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  • Author: Stephen Wicken
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: On Sunday, Iraqs Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi was sentenced to death by hanging after he and his son-in-law were convicted of organizing the murders of a security official and a lawyer. All told, Hashemi is subject to more than 150 charges of terrorism based upon allegations that he used death squads to target his political opponents. The verdict carries distressing implications for short-term domestic security in Iraq and for diplomatic relations with neighboring Turkey, where Hashemi currently resides and has been based since his trial began. While some observers view the case against Hashemi in purely sectarian terms, the targeting of a Sunni politician in a Shiite-led state, the sentence in fact highlights the pernicious nature of personal rivalries within Iraqi politics. Further, it demonstrates the politicization of the Iraqi judicial system under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has commandeered Iraq's legal institutions in order to consolidate power around his inner circle.
  • Topic: Democratization, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Sam Wyer
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Since the withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Iraq in December 2011, the rate and lethality of attacks against civilian targets have steadily risen. Most notably, there have been seven major attack waves, defined here as a series of simultaneous and coordinated attacks that target at least 10 cities within one day. The attacks targeted a combination of security posts, government facilities, and Shi'ite shrines and neighborhoods. The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), an umbrella organization formed in 2006 for many Sunni insurgency groups including al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has claimed credit for a large majority of these attacks.3 This summer has seen a further alarming development with the announcement of ISI's "Destroying the Walls" campaign.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) refugees are often among the most vulnerable and isolated of refugees. This is especially true in places where they are at heightened risk due to violent attacks, discrimination, and laws that criminalize same-sex relations. In addition, in many countries around the world, LGBTI refugees are targets of bias-motivated attacks and sexual and gender-based violence. Around seventy-six countries criminalize consensual same-sex conduct.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: In its brutal crackdown on civilians, the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria has committed mass atrocities. These crimes are not only a human rights catastrophe but also, as the Obama Administration says, a threat to U.S. national security. Yet American diplomatic efforts have failed to curb the violence.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Human Rights, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Clint Watts
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The attacks of September 11, 2001 spawned a decade of al Qaeda inspired radicalization of disaffected Middle Eastern and North African youth and a handful of young Western men. Ten years later, foreign fighters to Afghanistan, Iraq and other jihadi battlefields appear to be declining while in contrast analysts have pointed to an uptick in United States (U.S.) based “homegrown extremism” - terrorism advocated or committed by U.S. residents or citizens.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Siegfried S. Hecker
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Abstract: Three years ago, Pyongyang expelled the international inspectors from its Yongbyon nuclear complex and abandoned the Six - Party talks. The crisis atmosphere on the Korean peninsula sparked by Pyongyang's military actions in 2010 turned into diplomatic calm in 2011, but Pyongyang continued to expand its nuclear program. It conducted a second nuclear test in 2009, unveiled a modern, sophisticated uranium centrifuge facility, and rolled out a road - mobile intermediate - range ballistic missile in 2010. Its coopera tion in missile technologies with Iran continued and nuclear cooperation is suspected. Beijing protected Pyongyang from crippling sanctions while Washington and Seoul remained reluctant to engage having been burned by Pyongyang's unveiling of its clandestine uranium enrichment program. Prospects for resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis looked grim. Then, surprisingly in December 2011, just before the death of Kim Jong - il, American and North Korean diplomats nearly reached a deal to return to the negotiating table. Even more surprisingly, the new Kim regime agreed to take initial steps with Washington in February. In this paper, I describe the troubling nuclear developments in 2011 and suggest targets for the upcoming negotiations to further reduce the nuclear risks while the parties resume the long road toward eventual denuclearization and normalization of relations on the Korean peninsula.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Siegfried S. Hecker
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Abstract: CISAC Co-Director Siegfried Hecker explains why nuclear arms states stand to gain more than they lose by ratifying the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). He explains why it is crucial to prevent states from testing nuclear weapons, with the strongest barrier to testing being the CTBT.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ian Dudgeon, Melissa Conley Tyler
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) held a one-day seminar in Canberra on 15 February 2012 entitled The Smart Power Capability Requirements of Australia as a Middle Power. The aims of the seminar were to discuss the concept of smart power in the context of Australia as a middle power, identify Australia’s smart power capability requirements across the peace/conflict spectrum and report its findings to government.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Australia