Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Phase 4, week 1

Hi all

This phase will be shorter than the others; only four blog entries and an essay.

The topic is the involvement or interest of foreign global powers in your conflict (ie not your own country).

Special circumstances:
Some of your conflicts are either pretty much over (Iran nuclear crisis), or not of special interest to people outside the country.
In those cases, you may pick a new issue that is related to the old one (so that you know enough about it) BUT you have to pick it this week so you have time to do the research before the essay. Please explain the switch in this week's blog entry

The assignment:
You should write a paragraph or so explaining what other powers are implicated in your conflict, why, and what they are doing about it. You will have to keep track of those same powers for the next four weeks, so choose wisely. The bigger the power (China, US, Russia, France, Brazil, EU, even NATO), the better.

Please ask me if you need any clarification!
Good luck


  1. Two powers that are heavily involved in the Libya conflict are the United States and the European Union. Both are at the very heart of this Libyan crisis, it started when Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron, Barack Obama and the US Senate urged the UN to organise a no fly zone over Libya in order to prevent Gaddafi from airlifting mercenaries. Gaddafi’s reign was nothing short of horrific and in the eyes of western leaders his death was necessary if peace was to be achieved. After his death, the country had its first ever public election but disagreements in 2014 came after the GNC failed to back down after the end of its mandate. The European Union’s concern today is mainly in Iraq and Syria but the growing presence of ISIS has been a major talking point of 2016 Republican and Democratic debates. The republican response seems to be to “bomb the crap out of the oil fields.” While Bernie Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of encouraging militant Islam in Libya when she was secretary of state. Clinton believes that we must stand “taller and stronger” in response to radical Islam in Libya, Iraq and syria.

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  3. Many powers are involved in the perpetual combat against terrorism on the American soil because it is a burning contemporary issue that each nation wishes to solve by helping others and by thus, indirectly, helping themselves. However, the two main powers that have been collaborating alongside with the US, are France and the European Union. In fact, France has been heavily implicated in the American fight against the Islamic State. These two nations share counter-terrorism data, such as intelligence and military information to fight more efficiently against ISIS. They also regularly share threat information, communications intercepts and other raw intelligence, uniting their knowledge and forces to appear as strong as possible when facing their enemy. However, the European Union as a whole is heavily involved in the terrorism on the US soil. A collaboration system has been created since the September, 11 2001 attack called "U.S.-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism". Its role is to combat terrorism and improve police, judicial and intelligence cooperation among its member states. The numerous terrorists attacks has urged this collaboration to establish a common definition of terrorism and a common list of terrorist groups. Additionally,they strengthened their counter-terrorism capabilities and reduced barriers among national law enforcement authorities so that information could be shared safely and suspects arrested more efficiently.

  4. Switch of conflict:

    The Iranian Nuclear conflict is no longer an important conflict since the agreement signed between the United States and Iran. So, for this phase, I will discuss Iran’s recent alliances with Russia on issues such as Syria, which is one of the many consequences of the nuclear agreement, and the involvement of the United States in this issue.

    Mark FAGUER, 1ES4

  5. Ukraine Conflict - Foreign Powers Involvement

    The two powers most heavily involved in the Ukraine conflict are the European Union as well as the United States. The EU is involved almost directly because it is one of the reasons Ukraine has been torn apart these last two and a half years: one part of the country wishes to integrate the EU while the other wants to be a part of Russia. The EU is currently in the process of Ukraine’s assimilation into the Union: it has most recently established a free trade deal with Ukraine. On the other hand, the United States is also involved but more indirectly as it mostly does not want Russia to extend its influence around the globe therefore supports the pro-EU Ukrainians. In order to do this, the US has sent advice to Ukraine many times and is currently debating whether or not to send arms into Ukraine and sending financial aid to the indebted nation. The US’ goal is primarily to contain the conflict, making it a very precarious situation to deal with. Last monday, both of these superpowers have been asked to put pressure on Russia to liberate a Ukrainian pilot held in Russia. This proves Ukraine itself considers them to be a part of the conflict and both allies to the nation.

