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  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: While last spring saw conflict erupt in Kosovo's central Drenica region when Serbian security forces attacked and killed residents of the villages of Prekaz and Likoshan, this spring brings the possibility of peace. The proposed deployment of a 28,000-strong international force for Kosovo will dramatically and immediately halt the sporadic low-intensity battles between Serbian security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels that have displaced 300,000 people. This peace will allow refugees to return to their homes, and provide the day-to-day sense of security on the ground that will enable Kosovo's transition to self-government.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia
  • Author: William G. O'Neill
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: The term “human rights” evokes a wide variety of reactions. Many of those working in international development, commercial lending, and diplomatic institutions regard human rights as highly political and confrontational intrusions on their activities. Many in the international assistance community and the military view human rights as a threat to “neutrality” that may undermine access to populations needing assistance or the success of peacekeeping operations. Some governments in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa dismiss the concept of human rights as a western creation that fails to respect local culture and traditions and undermines state sovereignty. Perhaps the most favorable views of human rights are held by the international public, which is appalled by flagrant onslaughts against fundamental human decency and dignity represented by such practices as genocide, ethnic cleansing, and the use of starvation of civilian populations as a weapon of war.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Vance D. Coffman
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Let me begin with a review of where we are some nine years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and after 14 years of continuous declines in the defense budget. Current expenditures are now at their lowest point since before the beginning of World War II; in terms of share of GDP, the share devoted to defense is less than three percent. As a portion of the federal budget, it is at its lowest point in modern history. As a benchmark, during the Kennedy Administration, defense represented about one-half of the federal budget. Today it is about one-seventh.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Industrial Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Berlin
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: International organisations working to help displaced Bosnians return to their pre-war homes -- arguably the most important element of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) -- have declared 1998 the “year of minority returns”. Four months into the year, however, there is the distinct possibility that 1998 may instead prove to be the “year of mass relocation”. This need not be the case. The political climate in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) has shifted in recent months and, despite major setbacks, including in Drvar, minority return success stories are already beginning to emerge. In order to turn the current trickle of minority returns into a steady flow, the lessons of past failures and successes have to be learned.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Migration, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Kosovo, an impoverished region at the southern tip of Serbia, is drawing ineluctably closer to war with each passing day. By night, men smuggle guns and ammunition from Albania to an Albanian militia determined to wrest Kosovo away from Serbia. The militia's fighters, angered by years of Serbian police violence against Kosovo's 90-percent Albanian majority, have killed Serbian police officers and murdered Albanians deemed to be loyal to the Serbian state.
  • Topic: Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Author: Dr. Magnus Ranstorp
  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, St. Andrews University, Scotland
  • Abstract: This article contains a careful description and analysis of the transformation of' Hizballah from a small rag-tag militia, skillfully combining terrorist and guerrilla warfare techniques with effective social action on the local level during the chaos of Lebanon's civil war, to a formidable, legitimate political, military and social force on the Lebanese scene in the 1990's, in what has been described as its 'Lebanonization' process. This so-called 'Lebanonization' process of Hizballah has become a trademark of the movement. It is visible in the close interrelationship between its political, social, and military activity which has extended its opportunities. It shows an ability to exercise pragmatic judgement within the conditions and limitations imposed on it by Syria's agenda and within the confessional nature of Lebanon's political make-up. It also demonstrates the limits of Hizballah's manoeuvring within the framework of the wider Iranian- Syrian relationship and the limits to its ability in presenting itself as an alternative oppositional force amidst sectarian politics and Syrian hegemony. Hizballah strongly emphasizes that it is entirely Lebanese in character rather than a foreign entity directed by Iran in order to reinforce its internal legitimacy within Lebanon.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Politics, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Marc Sommers, Larry Minear, Ted van Baarda
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: The world's response to the Kosovo crisis dramatizes the increased role of international military forces in humanitarian action. Some people view this development positively as the harnessing of the military for humanitarian tasks; others are alarmed at the perceived militarization of humanitarian action. A workshop convened by the Netherlands Foreign Ministry in The Hague on November 15-16, 1999, assessed these different perspectives on the Kosovo experience in the light of research it had commissioned.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Kosovo, Netherlands
  • Author: Steven Weber
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Mershon Center
  • Abstract: The election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister of Israel threw into flux the Middle East peace process. What in early 1996 seemed to many observers the almost inevitable "working out" of a decades-long conflict that had gradually become unsustainable on all sides, was by late 1996 seen more clearly as part of a contingent unfolding set of events which could drive the region in more than one direction, including backwards toward explicit conflict and even war. This presents unique theoretical, analytic, and policy opportunities.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Steven Philip Kramer, Irene Kyriakopoulos
  • Publication Date: 03-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: When political observers talk about European security, they invariably refer to the challenges Western Europe faces on its peripheries from a renationalized Russia, conflicts in the Balkans, and Islamic fundamentalism in North Africa. Rarely do they imagine that the greatest dangers to the new Europe may come from within, that the kind of stability Europe has enjoyed since World War II could be merely a passing chapter in history, not a transcendence of history. Without suggesting that there is necessarily a worst case ending, this study will argue that there is indeed a series of crises converging on post-Cold War Europe that threaten its stability and that need to be addressed by European policy makers and taken into account by Americans.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Law, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Africa
  • Author: Greg Hansen, Robert Seeley
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: The war in Chechnya has presented unique obstacles to effective humanitarian action. The continued precariousness of the humanitarian effort points to the need to reflect upon the experiences of humanitarian actors in this perilous setting and to identify and clarify lessons to be learned from unfolding events. This report appraises the context and effectiveness of humanitarian action associated with the war in Chechnya and offers several recommendations.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, War
  • Political Geography: Chechnya