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Abstract: This is a transcript of an event held on 5 October at Chatham House. The panellists, drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts, examined the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
As the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict was embarked on in September 2010, the regional ramifications of the much-interrupted peace process have never appeared more important. State actors close to the conflict such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and non-state actors such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, all have a stake in the outcome of the peace talks. Together with the wider Arab League membership and Iran, not all of them wish the process to succeed, or succeed on the terms envisaged by the US and its allies in the European Union.
This panel drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts will examine what is at stake for the regional neighbours of Israel and the Palestinians. What influence have they had over the initial progress of the negotiations? Are their actions critical in helping or hindering the outcome of the bilateral talks? What alternatives or reactions might they envisage should this latest attempt at peace fail?
Abstract: Transnistria, a sliver of land on the east bank of the river Nistru, broke away from the rest of Moldova in 1990. Although there was fighting after that, there have been no fatalities since 1992. This is not really a conflict: it is a stand-off which benefits the business interests of those who are close to ruling elites, and suits some external players.
Transnistria has little prospect of being recognised, even by Russia. Meanwhile Moldova has little hope of eventual EU membership while the Transnistrian problem remains. To escape this stalemate, Moldova and Transnistria need to find a solution. Moldova needs to show Transnistrians that a resolution will be good for them, just as the EU works with Russia to show that a solution does not harm Russia.
This study is timely in that it comes at a moment when Moldova is reaffirming its EU perspective, while elections in Transnistria may also presage some change. The problem of Transnistria is now on the borders of the EU: Transnistria is the EU's problem. A German-EU initiative in 2010 sought to address the Transnistrian issue at a strategic level, engaging the key external player, Russia.
This study brought together focus groups of ordinary people both in Transnistria and in the rest of Moldova. It is the first such study. The focus groups provide non-elite input, important when some in the elite have a personal interest in maintaining the status quo. The focus group perspectives have been reinforced by interviews with politicians and experts in Chisinau, Tiraspol and Berlin. The study is in three sections: a conflict analysis, an examination of the players, and themes from the focus groups. At the end, the report provides detailed policy and programme recommendations to the European Union.
The People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project is a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission’s Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict.
Abstract: NATO used to be the world’s most formidable military alliance. But its original reason for existence, the Soviet Union, disintegrated years ago, and its dreams of being a world cop are withering in the mountains of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the European Union’s Common Security & Defense Policy has deployed 27 successful military/civil missions from Africa to Asia in the last 10 years. Through CSDP, Europeans are increasingly taking charge of managing their own foreign and security policy. NATO is no longer the sole and preeminent Euro-Atlantic security actor. But watching NATO fade into irrelevance would be a mistake. It is a tried and true platform to harness the resources of North America and Europe. NATO’s future usefulness depends on its willingness to accept its reduced role, to let the EU handle the day-to-day security needs of Europe, and to craft a relationship with CSDP that will allow North America and Europe to act militarily together, should that ever become necessary. It is time for NATO 2.0, a new version of NATO, to fit the realities of an ever more integrated Europe in the 21st century.
Abstract: Normalisation between Greece and Turkey has come far
since tensions in the Aegean Sea threatened war three times
between the NATO allies. Trade, investments and mutual
cooperation and tourism have taken off, sidelining issues
like the Cyprus problem, which first stirred up the Aegean
dispute in the early 1970s. Frequent bilateral talks and Turkey’s
unofficial 2011 suspension of military over-flights of
Greek islands suggest that the time may be ripe for a solution
to that dispute. Turkey’s strong new government elected
in June is interested in further asserting itself as a responsible
regional power, solving problems in its neighbourhood
and clearing obstacles to its European Union accession.
With Athens in the midst of a financial crisis and needing
any economic lift and increased security it can find, this
unnecessary and still potentially dangerous conflict should
be resolved. A good strategy would be a synchronised set of
steps to prepare public opinion on both sides, leading to a
bilateral agreement and including, if needed, eventual recourse
to international adjudication.
Abstract: When violent conflict breaks out, the costs to the country and the international community are enormous. Lives are lost, people are displaced and trade links are cut. Schools shut down, hospitals are destroyed and businesses cannot operate. For these reasons, war is often termed development in reverse.
The new paper, known as the Building Stability Overseas Strategy, details how Britain aims to tackle these problems by promoting democracy, security and prosperity in countries and regions where its interests are at stake.