  6. The US were and are deeply involved in Afghanistan’s fight against terrorism. They invaded the country after the September 11 attacks, and fought the War in Afghanistan (longest war in US history!) which lasted until 2014. The War was meant to fight back the Taliban who had taken hold of the country and were governing it at the time. US military forces still remain in the country to help keep the group at bay, but today about half of the country is either controlled or influenced by the Taliban. The US also played a part in the 2014 presidential elections, when the proposed a dea to form a nationally unified government.
    India is also involved in the country. It provided help during the War in Afghanistan, and still remain a strong Afghan ally. India has spent much money in helping reconstructing the country and protecting it. The two countries are on good terms despite several attacks directed to India by those who do not support its role in developing the country.

  7. USA’s Point of View on Syrian Conflict, from le Monde and CNN

    On Friday, John Kerry paid a visit to the king Salman of Saudi Arabia to prepare the UN peace talks that will be starting on monday in Geneva. The United States and Saudi Arabia are rallied to the same cause: the overthrowing of Bachar Al-Assad.
    Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special envoy for Syria, said that the talks would mainly focus on how to govern Syria, a new constitution, and elections. And, Walid Moallem, the Syrian Foreign Ministry has already exclaimed that touching “Al-Assad is a red line and belongs of the Syrian people”, and that elections are a “right of the Syrian people”... The United States keeps on heavily sighing as it argues that Assad has lost the credibility to lead his country and must leave his place as part of any peace deal. But the UN resolution that the US voted for in December that will be used as a “road map” for these peace talks, doesn’t mention or explicitly exclude Assad, while calling for an inclusive political transitional governing with full executive powers.
    With the example of Saudi Arabia, we can see that the US is trying to bring non Assad voices (and votes!) to Geneva for Monday… As it will be one laborious debate that might last many weeks.

  8. The Sinai insurgency in Egypt is a conflict that involves the Islamic State. This problem of ISIS presence is common to other country which create alliances. Egypt’s problem in Sinai raises the US’s and Israel’s interests. Israel since 2012 approved military increases in the “dangerous” region in Egypt and in 2015 Israel declared “that it was giving Egypt a free hand to operate in northern Sinai against local jihadist groups”. As for the US’s interests in the Sinai, it offered information to “help Egypt identify military threats in the area” as well as classified information. Therefore the US delivers information and Israel provides military forces on the ground.

  9. Ever since news broke out about the 200 disappearing Chibok girls on social media (#bringourgirlsback), international awareness about Boko Haram began to spread. For example, the US sent spy planes to help search for the missing girls. For a long time, the US did not invest much more into support in Nigeria under Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency because there was talk that his government was corrupted and violated human rights. During Buhari’s presidency, the US decided to deploy 300 military troops into Nigeria. Furthermore, the US has helped in terms of military training and investment in civilian health. The UK also provided help by installing satellite imagery for an international fusion cell in Abuja. British, American, and French personnel were placed in Abuja and frequently targeted locations. The UK also sent resident military teams to help train the Nigerian army and give suggestions about counterinsurgency.

