Saturday, May 13, 2017

Phase 4, week 4

Hi all

This is the last week of phase 4!
(The essay is due at 11pm on May 21st)


Look back at last week's post for the details, figure out what you'll need for next week, and don't forget sources!

Good luck!

Mr. H

37 comments:

  1. Emma Ghafari – Conflict in Ukraine
    Germany’s Angela Merkel has involved Germany in the Ukraine crisis, supporting Ukraine. Having called Russia’s behavior “unacceptable” (Wikipedia), Merkel made her disagreement with Russia’s actions clear by stating that “the so-called referendum [is] a breach of fundamental principles of international law” (Speck). Merkel highlighted Russia’s accepting Ukraine’s independence by referring to the existence of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances (Grant). The Obama administration has agreed with her on this point arguing that indeed, “the basic principles that govern relations between nations […] must be upheld in the 21st century. That includes […] the notion that nations do not simply redraw borders, or make decisions at the expense of their neighbors simply because they are larger or more powerful” (Speck). Germany has had much support from the U.S. overall as well as other Western countries, notably France’s Hollande who agreed with Merkel’s decision to “extend the sanctions against Russia again” (Dearden): “Mr Hollande agreed, adding: ‘We must continue to apply the terms of the Minsk agreement and when they are not carried out, we must continue with sanctions.’” (Dearden). France and the U.S. are only two examples of countries in support of Germany. To recap, Germany, in their involvement, hope for Ukraine’s liberation from Russia and the restoration of international laws. The methods they are using to do this are denouncing and calling Russia out for their breach as well as by threatening them with sanctions. Western countries, such as the U.S. and France have expressed their support of Germany in this mission.
    Sources:
    "International Reactions to the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 May 2017. Web. 13 May 2017. .
    Speck, Ulrich. The West’s Response to the Ukraine Conflict: A Transatlantic Success Story(2015-16): n. pag. Transatlantic Academy. 2015/2016. Web. 13 May 2017. .
    Grant, Thomas D. "The Budapest Memorandum and Beyond: Have the Western Parties Breached a Legal Obligation?" EJIL: Talk! N.p., 20 Feb. 2015. Web. 13 May 2017. .
    Dearden, Lizzie. "Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande Call for New Sanctions on Russia over Ukraine Conflict." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 14 Dec. 2016. Web. 13 May 2017. .

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  2. Mika Desblancs- South China Sea

    Japan wishes to consolidate its leadership position in the South China Sea. They have sent their largest warship to stay in the South China Sea for three months as a show of force directed towards China in order to curb their influence in the region. Japan has also expressed desires to stop the island building by China, something the US has has also expressed concerns about, and draw sympathy to its claim of the Senkaku islands which China also claims. Japan is also trying to create ties with countries in the region through investment and aid to gain influence in the region for trade, something China has done with the Philippines and Vietnam who have shown desires to negotiate with China. Duarte, the Philippines’ president has even announced his separation from the US to form a trilateral China-Russian-Filipino alliance. Furthermore, Japan has also sold the Philippines and Vietnam military equipment in order to strengthen ties, assert influence over the region and promote trade. Finally, Japan has changed the name of its Taiwanese embassy from 'The Interchange Association' to 'Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association', officially recognizing it as an independent country, much to the fury of China, as to send a defiant message to Beijing.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2017/01/02/south-china-sea-japan-and-taiwan-send-their-own-strong-messages-to-beijing/#4a0ec6ec1c2c
    http://www.voanews.com/a/japan-player-south-china-sea-sovereignty-dispute/3773376.html
    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/20/asia/china-philippines-duterte-visit/

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  3. 5/14 Afghanistan and terrorism in the Kashmir Conflict ---Olivine

    During the 1990s, increasing international pressure on Pakistan to stop sending troops to the Kashmir region caused the country to relocate military training camps to Afghanistan in order to hide their armed terrorist forces from the public eye.(1)

    The Harakat ul-Mujahideen terrorist group founded in the 1980s in Pakistan has since moved to Afghanistan and currently has several hundred armed men in Kashmir and Pakistan. (2)

    Jaish-e-Mohammed, an important terrorist organisation, also has several hundred armed men on Pakistani and Kashmiri soil. The group has declared that its goal is to incorporate Kashmir in the state of Pakistan. (2)

    Lashkar-e-Taiba, a well funded radical Islamist group, has strong involvement in the Kashmir region, especially in Jammu and Kashmir. (2)

    These three groups have overt ties to Al-Qaeda that could never have grown to its current strength without Pakistani aid and sponsoring (3). Many fighters of these three groups have received military training in Taliban camps in Afghanistan. US and Indian officials suspect Jaish-e-Mohammed of being funded by Al-Qaeda while the leader of Harakat ul-Mujahideen has signed Al-Qaeda’s declaration of Holy War which implies a certain amount of strategic cooperation between the two groups. (2)

    Terrorist intervention in Kashmir may only get worse as Nitin Pai, a fellow in geopolitics at the Indian Takshashila Institute said, US withdrawal from Afghanistan would allow “thousands of armed, violent, radicalized” fighters to become involved in the Kashmir conflict. "With shattered, feudal economies and lack of skills that would make them employable, this pool of manpower will destabilize these countries and pose risks to the broader region," says Pai. (1)

    Afghanistan has friendly relationships with India thanks to the strong Indian diplomatic presence in the country and the 2 billion dollars of development aid given by India. Pakistan in contrast has been unable to supply such aid and has been contributing to the country’s instability by sponsoring Afghan terrorist groups. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to crack down on Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network safe-spots on Pakistani soil. The US. have backed these demands by petitioning for international recognition of Pakistan as a sponsor of state terrorism and has so far withheld 300 million dollars of military aid funds. Some officials even go so far as to threaten to remove all aid to Pakistan and to impose stringent economic sanctions that would plunge Pakistan in a state of isolation. (3)

