a year of Th.D. work at Boston University.
Image: Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)
Last Monday, I spoke on South Korea’s air strategy at the 7th Asia-Pacific Security Conference (APSEC) in Singapore, where the participants discussed the future of Sino-American relations and the strategic implications of air power in Asia.
The majority of the panelists in the question-and-answer session seemed to agree that both China and the United States should cooperate amicably. For instance, General Herbert Carlisle, the Commander of the Pacific Air Forces, stated that he was offended by the term “pivot to Asia,” because the United States has always maintained its presence in the Asia-Pacific as a stabilizing force through military-to-military exchanges with its Asian allies, as well as with China. Indeed, China has agreed to participate in the annual Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise hosted by the US Pacific Fleet this year. China has also participated in the annual Cobra Gold exercises since 2002 and counter-piracy activities with the United States.
Absent in the discussion, however, were the specifics as to how the United States should recalibrate its strategy in the Asia-Pacific. For instance, since the United States must cooperate with China on myriad economic and regional security issues, how will Washington justify Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that “the United States would defend Japan against attack including over islands claimed by China?” Or how will Washington resolve the ongoing tension in the Korean peninsula when President Obama’s “strategic patience” towards North Korea has all but failed?
Even though China has yet to supplant the United States as a global super power, perceived U.S. decline in the Asia-Pacific has not gone unnoticed. This perception, real or not, has led some to argue that “the Asia-Pacific region has two policemen—the U.S. and China.” Also, it is worth noting that China has been steadily ratcheting up its military capabilities because its survival hinges upon perception at home that it is capable of challenging American hegemony.
Should the United States continue to believe that it will retain its “undisputed” hegemony in the region? It all depends on what is meant by undisputed hegemony. If we are talking about undisputed hegemony in the sense of hard military and economic power projection, the short answer is no. At a time when the U.S. Armed Forces are facing drastic cuts due to sequestration, and when the nation still struggles with weak economic recovery, it would be foolish for the United States to think it can somehow maintain the status quo. If, however, by “undisputed hegemony” we mean the United States leading by example through projection of its soft power and through the exercise of deft diplomacy, then the United States still has a critical role to play as a peacemaker and champion of liberal democracy.
There are many ways in which the United States can become a stabilizing and peaceful hegemon in the Asia-Pacific. First, it should recognize, as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen did, that America’s foreign policy must not be “dominated by the military, too dependent upon the generals and admirals.” That is, policymakers must pause to consider the long-term strategic ramifications before they decide to send troops into harm’s way. Second, the United States must adopt neutrality as its primary policy when dealing with disputes among Asian-Pacific countries. The United States will not be able to successfully defuse deep-seated rancor among parties involved when it is quick to take sides, as it has done in territorial disputes between China and the Philippines and between China and Japan. Furthermore, should it abandon impartiality, the United States could find itself mired in a regional conflict of catastrophic magnitude. Third, the United States must abandon the ineffective strategic patience strategy against North Korea and instead be prepared to negotiate with North Korea on equal terms. Last but not least, the United States must continue to promote its soft power in the Asia-Pacific—its traditional strong suit. Indeed, the Pew Research Center’s July 2013 poll found that a median of 63 percent people surveyed around the world expressed a favorable opinion of the United States, compared to 50 percent for China.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might have been right when she noted back in 2011 that her Asian counterparts “still want America to be an engaged and creative partner.” For this reason, the United States can and should prepare itself for a new role as chief peacemaker in the Asia-Pacific.
Jeong Lee is a freelance writer whose writings on U.S. defense and foreign policy issues have appeared in East Asia Forum, the U.S. Naval Institute Blog, RealClearDefense, Parameters, and Small Wars Journal.
Image: Dylan Otto Krider
There was a sea change in the State Department’s anti-human trafficking office when I was its director and chief envoy from 2007 to 2009. The changes lie in the perceived nature of human trafficking and in priorities for policy responses.
The first shift was from primarily focusing on sex trafficking to an equal emphasis on exploitation for purposes of labor. The civil society coalition ranging from feminists of the left to Christian humanitarians on the right who put human trafficking on the political map in the late 1990s had the image in mind of girls and women trafficked for commercial sex—notably flowing out of former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries after the Cold War. But it became clear that as many and more victims were being veritably enslaved for labor. Indeed, by 2007 to 2009, trafficking victims were flowing into Russia from former Warsaw Pact states for labor exploitation, rather than females flowing out for sexual exploitation. And this is not to mention the estimated two-thirds of global trafficking victims—according to scholar Kevin Bales—in bonded labor in South Asia.
Yet the second shift was born of the realization was that human trafficking victims who cross borders are not only undocumented migrants but in many cases are “legal,” documented guest workers. The trafficking of guest workers was and is perhaps most acute in the Gulf states, to which migrant workers from places like South and Southeast Asia flock. This problem was so pronounced that even contractors engaged in the construction of the enormous U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad were implicated. My questioning the hypocrisy of the United States grading other nations on their trafficking record but not giving the fullest accounting of the situation in Iraq did not win popularity points in the bureaucracy.
