Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Phase 4

Hi all

Phase 4 is about "spillover:" the fact that conflicts often implicate more than just the affected country. As you continue to read up on your conflict, keep track of what other nations are involved, and in your updates, focus on the following questions: How does the conflict affect other countries? What outcome do the countries hope to see? How are they attempting to realize those outcomes?

You are no longer bound to the two news sources you used in Phase 3; in fact you may find that you'll find more direct answers to your questions in more specialized sources.

As usual, keep these posts short (no more than 200 words), and link any relevant articles or commentaries.

Good luck!


  1. Chloé Erny, EU migration crisis

    An EU Observer article, published on April 18th and written by Andrew Rettman, studies Russia’s use of migrant-related fake information all over Europe. The main tool used by Russia is story upon story of sexual violence by migrants towards Europeans, aimed at creating “sexual revulsion toward asylum seekers and the politicians who gave them shelter.” EU Observer studied 2,951 examples of Russian fake news since October 2015, collected by an EU counter-propaganda cell, East Stratcom. Fake news are often implanted by individual Russian/pro-Russian blogs or users, which sets off a chain reaction of replicating, translating, cross-posting. Often, too, the stories are reported directly by bigger news outlets like RT and Sputnik, with even an example of the Russian TV station Pervyi Kanal airing a fake interview on Youtube following the famous story of the abduction and rape of 13-year-old Lisa by Arabic men. The goal of this strategy is to legitimise Russian foreign policy, “such as its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine or its military intervention in Syria”, and to legitimise Vladimir Putin’s increasingly totalitarian regime in Russia “by claiming that the West and Nato were trying to encircle Russia”.

    Andrew Rettman

  2. Emma Ghafari - Conflict in Ukraine

    One example of “spillover” in the Ukraine conflict is illustrated by an article on Ukrinform, “President Poroshenko thanks the UK for supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty”. This article describes a meeting that took place between Ukrainian president Poroshenko and UK president Theresa May and clearly shows how the conflict has spread out to capture the attention of the United Kingdom. Apparently, after having discussed the situation in Donbas, May expressed her wishes for the conflict to be resolved, however believes it can only be resolved by maintaining Russia’s sanctions: “May noted the importance of continuing the policy of sanctions against Russia”; she clearly believes that Russia is at fault and that they are at the root of the problem, showing the UK’s support for Ukraine and disapproval of Russia. The UK has apparently supported Ukraine from the start of the conflict, as “British instructors [had] trained Ukrainian military”. The UK appears to be very aware of and involved in the whole situation.

    Article link:

  3. Sophie Lemmerman - Kashmir conflict

    Since the killing of Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani by Indian forces on July 8, 2016 “the Kashmir valley has been in the grip of widespread protests” (Dawn). Indeed, “Local reports suggest the situation in Kashmir has gotten palpably worse over the past year since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani” (Voice of America, VoA). His death seems to have triggered serious unrest between India and Pakistan, inciting nearly four months of a government-enforced curfew (VoA). Although severe turmoil in Kashmir seems to have subsided over the past few past months, relations between India and Pakistan remain hostile. Pakistan is now urging the United States to intervene in the Kashmir issue, in order to help defuse tension with India (Hindustan Times, Daily Pakistan). According to The Ithacan, the intervention of a third party in the Kashmir conflict seems necessary. The news source states that “It might be the first time the U.S. intervention appears to be unselfish, but the geopolitical climate of [Kashmir] and the fact that [India and Pakistan] have access to nuclear weapons suggests that there might be more than meets the eye.” Indeed, a nuclear war between the two countries would implicate the entire world. Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi has stated that “somebody needs to play this role and we think the US is in the best position to do that” (Hindustan Times), because Washington has good relations with both India and Pakistan.