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/08/201188175314121853.html

    http://www.cfr.org/kashmir/kashmir-militant-extremists/p9135

    http://thediplomat.com/2016/08/afghanistan-between-india-and-pakistan/

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  4. Uyghur conflict in China – David Ripayre

    The conflict between Han and Uyghurs in the Xinjiang takes many different forms (protests and riots), but the most concerning for local authorities is terrorism. The spread of terrorism in the region and the growing influence of Al-Qaeda has lead the Chinese authorities to impose drastic and
    repressive measures to fight against terrorism.
    However this terrorism does not spread only within China, but also to other parts of the world like Turkey (New Year’s attack on Istanbul Nightclub) or Thailand (bombings in Hindu Sanctuary).
    Some countries like Taiwan, because of its lack of Muslim minority have been shielded from Islamic terrorism, but considering the attacks in Thailand we can observe a spread of Uyghur terrorism to the China’s neighbor countries. On one hand, Taiwan wants to avoid being too dependent of China however they need a way to protect themselves from Uyghur terrorism. They have thus decided to emphasize relationships with Uyghur groups and organizations. Renowned Uyghur activist Rubiya Kadeer was hosted numerous times by Taiwan’s government altough Beijing has strongly advised against.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-upset-about-move-to-invite-uyghur-leader-to-taiwan/articleshow/57045379.cms

    http://thinking-taiwan.com/china-taiwan-and-terrorism/

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  5. Ambre Perron - Civil War in South Sudan

    While the United States’ influence and interest in South Sudan decrease, China remains present in the country torn by the ongoing civil war. Long before South Sudanese independence, China depended on Sudan’s oil to feed its significant “net [importation] of oil at 6.1 million barrels per day, of which five percent came from South Sudan in 2011” remarks Alice Sue, reporter for the Foreign Affairs Online. Sue’s article dates back from a year ago. Yet, the interaction between Chinese entrepreneurs and South Sudan’s weak population has not evolved since. China values the potential benefits of its involvement in South Sudan. The website for the embassy of China in South Sudan insures the “healthy development of bilateral relations”(2) between the two countries while some Chinese toast to their prominent wealth in a VIP Club in Juba. (4) Recently, the Bloomberg View underlined the vacancy left by the U.S.’s currently “uncertain global leadership” therefore opening up the country completely to Chinese control. Indeed, the U.S. is not the only country that seems to have reduced its help or completely pulled out its forces. “Japan will withdraw 350 Self-Defense Forces engineering troops from South Sudan by the end of May” says The Japan Times.

    (1) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/10/national/japan-end-sdfs-south-sudan-mission-may/#.WRgwZ4mGP-Y
    (2) http://ss.chineseembassy.org/eng/sbgx/jmwl/
    (3) https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-27/south-sudan-s-famine-is-china-s-chance-to-lead
    (4) https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/south-sudan/2016-06-06/chinas-business-and-politics-south-sudan

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  6. Leah Sadoff- Al-Shabaab

    (Theo told us that he sent you an email and that you said that if we couldn't find any more information then we can write a blog post on something that happened with the conflict. Because I cannot find another country apart from the three that I've already talked about, I decided to write about an event that currently happened.)

    Yesterday an event happened that I was not ever expecting. Al-Shabaab murdered one of their own. The person that was killed was kalled Abdullahi Ali Shire, he was the governor of Bardhere city which is currently occupied by al-Shabaab. The reason he was killed by his fellow terrorists is because they found out that he was in communication with the Somali government. This is the only article I found about this murder and apparently there are others but I cannot read them because Europe has special regulations on what information can or cannot be seen by the public. But, this little bit of information is very interesting because now we know to what extent they are willing to go to obtain their goal. Also, the fact that such a high-ranking terrorist was communicating with the government is quite peculiar. The questions that I have now are: what was being communicated? how did they communicate? was there any valuable information that was being transferred that in the end helped the various armies fight al-Shabaab?

    http://mareeg.com/somaliaalshabab-kill-their-commander-for-treason/

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  7. Billy McGovern--  Israel-Palestine

        Although Turkey has for a long time been on good terms with Israel, being the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel in 1949, the Turkish position in the conflict has become more and more pro-Palestinian. Since the election of the Islamic Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish interests have become more pro-Arab, and diplomatic ties with Turkey that were severed due to Marmara flotilla raid ( “an Israeli raid to a Turkish aid mission to Gaza”1) have yet to be formally normalized. Erdogan is regarded as a Palestinian champion: pictures of Erdogan are everywhere in the Gaza Strip, shops and babies are named after him. Needless to say that many of Erdogan’s statements have been condemned by Israel.
        The official site for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that “Turkey shares a centuries long joint history and has close cultural and social bonds with the Palestinian people.”2 Since 1995, Turkey has donated US$ 300 million to Palestine, either directly from the government or indirectly through international organizations such as the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian refugees as well as the World Food Programme.Turkey supports the settlement of the Israeli-Palestine conflict on condition of Israeli retirement of armed forces in the occupied area as well as respect of boundaries between both states.