  10. The powers that are involved in Venezuela’s situation are Iran, Russia and China. Even if the country is in a state of extreme crisis, these countries have understood that they could gain profit from the gigantic amount of oil that Venezuela has. China and Venezuela have made a deal in which Venezuela borrows money and repays in shipment of oil. Last September, China has given $5 billion to struggling Venezuela. However, the opposition argues that Venezuela will never be able to pay back China in time.
    As for Russia, they want to become the biggest petroleum partner of Venezuela, producing more oil with PDVSA (Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company) than their Chinese counterparts. In 2015, Russia was producing 209,000 barrels per day while China was close to 171,000 bpd. This map ( shows that Russia is scattered all over the country. Some argue that Russia’s presence is primarily a cover for weapon deals and corruption. Between 2012 and 2015, Russia has sold $3.2 billion in arms. Two future conflicts could emerge from Russia’s implication: Will China try to Russia to Venezuela’s oil fields? Could the U.S. feel that Russia is once again a potential threat? (When the U.S. Navy supplied Georgia with arms during the Russian invasion, Moscow accused the U.S. government of encroaching on Russia’s sphere of influence. Putin then sent a nuclear warship and bombers to Venezuela in an obvious retaliation.)
    As for Iran, the two countries have vowed to work together to stabilize the oil prices, both countries rely on oil to drive their own economy. Iran has blamed Saudi Arabia for pushing down the oil prices by continuing to produce massive amounts of petroleum.

  11. South China Sea Conflict: Involvement of Foreign Powers
    During the last few weeks, it has been calm in the South China Sea with no significant event happening. However, China is beginning to feel or has been feeling for a while that it is being played by its neighbors. China wants to resolve the conflict with the countries that it concerns but those countries (being weaker countries than China) have resorted to accepting aid from the US. China dislikes this because of how the US is acting in the sea. China feels that the US is being the bully by doing things it shouldn't (entering in restricted areas, challenging China's military capacities). Other world powers have interests in the South China Sea as much money goes through that are and they don't want to see China in control of it. However, no other nation has been as implicated as the US in the conflict. Another nation which is being active in the conflict is Australia. Australia has been conducting military training missions with nations in the South China Sea to show that it also won't let China take the sea. However, Australia is much more implicated in the East China Sea conflict. They have been showing a strong military support with Japan.

  12. Syrian conflict. Involvement of foreign powers.

    Russia and the US are the two big main forces that interact in the conflicts, but for what reasons? They are not specifically on the same side regarding weather or not Bashar-al-Assad should be the ruler of Syria after the war is over.
    Russia is allied to the Assad regime. Syria and Russia where allies during the cold war so it seems logical that Bashar-al-Assad would call for their help. But one does not go to war without any reason. Al-Assad has promised Putin a naval base in the Mediterranean if he where to intervene in the war. That would help the Russians have more impact on European politics and Mediterranean trade. Also, by attacking the rebels and IS in Syria, Putin is, in part, one of the causes of the migrants coming to Europe and causing a slight crash in the EU economy.
    The US on the other hand has two main interests in helping the rebels and Kurds in the war. If ever the rebels seized the power the US would have a new economic ally in the middle-east. Since the beginning of the war, the trade in-between Syria and US has dramatically decreased. In the years preceding the conflict, trade values were of 500 millions of dollars for exportation for the US and are now only of about 300 thousand dollars with the ongoing conflict. The prime goal of the US is also to eradicate any terrorist powers such as IS which would bring back peace in the middle-east.

  13. The three main powers that are implicated in the North Korean conflict are the United States, China, and Russia. Since North Korea’s provocative nuclear threats and increasing danger this year, those powers have all agreed on denuclearizing NK as soon as possible. Recently, all UN state members agreed to punish Pyongyang with additional sanctions. Additionally, these three countries are involved in the Six-party talks, a series of meetings, alongside North Korea, South Korea, and Japan to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns in NK. The talks stopped in 2009, but China and Russia expressed their support of its resumption this week. Furthermore, in January 2016, the US took significant action shortly after North Korea’s H-bomb test: US troops were sent and, still to this day, joint US-South Korean military exercises, at sea and on land, are pursued in SK as preparation. This month, the US and SK are seriously discussing the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system (THAAD) in SK. China and Russia however show strong opposition to this initiative as it could trigger a regional arms race, it could inflict harm to their “strategic security interests”, and, ultimately, it could provoke instability in their own countries.

