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This Week at ISN
23 – 27 September 2013

Our Weekly Editorial Roundup

» Editorial Plan | Security Watch | Blog | Video

//   Southern Africa: Towards Bipolarity?
While South Africa remains a political and economic powerhouse, Angola's rising star might push their neighborhood towards a new bipolar dynamic. Only time will tell what impact this potential rivalry might have, inter alia, on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - an organization which continues to seek regional solutions to security and governance-related problems. Despite SADC's efforts, however, deeper integration remains unlikely, particularly in the case of monetary union. The prospects for a common resource management system are also poor – many of the region's states are still not 'sovereign' enough to make it work.

The Economic Gateway to Africa?
23 September 2013

Because of its location, geography and extensive transport infrastructure, South Africa is the economic gateway to the African continent. However, to maintain this status, write Peter Draper and Sören Scholvin, Pretoria will self-consciously have to remain at the center of regional development and integration. » More

Southern Africa Regional Security Complex: The Emergence of Bipolarity?
24 September 2013

Southern Africa is a sparsely populated, mineral-rich region that is politically and economically dominated by Pretoria, right? Wrong, argues Igor Castellano da Silva. The region is becoming increasingly 'bipolar' with Angola's material capabilities now rivaling South Africa's. » More

Governance and Security Challenges in Post-Apartheid Southern Africa
25 September 2013

Dealing with the root causes of conflict means addressing them through preventative and early action. Today, CCR keeps this principle firmly in mind as it evaluates the efforts of the SADC to tackle the region's governance and security problems. » More

Is SACU Ready for a Monetary Union?
26 September 2013

How can Southern Africa integrate itself further? According to Hilary Patroba and Morisho Nene, the South African Customs Union (SACU) could adopt a single currency. Unfortunately, the performances of region's economies remain so diverse that such a union wouldn't work. » More

Southern Africa: Towards a Common Resource Management System?
27 September 2013

Establishing a common resource management system may be necessary, but are Southern Africa's states up to the task? Fernando Loureiro Bastos is skeptical. Mutual cooperation depends on two things that remain limited in the region – state sovereignty and international standing. » More

//   Security Watch
Central African Republic: Back to War Again?
23 September 2013

If the recent upsurge in armed violence is any indication, then the Central African Republic is once again on the verge of state failure. Roland Marchal believes it's now time for a comprehensive international response that not only deals with the existing power vacuum in the country, but also its religious polarization. » More

NATO's New Eyes in the Sky
24 September 2013

NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance system is expected to come online in 2017. Today, Michael Sirak describes some of its features, which are widely expected to improve the situational awareness, intelligence gathering capabilities and interoperability of member states. » More

Questions Arise Quickly About Pakistan's Fresh Effort To Calm Karachi
25 September 2013

The latest attempt to rid Karachi of its criminal and terrorist elements has been roundly criticized, writes Abubakar Siddique. But who's really to blame for what some are calling a fiasco – a national government compelled to share power   with other stakeholders or corrupt local politicians? » More

South America's "Safe Haven"
26 September 2013

Chile's armed forces have traditionally equipped themselves for conventional conflicts along its borders. That's 'old think', says Robert Shaw. Drug trafficking and organized crime now present a far greater challenge to Chilean security than its territory-disputing neighbors. » More

Is Armenia Turning East?
27 September 2013

Armenia's announcement that it wants to join the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia customs union caught many Western observers off-guard. The same can also be said of the country's opposition parties, writes Mikayel Zolyan. Their criticisms of the decision have been guarded thus far. » More

//   Blog
The US with Iran in Syria
23 September 2013

Why should the US have no lingering reservations about the Russian-Iranian plan to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control? Seyed Hossein Mousavian has 12 good reasons, not the least of which is that it got the Obama administration out of a messy domestic and foreign policy predicament. » More

The Price of Peace
24 September 2013

When it comes to negotiating with the FARC, should Colombia's president Juan Manual Santos grant its members amnesty in the name of reconciliation? If he does it, Shlomo Ben-Ami observes, he won't be alone. Granting amnesty in post-conflict transitions has become commonplace since 1945. » More

Muzzling the Dogs of War
25 September 2013

As Barack Obama and David Cameron have recently found out, domestic politics can derail foreign and security policy goals. While this may seem inconvenient and frustrating, Anne-Marie Slaughter believes that political checks and balances are essential and democracies must stick to their core principles. » More

India's Change of Guard
26 September 2013

While India's population is one of the youngest on the planet, most of its institutions remain in the hands of their elders. But that's about to change, observes Sanjeev Sayal. He spotlights the generational shift that's about to shake up the country's business, cultural and political elites. » More

Asia's Game Without Frontiers
27 September 2013

China's growing assertiveness has prompted the revamping of national defense strategies across the Asian continent. Yet, despite the growing military muscle of countries such as Japan, Jaswant Singh believes Beijing knows who its major strategic challenger is going to be over the coming years – yes, India. » More

// Video
Inside the Issues 3/16 | Rising South Africa
Membathisi Mdladlana, who is South African High Commissioner to Canada, discusses his country's evolving place in theworld, on the African continent and in its immediate neighborhood. He then goes on to talk about South Africa's role as part of the BRICS and about its long-standing relationship with Canada. » More

Noam Chomsky (June, 2013) "The Future of American Power"
In this Left Forum-sponsored video, Noam Chomsky first identifies a set of imbedded socio-political tendencies that he believes shape American society. He then speculates on how they might define the future projection of US power across the globe. » More

Regional Integration - Part 2: Ambassador Kaire Mbuende
In this video, Ambassador Kaire Mbuende, who served as Namibia's representative to the UN, discusses the status of regional economic integration in Southern Africa. He specifically stresses the difference between market and functional integration and how national interests continue to drive the region's integration efforts. » More

Coming Up
Next week our editorial focus examines security issues affecting southern Africa.

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