The strategy is based on three strands:
1. Early warning: improving our ability to anticipate instability and potential triggers for conflict
2. Rapid crisis prevention and response: improving our ability to take fast, appropriate and effective action to prevent a crisis or stop it spreading or escalating
3. Investing in upstream prevention: helping to build strong, legitimate institutions and robust societies in fragile countries that are capable of managing tensions and shocks so there is a lower likelihood of instability and conflict
Abstract: The aim of this research was to see whether the groups/cells and their 38 core individuals who had taken part in the six most serious terrorist conspiracies and attacks in the UK between 2004 and 2007, all of which were driven by the ideology of violent Jihadism as espoused by Al Qaeda, exhibited any specific types of behaviour. In each case the terrorists successfully launched or unsuccessfully attempted an attack, or were arrested and convicted of conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack. The research provides a detailed examination of the behaviours exhibited by violent Jihadist groups/cells and the individuals within them.
The report outlines the history and background before examining the organisation, characteristics and behaviour of the groups/cells involved. It also examines individual behaviours carried out on behalf of the group/cell and individual behaviour more broadly. It demonstrates there are certain distinctive behavioural characteristics displayed with their planning, preparation and implementation of an act of terrorism. The six UK case studies show three categories of behaviours, from "radicalisation" into "transition to violent Jihad" and finally to "terrorist attack planning and preparation".
These findings open up the possibility of identifying through their behaviour individuals and groups engaged in the planning and preparation of a terrorist attack, thus allowing such attacks to be prevented or disrupted before they can be implemented. However, additional refinement and testing will be necessary to identify substantive "signal indicators" of potential use to police and security forces.
Abstract: Colombia currently accounts for the vast bulk of cocaine produced in
Latin America. In 2009, the country produced 270 metric tons (MT)
of cocaine, making it the principal supplier for both the United States
and the worldwide market. Besides Colombia, Peru and Bolivia constitute
two additional important sources of cocaine in Latin America.
In 2009, these two countries generated enough base material to respectively
yield 225 and 195 MT of refined product.
Between 60 and 65 percent of all Latin American cocaine is trafficked
to the United States, the bulk of which is smuggled via the eastern
Pacific/Central American corridor. The remainder is sent through
the Caribbean island chain, with the Dominican Republic, Puerto
Rico, and Haiti acting as the main transshipment hubs. In both cases,
Mexico serves as the main point of entry to mainland America, presently
accounting for the vast majority of all illicit drug imports to the
Abstract: The UK faces a range of terrorist threats. The most serious is from Al Qa’ida, its affiliates and like-minded organisations. All the terrorist groups who pose a threat to us seek to radicalise and recruit people to their cause. But the percentage of people who are prepared to support violent extremism in this country is very small. It is significantly greater amongst young people. We now have more information about the factors which encourage people to support terrorism and then to engage in terrorism-related activity. It is important to understand these factors if we are to prevent radicalisation and minimise the risks it poses to our national security. We judge that radicalisation is driven by an ideology which sanctions the use of violence; by propagandists for that ideology here and overseas; and by personal vulnerabilities and specific local factors which, for a range of reasons, make that ideology seem both attractive and compelling. There is evidence to indicate that support for terrorism is associated with rejection of a cohesive, integrated, multi-faith society and of parliamentary democracy. Work to deal with radicalisation will depend on developing a sense of belonging to this country and support for our core values. Terrorist groups can take up and exploit ideas which have been developed and sometimes popularised by extremist organisations which operate legally in this country. This has significant implications for the scope of our Prevent strategy. Evidence also suggests that some (but by no means all) of those who have been radicalised in the UK had previously participated in extremist organisations.
Prevent is part of our counter-terrorism strategy. Its aim is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent will address all forms of terrorism but continue to prioritise according to the threat they pose to our national security. At present, the majority of our resources and efforts will continue to be devoted to preventing people from joining or supporting Al Qa’ida, its affiliates or related groups.
Abstract: The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.
The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:
• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender
Individual examples can also be downloaded individually, in English or in French, at: http://gssrtraining.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view;=article&id;=4&Itemid;=131〈=en
Abstract: The death of Osama bin Laden has once again flooded the media with images of Islamic terrorism, while a recent bomb threat from Irish dissidents in London has heightened the fear of new terrorist attacks in the UK. In this context, and ahead of the publication of the review of the ‘Prevent’ strand of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST), this paper analyses the main Islamic terrorist attacks in the UK since 9/11. The conclusions made from this analysis aim to challenge commonly held assumptions and provide a background for an assessment of the current ‘Prevent’ strategy. Drawing on common criticisms and positive lessons gained from the strategy implemented in Bristol, this paper makes six recommendations:
1. The difference between extremism and violent extremism must be defined to ensure that the policy is not viewed as a government attempt to shape religious ideology.