    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/03/palestine-turkish-support.html#

    (1)https://www.vox.com/cards/israel-palestine/egypt-jordan-lebanon-syria

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%E2%80%93Turkey_relations

    (2)http://www.mfa.gov.tr/turkey_s-political-relations-with-the-palestinian-national-authority.en.mfa

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  9. Juliette Debray - Boko Haram
    Similarly to the United States and France, the UK has strong economic interests in Nigeria. This is mostly due to the huge amount of oil the country is able to provide, mainly through Shell “the oil giant” striving in the Niger delta (1). Shell is closely linked to the UK as its parent company “Royal Dutch Shell plc” is incorporated in England and Wales (2). Despite the horrifying pollution stories evoking unusable farming and drinking water (3), the UK’s Foreign Office is rather dedicated to help the company crack down on oil bunkering in order to promote a thriving economy (1).

    The UK is consequently very implicated in the fight against Boko Haram. Cooperating with the US and France, the country has “significantly increased [its] military, intelligence and development support to Nigeria, including training and advice on counter-insurgency” since the capture of the Chibok girls in 2014 (4). It has also brought humanitarian aid to the region “providing food, water, sanitation and emergency healthcare for up to 7 million people across Nigeria.” according to the government’s website (4). The International Development Secretary is currently fighting for the cause, pressing the UN, World Bank, and the international community to act fast and smartly on the ongoing crisis (5)
    (1)https://www.desmog.uk/2017/01/24/revealed-uk-ministers-lobbied-nigeria-government-protect-oil-giant-shell
    (2)http://www.shell.co.uk/about-us/who-we-are.html
    (3)http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38759643
    (4)https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uks-continued-support-to-nigeria-in-the-fight-against-boko-haram
    (5)https://www.gov.uk/government/news/priti-patel-calls-on-international-community-to-improve-global-response-to-humanitarian-crises

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  10. Pierre-Malo Vienney -- DRC conflict

    Many countries are involved in the DRC conflict because of their proximity but also because of trading and colonial history.
    In fact, DRC trades its abundant minerals with China that needs it for manufacturing but also for building infrastructure. Both countries signed deals to create a bilateral economic relation. In 2008, the compromise established that DRC would trade copper and cobalt with China. In exchange, China was to build a highway through DRC. With the increasing production of high tech products, China needed more minerals. In 2011, another mineral trade was established. Since then, China has built hospitals, schools, and paved 2000 miles of road through DRC.
    Because of its colonial heritage, DRC has a special relationship with Belgium. Belgium engaged a bilateral partnership with the DRC in 2014, and invested 80 million euro in assistance to the DRC. This program aimed to help education to expand the skilled labor force and allow DRC to develop its economy. In addition, Belgium also gives humanitarian aid to the DRC to help the country recover from the ongoing conflict.
    Both involvements are well viewed by other countries, as they both try to help the country’s development.

    http://africanworldpolitics.site.wesleyan.edu/2016/11/15/foreign-relations-drc/
    http://rdcongo.diplomatie.belgium.be/fr/cooperation-au-developpement
    https://globalprosperity.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/is-china-capitalizing-on-the-congo/


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  12. Sophie Lemmerman - Kashmir conflict

    An article published in Al Jazeera in 2011 claims that “the trust deficit between India and Pakistan is not only toxic to Kashmir but has broader ramifications in South Asia;” (1) it appears that peace in war-torn Afghanistan is linked to the resolution of the Kashmir conflict. The two cannot be “compartmentalized,” according to special Kashmir envoy of Nawaz Sharif, Mushahid Hussain Syed. (2)
    Attacks began to increase in Kashmir after Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s (Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-1989); foreign insurgents flooded the highly disputed region to join the Afghan Mujahideen. (3) Pakistan facilitated the redirection of mujahideen from Afghanistan to Kashmir, seeing it as a win-win situation: it kept India off balance, and prevented the dangerous terrorist groups from returning to Pakistan. (4) Afghanistan connects Central Asia to South Asia and East Asia to West Asia. Due to its strategic location, major powers have consistently tried to control Afghanistan in hopes of expanding their political, economic, and ideological power in the region. This is a suspected cause for many political rifts and instabilities in Afghanistan. (5)
    First based in Pakistan and then in Afghanistan, the Islamic terrorist group known as Harakat ul-Mujahideen now has several hundred armed supporters in Pakistan and Kashmir. (3) Along with Jaish-e-Mohammed––a Pakistani terrorist group seeking to incorporate Kashmir into Pakistan––and Lashkar-e-Taiba––one of the largest and most proficient of the Kashmir-based terrorist groups––all three Islamic groups have attracted Pakistani members as well as Afghan and Arab veterans who fought the 1980s Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. (3)
    These ties reveal an alliance between Pakistan and Afghanistan, explaining why parts of the Afghan mujahideen are present in Kashmir and helping Pakistan to fight Indian troops.

    (1)http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/08/201188175314121853.html
    (2)http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Peace-in-war-torn-Afghanistan-only-via-Kashmir-Pakistan-tells-US/articleshow/54735495.cms
    (3)http://www.cfr.org/kashmir/kashmir-militant-extremists/p9135
    (4)http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/09/05/lets-talk-about-kashmir/ (limited viewing access without an account)
    (5)http://thediplomat.com/2016/08/afghanistan-between-india-and-pakistan/

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  13. Chloé Erny, EU migration crisis

    Europe and China cooperate on the subject of migration through the IOM (International Organization for Migration): in 2007, IOM opened in Beijing a Liaison Office in China, to support the government’s efforts concerning migration. With China’s emergence as an economic power it has had to deal with an increasingly mobile population, especially since 2014. In response the Chinese government has been focusing on border management, labor migration policies, promoting regular migration and preventing irregular migration.
    A page from the IOM website, last edited in August 2015, presents the various projects created with Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR to collaborate in the management of migration. Several of these are aimed at counter-trafficking through various plans: capacity building, shelter management, legislation and migration management for vulnerable migrants, a direct assistance mechanism for victims of trafficking, examining effective methods of combating trafficking and protecting vulnerable migrants by bringing Chinese and international experts together, raising awareness of human trafficking among foreign domestic workers, developing an efficient and effective referral system to facilitate victim identification and protection, and making available voluntary return assistance to identified victims of human trafficking. According to the Annual Report on Chinese International Migration, there are 60 million overseas Chinese around the world as of 2015; part of helping China with migration management means somewhat controlling the flow of Chinese migrants to Europe, especially irregular migrants with the many counter-trafficking measures.

    https://www.iom.int/countries/china#rmmoe

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  14. Tim d'Aboville- Syria

    Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian Civil war has had a significant impact on the conflict since the very beginning in 2011. Though the two countries had had decent relations for over a decade before the outbreak of the war, President Erdogan stated that it was “impossible for Syrians to accept a dictator who has caused the death of up to 350,000” (BBC NEWS) and since 2011, his country fights Syria (Wikipedia). Officially, there is only one reason to Turkey’s intervention in the war which is that Assad is, according to them, not fit to rule the country anymore and must be replaced (BBC NEWS). However, there is now a second factor which is ISIL’s growth which Turkey deems dangerous and they are now fighting the terrorist group as well (Wikipedia). This makes their relationship with Russia somewhat tense as they are both fighting ISIS, but Erdogan is also fighting Assad who is strongly supported by Putin. Both countries are still officially at peace even though there have been some minor incidents between them over the past few years.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-23849587
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_involvement_in_the_Syrian_Civil_War

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  15. Kelcie
    North Korea
    China is, according to Eleanor Albert, North Korea’s “most important ally”. This is due to their historical alliance, their heavy trading and the way China does not want the regime’s collapse. China and North Korea were allies in the North Korean war and after it was over China provided political and economical backing to the country’s different leaders. China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner. Indeed over 90 per cent of North Korea’s trading volume is trading with China. China is North Korea’s main source of food and energy, it is therefore sustaining the regime. China does not not want it to collapse because it doesn’t want big amounts of refugees coming in through the border they share which is 870 miles long. They therefore oppose too harsh sanctions. For example, they only agreed to the UN Resolution 1718 after changing it so it wasn’t as tough.


    China can also be considered to be more allied with North Korea than the other world powers because it doesn’t want the world powers to push North Korea too far which could result in dangerous millitary action from North Korea. On April 2017, the Chinese foreign minister was trying to get the US and NK to restrain themselves and said: “Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but multiple loss. No one can become a winner”.
    However, they do not like the rulership of North Korea or the development of their nuclear power which they also want to stop. They are stuck as they don’t want to hurt North Korea too much but it is a way to make them stop their nuclear program, something they also want, in september 2016, after North Korea’s most recent nuclear test, they called on North Korea to not take action that would “worsen the situation”. To do this they have tried to convince North Korea to resume the six Party Talks. They have also supported different sanctions put on North Korea, as long as they were not too tough. In February 2017, they suspended coal imports from North Korea.

    http://www.cfr.org/china/chinanorth-korea-relationship/p11097

    (it's long because i thought we would have another week with a blog entry so I made two)

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  16. Rémi Masia-Depardieu, Destabilization of Mali
    Mali shares its northern border with Algeria, and therefore the tensions hosted in Mali, again, since the 2012 crisis have reasons to scare Algeria. As many terrorist groups operate in Northern Mali, Algeria is scared that they decide to also come and operate in Algeria. The communication director for the Algerian foreign minister said that “Algeria’s participation in settling military conflicts in Mali because it is a constitutional principle that is beyond debate.” He also said that Algeria seeked to promote peace and “bring closer viewpoints and efforts between the movements of Northern Mali.” Many negotiations and debates on Mali’s crisis have been hosted in Algeria, that wants to help. However, they provide little military support, as it is against their constitution to fight outside its borders. Therefore, the Algerian government emphasizes its role in advancing the discussion between the Malian government, the movements taking place in Northern Mali, and peace programs such as the UN.

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2014/06/algeria-mali-will-not-intervene.html

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  18. Theodore FEVRE - Taliban in Afganistan

    Tensions have arrose between Pakistan and Afghanistan after fifteen soldiers were killed at the border of the two countries on May 6th. During a Pakistani census in villages among the Durand border-line, both side's troops opened fire on each other. Although the Afghan government warned the Pakistanis to not conduct their census near the border due to its uncertain limitations, they carried it out.

    Pakistan and Afghanistan have had tensions ever since it was revealed by US officials that Pakistan had been funding the Taliban. However, Pakistan do everything to avoid said denunciation. In fact, Pakistan claim to have allegedly built fences and border posts alongside the un-policed border to "curtail the
    movement of Taliban fighters into Afghanistan". Therefore, this ongoing investigation seems to have no real end to it due Pakistan's continuous denials and cover-up stories.

    In addition to the tension created by Pakistan's support to the Taliban, this dramatic event fueled up the already intense fire between the two countries.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/firing-afghanistan-pakistan-border-census-team-kills-civilian-170505070934446.html

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  19. War in Yemen - Anna

    Britain has helped Saudi Arabia secretly during the entire war, as it is a cause for national shame (The Guardian 1). They have been seen as dishonest by covering themselves diplomatically. Despite having stated that Britain would “not grant a license if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”, it has granted Saudi Arabia a total worth of £3.3 billion of weapons in 2015, becoming Saudi Arabia’s biggest arms costumer (British Empire Exposed). They have also agreed orders of £3.5 billion worth of weaponry since the start of 2015. We are sure of at least one fatal attack on Yemen using British weaponry, which targeted a ceramics factory (The Guardian 2), and they have signed out at least 100 arms licenses. The only justification given by Britain concerning this issue was the Minister of Defense’s declaration that the British “support Saudi forces through long-standing, pre-existing arrangements”. The British involvement in Yemen would be discontinued immediately if more voices spoke out. The Campaign against the Arms Trade, a British organization, has issued a legal action against their government for breaking international law, showing their outrage, but the UN can’t openly go against the UK as Saudi Arabia was elected to the UN human rights council (The Guardian 2).

    British Empire Exposed: https://britishempireexposed.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/britains-role-in-yemen/

    The Guardian 1: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/08/britain-role-yemen-bombs-saudi-arabia-civilians-civil-war

    The Guardian 2: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/28/britain-war-yemen-saudi-arabia-military-advisers

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  20. Julie Clar - Boko Haram in Nigeria
    The United States have donated over 600 billion dollars to Nigeria in order to fight Boko Haram (1). “The U.S. provided advisors, intelligence, training, logistical support, and equipment” as well as 195 million dollars in humanitarian assistance to the Multinational Joint Task Force whose goal is to destroy Boko Haram (2). A State Department official said, “we can say that the United States is committed to working with Nigeria and its neighbors to combat Boko Haram, protect civilians, respond to the humanitarian emergency in the region, and help restore governance in the affected areas (4).” Fighting extremism is not their only goal in mind as the United States is the largest foreign investor in Nigeria (3). Nigeria indeed exports products from the petroleum/mining and wholesale trade sectors such as vehicles, animal feed, oil...(etc) which are necessary to Americans and the economy of Nigeria (3). This would explain why the country is so dedicated to helping Nigeria: they are hoping to eradicate terrorism in order to reboost the Nigerian economy and therefore benefit from the imports. Moreover, Nigeria is looking to buy “a dozen ground attack aircraft” from the United States which would considerably profit the United States (4).

    Sources:
    (1)http://africanworldpolitics.site.wesleyan.edu/2016/10/20/foreign-aid-in-nigeria/
    (2)http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/int/mnjtf.htm
    (3)https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2836.htm
    (4)https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/04/10/u-s-looks-to-sell-ground-attack-aircraft-to-nigeria-report-says/?utm_term=.633a68e8b25a

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  21. Domitille- Conflict in Ukraine

    The UK is also a country that has been strongly linked to Ukraine, since January 10th, 1992 when their diplomatic relationship was established. Their relation is based on “a high level of mutual understanding” (1). According to the Ukrainian government site, the UK has been highly supportive of them in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and have put in place many restrictive measures and sanctions, along with the United Nations, and many visits to Ukraine. The UK’s interest has been to defend Western values along with Europe and the United States by defending the country who represents their own values in the conflict. Ukraine and the UK also have an economic link: “The United Kingdom is an important partner of Ukraine in the economic sphere, in particular in investment cooperation, banking and finance sectors and energy security” (2), which might be another reason why the UK wants to maintain these relations. However, certain countries and the UK itself critique their intervention and say it has not been active enough: “The UK is guilty of sleepwalking into the crisis in Ukraine and has not been as active or visible as it should be” (3). Furthermore, the UK’s goal to promote European values and the integration of Ukraine in Europe could be put back into question with Brexit.

    (1)(2) http://uk.mfa.gov.ua/en/ukraine-uk/diplomacy
    (3)https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/20/uk-guilty-of-catastrophic-misreading-of-ukraine-crisis-lords-report-claims

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  22. Libya Cassiopeia

    Egypt:

    The Arab league was in favor of a no fly zone over Libya back in 2011 and meaning military intervention in Libya. They want stability in the region and are afraid of a spill over. They are currently waging a war against Islamism both within their country (Muslim brotherhood) and in Libya(ISIS). The stand to gain from supporting Haftar because in exchange for their military help, they get free crude oil. Several Egyptians live in Libya and Egypt has offered to evacuate them. However, these jobless Egyptians coming in have ,supposedly, also added to the unemployment problem in Egypt. Egypt would therefore rather have a stable Libya. Furthermore, Libya sees large amounts of militants and arms coming in, which Egypt, as a neighbor, doesn't want. Egypt not only funds Haftar but also trains his men, leads a few missions like the bombing of Derna, “rents” its military aircraft to them as there is an arms embargo, and helps secure the borders.

    Additional US info:

    US originally intervened, according to Obama, to put an end to Gaddafi’s “brutal repression” and the massacre of Libyans, in order to defend US “values and interests”. Obama also said they also intervened because of a demand on behalf of Arab countries and NATO, who wanted to put into place a no fly zone. It is said that the US also intervened to improve relations with Saudi Arabia (who are Libya's competitors in the natural resources market). As Tunisia is the only successful Arab Spring revolution; the West defending democracy wanted to preserve it, and that means prevent the conflict in Libya from spilling over.

    http://www.emergencyemail.org/newsemergency/anmviewer.asp?a=999
    http://www.africanscene.co.za/2011/03/strategy-101-why-the-usa-has-to-get-involved-in-libya/
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/03/20/gergen.washington.libya/index.html
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/02/12/why-libya-matters-again/
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/libya-egyptian-troops-launch-ground-attack-isis-held-derna-capturing-55-militants-1488522
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/20/egypt-bombing-libya_n_6722148.html
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/24/egypt-concern-libya-tensions
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31452875
    https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/dignity-operation-chief-we-are-servants-egypt
    https://www.libyaobserver.ly/economy/tobruk-government-ready-ship-free-crude-oil-egypt-replace-saudi-oil-supplies
    https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/dignity-operation-tasks-egyptian-army-secure-libya-borders-egypt-and-sudan

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  23. Victoria - Mexican Drug War