    - Hindustan Times:
    - Dawn:
    - The Ithacan:
    - The Daily Pakistan:
    - Voice of America:

  4. Taliban in Afghanistan - Theodore FEVRE

    Directly implied in the Afghanistan conflict since 2001, the US have recently became more radical in dealing with their fight against the Taliban. With their plan to send 200 marines into the heavily Taliban controlled Helmand province in the coming months, on the 15th of April 2017, the US launched their most destructive attack since their arrival. The US killed around 36 fighters with the detonation on the MOAB bomb. The MOAB bomb is the strongest non-nuclear weapon any country has ever used in military combat and this action received many critiques from around the world. In fact, the afghan government stated that it did not want Afghanistan to be a "testing ground" for military equipment.
    Because the afghans have petrol, and the Taliban presence wont allow any extraction, the US's interests push them to act radically. Therefore, they seek a functioning democracy in Afghanistan and in order to do so they have adopted several methods. Either they attack the Taliban, financially help the afghan government to fight the extremists, or send militants to train the afghan soldiers.


  5. Ito - Burundi
    As a result of its prideful politics, Burundi’s government continues to deny the presence of a real crisis within the country, as well as the consequences of said crisis on its population. Recently, Burundi blocked trucks from the World Food Programme at the country’s border. These trucks, carrying 508 metric tons of beans, were sent by Rwanda as humanitarian aid to an estimated “2.1 million people affected by what the WFP called an extremely severe humanitarian situation” (AT Editor, Africa Times). The most well-off country in East Africa, Rwanda has been sending aid to neighboring countries like South Sudan, Uganda and Congo, and Burundi’s government’s reaction to this much-needed gesture translates a claim to self-sufficiency and responsibility. Burundian media denied the information provided by the WFP report, calling it propaganda, and seeked to counter this image by posting pictures of Nkurunziza giving out food to families. This type of behavior goes together with the government’s refusal to attend the February Arusha peace talks, and its claims that Rwanda was behind the assassinations that took place earlier this year. It is adamant on denying the dire situation Burundi is in and uses scapegoats to maintain its image, deteriorating its foreign relations.


  6. Leah Sadoff- Al-Shabaab

    Ethiopia has been involved with the al-Shabaab conflict for a long time already. But African Business says that Ethiopia is now withdrawing from AMISOM, which means Somalia on a whole. There are multiple reasons why this came about. Ethiopia provides over 4 000 soldiers, which is the third highest amount provided. Although there are many other countries that are providing soldiers (Kenya, Burundi, Djibouti, Uganda), Ethiopia remains the country with the most military experience. The reason for this is because they have been constantly fighting in the past 50 years and they have won their 2 guerillas, which means that their soldiers need to have a break and stop being in constant battle. Another reason for their withdrawal is that sending troops, paying them, making sure that they have enough food, etc., costs a lot of money that they might want to spend elsewhere. The ENDF (Ethiopian National Defence Force), are the only ones that are in direct combat with al-Shabaab, which means that they lose a lot more soldiers than other countries and that the number of civilians that are killed go up as well. What will happen now that they are leaving the conflict?


  7. According to Gistmania, in 2014, “Seventeen countries have signed on to help Nigeria increase security” in their fight against Boko Haram. EU countries pledged 16 million Euros to help rebuild Nigeria. More specifically, François Hollande told reporters and Nigerian President Muhammed Buhari in 2016 that France will “share intelligence, help with counterinsurgency training, and provide equipment to those fighting the group.” It is unknown if he did indeed do as he had promised. Furthermore, countries such as Chad, Cameroon, and Niger have also helped Nigeria in the fight against the insurgents mainly due to the fact that Boko Haram was targetting their countries as well as Nigeria. Boko Haram’s actions have indeed touched theses countries as their attacks have gone beyond Nigerian borders. In 2015, "The representatives of Benin, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad have announced contributions totalling 8,700 military personnel, police and civilians." This sounds a lot more legitimate because that same year, the Chadian army went into the battle with Boko Haram, releasing the northeastern Nigerian town Gamboru from the rebels.


  8. Tim d'Aboville--Syrian Civil War
    On Tuesday April 18th, a chemical attack was launched on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria killing more than 80 people including 33 children, 18 women, and leaving almost 550 with serious injuries (BBC News). This attack had consequences on both Russia and the US who reacted in two very diverse ways. Trump responded to the attack by bombing massively Syrian government airbases and accuses Assad of the chemical attack. (Telegraph) On the other hand, Russia defends that Assad has no more chemical weapons since he has destroyed his arsenal in 2014 when he was asked to do so by the UN, and that therefore, Assad is free of guilt in this case (BBC News). When US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, met with Vladimir Putin, Trump declared that US relations with Russia were at an “all-time low” (The Guardian), which isn’t excellent news considering the fact that both nations are the most powerful military-wise in the world. It would almost seem as if both countries have come back to the post World War II mentality and that the Cold War might be on the verge of erupting once again between them.