2. The sense that Prevent is a general intelligence-gathering mission must be removed to gain trust and acceptance from Muslim communities.
3. The drivers of violent extremism must be addressed directly by discussing the impact of and justification for British foreign policy in the Middle East.
4. Local authorities must understand the make-up of the different Muslim communities in the area so as to tailor the strategy to each.
5. Muslim communities must be engaged with local authorities while the strategy is being formulated at the operational local authority level to ensure it is appropriate and accepted.
6. Events need to be focused on the discussion and demystification of violent extremism framed within a wider religious and cultural context.
Abstract: An increase in asylum applications and refugee populations from conflict zones since
the late 1980s has led to considerable public, political and policy concern within the
European Union. Somalia has been one of the top refugee-producing countries in the
world for more than twenty years given the protracted nature of its conflict. Around
245,000 Somali asylum applications have been lodged in Europe since 1990, after
civil war began affecting large parts of country. Estimates of the remaining
population vary, but one World Bank estimate put this at 8.9m in 2008. There were
approximately 1.5m internally displaced persons in 2009, in addition to a total
estimated refugee population of nearly 700,000.
Based upon qualitative research with Somali refugees in two European host
countries – the UK and the Netherlands - this paper explores the micro-level
experiences and ongoing effects of the Somali conflict on their lives in exile.
Challenging predominant macro-level framings of refugees in these settings, it
supports a micro-level analysis of their experiences and lives. It analyses their
ongoing connections with the conflict in Somalia, and reveals how this can affect
aspects of their integration and emotional health while in exile, alongside social
problems such as poverty, drug use and divorce.
Abstract: Popularised as a result of the so-called surge in Iraq, the concept of counterinsurgency has since experienced a marked decline, mostly due to the difficulties of implementing its core principles in Afghanistan. Across the United States and Europe, counterinsurgency now seems to be on its way out, as a concept to be studied and as a priority to inform policy.
This article examines the value of retaining counterinsurgency as a concept, along with its associated principles and theory. Much depends on what is expected from this term, which lacks both definition and clear substance. Counterinsurgency provides neither a strategy for military intervention nor a campaign plan for deployed soldiers and will fail if mistaken for more than what it is. Counterinsurgency does offer a collection of insights, which, if used in a manner sensitive to local context, can help in the design and execution of expeditionary campaigns. These insights are often largely commonsensical but have nonetheless played an important role in challenging previously dominant misconceptions about the nature of war and peace, both in Europe and the United States.
Abstract: Comments in this testimony are largely derived from a compilation of studies that the author commissioned in previous years looking at how key countries in Europe (the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain) were addressing the threat of Islamist terrorism domestically. I then analyzed those studies and set out to compare their respective findings with the post-9/11 counterterrorism regime here in the United States. The result was a volume published last summer by the American Enterprise Institute entitled Safety, Liberty and Islamist Terrorism: American and European Approaches to Domestic Counterterrorism. The author provides context to United States counterterrorism policy by comparing it with the policies and practices of our European allies
Abstract: The EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT)
was established in the aftermath of the 11 September
2001 attacks in the United States of America (US), as a
reporting mechanism from the Terrorism Working Party
(TWP) of the Council of the EU to the European Parliament.
The content of the TE-SAT reports is based on
information supplied by EU Member States, some third
states (Colombia, Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland,
Turkey, and the United States of America) and third
organisations (Eurojust and Interpol), as well as information
gained from open sources.
In accordance with ENFOPOL 65 (8196/2/06), the TE-SAT
is produced annually to provide an overview of the terrorism
phenomenon in the EU, from a law enforcement
perspective. It seeks to record basic facts and assemble
figures regarding terrorist attacks and arrests in the European
Union. The report also aims to present trends and
new developments from the information available to
The TE-SAT is a situation report which describes and analyses
the outward manifestations of terrorism, i.e. terrorist
attacks and activities. It does not seek to analyse the
root causes of terrorism, neither does it attempt to assess
the impact or effectiveness of counter-terrorism policies
and law enforcement measures taken, although it can
serve to illustrate some of these. The methodology for
producing this annual report was developed by Europol
five years ago and was endorsed by the Justice and Home
Affairs (JHA) Council on 1 and 2 June 2006.