    Mexico’s drug trafficking has been the most powerful for years, but lately Ecuador has been emerging in the cocaine trade. One of Ecuador’s biggest drug lords, Washington Prado Alva, was arrested on April 11th, and accused of having smuggled 250 tons of cocaine into America. Ecuador could attempt at overthrowing Mexico on the cocaine trade or it could be trying to work with them. The ecuadorian drug cartels can easily access cocaine from neighbouring Colombia and Peru, and Prado Alva is known to have connections in Mexico, but with the arrests of various big Mexican cartel leaders, Ecuador could try and get their grip over the cocaine trade.

    http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/alleged-pablo-escobar-ecuador-ascent-boatman-drug-lord
    https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/6444-ecuador-s-massive-cocaine-seizure-hints-at-country-s-growing-drug-trade-role

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  24. Delphine Chiffaudel - Israel & Palestine
    The Kingdom of Jordan is affected by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict because they were part of the arab league that attacked Israel in 1948 and 1973, and Palestinian refugees have been fleeing to Jordan since conflict arose. According to the there are approximately 3.2 million Palestinians in Jordan -- including registered refugees and those with Jordanian citizenship. More recently, during the latest Knife Intifada in September 2015, Israeli Defense Forces were quite violent towards muslim protestors outside of the Haram al-Sharif Temple Mount, a Jewish holy site in Jerusalem, causing tensions. The King Abdullah II warned Israel that "Any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel.”
    Jordan would love to see the two state solution implemented in Israel-Palestine, because that would end the lingering idea of the ‘alternate homeland.’ This would mean the kingdom would become the new Palestinian homeland, if Israel persists in oppressing Palestinians. Jordans are opposed to this idea, so the King Abdullah II has been very active in requesting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian authority.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2009/03/23/jordanian-views-on-the-palestinian-israeli-situation/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinians_in_Jordan
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel–Jordan_relations
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/200677#.ViAkOpu6HaE

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  25. Marin Duroyon - The Libyan Civil War

    Fateh El-Sisi, the Egyptian President, held a talk in Cairo with Khalifa Haftar in order to call for the end of the UN-imposed weapons embargo on Libya. According to Egypt’s President, the lifting of this embargo is necessary so that the Libyan National Army can eradicate terrorism. Sisi has been a long time supporter of Khalifa Haftar, trying to resolve the Libyan Civil War. However, according to Al-Ahram Weekly, Egypt seems to be obsessed in the with against the Islamic State in Libya. This can be explained because since the beginning of the Civil War, IS has been a threat Egyptian national security. Libya’s eastern border has become an area of flow of many illegal weapons and the travel of many Jihadists. The insecurity in Libya allow many of Jihadist groups to slowly acquire power and could potentially spillover to Western Egypt.
    Egypt is also interested in Libya because since 2013 Egypt has a debt of 3.5 billion US dollars with foreign energetic companies. Furthermore, if Libya manages to stabilise, Egypt could potentially benefit from all the oil and gas present in Libya at a lower price than normal market.
    In addition, the Egyptian economy has been taking a tole since the fall of Qaddafi in 2011, apparently more than 1.5 million of Egyptians were working in Libya and the reduction of that number have provoked serious effects on the Egyptian economy. “The volume of Egyptian exports to the Libyan market fell by 75 percent”, this lead to a downgrading of Egypt’s GDP growth rate.

    https://www.libyaherald.com/2017/05/13/sisi-tells-hafter-weapons-embargo-must-be-lifted-so-lna-can-fight-terrorists/
    http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/16325.aspx
    http://www.ispionline.it/en/pubblicazione/egypts-security-and-haftar-al-sisis-strategy-libya-16284

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  27. Emilie Shagrin: refugee crisis in the EU

    ISIS stands for the (self proclaimed) Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. They’re an extremist terrorist group trying to conquer the Western World. Since June 2014, the terrorist group has been held responsible for more than 90 attacks in 21 countries (CNN). They are interested in the conquer of the Western world. One of ISIS’s interests in the EU refugee crisis could be that is allows the extremist terrorist group to send “fighters to Europe hidden among the refugees.” (The Time)
    There is, according to U.K.-based counter-extremism think tank Quilliam, no proof that ISIS is using this strategy. It remains a concern for the European countries currently trying to control the flow of migrants. How to avoid the chaos caused by this group, which has killed dozens of people at a time, carried out public executions and other acts? Their involvement in this conflict would allow them to reach Europe with more ease (currently, their strategy is to radicalize people already within EU borders…) ISIS is not trying to “help” the Middle East, either, but spread their cause further across it (along with death). Members of EU (and NATO) view ISIS as a primary threat to world peace.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/08/world/isis-fast-facts/
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/17/world/mapping-isis-attacks-around-the-world/index.html
    http://time.com/3720076/isis-europe-migrants/

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  28. Paul ISIS in Iraq,

        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.

    Canada, for example,has been involved in Iraq ever since the US invasion of 2003( Cf to previous blog post). Canada fights in Iraq to counter terrorism ,and teams up with the coalition in order to restore peace in this country which has endured much pain. They want to free the civilians from this unwanted oppressive force (ISIS) and claim fighting for a cause which is: humans rights.

        The globeandmail.com has reported that: approximately 69 Canadian soldier s are directly involved in the conflict and that Canada’s main military goal is to send CF-18 fighters to strike Islamic State. Canada announced that in a matter of weeks, they’ll be sending: six Canadian CF-18 fighters, two surveillance planes and a refuelling tanker aircraft. They’re trying to progressively defeat ISIS along with the coalition.

    They are on the anti-ISIS side of this battle and have another role over there which is: helping out traumatized civilians. As a matter of fact they have announced that they’ll make a 10 million bid in aid to help victims of sexual violence and other human right abuse by the Djihadi group. The country’s representatives also claim financially supporting coalition operations.
    Sources:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawas-debate-on-mission-to-fight-islamic-state-gets-underway/article20943294/

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  29. Deniz

    There are many immigrants in the European Union who came from Turkey, some of them ethnically Kurdish, some of them Turkic. As the tensions between Turks and Kurds escalate in Turkey, they are reflected amongst the four million immigrants in Europe. In countries with significant Turkish populations, such as Germany and the Netherlands, there have been major clashes and protests between the feuding ethnicities. Many Kurds living in Europe openly support Kurdish independence, leading to them being condemned as supporters of terror by Turkish residents in the same country. In several cases, local law enforcement had to intervene to prevent the two sides from going at each other's throats. A large amount of the troublemakers are citizens of the host countries, which inevitably drags the local government into their conflict. Germany, the Netherlands and, to a lesser extent, Sweden, face this issue.

    http://theconversation.com/turkish-kurdish-conflict-spills-over-into-europe-47610

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  30. Ito - Burundi
    Most of the recent disagreements and debates in this conflict have been surrounding the UN’s clearly oppositional stance on Burundi’s government actions. The organisation releases almost monthly reports on the situation in Burundi, calling it “dire”, “unsustainable”, and accusing the government of committing “serious human rights abuses” (UN Security Council). This first arose after a September UN report said it had “abundant proof of serious violations of human rights”, which prompted the UN to want to send an investigative team to further support this claim, and hold the government accountable for its crimes. (OHCHR). This then resulted in Burundi’s withdrawal from the ICC to avoid sanctions. Since then, the UN has been trying to reason with the government, encouraging it to attend peace talks “in order to secure stability in the region.” (Reuters)

    http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/burundi/
    http://www.ohchr.org/FR/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20534&LangID=F
    http://af.reuters.com/article/burundiNews/idAFL8N1GA04I

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  31. Juliette Scholler - Taliban in Afghanistan

    Russia has been recently supporting the Taliban, after ISIS had invaded Afghanistan. One of the main reason is to fight off terrorism (The Diplomat). Russia fears that the extremist ideology could expand northwards, through Central Asia, and reach their country (The Diplomat). By giving aid to the Taliban, who has been fighting ISIS for religious divergences, Russia intends to defend its borders (The Diplomat). Russia also supports the Taliban in order to assert themselves in the conflict (The Diplomat). By supplying the insurgency, Russia holds a key role in the future of Afghanistan (The Diplomat). They have held meetings in Moscow with other countries, such as Iran, China, Pakistan, without the US or any NATO countries, in order to discuss the issue (The Diplomat). Russia, by supporting the Taliban, can also deal with drug problems (The Diplomat). Indeed, Afghanistan is one of the largest producers of opiates in the world, with most of its production coming from Taliban occupied territories (The Diplomat). Russia hopes to reduce importations in exchange of their support, as they are one of the biggest markets in the world (The Diplomat).
    The United States, however, sees Russia’s decision as dangerous. Russia is helping the Taliban gain power in Afghanistan (NPR). This could lead to increased instability in the country, as it will be harder for ADSF to defend itself against the strengthened insurgency (NPR). The Russian alliance also brings to removing Taliban officials’ names off the UNSC sanction list, which the United States is opposed to (Times of India).
    Pakistan, Iran, and China, on the contrary, agree with Russia (Times of India). They view the Taliban as a valuable tool to fight terrorism (Times of India). They have held meetings in order to discuss the Afghanistan’s security situation (Times of India).

    http://thediplomat.com/2017/02/4-reasons-russia-increasingly-favors-the-taliban-in-afghanistan/
    http://www.npr.org/2017/03/31/522232584/defense-secretary-expresses-concern-over-russian-support-for-taliban
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/russia-china-and-pakistan-for-flexible-ties-with-taliban-india-ignored/articleshow/56228906.cms

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  32. Lucca Stagno - Al Shabaab in Somalia

    The AMISOM (African Union Mission In Somalia) is an African Union peace keeping organism whose main objective is the complete eradication of radicalist Islamic terror groups such as Al Shabaab from the Somali soil. It aims to restore peace in the Horn of Africa and since its creation in 2007 has taken a multidimensional approach in order to fulfill said aim. The AMISOM is composed of: an AMISOM police force that trains and legitimizes the Somali national police; AMISOM troops meant to protect both the populace and the AMISOM representatives on Somali territory, as well as to ensure the possibility of humanitarian aid to travel the country unperturbed; and finally, an AMISOM maritime unit that mostly protects the Mogadishu and Kismayo ports.
    The police force is mostly manned by the wealthier countries of the AU (all recognized African countries are part of the AU) such as Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. The military force, on the other hand, is chiefly manned by countries with a geographical proximity to Somalia (either neighboring nations or generally eastern-African ones) such as Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. This collective effort marks the preoccupation from not only regional neighbors but from the continent as a whole on the situation in Somalia.
    http://amisom-au.org


    Al Qaeda: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/12015075/How-al-Qaeda-and-Islamic-State-are-fighting-for-al-Shabaab-affections-in-Somalia.html

    Kenya: https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/171636/Blurred%20Lines1%20copy.pdf

    http://amisom-au.org/kenya-kdf/

    USA: http://allafrica.com/stories/201612050070.html

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  33. Domitille- Conflict in Ukraine