  14. Cyberattacks are linked to the internet and the international electrical grid. Therefore, any country could be implicated in the conflict. With the website we can see - thanks to data breach sensors - all attacks occurring around the world. Their statistics show not only that there have been more than 60 000 000 cyberattacks worldwide in 2016, but also that the source of countries change every month. Anonymous and ISIL are some powerful organizations composed of hackers from all around the world. Their cyberattacks’ intentions can be considered good or bad ( Anonymous' “Operation Free Korea” wants to grant an uncensored internet access to North Koreans while ISIL wants to convert people to Islam). Governments are powerless regarding these organizations as they not sufficiently experienced in technology.

  15. The global powers involved in the South Sudan conflict are mainly the United Nations, and the African Union. The United Nations have been involved in the South Sudan conflict since its beginning, for they have been installing security bases, and sending out peacekeepers all over the country, to try to keep the situation under control. They have also been supplying humanitarian aid and money. The reason the UN is involved is probably because it is such a barbaric conflict, with human rights violations and famines, that the UN as a peace organization must do what it can to help South Sudan, to still be recognized on the world stage. The African Union also plays a part in the South Sudan conflict, for it exercises some pressure, through regular reports and press conferences, on the President Salva Kiir and his opponent, in order for them to stop the fighting and install a long-lasting peace treaty.
    The country of Sudan is also involved in the South Sudanese crisis, sending in weapons illegally to those fighting against to Salva Kiir's current governement.

  16. Ukraine

    The Ukrainian conflict has an important global impact as it involves major international powers such as NATO. Indeed, the relations between Ukraine and NATO has intensified lately. Despite never being part of the alliance, the country was about to apply for the NATO Membership Action Plan in 2008, but the election of Viktor Yanukovitch interrupted the proceedings. In addition to this, Russia disapproved this action, deeming it as NATO's attempt of expanding its sphere of influence westward. This is why Ukrainian parliament opposed this action at first, which was not supported by the population, but as Russia started to intervene militarily, dialogue intensified with the organization. Presently, Ukraine is heavily supported by NATO, with some of its troops being trained by the organization. (I was thinking to chose NATO and Russia as the global powers involved, but I was not sure if I could take Russia, as she is perhaps a bit too implicated)

    Adrien Lopez

  17. South China Sea
    The main global power involved in the South China Sea conflict is the United States. Many important trade routes pass through the South China Sea with about $5.3 trillion in trade annually. Lots of this trade comes from, or goes to the United States and the US would like to maintain free trade in the area. They have demonstrated their involvement in the conflict by conducting freedom of navigation patrols where they navigate army vessels close to the boarders of Chinese man-made islands and they were also present at an ASEAN meeting in 2015 discussing this particular conflict.

  18. The Iranian Nuclear Conflict was a vivid conflict but seems to be coming to an end thanks to the signing of the nuclear deal. This deal has calmed the tensions down but Iran is still involved in many confrontations. An interesting one is the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia that could become a major conflict if an agreement is not obtained.

    I will therefore switch to this conflict where Iran is still involved.

    Nicolas Rival

  19. China has long been involved in the cybersecurity conflict, along with the United States, and have just very recently started taking action to solve this issue by signing treaties with the US and arresting hackers. As one of the world's most significant military powers, Russia needs to be covered on the cyber side as well. Therefore, RUssia has long since taken action to remedy the cyber threat problem, and even suggests they take action on an international level

    Quentin Siart

  20. The four main actors in the yemeni conflict:

    The are currently four main actors in the Yemeni conflict, some slightly more consequent than others. First of all, Saudi Arabia is probably the most important actor of the Yemen conflict, as it has created an alliance along with many other Sunni countries (branch of Islam) to expell the Houthis (Shia branch of Islam, rivals with the Sunni) . The coalition hits the “houthi-infested” cities with missiles resulting in more civilian deaths than actual consequent hits. Great-Britain also has an important role in this conflict now as the missiles used by the Saudi coalition are sold by the british, and the country now has a certain part of responsibility for the abusive air-strikes. The United States of America also are important for the war as the are condemned to back-up Saudi Arabia’s attempts to “free Yemen from the Houthis” and maintain a policy of anti-terrorism, while knowing the Saudi-Arabia implicitly finances Al-Qaeda in Yemen and other countries. Iran is the final important actor in the conflict as the country is majoritarily Shia, and provide training and ammunition for the Houthis of Yemen.

    Lucas Tournier

  21. Political Instabilities in Thailand
    (the conflict is coming to an end. I am looking for a new subject. For now here is my blog entry following the same theme)

    Thailand’s king will soon die and the prime minister (PM) in power at that moment will be in charge of the country. There had been a fight between two potential PM. However, now that Yingluck Shinawatra is forbidden of any political engagement, Prayuth Chan-Ocha is certain to take over. Furthermore, he is establishing a new political system, which consists in having an unelected PM and giving more power to the Constitutional Court. Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s brother, an executed former PM, tries to win back some of the population’s votes or at least take them away from Prayuth. This attempt is covered by an American news source: the abc news.

    The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been going on since 1947 and many world powers got involved, the US in particular because they are the official referee to the conflict, their job being to try and help the peace process. However, the US has given almost 250 billion to Israel in the last 60 years. This shows how neutral the referee is. The US has always been close to Israel, being one of the first to recognize Israel as a country, exchanging intelligence info very early in the process, and Israel is the US’s only strong ally in the Middle East. France was also one of the first countries to recognize Israel and has strong links with Israel but managed to stay more neutral than the US, but still has a bias leaning on Palestine’s side. France has defended the creation of an independent Palestinian state and now thinks the solution to the conflict would be by creating an independent Palestine that could cohabit with Israel and has tried to do so by donating around 400 million from 2008 to 2012. France’s solution to the Jerusalem issue would be two capitals in one city. France is clearly more optimistic than the US, who has been proposing to Israel only degrading peace treaties which would include Palestinian loss of territories.


    Boko Haram
    The United States have recently announced that they will soon deploy troops in Nigeria, to help the militia defeat the deadliest terrorist group. It is said the the us soldiers would serve only in non-combat advisory roles. Britain has also started helping the Nigerian troops, and have already deployed 35 members of the Royal Anglian Regiment that, like the US advise the soldiers and give them medical and media skills. These particular skills will allow the Nigerian soldiers to communicate with the people.

  24. East China Sea

    The only global power other than the two main ones, China and Japan, that is involved in this conflict is the United States. They're mostly involved because of alliances and treaties with Japan such as one for example (forgot/can't find the name) that states that the U.S has the right to have military bases in Japanese waters if they offer protection in return. If an armed conflict were to arise between China and Japan the U.S. would have to intervene. The United States also has economical ties with the two countries and more importantly with China so they would presumably go for a more diplomatic approach at first. Throughout the conflict the United States hasn't done anything significant though they are keeping an eye out.

  25. Yemen Conflict/ AQAP

    As a response to a Houthi offensive in March 2015, president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi requested an intervention led by Saudi Arabia and consisting of nine other Arab states including Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. They began carrying out airstrikes and imposed an aerial and naval blockade.
    The Saudi-led coalition has been a source of controversy both in and out of Yemen, as it is estimated responsible for more than two-thirds of the civilian casualties since the start of the civil war, and has been in violation of national law.
    The UK is also “working alongside” Saudi strikes and has continued arm sales in the gulf region, saying the supply will end if Saudi Arabia is found to have “breached humanitarian laws”. Recently, investigations have been made to establish the role of said military equipment in the conflict, the government having recently faced several calls to suspend arms exports.

  26. Israel-Palestine

    I'm going to be discussing a global power that I've referenced several times in my past assignments: Britain.