The trafficking of regular migrants with papers occurs in three nodes, as it were. First, unregulated labor recruiters or “brokers” require migrant workers to pay a fee to place them in jobs abroad—sometimes a fee equaling one or two years of salary. This debt traps the worker in the situation. It becomes debt bondage, akin to that of Dalits in a rice mill or brick kiln in India. Those “brokers” also lie about the nature of the work the migrants will perform—what it is, how dirty and dangerous it is, how many hours a day it is, and even where it is (including ending up working in Iraq when expecting to go elsewhere).
Second, labor agencies in the destination country for the migrant shift the migrants into different work than promised. They turn the initial recruiters’ promises into lies.
Third, workers are exploited at the actual place of employment, in the production of a good or service in the supply chain of global businesses (or government procurement). In particular, the business operations often hold the passport and the legal papers of the worker, ostensibly to keep them secure. But in reality, held papers prevent workers from fleeing a brutal worksite, for fear of being detained for lacking papers and repatriated without an ability to pay off the placement fee. As a Board Member of the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking, I have witnessed a major business in our dialogues, deeply committed to fighting human trafficking, find to its horror that factories in its supply chains regularly held passports of workers.
So what solutions are available? The first modest step is dialogue between “sending” and “recipient” states of labor migration. Both parties tend to point to each other as the one responsible for the safety of workers. Dialogue represented the early baby steps in seeking solutions from 2007 to 2009, facilitated for instance by the International Organization for Migration.
Second, vigorous action is needed by “sending” nations’ diplomats. As a sending state, the Philippines is a paragon of “owning” support for its citizens in recipient nations, conducting blunt diplomacy and running shelters for runaway abused workers at their embassies, even at the risk of compromising huge remittances sent home to family members by Filipinos and Filipinas abroad.
Third, a standard form of contract must be established for migrant workers so that those unfamiliar with their destination country and the language spoken there can have some transparent expectations.
Fourth, labor recruiters need to be vetted and regulated. The business community cringes at mention of increased regulation, but no actor is more vulnerable than multinational companies to reputational harm springing from labor sourcing based on unregulated fraud and debt bondage.
Fifth, the company receiving the benefit of the labor, not the laborer, needs to pay any placement fees to brokers. Again, this may seem like a burden to business, but it is in enlightened self-interest. Having no exploitation surprises is worth the investment.
Finally, factories and worksites of businesses and subcontractors must never ever hold the passports and work papers of migrant workers. It is workers’ unassailable right to retain their own documentation.
There are resources for businesses to implement such steps. Headquartered in Amherst, Massachusetts, state-of-the-art global nonprofit Verite offers business its expertise in reliable and humane labor sourcing in the form of a toolkit embodying best practices.
So, human trafficking wreaks havoc in addition to commoditized sex; the International Labor Organization found in 2012 that third-quarters of it is primarily for labor. In the face of such trafficking that not only ensnares “irregular,” undocumented migrants but also “legal” guest workers, businesses can no longer say they don’t know about the problem or about available solutions.
Mark Lagon is Professor in the Practice of International Affairs, and Global Politics and Security Chair in the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University, and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at Council on Foreign Relations.
Edmond Mulet on a visit to Darfur in June 2012.Image: African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Edmond Mulet, UN Assistant-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, participated in a phone interview in October 2013, and follow-up correspondence in January 2014, to discuss the current state of the field.
GJIA: What [...]
Continue reading UN Peacekeeping Missions: An Interview with Edmond Mulet
Whirling Dervishes.Image: Babitha George.
Turkish secularism is threatening the identity and vitality of the country’s Islamic minorities, in particular the Dervish Sufi and Naqsbandi Sufi movements. Secularism forces these two religious minorities to choose between becoming commoditized and controlled by the state—“public dilution”—and camouflaging their religious activities in order to protect their [...]
Continue reading Secularism and Islamic Minorities in Turkey by Lauve H. Steenhuisen
January 26 was a pivotal moment in the development of Ukraine’s current political situation. On that day, the Ukrainian national parliament met for an extraordinary session and cancelled a package of anti-democratic laws it had adopted with massive procedural irregularities on January 16 to ease tensions in the country. [...]
Continue reading Uneasy Truce Sets in Ukraine as Solution to the Crisis Remains Elusive by Oxana Shevel
Dr. Richard Andres, Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College, sat down with the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs to discuss cyber security. The opinions expressed in this conversation do not represent official positions of National Defense University or the Department of Defense.
GJIA: We hear a [...]
Continue reading Cyber Security Threats: An Interview with Dr. Richard Andres
Image: Thomas Rid.
The increasing ability to access and distribute information through cyberspace is profoundly changing how people and societies interact. The pace of these changes, particularly with regards to malicious behavior, can seem rather alarming. Reports of network intrusions, stolen data, website defacements, and phishing scams are daily fodder for local [...]
Continue reading Cyberwar: In Need of a Theory by David Fahrenkrug