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ETH Zurich
International Relations and Security

This Week at the ISN

Our Weekly Content Roundup

27 April 1 May 2015

JUMP TO Editorial Plan | Security Watch | Blog | Video

// Security Watch

This week, our hard power-centered Security Watch (SW) series examines Mali's faltering peace process; the attempts to
curb the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions on the battlefield; NATO's shaky grasp of the concept of deterrence; the
possible pitting of US Navy ships against Chinese paramilitary vessels; and the remaking of the Egyptian Armed Forces'
economic empire. Then, in our second, more wide-ranging SW series, we look at what steps Germany might take to help
resolve the Ukraine crisis; why foreign aid has failed to curtail extremist violence in Pakistan; why the UK is retreating from
the world stage; what damage the US' retrenchment strategy has caused; and what's the major selling point of the UN's
new guide for mediators who specialize in natural resource conflicts.

Why Peace Negotiations in Mali Will Not Succeed

27 April 2015

Ever since Azawad rebels rejected a UN-brokered deal in March, the peace process in Mali has gone nowhere. Restarting
it isn't the only problem, though. As Sofia Sebastian sees it, true peace won't come to the country until the links between
rebel groups and transnational criminal networks are effectively broken. More

Whither Ukraine?
27 April 2015

What steps might Germany take to help resolve the Ukraine crisis? Samir Tata argues that Berlin should try and ensure
that the country 1) retains its territorial integrity, 2) adapts a dual economic system, much like Hong Kong and China, 3)
adopts a federal governmental structure similar to the US model, and more. More

DU-Turn? The Changing Political Environment around Toxic Munitions

28 April 2015

Is international pressure forcing the United States to backpedal on its use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions? Maybe,
say Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, but stigmatizing Washington isn't enough. What's really needed is a broader
international framework that addresses all the toxic remnants of war. More

The Failure of Foreign Aid to Pakistan

28 April 2015

Sunil Dasgupta believes that external foreign aid hasn't helped curtail extremist violence in Pakistan. That's because the
aid has focused too much on minimizing the Pakistani state's weaknesses and ignored the real problem too many
people in the country believe that violent extremism is politically legitimate. More

Deterrence: What It Can (and Cannot) Do

29 March 2015

Michael Rhle thinks that Ukraine's troubles have exposed an inconvenient truth NATO needs to rebuild its
understanding of deterrence. As he sees it, this will require a cautious 'reselling' of the concept to Alliance members,
revisiting its nuclear dimensions and more.More

State of the Nation: Britain's Role in the World Just Keeps Shrinking
29 April 2015

Has the UK's retreat from the international stage accelerated over the past five years? Absolutely, says Maxine David.
Worse still, the absence of meaningful foreign policy and security debates in the current British election cycle suggests
that the next government isn't going to change course. More

Sanctions and Grey on White: Raising the Stakes in the South China Sea
30 April 2015

Should the US Navy face off against Chinese coast guard and paramilitary vessels in the South China Sea? Alex Calvo
thinks it's time to consider the idea. After all, Washington isn't in a position to support its regional allies with a similar
deployment of 'white hulled' ships. More

The Strategy of Retrenchment and Its Consequences

30 April 2015

Colin Dueck worries that America's global retrenchment has been ill-managed and ill-advised. In other words, it has
damaged the country's worldwide standing and ignored an obvious truth the US still has an unmatched set of
capabilities at its disposal. More

The Egyptian Armed Forces and the Remaking of an Economic Empire

1 May 2015

According to Shana Marshall, the Egyptian military has gained unprecedented power since overseeing the ouster of two
Egyptian presidents. Political overreach and internal rivalries, however, might still prevent the military from consolidating
its grip on the levers of power. More

Michael Brown on Resolving Natural Resource Conflicts

1 May 2015

What's the major selling point of the new UN guide for mediators who specialize in natural resource conflicts? The answer
to this and other questions can be found in today's interview with McGill University's Michael Brown, one of the authors of
the guide. More

// Blog

Focusing Like a Laser Beam on Directed Energy

27 April 2015

Directed energy weapons programs have become credible candidates for the US military's offset strategy, yet they remain
bureaucratic orphans. As a result, their research and development funding has decreased by 71% since 2006. Today,
Jason Ellis explains why it's time for the Pentagon to chart a new course for these unique weapons.More

Turkey's Ethnic Armenians Wary about Future

28 April 2015

Why are Turkey's ethnic Armenians uneasy? Dorian Jones highlights three reasons 1) the 100th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide, 2) the nationalist rhetoric surrounding Turkey's upcoming general election, and 3) President
Erdoan's increasingly close ties with the Turkish military. More

What Do Brazilian Admirals Want? Not a Quiet Expansion!

29 April 2015

Daniel Rio Tinto believes that there is nothing 'quiet' or surprising about Brazil's efforts to expand its naval capabilities.
The country's armed forces have always competed for prestige and money, as illustrated by the Navy's current quest for a
nuclear-powered submarine. More

Al-Shabaab's Kenyan Ambitions

30 April 2015

Why is Al-Shabaab increasingly targeting Kenya? What does the Islamist extremist group's recent attack on Garissa
University tell us about the Kenyan government's ability to keep its citizens safe? Find out in today's question and answer
session with our knowledgeable partners at the ICG. More

'Hybrid War' and 'Little Green Men': How It Works, and How It Doesn't
1 May 2015

Mark Galeotti thinks that it's still too early to view Russia's deployment of 'little green men' in Ukraine as the start of a new
era of hybrid warfare. While Moscow's campaign has undoubtedly demonstrated the power of this eclectic type of war, it's
also exposed its weaknesses. More

// Video

The Visegrad Group and the Ukrainian Crisis

In this video, Katarzyna Pisarska discusses the origins of the Visegrad Group and how its four members have responded
to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, with a particular emphasis on how Poland's reaction has differed from the others.

Why We Get Things Wrong

In this video, prominent political scientist Robert Jervis uses historical examples to highlight the problems intelligence
services face in gathering and providing accurate information for policy makers. More

Iraq's Next Steps

In this video, Stratfor's Sim Tack and Paul Floyd 1) analyze the recent Battle of Tikrit; 2) discuss the impact the battle
might have on future Iraqi offensive operations, particularly against Mosul; and 3) examine the roles the US and Shia
militias might play in Baghdad's attempts to regain territory controlled by the so-called Islamic State. More

// Multimedia Content
Here is a selection of this week's additions to the ISN Digital

Publications More
// The Quest for Peace: The Aquino Administration's Peace Negotiations with the MILF and CPP-NPA-NDF More
// "A Quarrel in a Far-away Country": The Rise of a Budzhak People's Republic More
// Australian Foreign Fighters: Risks and Responses More

Videos More
// Who Killed the Soviet Union? Revisiting the Collapse of the USSR
Dancing: Drones and Death in the BorderlandsMore
Institutional Origins of Communal Violence: Indonesia's Transition from Authoritarian Rule More

Audio / Podcasts More

// How Japan Views China's Rise More
// Voices on Ukraine, with Yehven Fedchenko More
// Identifying a Strategic Approach to the Middle East More

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