    Since I already have most of the information necessary for the essay, I chose to concentrate on how are the relations between Russia and the countries who are closely linked with Ukraine- China, the US and the UK. The Diplomat presents China and Russia as having “complementary” (1) objectives and working towards the same way. Even after the Ukrainian crisis started they remained on good terms: some measures in the 2014 Strategic Partnership aim to “strenghten the Sino-Russian energy partnership” (2). China has remained on diplomatic terms not only with Ukraine but also with Russia, for strategic reasons. On the other hand, the US’ position was clearer, before Trump took power: the US wanted sanctions against Russia. Trump evoked the idea of removing these sanctions, however, tensions have been coming back after “the new U.S. leader fired missiles at Syria to punish Moscow’s ally for its suspected use of poison gas” (3). The US’ position is therefore a little more blurry. Finally, the UK’s position is much more obviously in favor of Ukraine. However, though attempts to reinforce their relations have been made in the past years (“The British Government has made discreet approaches to Moscow in an effort to improve frayed relations between the two countries” (4)), according to DailyMail, “UK relations with Russia are at an all-time low: Ambassador attacks No 10 for 'raising tensions' with 'provocative' decision to send 800 troops to Estonia's border” (5). Most countries’ positions are driven by their personal interests, causing their positions to often change.

    (1) (2) http://thediplomat.com/2016/12/behind-china-and-russias-special-relationship/
    (3)http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tillerson-putin-trump_us_58ee701ce4b0b9e98488c18e
    (4)http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/uk-government-russia-relationship-vladimir-putin-boris-johnson-moscow-a7668901.html
    (5)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4417086/UK-relations-Russia-time-low.html

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  34. Elise du Crest - War in Yemen


    The health of the Yemeni population is at its worse. In recent news, there has been a Cholera outbreak that has left 242 dead and over 23 000 affected. According to the WHO, the speed at which it has spread is “unprecedented”, due to a very real humanitarian crisis caused by the war. This week, Sanaa declared Yemen to be in a state of emergency, and the health ministry of the Houthi government describes this epidemic as an “unprecedented health and environmental disaster". (1)
    Two days ago, 1200 of the 5000 expected Sudanese soldiers arrived in Mukalla. (2) Sudan in an anti-Houthi village in western central Yemen, known to be fighting with the Saudi-led coalition.
    Houthi forces fired a ballistic missile into Saudi Arabia, and the Coalition retaliated with repeated airstrikes on Sanaa.
    Yesterday, President Trump met with King Salman of Saudi Arabia to sign Joint Strategic Vision Statement to ensure closer collaboration to eradicate terrorism. (3) This very clearly applies to the situation in Yemen, because it means that the US will continue to be active and support the Coalition.


    (1)http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/speed-yemen-cholera-outbreak-unprecedented-170519110837434.html
    (2)http://yemen.liveuamap.com/en/2017/19-may-arrival-of-a-sudanese-force-of-1200-soldiers-in-mukalla
    (3)http://yemen.liveuamap.com/en/2017/20-may-white-house-provides-readout-of-trumps-meeting-with

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  35. Ambre Perron - Civil War in South Sudan
    Ethiopia has been particularly influenced by the conflict in South Sudan. The region of Gambella has been a major host of refugees. In 2014, 190,000 slaves fled to the region. Considering the federal ‘neutrality’ insured by the government of Ethiopia, a division between two ‘foreign policies’ was made between the federal government and the perspective of the region of Gambella, supportive of Machar. (1) Indeed, the Life and Peace Association is not the only one to notice the ‘neutrality’ of federal governments. "And you may realize in the greater Horn of Africa that Eritrea and Ethiopia were not very clear on support for the government. Even Kenya was not forthcoming in its position," said Chol in an article for XinHuaNet (2) The lack of decisiveness may be a factor in the ongoing civil war. Although peacekeepers remain in the country, the inability for the IDAG to side firmly with one side may cause the extension of the war. In the meantime, South Sudan’s countries continue to suffer from the cost of hosting refugees.

    (1) http://life-peace.org/hab/the-spillover-effect-of-the-south-sudan-conflict-in-gambella/
    (2)http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/20/c_136140809.htm

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  36. Deniz

    Iraq has always been a country with a large population of ethnic Kurds. In fact, there have been Kurdish tribes and small Kurdish kingdoms in the area for centuries. The country has a region in north-east, called Iraqi Kurdistan, and is controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government. The region has several oil reserves, which are contested by the KRG and the Iraqi Government. The Kurdistan Regional Government was formed after a series of revolts and, eventually, wars between Kurdish nationalists and the Iraqi Government in the mid-20th century. In 1970, the regions was granted autonomy in a treaty signed between Iraq and the Kurdish nationalists. The agreement, however, fell apart after a few years, and war erupted anew. Throughout the following years, both sides have engaged in violent activities, including the infamous use of chemical weapons on civilians by Saddam Hussein. Iraq has withdrawn its forces from the area since the 1990’s, and in 2003 elections were held for the newly created Kurdistan Regional Government.

    http://thekurdishproject.org/kurdistan-map/iraqi-kurdistan/

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  37. Jack Singer North Korea
    The United States is North Korea’s main enemy. Both countries have opposite political systems: communism has been fought across the globe by the US. Nevertheless, the US along with the Western world is rarely directly threatened by North Korea, most tensions are created through North Korean provocations made to US allies. According to the US Department of State, Washington defends Seoul and Tokyo and promotes economic growth thanks to a “comprehensive global partnership”, big Japanese and South Korean companies such as Samsung are highly present across the US territory. However, this alliance creates friction as North Korea is indirectly neighbors with the United States. Washington does not benefit from this conflict. Nonetheless defending South Korea and Japan along with the “global partnership” is important enough to the americans’ eyes to start a war.

    "South Korea." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, 25 Jan. 2017. Web. 21 May 2017.

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