  9. David Ripayre – Uyghur conflict in China

    The Uyghur conflict in China involves a Muslim originally Turkic ethnic group, there are many ties between the Uyghur population in China and the Turkish population in Turkey. Impacts of the Xinjiang can therefore be observed in Turkey.
    A July 2015 New York Times paper reports an event where Turkish and Uyghur groups burn Chinese flags and threaten Chinese civilians in Istanbul. Those movements also aimed to deteriorate the Thai consulate after Thailand sent back 100 Uyghurs in China against their will.
    Although the two countries have agreed to military trade or financial cooperation in a project of a high-speed rail line, those events are getting in the way of this relationship.
    Turkey’s position is precarious as, once leader of the Ottoman Empire, proclaims itself defender of the Turkic speaking people, including Uyghurs. On the other hand China considers what Uyghurs call “official repression” as “terrorism”.


  10. Rémi Masia-Depardieu, Destabilization of Mali
    The Malian conflict records in 2012 a major crisis the country had to overcome, and is still trying to repair today. Therefore, migration in Northern Mali has rising ever since, and still does today. According to ReliefWeb, there have been eleven thousand more internally displaced people from January 2017, to March 2017, and there is a total of one hundred forty-three thousands malian migrants, in neighbouring countries, mainly Niger, Mauritania, and Burkina Faso. Plus, fifty seven thousand refugees have been repatriated to Mali since 2012. The Malian conflict is creating major population movements around Malian territory.
    As the Malian crisis isn’t the only one in the region, Mali are vowed to interfere in other conflicts, including Syria and Libya. It is important to know as well that many of the terrorist groups active in Northern mali at the moment originate from neighbouring countries in the first place. Therefore, the Malian foreign relations minister Abdelkader Messahel received and talked with a Russian security representative about the different crisis in North Africa. Mali is in touch with many neighbouring as well as powerful european countries and the ONU to take measures in order to not only put a term to the Malian conflict, but also to all the other crises on the region. The malian crisis is an important part of the rise of insurgency in North Africa, and holds great political and economic importance in North Africa and in the entire world.


  11. South China Sea - Marine Tallon 1S4

    These past weeks, the United States have been putting forward their engagements with the Southeast Asian nations at a time where North Korea’s threats are overshadowing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Help from China on North Korea, according to some analysts, could “damage critical partnership” through Asia, if countries such as Vietnam feel abandoned from Chinese help on North Korea. Simultaneously, Southeast Asian nations are looking for a long-term agreement to settle disputes in the South China Sea, as China moves to extend its regional influence.
    Furthermore, ASEAN ( the Association of South East Asian Nations ) countries buy more than $100 billion of U.S. exports each year, and the volume of trade supports over half a million American jobs, according to Patrick Murphy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia. It promotes the economic growth of 10 countries located south of China. This complicates the decision Trump has to make, having to choose wisely in between China and other Southeast Asian countries.
    A couple of days ago, the US has reached out to the allies, sending Vice President Mike Pence to visit South Korean, Japan and Indonesia in order to preserve their good relations. According to Pence, Trump will also attend the US-ASEAN and the East Asia summit in the Philippines in November, along with the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Vietnam, in order to demonstrate the US’s presence and support in the ASEAN.


  12. Emilie Shagrin: refugee crisis in the EU

    The refugee crisis in Europe is only growing, as is the question of migrants’ treatment and welcome. Pierre Henry, the chief of France Terre d’Asile, said in an Independent article on April 14th that it is “a problem for all European countries. We need to establish who is going to fund the determination process [and take] responsibility for these people.” The reason refugees move around Europe, going from Norway to France, like in one boy’s case (same article), is due to European countries refusing them. EU countries are making deals with each other non-stop in order to respond to the ever growing presence of migrants. At the moment, there is a vexed migrant deal (RT.com) in between Turkey and the rest of the EU, focused on where to place resettle refugees… or not. This crisis is creating divides inside the ranks of the EU as its governments try to tackle migrant distribution and border controls. Coincidentally, US president Trump recently mentioned that a “strong Europe” is important to him (EU Observer). This shows this important issue affects more than the countries refugees flee from and the countries they flee to: it can affect the whole world.


  13. Jack Singer North Korea

    Over the past two weeks, the North Korean crisis has drastically worsened. But more than just increasing its tensions with the US along with South Korea and Japan, the DPRK is creating friction between China and Washington. Trump has decided to get more involved and less tolerant of Kim Jong Un’s provocations. Japan, one of the US’s allies, has been highly threatened by North Korea. Three North Korean intermediate missiles were sent to Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone. As a result, Japan has requested the American missile defence system : Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD). The United States seems to be for this deployment: "I think deploying THAAD or Aegis Ashore to Japan makes a lot of sense," said Adam Mount, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. However, China being the DPRK’s main ally is strongly against it. THAAD could also detect Chinese missiles and give the advantage to the US in case of a future conflict. Therefore, North Korea’s actions have the potential to start a war between the US and China.


    Sun, Yazhou. "What Are Japan's Options against North Korea?" CNN. Cable News Network, 21 Apr. 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.

  14. Anna - War in Yemen

    According to the Washington Post, the US is considering providing Saudi Arabia with even more military aid than before (Washington Post). Since the beginning of the conflict, they have been giving them intelligence and aerial refuels in order to ensure the Houthi’s defeat to the hands of the coalition both countries are part of. The US is also pressured by the UN to end this war, as it is costing Yemen greatly humanitarianly and economically. The US also seems to be using this war-torn country as a way to eliminate jihadist threat, especially since Trump has became president in January, as the pentagon has said to have killed around 70 Al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen since the end of February (Daily Mail). This is also shown through the fact that US drones have also shot and killed five suspected Al-Qaeda members on Wednesday. According to War on the Rocks, the US has been spending $20 billion in arms sale in a war to impair AQAP (Al Qeada of the Arabian Peninsula), but more specifically to defeat Iran ,which has sided against the coalition. They are using this conflict to assert their authority and strength to weaken Iran.

    Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4424440/Yemen-drone-strikes-kill-five-Qaeda-suspects.html
    Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/us-weighs-giving-saudis-more-military-aid-for-yemen-efforts/2017/04/19/f66ecc5a-251a-11e7-928e-3624539060e8_story.html?utm_term=.63172d395da7
    War on the rocks: https://warontherocks.com/2017/04/yemen-the-graveyard-of-u-s-policy-myths/

    Libya, Cassiopeia
    When looking at Libya one should know that the ongoing conflict is one that started thanks to the international community (notably the UN and EU and USA) in 2011 and international involvement is very complex and developed. The UN has a mission called UNSMIL devoted to Libya. Furthermore Libya is the location of many departures by sea to the EU. Consequently the EU has a mission Sophia meant to train coast guards in order to hold back the amount of migrants leaving. Moreover Europe and Libya are close in regards to trade, Europe importing about$ 7.15billion and exporting $5.22billion to Libya. An oil pipeline even goes from Libya to Italy. The EU is involved not only because of Libya’s resources, but also as a part of a larger war against ISIS. The EU has also helped Libya’s neighbors, like Niger to fight against mass influx of migrants from Libya and the immigration numbers have therefore been reduced. The EU has changed its strategy: it no longer focuses on building a functioning administration, but on “containment and conflict management”( http://international.minbarlibya.com/2017/04/16/libya-the-strategy-that-wasnt/). Italy has taken it a step further and attempted to play a part in limiting Haftar’s Egyptian and Russian backed government. The US has provided strong support to the Al-Sarraj government but President Trump has recent said that he does not believe the US has a role in Libya, but it does have a role in combating against ISIS. Russia has recently increased its involvement thanks to an oil deal. Russia also currently provides military support

