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  • Author: Kai Chen
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The history of mercenaries can be tracked back to the Greek mercenaries that fought for the Persian Empire during the early classic era. The decades after World War II have witnessed the re-emergence of mercenaries around the world. It's worth noting that academia pays little attention to mercenaries involved in asymmetric conflicts, and leaves several critical questions unanswered. So how do we measure the outcome of the asymmetric conflicts involving mercenaries? Why do some mercenaries prevail in front of materially superior opponents, while other mercenaries fail? Are there any testable theoretical explanations for predicting mercenaries' military performance in future asymmetric conflicts? In Mercenaries in Asymmetric Conflicts, Scott Fitzsimmons provides well-supported answers to the questions above, explores the causal relations between military culture and effectiveness, and highlights that culturally-determined military effectiveness has more influence on mercenaries' military performance in asymmetric conflicts than the materially-determined military effectiveness.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Persia
  • Author: Rebecca Jensen
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The historians of the Annales School developed an approach that emphasized long-term regional histories based upon social structures and worldviews, in part because they believed the narrowness of political and diplomatic history to be reductive. The first half of Mike Martin's An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict, adapted from his doctoral research at King's College and drawing on his experience as an army officer in Afghanistan, evokes this approach, while the second half explores how the absence of such a grounding in the local dynamics of Helmand province resulted in a profound misunderstanding of parties to the conflict and their goals, and thus a flawed and sometimes counterproductive approach to military and political efforts there. An Intimate War makes a solid argument that the narratives driving the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) were largely mistaken, and that misperception accounted for poor policy and misguided operations; it also raises questions for future research, including why organizations and individuals adopted and hewed to inadequate models, and implicitly how this might be avoided in future military engagements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: London
  • Author: Sarah Drury, John Flanagan, Aaron Gregg, Pitchaya Indravudh, Abbie Taylor, Sanjula Weerasinghe
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Today, perhaps more than ever, humanitarian crises permeate the lives of millions, triggering increased human movement and repeatedly testing the international community's capacity to respond. Stakeholders within the international community have recognized that existing legal and institutional frameworks for protecting forced migrants are inadequate to address the diversity of movements and needs. This article examines the situation of noncitizens who are caught in violence, conflict, and disaster, and asserts that they are an at-risk population requiring tailored responses. Recent history has witnessed numerous humanitarian crises in which noncitizens have been among those most seriously affected. With more people than at any other point in history residing outside of their country of origin, the presence of new and sustained eruptions of violence and conflict, and the frequency and intensity of disasters predicted to increase, noncitizens will continue to be caught in countries experiencing crises. Destination countries, as well as origin countries whose citizens are caught in crisis situations abroad, must understand the challenges that noncitizens may encounter in accessing assistance and protection, and must formulate responses to ensure that their needs are adequately accommodated. While both citizens and noncitizens may encounter difficulties in any given humanitarian crisis, research on five recent crises—the Libyan uprising, the Tohoku earthquake, the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, flooding in Thailand, Hurricane Sandy in the United States, and the on-going conflict in Syria—demonstrates that a range of factors create particular challenges for noncitizens. Factors related to the underlying environment in the country undergoing a crisis and the responses of different actors may exacerbate the vulnerability of noncitizens. Moreover, different groups of noncitizens manifest distinct protection needs due to specific attributes. In a given context, the interaction of these factors leads to varying levels of vulnerability for different groups, and the experiences of noncitizens in crisis situations implicate a range of fundamental human rights. Promising practices which may reduce the vulnerabilities of noncitizens and their exposure to harm during crises include: limiting immigration enforcement activities in favor of dispensing life-saving assistance; communication of emergency and relief messages in multiple languages and modes; facilitating entry and re-entry; and providing targeted relief services. These practices are not limited to countries experiencing crises; origin countries have also displayed judicious actions, undertaking bi-lateral negotiations to address specific needs and seeking external assistance in order to protect their citizens who are caught in crisis situations. This article seeks to inform ways to mitigate the vulnerabilities and address unmet assistance and protection needs of noncitizens caught in countries experiencing crises. It focuses primarily on vulnerabilities experienced during crises, acknowledging the importance of preventative action that targets the potential vulnerabilities and needs of noncitizens. It also acknowledges that assistance and protection needs often persist beyond the abatement of crises and warrant ongoing intervention. The observations presented in this paper are drawn from desk research on a limited number of situations, and therefore, the article is an introductory attempt to call attention to the issues at play when a crisis occurs, rather than an in-depth study of the subject. Nonetheless, it offers recommendations for alleviating the exposure of noncitizens, which include actions aimed at: addressing the underlying legal and policy landscape related to crises and relevant areas like immigration so as to account for the presence and needs of noncitizens; ensuring that all categories of noncitizens are able to access, understand and navigate information regarding emergency and relief assistance and are able to utilize them; and limiting the exposure of noncitizens to harm through targeted measures that address their particular needs and vulnerabilities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Syria, Thailand