This edition of the TE-SAT has been produced by Europol
in consultation with the 2011 TE-SAT Advisory Board,
composed of representatives of the past, present, and
future EU Presidencies, i.e. Belgium, Hungary and Poland
(the ‘Troika’), along with permanent members, representatives
of France and Spain, the EU Situation Centre
(EU SITCEN),1 Eurojust and Europol staff.
Abstract: Over the course of 2010 plans have been put in place to strengthen the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces, with a view to transitioning security responsibility so that Coalition military forces can begin to draw down from mid-2011 onwards.
As part of that new counterinsurgency strategy, a surge of 30,000 US and 10,000 additional Coalition forces were deployed to the country in the first half of 2010, which brought the total ISAF force in Afghanistan to approximately 132,000 personnel by year end.
The timetable for drawing down ISAF forces was endorsed at the NATO Heads of State and Government Summit in Lisbon in November 2010.
This note examines the timetable for transferring security responsibility to the Afghan National Security Forces; the current commitment of contributing nations, and any plans for withdrawal.
Abstract: As Europe examines how it should deal with the wave of revolutions to its south, it needs to consider the lessons of its involvement in its eastern neighbourhood, where the EU’s considerable presence is not matched by real influence.
In the EU’s eastern neighbourhood, despite the wave of ‘colour revolutions’ over the last decade, authoritarian rulers are consolidating their grip on power - from Armenia to Azerbaijan, Belarus to Ukraine.
The authors of "Turning Presence into Power: Lessons from the Eastern Neighbourhood", Nicu Popescu and Andrew Wilson argue that the failings of the European Neighbourhood Policy (launched in 2003) offer important lessons that the EU needs to learn from.
Abstract: The World Bank’s World Development Report 2011, released earlier this month, concluded that insecurity “has become a primary development challenge of our time.” In Sudan ongoing conflict has stalled economic development and kept the majority of citizens living below the poverty line on an income of less than one US dollar a day.
As the international community decides how it will engage with the two new states which will be created when South Sudan secedes in July 2011, addressing the root causes of conflict and insecurity should be a top priority. A wide range of issues will need to be addressed as the period of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) comes to a close, and the international community will need to find a common approach to incentivising actors in both North and South to uphold their commitments, and mitigating any trends toward corruption or violence. This briefing gives recommendations on just some of the ways in which the UK Government can assist the people of Sudan to build sustainable peace.
Abstract: The political transitions in Egypt and Tunisia have rekindled
the interest in how states and societies have moved from authoritarian
regimes to democracy after overthrowing old regimes.
This report responds to that interest by providing a factual
overview of transitions to democracy of nine European states
between 1974 and 1991.
The states covered fall into two geographical regions:
Southern Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. The context
of transition in each of these regions was different. The transitions
in Southern Europe took place as mainly discrete events
with little influence of one country over another. In contrast,
there was a strong regional dynamic in Central and Eastern
Europe, where all transitions were influenced by Gorbachev’s
policies of perestroika and glasnost and the loosening of the
Soviet Union’s grip on its satellite states.
Abstract: Ban Ki Moon’s long awaited progress report on the negotiations in Cyprus did not come up with a final recommendation on how long the United Nations will be committed to engage in Cyprus. However, he warned that the UN would not continue indefinitely to spend efforts and money on a process that does not seem to render any progress. The underlying question is why so much time has been spent on a process that does not seem to be leading toward a successful conclusion.
In order to assess this question this ECMI Issue Brief #25 addresses a couple of interrelated questions, such as how a desired future solution should be devised for the respective communities. Is there a real desire to change the current political system on behalf of the Greek Cypriot community? Does the Turkish Cypriot community really wish to enter a multi-cultural political set-up in which it shall play a minority role albeit one that will include extensive participation rights? What are the interests of external actors, notably Turkey, the European Union and the United States of America? Finally, are there push factors that would make a solution possible or might there be an overarching interest that unites various actors in the secret desire to perpetuate the situation and preserve the so called “Cyprus Problem”?
Abstract: Under pressure from the rebellion, an international intervention, and comprehensive sanctions, Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime is on the verge of collapse. As of late March 2011, regime forces are focused on retaining control of the north-western Libya, raising the prospect of protracted civil war and partition. Qaddafi’s demise is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for Libya’s renewed stabilization. The post-Quaddafi state will essentially have to be built from scratch. However, political players will likely be more focused on the redistribution of wealth than on state building institutions. Scenarios for the post-Quaddafi era include a new deal among former regime elites that would lead to a renewed instability in the medium-term, or a more protracted, but ultimately more sustainable, state-building process. Hastening Qaddafi’s fall should be the main priority of Germany and other EU member states now. External actors should also support the Interim National Council as the nucleus of a post-Qaddafi government. However, they should refrain from playing an active role in the state-building process that will follow Qaddafi’s demise, as this would risk discrediting the process.
Abstract: Since 2007, Belgium has displayed a rather surreal degree of political chaos. Belgian politicians seemed to be on a merry-go-round. They have provoked three cabinet resignations, 24 “royal” mediators, and more than 420 days of coalition formation. With the rise of Flemish nationalism and inter-communal tensions, the country seems to suffer from an intractable ethno-linguistic conflict.
The political elites of a country that used to serve as a model for multi-ethnic societies in war-torn countries are now exploiting linguistic and cultural differences and stirring up tensions to advance a parochial political agenda. Decentralization is unavoidable, and perhaps even necessary for Belgium’s future welfare. But the infusion of identity-based and exclusionary arguments into political negotiations about state reform is detrimental and has no place in a social welfare state at the center of Europe.
Abstract: The Portfolio of Mine Action Projects is a resource tool and reference document for donors, policy-makers, advocates, and national and international mine action implementers. The country and territory-specific proposals in the portfolio reflect strategic responses developed in the field to address all aspects of the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). This country and territory-based approach aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of the full range of mine action needs in particular countries and thematic issues related to mine action. The portfolio ideally reflects projects developed by mine- and ERW-affected countries and territories based on their priorities and strategies; the approaches are endorsed by national authorities. The portfolio does not automatically entail full-scale direct mine action assistance by the United Nations, but is in essence a tool for collaborative resource mobilization, coordination and planning of mine action activities involving partners and stakeholders. A country portfolio coordinator (CPC) leads each country portfolio team and coordinates the submission of proposals to the portfolio’s headquarters team. While the majority of the CPCs are UN officials, this role is increasingly being assumed by national authorities. The country portfolio teams include representatives from national and local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations and the private sector. Locally based donor representatives are invited to attend preparation meetings. Each portfolio chapter contains a synopsis of the scope of the landmine and ERW problem, a description of how mine action is coordinated, and a snapshot of local mine action strategies. Many of the strategies complement or are integrated into broader development and humanitarian frameworks such as national development plans, the UN development assistance frameworks and national poverty reduction plans. This 14th edition of the annual Portfolio of Mine Action Projects features overviews and project outlines for 29 countries, territories or missions affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. There are 238 projects in the 2011 portfolio. Africa accounts for the largest number: 92.
Abstract: • The protection of asylum-seekers in Europe is dealt with under three principal bodies of law: the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951, the law of the European Union and the soft law developed by the Council of Europe.
• Member states of the Council of Europe are also bound by the judgments of the European Convention on Human Rights; although the convention makes no reference to refugee protection, its provisions and the judgments of its court in Strasbourg impose important obligations on states in respect of asylum.
• The entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999 initiated the first phase of the creation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which aimed to harmonize refugee protection among member states while enabling them to meet their international obligations in that respect.
• The harmonizing measures adopted by the EU have been subject to severe criticism and the practices of member states reveal a systemic failure to comply with international refugee protection obligations.
• While there have been improvements in European refugee policy, significant challenges must be addressed before Europe can regain its reputation as a champion of the rights of the refugee. This is given particular urgency by recent events in North Africa, which may lead to large numbers of persons fleeing violence and disorder.
Abstract: The United States has increasingly viewed the government of Algeria as an important partner in
the fight against Al Qaeda-linked groups in North Africa. The Algerian economy is largely based
on hydrocarbons, and the country is a significant source of natural gas for the United States and
Europe. Algeria receives little development assistance from the United States, but its security
forces benefit from U.S. security assistance and participation in bilateral and regional military
Algeria’s relative stability, always tenuous, has most recently been challenged by a series of riots
and popular demonstrations that have occurred since early January 2011. The unrest initially
appeared to be motivated by discontent over food prices, but has turned more overtly political
since mid-January. The example of neighboring Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” and the ripple
effects of ongoing unrest in Egypt may contribute to opposition activism, with further protests
anticipated in mid-February. The government has reacted both by attempting to assuage the
public through political and economic concessions and by using the security forces to prevent and
break up demonstrations. Across the region, other authoritarian governments have adopted a
similar approach with varying results.