  16. Pierre-Malo Vienney -- Violence in DRC

    The conflict in DRC also involves other neighboring countries. In fact, 13 United Nations staff members were taken hostage by 100 South Sudanese refugees in DRC. This week, they have been released. Most were former fighters fleeing South Sudan. The attack took place in Goma. Today, many policies are being taken to bring back the refugees in South Sudan. The conflict in DRC permitted these refugees to flee South Sudan and commit their crime in a town completely destroyed by the ruling tensions.
    In addition, the UN reported that over 11 000 refugees from the Kasai region of DRC fled to Angola because of the rising tensions and violence. They are targeted by militias. This refugee crisis plays a influential role because many of the Congolese refugees arrive in poor condition; they suffer especially from malnutrition.
    Therefore, the violence in DRC involves other African countries; it gives an international aspect to the conflict.



  17. Ambre Perron - Civil War In South Sudan

    To free the South Sudanese population of famine, multiple countries from around the world have sent aids. However, because of the violence in their country and the highest risk of rape for women and girls, the flux of emmigrants continues. Several camps are placed outside the South Sudanese borders. Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are too of the neighboring countries welcoming refugees. The refugees in the DRC are often rebels, supporters of former vice president Riek Machar. Although the refugees flee violence and war, their behavior can sometimes affect the country. Thursday, VOA News reported the release of 16 UN staff members. These “ex-rebels” according to Times Live who also documented the release on Friday, released the staff unharmed after a few hours. They “were being held in a camp for former combatants in Munigi” says Times Live. This ricochet of fright is an example of “spillover” from the divided country. The movement of refugees and their actions can influence a country’s prosperity or bring even more conflict in.


  18. War in Yemen - Elise
    The Yemeni civil war has affected many different countries. Earlier this year, a US soldier was killed in central Yemen during an AQAP-targeted raid. (1) For the past 5 years, the USA has launched attacks on Yemen soil in hopes of annihilating the terrorist threat in one of the Middle East’s poorest countries. Donald Trump’s choice to continue Yemen airstrikes shows that the president may be more invested in foreign intervention. So, Americans are being directly affected, and it seems the USA’s only goal at this point is to keep their country safe by destroying terrorism, particularly in Yemen. (1)
    In recent news, Saudi Arabia, that shares a border with Yemen and is a leading power in the Coalition, has suffered from many Houthi attacks. The month of April has been spotted with attacks on military vehicles in the southeastern region of Asir (2), on border guards in Jizan province (2), and five rocket launches into Narjan injuring citizens. (3) The Saudi government is adamantly pro Hadi and is in the process of regaining Yemeni territory from the Houthis.

    (1) http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/88882341/American-soldier-killed-in-Yemen-in-US-President-Donald-Trumps-first-military-action

    (2) https://yemen.liveuamap.com/en/2017/18-april-5-rockets-fired-into-najran-in-saudi-injuring-5
    (3)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_in_Najran,_Jizan_and_Asir

  19. Domitille- Conflict in Ukraine

    The conflict in Ukraine is a more widespread conflict that extends itself to countries other than Ukraine and Russia. Evidently, it touches all countries belonging to the European Union, since they consider Russia’s action a threat to their values. Recently, it has also been touching the United States. After Trump’s election, Ukrainians were afraid they would be losing the US’s support, since the President said he “might try to cut a deal with Russia over Crimea” (usnews.com) However, on April 21st, 2017, Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk said that “the United States has strongly signaled it will continue to support Ukraine” something supported by the fact that US-Russia relations are tense. Furthermore, China has also been concerned by the crisis and, on the occasion of a meeting between Oleksandr Turchynov and the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Ukraine Du Wei on April 18th, 2017, stated that “the Chinese government supports the solution of the ‘Ukrainian crisis’ by peaceful means’” (kyivpost.com), since both Russia and Ukraine are “friendly countries and strategic partners for China”. We can see that this conflict has been touching many other countries, and that many have not stated whom they consider to be guilty.