  • Author: Kathrin Keil
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In order to assess whether the Arctic region is evolving into a region of cooperation or one of confrontation, a thorough understanding of the existing (and evolving) bilateral, regional and international institutional frameworks with relevant regulations for the Arctic and their adequacy for solving possible controversies is paramount. Disputes can flare up over various issues, as the Arctic has aptly demonstrated in recent years. Whether these disputes erupt into conflict or are handled cooperatively depends significantly on the rules and regulations that parties have put in place. While most of the literature deals with resource ownership, it is argued here that the more significant potential sources of controversy between Arctic states are issues of responsibility, liability, precaution and preparedness concerning possible transboundary environmental risks and dangers and, generally, protection of the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Oil
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Author: O. Khlestov, A. Kukushkina, Sh. Sodikov
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The growth in acts of international terrorism endangers the lives of people worldwide, as well as threatens the peace and security of all states. The September 23, 1999 Statement on Combating International Terrorism issued by the ministers for foreign affairs of the five permanent members of the Security Council has stressed that it is vital to strengthen, under the auspices of the United Nations, international cooperation to fight terrorism in all its forms. Such cooperation must be firmly based on the principles of the UN Charter and norms of international law, including respect for human rights.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Terrorism, United Nations, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: M. Konarovsky
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The joint American and NATO campaign in Afghanistan which has been going on for over a decade now became the Alliance’s largest and most expensive operation. It has already sucked in over $1 trillion, claimed over 3 thousand lives (over half of them American) and left over 100 thousand wounded. As the hardest psychological test for NATO it triggered talks about its systemic crisis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, War, Budget
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: G. Toloraya, A. Torkunov
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: In recent years, Russia’s active and highly vigorous foreign policy in many conflict zones has become an important international factor in the hottest points (Syria being one of them). Russia achieved spectacular diplomatic results. there are, however, problem zones much closer to home. We have in mind the Korean Peninsula, the scene of the oldest and dangerous conflict. Many times in the past, the “soft underbelly” of Russia’s far east left the expert community and the public puzzled and bewildered. Throughout the decades which separate the peninsula from the “hot war” (still very much in evidence de jure and de facto), it has been living amid sluggish confrontation and dramatic developments at the domestic stage of the north and the south, two irreconcilable opponents, and between them.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Korea
  • Author: V. Orlov
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: Twenty years ago, the issue of nuclear weapons on the territory of Ukraine and, accordingly, of security assurances to Ukraine in the case of its achieving a non-nuclear status was the focus of attention for policymakers, diplomats and the international expert community. It was also then that it was seemingly resolved once and for all – first through the Trilateral statement by the presidents of Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine (Moscow, January 14, 1994), then through a Memorandum on security assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) (Budapest, December 5, 1994), signed by the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine
  • Author: Kenneth A. Rodman
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Is it ethical for the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider political factors, such as peace processes, in selecting situations to investigate or cases to prosecute? During the early years of the court, a number of documents and statements from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) suggested that there were occasions when it was. Two OTP policy papers issued in 2003 recommended that the prosecutor assess "all circumstances prevailing in the country or region concerned, including the nature and stage of the conflict and any intervention by the international community," and whether prosecution might "exacerbate or otherwise destabilize a conflict situation." In the same spirit, the ICC's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, referred to his decision-making as a "dialogue between many actors" with a "strategic dimension . . . [that] involves all stakeholders." This language suggested a process of consultation and coordination with local and international actors involved in conflict resolution to adapt international criminal justice to on-the-ground political realities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies