Contrary to the claims of analysts and pundits, the China-Russia relationship is not as friendly as it seems and there is mistrust between Beijing and Moscow. But changes to Sino-Russian […]
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a significant, if controversial, development in international affairs. China has proposed its own semi-official version of R2P called “Responsible Protection”. Author’s Note: This article […]
While the US and its allies have had a monopoly on drone technology until recently, the uptake of military and civilian drones by a much wider range of state and non-state actors shows that this playing field is quickly levelling. Current international agreements on arms control and use lack efficacy in responding to the legal, ethical, strategic and political problems with military drone proliferation. The huge expansion of this technology must push the international community to adopt strong norms on the use of drones on the battlefield.
Despite not yet entering into force, the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has succeeded in almost eliminating nuclear weapons testing and in establishing a robust international monitoring and verification system. A breakthrough in its ratification by the few hold-out states could have important positive repercussions for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or nuclear disarmament in the Middle East.
Control of water, including navigation rights, resource extraction and the exploitation of shared watercourses is at the heart of today’s geopolitical tensions in Asia. China’s recent actions in the South China Sea and Himalayas have given rise to further—and at times violent—conflict over the region’s natural resources. So will water insecurity lead to greater partnership in Asia? Or will it lead to a revival of China’s traditional sense of regional dominance and undercut efforts to build a rules-based approach to growing resource conflicts?
The ‘humanitarian dimension’ initiative highlighting the consequences of nuclear weapons has evolved and consolidated itself in the non-proliferation regime since 2010. The five nuclear weapons states (NWS or P5) under the NPT – China, France, Russia, UK and US – boycotted the first two international conferences on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. A third conference will be held in Vienna on 8-9 December 2014. This article gives five reasons why the P5 should consider participating.
The humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, highlighted by a wide-ranging, cross-grouping, multi-aim initiative which continues to consolidate itself in the non-proliferation regime, has come to the fore in the 3rd Prepatory Committe for the 2015 NPT Review Conference. Frustrated with the lack of progress towards NPT Article VI commitments to complete nuclear disarmament, the initiative has invigorated attention to the urgency of nuclear disarmament and a need for a change in the status quo. NPT member states and civil society continue to engage actively in publicizing the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons as an impetus to progress towards nuclear disarmament.
If events like those in Ukraine have taught us anything it is that, despite the predictions of many, the potential for conflict between the major powers is still one of the defining characteristics of world politics. Crisis diplomacy and inter-state rivalry is back on the global agenda. But if policymakers, analysts and civil society actors are to try and come up with ways of reversing the trend towards an increasingly competitive, militarised and crisis-driven inter-state order, then thinking carefully through the implications of a sustainable security approach to great power politics would appear to be a most useful starting point.
Whatever the benefits for Mali, the French-led eviction of jihadist groups from northern Mali may have made the wider Sahara a less safe place, and has done little to lower the capacity of such groups to threaten European interests.. In 2014, France is implementing a major redeployment of its forces in Africa into the Sahel and Sahara. Meanwhile, the US has been quietly extending its military reach from Djibouti to Mauritania. However, as elsewhere, the western military approach to countering Islamist insurgency in the Sahel rests on very unsteady foundations and the potential to provoke wider alienation and radicalisation is strong.
As the long running tensions over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea appear to be coming to a head, the time for thinking through the alternatives to the militarisation of this conflict seems to be well and truly upon us.