    Britain, Israel, and Palestine share a particular relationship, as Britain could be considered the creator of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, in 1917, they took a land which was previously peaceful and divided it into a series of colonies, never having a rightful claim over the land. This created the idea of ownership over a certain territory, in a 'what belongs to who' scramble, and launched what is today a global conflict. Before Britain's interference, Muslims, Christians, and Jews all lived together peacefully under what is now known as the Ottoman Empire. Today, people struggle on terminology whilst referring to the territory in question. It is sad to say that many brush over this important element, essential to properly understanding the conflict, as they in turn get an oversimplified and often incorrect idea of the conflict.


  27. The Malian conflict is a civil war involving Malians and rebels. Another main belligerent that we have talked about a lot is France. France has started its military intervention in Mali on January 11th 2013 after the rebels crossed the line determined by the UN as the starting point for international intervention. The French were to reclaim Northern Mali and stay until the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) was formed and on the ground. Another reason for the intervention is the protection of French uranium mines on the border with Niger. France currently has 3000 men in the Sahel area not counting French soldiers within the Peacekeeping mission. There are very few other powers that actually do much. The USA lends Cargo and transport planes for the operation but nothing is ever said about it. This conflict only includes one great power (France) and the UN, other than the locals of course.

  28. Afghanistan Conflict
    Two major powers involved in this conflict are the US and NATO. The US led an invasion following the 9/11 attacks in October 2001 to strike al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power. NATO, also under ISAF, became involved as an ally to the US in order to establish effective security and make sure no terrorist group seizes power of the country again.
    Both are to this day still involved in Afghanistan. Today, they fight against the Taliban insurgency which has shown a revival in the past year. They also seek to find an agreement for peace with the Taliban.


    Terrorism is an issue concerning all regions of the world, thus explaining each country’s investment towards this problem. Two important countries deeply involved in this conflict are the U.S as well as France. US had lead many operations to terminate terrorist groups such as the actions lead in 2011, killing the leader of the terrorist group Al-Quaida. In recent events, France has been targeted by terrorist and has received many threats as has the US and other major coutries (Italy…) Currently, France is in a state of vigilance, following recent events that occured in the Bataclan when many people were savagely murdered by terrorists (ISIS).

  30. The Mexican Drug War is not attracting many countries; it is a conflict dealt mainly by its homeland. However, as its neighbor, the US has taken part in this conflict in several ways; the US military is directly involved in the ground action and captures, and around 70 percent of firearms seized in Mexico have been illegally trafficked from the US. The Sicilian mafia has had ties with Mexican Drug cartels for over ten years, and the notorious cartel Los Zetas controls 75% percent of Guatemala “through violence, political corruption and infiltration in the country's institutions” according to the US government. In fact, many worry that Guatemala is only the beginning and that cartel involvement will spread to more of South America.

  31. Unfortunately, throughout my observation of the evolution of my conflict, I found that almost no concrete mesures were being taken by the government to stop terrorism in Pakistan. One of the leading terrorist groups in Pakistan is the Taliban, which is supported by the Taliban group in Afghanistan. So, if possible, I would like to focus my attention on the threat of the Afghan Taliban's growing influence in Pakistan. I'm not really changing my conflict entirely, but focusing on a more specific part of it.

  32. For the East China Sea conflict, the only other country that is involved is the US. It only takes part of this confrontation because of it’s security alliance with Japan. However, with this alliance, it means that the US would have to do everything it could to avoid conflict that will oblige itself to fight as well. Therefore, it will not only act as Japan’s ally but also a mediator between the two countries. In fact, since the US “takes no position over competing claims for land claims in the South China Sea and the East China Sea”, according to the Pentagon, its objectives will be to de-escalate tension and to form news forms of cooperation between the opposing countries. Precisely by maintaining and developing their own military capabilities, but also by maintaining a reasonable diplomatic contact with China as well as with Japan to avoid miscalculations, and obviously, by keeping a positive partnership with its ally.