Each week we provide a collection of 10 must reads from around the web on issues pertaining to international security. Simply click the article title to open a new tab.
This week’s top 10 (in alphabetical order) are:
Moscow has long argued that in expanding NATO eastward, Washington broke the promise it made to Soviet leaders shortly after the Berlin wall fell. But new evidence shows that the United States never actually made such a pledge.
Nagorno-Karabakh, a region legally part of Azerbaijan but governed by ethnic Armenians, faces a flare up of its long-simmering conflict. A ceasefire signed in 1994 is in danger of becoming completely irrelevant with the clashes this year having been the worst since its signing.
A graphical look at the 25 most impactful terrorist organizations since 1970, as defined by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). The data used is from START’s Global Terrorism Database that includes open source data on incident levels from around the world.
While President Obama has worked on his strategy for defeating the Islamic State, many commentators have argued that he should join forces with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an acceptable if unsavoury ally to defeat the murderous jihadis.
The New York Times
The upcoming referendum on Scotland’s independence has gathered interest around the world in the regions with their own separatist movements. From Catalonia and Kurdistan to Quebec, these movements will follow closely the outcome of the next week’s vote with implications also to their future.
When the audience loses interest, the stories disappear from media in favour of something more popular. This means no single story is likely to occupy the news for very long, no matter how important it might. Deaths in Syria’s civil war long ago passed the 100,000 mark but the conflict receives reduced coverage because the novelty has worn off, and new stories have grabbed the attention of the media and public.
When the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, Kashmir experienced an upsurge of violence as many of the foreign fighters left Afghanistan for Kashmir. With the U.S. combat troops looking to complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan in December 2014, the dynamics that turned Kashmir into both target and incubator of global terrorism may be repeated.
Obama’s presidency is largely a product of a moment in history that likely will be seen someday as an aberration — the decade after 9/11, during which a stunned, angry, and disoriented America was sent spinning into a kind of national PTSD. How has this uncertainty influenced Obama’s foreign policy?
Responses by Europe and North America to Russian expansionism to date – both in Ukraine and in Georgia before it – encourage Vladimir Putin’s belief that he can successfully roll back the boundaries of the West.
UNDOF, a UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights was created over forty years ago to supervise the de-militarised area between Syria and Israel. Since the start of the Syrian civil war more than three years ago, the mission has found itself severely limited in its actions and it has also become a target of attacks by jihadi groups, such as al-Nusra Front.