  20. Matteo Valderrama- DRC conflict

    The DRC, being a former French Colony, elicits much interest from the European Union and France, who follow very closely the current situation in the country. The European Union, who has already accompanied the government in negotiations for the delayed elections, is ready to deliver sanctions on DRC. (yahooneews)
    The militia conflicts in DRC are first of all a consequence of the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 because of the Hutus fleeing to Congo after the crisis. These Hutus have been at the base of much of the fighting in eastern Congo as well as non amicable relations in between the two countries. Furthermore, the UN has reportedly accused the Rwandan government of supplying weapons to Congolese rebels. (voanews) These accusations were quickly dismissed by Ambassador Sezibera and accused the UN of not being able to keep peace in a region even with 3,800 men in the region.(voanews) However, havoc spreading forces aren’t only coming from Rwanda, with refugees coming from South Sudan and Burundi also bringing chaos in the eastern region of DRC. (cajnewsafrica)

  21. Delphine Chiffaudel - Israel & Palestine

    The United States has long brought an unconditional support to the Israelis. As a hugely militarized nation and first military power in the world by far that cares incredibly for their army, giving Israelis military aid is definitely the expression of a fervent support. As far back as the days of the Yom Kippur war, the US was already giving military aid to Israel. After the war they quadrupled the military assistance, showing proof of growing ties.
    Recently, the relationship had reached a culminating point with 3 billion USD going to Israel every year. This meant that the US was giving more military aid to Israel than to all other countries combined. Yet, the US signed an agreement in 2016, raising the sum by 27%, so that US taxpayers would be giving 3,8 billion USD to Israel. What makes this even more significant is that the Obama administration -- democrat and liberal -- signed it.
    More recently, Netanyahu vividly congratulated Trump for his victory, suggesting the Israeli right wing’s delight. Bennet even considered this American election as “an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country.” The United States’ implication in the Israel-Palestine conflict is therefore undeniable.


    1. http://www.jpost.com/US-Elections/Donald-Trump/Likud-MKs-react-to-Trumps-victory-in-US-Presidential-Election-472088

  22. Marin Duroyon - Libyan Civil War

    The Libya Observer reported that Donald Trump would cease helping Libya recover “peace and stability.” According to CNN, Trump said “I do not see a role in Libya and I think the United States has right now enough roles.” Since the start of the February revolution the United States has been involved in the Libyan complications, especially in order to remove terrorists operations. The President of the US refuses to play any role in the reestablishment of a stable system in Libya, however, he wishes to get rid of ISIS and it is unclear whether his operations should take action in Libya.
    Donald Trump added Libya to the Muslim ban, therefore, prohibiting any Libyans to visit the United States. The Libyan Civil War influenced the creation of many terrorist cells, this conflict is jeopardising the security of many countries, including the United States according to Donald Trump. If the US decide to continue the interventions against ISIS, this will allow to reduce the amount of potential threat.


  23. Juliette Scholler - Taliban in Afghanistan

    The influence of the Taliban insurgency has spread through Pakistan. Indeed, Pakistani madrassas, islamic teaching schools, has become the place for the Taliban to spread their views and recruit soldiers to fight along them (VOA News). This problem mainly affects the unregistered madrassas that the government is not aware of. In Balochistan, a province that shares borders with the Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan (Stratfor), 21 out of 191 madrassas are unregistered, and 20% of the students are afghan (VOA News). The proximity of the region allows the Taliban soldiers to continue their operations while maintaining their presence, making it a dangerous area for the Pakistani government. The extremist influence, however, is not recent: many of the important Taliban figures, such as the Taliban founder Mullah Omar, has been a former student in Pakistani madrassas (VOA News).
    In order to solve the spreading of the insurgency’s influence, the Pakistani government is trying to register every madrassas, which would allow them to exercise some form of control (VOA News). However, even registered, some schools (like the the Darul Uloom Haqqania madrassa, dubbed “Father of Taliban”) continue to their support towards the Taliban (VOA News).


  24. Deniz-Kurdish Conflict

    The kurdish conflict is a conflict that occupies the entire Greater Kurdistan region; a region which is not located in only one country. The region is comprised from parts of southern Turkey, northern Iraq and northern Syria. The different kurdish groups in the different areas of the region are not recognized as separate entities by the Turkish government, which considers all of them part of a greater terrorist group, so when the Turkish military starts an offensive against one of them, they hit every single one, inevitably spilling out of the country. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses all kurdish paramilitary soldiers fighting in the region of being terrorists, threatening intervention. According to ARA News, during an interview with Al Jazeera, he said “Who are al-Hashd al-Shaabi? Who is backing them? The Iraqi parliament supports al-Hashd al-Shaabi, but, honestly, they are a terrorist organization, and should be known who stands behind it.” The kurdish conflict is not one that discreetly spills over into other countries, it is actively present in several of them.

    1. http://aranews.net/2017/04/erdogan-calls-shia-paramilitary-groups-terrorists-threatening-turkish-intervention-in-iraq/

  25. Kelcie Bons
    North Korea
    There are 6 countries involved in the conflict: North, South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and Japan. Since 2003, these countries have taken part in discussions, known as the six-party talks, on how to handle the crisis. North Korea rejoined these discussions in 2006, convinced by China, and has since denuclearized a bit.
    The US is involved in the conflict in two ways. They are allies of South Korea and have troops stationed there to help defend against the North. Secondly, King Jong-un has issued threats against the United States and shown great eagerness to bomb them. The United States, and Japan, who used to occupy Korea and were harsh in their control, are resented by North Korea and therefore particularly threatened by the nuclear weapon and long range missile development. South Korea and China are worried that the regime will collapse. South Korea, because of its proximity, fears the chaos that a regime collapse would bring and has tried to prevent this through economic and humanitarian help. China, a traditional ally of North Korea and its biggest trading partner, wants to avoid a refugee crisis and has opposed any harsh sanctions that could lead to that. The Soviet Union was an ally of North Korea in the Korean War. Today, Russia is reluctant to be responsible for sanctions imposed on North Korea as they want an easy route through the country for natural gas trading with South.

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  27. Paul ISIS in Iraq, (I don’t know why, but this didn’t post properly)

        As evoked in the previous phase, the ongoing conflict in Iraq is currently opposing two major forces which are the following: ISIS militants and anti-ISIS troops.
    The anti-ISIS group is actually composed of multiple countries (including the local one) such as: France, Russia, the United States. Within the country, Iraqi forces are leading persistent offensives versus ISIS.

        The U.S forces seem to be particularly active in the Battle for Mosul. As a matter of fact, they have sent more than 5,000 troops on the ground in Iraq. However, officially, these troops are strictly involved in ground fightings for training purposes and advisory capacity. Nevertheless, it has been proved that they’ve provided a great deal of air support in the form of helicopters, drones and warplanes attacks. American forces basically have had a defensive function too, as they had to shoot down opponent’s bomb-equipped drones from the ground, in order to let ground troops advance in better conditions. They have had a consistent role there, as an estimated 19,000 airstrikes were initially led by Americans.

        The U.S claim that they’re intervening in Iraq to counter the rise of ISIS and ,by the same means, “terrorism”. The president said that they were a threat and for ‘national protection” :because if Americans don’t defeat them in their homeland, they’ll eventually attack in America.


  28. Kashmir Conflict --- Olivine Silier
    US and UN point of view
    23/04 Kashmir and Pakistan call for stronger UN involvement in the conflict by arguing that the commission's duty is to oppose “the worst crimes against humanity” that India perpetrated in Kashmir. The article argues that it is the UN’s responsibility to uphold the laws put in place during the Geneva Conventions and that all war crimes must be punished.

    The US declared that it wishes to “de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward” including the Kashmir conflict. The US ambassador to the UN declared that the new administration will take a more pro-active stance in the conflict in order to limit violence and tensions in the region. The Trump administration did not however, take a stand and side with one country or another, preferring to remain vague as to the methods they wish to employ to pacify the region.


    The announcement of prospective US involvement in the conflict was received badly by the Indian delegation. The decision of trying to stabilise the South Asian region would then result in favorable treatment for Pakistan. This is not however, the US’s goal as the main focus of this plan is to stabilise the region, avoid further bloodshed and try to stop the rising tensions from spiraling out of control.


