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  • Author: Alexander Mattelaer
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Belgian defence budget for 2018 increases by a factor of 4.7 in commitment credits. Not only does this allow for offsetting the significant investment shortfalls of the previous years, it also provides a window of opportunity for regenerating the Belgian armed forces with a view to meeting future challenges. This Security Policy Brief makes the case that the longawaited modernisation of the major weapon systems needs to go hand in hand with a significant recruitment effort to address the critical human resources situation the Ministry of Defence finds itself in. Yet adding up personnel and equipment, the 25,000-strong force structure outlined in the Strategic Vision still risks being insufficient for meeting future requirements as they emerge in both the national and the international context (NATO/EU). As such, defence planners will need to engage with the question how best to redevelop the force structure from this minimum baseline in function of how the strategic environment evolves. For strengthening Belgium’s national security and diplomatic position in the twenty-first century the present window of opportunity is not to be missed.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Belgium
  • Author: Marc Otte
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Middle East is once again going through a period of war and upheaval, including mass murder of civilians, state failure, transnational terrorism, sectarian wars, physical and societal destruction, massive arms purchases, use of nonconventional weapons (notably chemical) and a permanent risk of proliferation of WMD. These developments are a threat to the region, but also to the rest of the world and to Europe in particular. The current turmoil should not be underestimated for its potential to trigger an even bigger hot war that could involve other players, if only because of miscalculations by some of the parties involved.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The 100th Egmont Paper deals with an issue that, unfortunately, provides little cause for celebration: the impact of Brexit on European diplomacy and defence. Unless, as Sven Biscop argues, a new “special relationship” can be established between Britain and the EU, both London and Brussels will
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andre Barrinha
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Cyberspace has become a major locus and focus of international relations. Most global powers have now streamlined cyber issues into their foreign policies, adopting cyber strategies, and appointing designated diplomats to pursue these strategic objectives. This article proposes to explore the concept of cyber-diplomacy, by analysing its evolution and linking it to the broader discussions of diplomacy as a fundamental institution of international society, as defined by the English School of International Relations. It argues that cyber-diplomacy is an emerging international practice that is attempting to construct a cyber-international society, bridging the national interests of states with world society dynamics – the predominant realm in which cyberspace has evolved in the last four decades.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Margriet Drent
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Every year is special and challenging when it comes to European integration. The highlights of 2017 were a number of high-level strategy papers and speeches such as the European Commission White Paper on the Future of Europe, the State of the Union Address by Commission President Juncker, French President Macron’s Initiative for Europe, and the Future of Europe report by President of the European Parliament Tajani. These papers and speeches all pave the way for the discussions on improving and deepening the European Union in the months towards the European elections in spring 2019. The upcoming EP elections will be different from earlier elections as the current discussions aim to offer political choices to ensure the elections are content-based.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Recent years have seen many regions of Africa involved in war and internal or external conflict, from the seven or so countries directly involved in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the Libyan crisis and the war in Sudan/South Sudan and the various other civil wars. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), there were 6.9 million new Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) caused by conflict and violence in 2016. Sub-Saharan Africa overtook the Middle East as the region most affected with almost one million new displacements in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of violent clashes in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Kasai.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The marginalization of Libyan youths has contributed to a much larger extent their propensity to be radicalized. In 2011, Libyan youths both armed and unarmed formed the fulcrum of the Libyan revolution (Luhrmann, 2015). They were clear in their demands, “Gaddafi must go”. They fought and laid down their arms in hope for better prospects post Gaddafi; to be included in Libya’s body politic fully. This was however, not to be. This desolation has prompted many Libyan youths who supported the revolution against former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi to feel dejected in retrospect
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Israel lacks a coherent foreign policy. This has a harmful effect on its position in the world, on the role of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in decision making processes, and on the conduct of Israel’s diplomacy. Israeli foreign policy is subordinated to the security establishment and focuses on public diplomacy (hasbara) efforts, rather than advancing diplomatic processes that would enable Israel a fresh start among the nations, regional belonging, and a future of peace, security and prosperity. The Mitvim Institute is working to change that. A multi-disciplinary Mitvim task-team formulated guiding principles for a new Israeli foreign policy paradigm - a pro-peace, multi-regional, outward looking, modern and inclusive foreign policy. This paper presents these guiding principles.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Special report on Dynamics and potential for cooperation in eastern Mediterranean
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Michael Harari, Ofer Zalzberg, Nimrod Goren, Gil Murciano
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: After an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace 10 February 2018, Israel responded by striking Iranian and Syrian targets in southern Syria. Anti-aircraft fire led to the downing of an Israeli F-16 warplane. This was the first direct confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria, and it has prompted concern over further military escalation along the Israeli-Syrian border. In order to prevent such an escalation, Israel cannot rely only on security means. It should also make effective use of diplomacy: to identify clear and feasible policy goals regarding Syria, to foster alliances with countries that can help advance these goals, and to mobilize these countries into constructive action. This document includes experts’ perspectives on Israeli interests at stake, and diplomatic channels that can be promoted with Russia, the US, Turkey, and Germany in order to prevent further escalation. It is based on a policy workshop convened by the Mitvim Institute on 15 February 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel