Middle East & North Africa

513 Items

Saki Morioki, 5 years old, prays as paper lanterns float along the Motoyasu River in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. in Hiroshima, western Japan. Japan marked the 75th anniversary Thursday of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The official lantern event was cancelled to the public due to coronavirus but a small group of local representatives released some lanterns. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Stopping Power of Norms: Saturation Bombing, Civilian Immunity, and U.S. Attitudes toward the Laws of War

| Fall 2020

Carpenter and Montgomery replicate a key question from Sagan and Valentino’s landmark survey of U.S. attitudes toward the laws of war and introduce variations into Sagan and Valentino’s experiment. The findings reveal Americans’ strong belief that targeting civilians is wrong, and that a majority would likely oppose such action in real life.

teaser image

Magazine Article - Economist

Digital Dominance: A new global ranking of cyber-power throws up some surprises

China has the world’s largest army. Russia wields the most tanks. America owns the fanciest satellites. But who has the most cyber-power? A new National Cyber Power Index by the Belfer Centre at Harvard University ranks 30 countries on their level of ambition and capability. Offensive cyber-power—the ability to do harm in or through computer networks—is one measure. But so too are the strength of a country’s defences, the sophistication of its cyber-security industry and its ability to spread and counter propaganda.

teaser image

Newspaper Article

Chinese cyber power is neck-and-neck with US, Harvard research finds

| Sep. 08, 2020

As conventional wisdom goes, experts tend to rank the U.S ahead of China, U.K.IranNorth KoreaRussia, in terms of how strong it is when it comes to cyberspace. But a new study from Harvard University’s Belfer Center shows that China has closed the gap on the U.S. in three key categories: surveillance, cyber defense, and its efforts to build up its commercial cyber sector.

“A lot of people, Americans in particular, will think that the U.S., the U.K., France, Israel are more advanced than China when it comes to cyber power,” Eric Rosenbach, the Co-Director of Harvard’s Belfer Center, told CyberScoop. “Our study shows it’s just not the case and that China is very sophisticated and almost at a peer level with the U.S.”

mushroom cloud

Public Domain

Analysis & Opinions - Portland Press Herald

Listening to Atomic Bombing Survivors' Stories is More Important Than Ever

| Aug. 06, 2020

Rebecca Davis Gibbons writes that having a full appreciation of the consequences of nuclear weapons and their place in society means learning from the stories of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—but also from the stories from other survivors of nuclear explosions: those who lived and worked adjacent to testing sites in Algeria, French Polynesia, Australia, the United States, France, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Western China, and Kazakhstan.

Tractors on Westminster bridge

AP/Matt Dunham

Paper - Institut für Sicherheitspolitik

The Global Order After COVID-19

| 2020

Despite the far-reaching effects of the current pandemic,  the essential nature of world politics will not be transformed. The territorial state will remain the basic building-block of international affairs, nationalism will remain a powerful political force, and the major powers will continue to compete for influence in myriad ways. Global institutions, transnational networks, and assorted non-state actors will still play important roles, of course, but the present crisis will not produce a dramatic and enduring increase in global governance or significantly higher levels of international cooperation. In short, the post-COVID-19 world will be less open, less free, less prosperous, and more competitive than the world many people expected to emerge only a few years ago.

A satellite view of Djibouti, showing the U.S. Navy’s Camp Lemonnier (bottom) and the People’s Liberation Army Support Base (top).

2020 Google Earth / Maxar Technologies, used with permission.

Paper

Cooperation, Competition, or Both? Options for U.S. Land Forces vis-à-vis Chinese Interests in Africa

| June 2020

This paper responds to a topic from the Army War College’s Key Strategic Issues List, 2018-2020: Evaluate the ramifications of China’s and/or Russia’s interests in Africa for U.S. land forces and suggest options, both to compete and to cooperate, to further U.S. interests.

While U.S. land forces may benefit from competition or cooperation with Chinese elements in Africa, I judge that they possess limited agency to compete or cooperate in the context of these definitions. Therefore, I will take a whole-of-government approach to furthering U.S. interests in Africa vis-à-vis China.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

State Dept. Investigator Fired by Trump Had Examined Weapons Sales to Saudis and Emiratis

| May 18, 2020

The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump on Friday was in the final stages of an investigation into whether the administration had unlawfully declared an “emergency” last year to allow the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their air war in Yemen.

A large refugee camp on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Atma, in Syria’s Idlib province, April 19, 2020.

AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed

Paper

Syria Redux: Preventing the Spread of Violent Extremism Through Weaponized Populations and Mobile Safehavens

| May 2020

The resurgence of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the next evolution of violent extremist ideology will undoubtedly flow from this region. Regional and global actors have protracted the conflict and stymied the peace process. This paper is not an exposé on the plight of Syrian refugees nor is a plea to rebuild Syria. Instead, this paper discusses the national security threat components of weaponized populations and mobile safe havens used by violent extremist organizations and offers policy recommendations to support a long-term strategy to reduce violence in the region, contain these new threats, and set conditions for reconciliation and peace.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Postponement of the NPT Review Conference. Antagonisms, Conflicts and Nuclear Risks after the Pandemic

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has published a document from the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs concerning nuclear problems and tensions in the time of COVID-19. The document has been co-signed by a large number of Pugwash colleagues and personalities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Russia’s Scavenger Diplomacy Is in Full Effect in the Middle East

| May 08, 2020

While most of the world has been on lockdown from the novel coronavirus, the wars and political machinations of the Middle East have continued. Amid this turmoil, Russia has been making steady progress in what State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus described as its “malign engagement” in the region.