  29. Billy McGovern -- Israel-Palestine

        The United States has, since World War II, has supported Israel, and still supports it now in the Israel Palestine conflict, Israel being a political an economic ally of American in the Middle East. As a matter of fact, the United States has supported Israel by more financial or military assistance than any other foreign country, acting both as an arbitrator and as a belligerent of the
    Conflict. The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs estimated that since 1949, the US has granted Israel over $138 billion. The extent of America’s protection of Israel also is felt in the United Nations, where the US has in the past used their veto power against any anti-settlement resolution.
        What does America hope to see as an outcome of the conflict? This has changed over the years. In the past, Washington has voiced their support of Israeli occupation of Palestine territory on every diplomatic front. Today, this opinion has changed a bit. Some of Obama’s last actions in office were to push back the move of the American embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, and the United States did not use veto power for an anti-settlement resolution at the UN emergency council. With president Trump in office, things have shifted; he and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s PM have close diplomatic ties. However, the States have nevertheless brought attention to the problem of illegal settlements on Palestinian territory. Is the Trump administration vague and indecisive as always, or taking advice from their predecessors John Kerry and Barack Obama?



  30. Juliette Debray - Boko Haram
    Although Boko Haram has been perpetuating attacks mainly in the country of Nigeria, the group does not limit itself to national borders and so occasionally strikes in the neighboring countries around Lake Chad such as Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Furthermore, an estimated 200 000 Nigerians are currently displaced in these countries, forced to flee their newly unsafe homes (1). Unsurprisingly, these four countries have created in 2015 the Multi-National Joint Task Force planned by the African Union in order coordinate attacks against the group (2).
    Not just material-wise is this coalition interesting and helpful, but sharing intelligence and exchanging with other countries might just steer Nigeria into a different handling of the situation; as it had until then assured the conflict was under control and refused to acknowledge the gravity of the situation (3, 4, 5). While still in office, Barack Obama even passed the law S.1632 that promises to assist the MNJTF under the condition that the Nigeria and its neighbors “accept and address the legitimate grievances of vulnerable populations affected by Boko Haram”(6). This law is in the hope that with a better education and justice system, and more accessible social services, Boko Haram will have a harder time recruiting within the Nigerian population (7).


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  32. Mika Desblancs South China Sea

    As of June 5th, when Jean-Yves Le Drian announced its initiative for joint EU patrols of the maritime areas of Asia and for a regular presence there, France announced it would get involved in the conflict of the South China Sea. France is concerned that China’s refusal to respect the decision taken at the Permanent Court of Arbitration could constitute a serious threat to global governance and the respect of law. The French Defense Minister continually repeated that if the law was not respected in the South China this could incite other countries to not respect it. Therefore, France’s presence in the region is to promote the respect of law and order. Before this statement however, France had been carrying out joint military exercise with Australian and Vietnamese personnel as well as exercises with the malaysian navy. However, France has been cautious not to take sides on the conflict as to not anger China with which it has strong economic ties. Furthermore, France has many territories in the Indo-Pacific seas which France has the duty to protect, which can explain France’s motives to keep the region safe. France will take part in joint military drills with the US and Japan around the Tinian island which will serve as a show of force to China as well as show France’s dedication to protecting their territories in the Pacific.
    Skeptics however interpret France’s move as a way to increase its presence in a volatile region whose needs in defense are growing. Being a large weapons trader around the world with deals to sell nuclear Rafale planes capable of carrying nuclear explosives to India, twelve submarines to Australia, maintains research in defense matters with Singapore, train their Air Force as well as help set up the malay submarine force, France could be trying to dominate a new market.


  33. Lucca Stagno- Al Shabaab in Somalia

    Since having pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda in 2012, Al Shabaab have been financed, trained, and logistically supported by the notorious Islamic terror organization. Al Shabaab had acquired an international reputation in the world of terrorism because they managed to control a vast majority of the Somali territory and have continued to exert influence in the southern regions of the nation despite their ousting by the AMISOM troops from the two biggest cities (Kismayo and Mogadishu). For this reason, Al Qaeda have provided support on all levels in order to aid Al Shabaab in their mission to recapture Somalia. To have one of its affiliates control a state would not only add to the fame of Al Qaeda, but there would also be great strategical and economic advantages to an Al Shabaab controlled Somalia due to its key location on the Horn of Africa. Seeing as Al Shabaab have always applied a mostly nationalist philosophy to their Jihad, it would seem unlikely that Al Qaeda expect their aid in international acts of terror.