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Weekly Security Readings 21 March 2019

"This document contains links to articles and/or press agency release from multiple open sources, agencies and academia. The contents, ideas or opinions in the document do not reflect NSD-S HUB or NATO views neither conform to the organization naming convention”

 

READING OF THE WEEK

An Overview of Africa’s 2019 Elections

Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Africa is set to host two dozen national elections in 2019. This reflects a now established norm of elections as the recognized means for selecting African leaders. The quality of these elections continues to vary widely, however, with some merely serving as a perfunctory ritual by which leaders maintain their claim on power.

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NORTH AFRICA / SAHEL / SUB – SAHARA

CONTEMPORARY CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS IN THE SAHEL

West African Papers

Civilian oversight of the national armed forces and the ability of civilians to make decisions without interference from the armed forces are necessary conditions for successful democratization. Against this background, this paper examines the origins and the trajectory of civil-military relations and military interventions in politics across the Sahel.

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THE UNSTABLE FOUNDATIONS OF POLITICAL STABILITY IN CHAD

West African Papers, OECD Publishing

Chad has emerged as an important counter-terrorism partner in the Lake Chad Basin and the broader Sahel-Sahara region due to its recent political stability and military contribution to security efforts in these troubled zones. However, a closer look at developments in domestic politics, notably the continued and increasingly severe repression of the political opposition and civil society, suggests that this stability may not be built on solid foundations.

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Untangling Justice, Peace and Amnesties in the Central African Republic 

EGMONT Royal Institute for International Relations

Since 2013, the CAR has been in a state of perennial crisis marked by violence between armed groups, intercommunal tensions, political instability and mass displacement (UNHCHR estimates that over 1.1 million Central Africans or 26% of the country’s population have been forced from their homes). Numerous peace and mediation efforts have been initiated and a UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) has been deployed, but ...

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Middle-East

Iran’s Objectives and Capabilities. Deterrence and Subversion

Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies

WHILE A SIGNIFICANT proportion of the Middle East is beset by civil conflict, there remains a serious risk of a major war with Iran. Any conflict with Iran is liable to be regional, and to involve the US. There are several potential flashpoints, from clashes between Iranian-aligned units and US forces in Iraq, to an Israeli first strike in response to the collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or escalation between Saudi Arabia and Iran as a result of developments in Yemen.

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Gender dimensions of the response to returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). 

UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate

The available data paints a complex picture of the women who travelled to the conflict zone of Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, with respect both to their regions of origin and demographic backgrounds (which appear more diverse than previously suggested). However, knowledge gaps remain as many Member States do not consistently record gender-disaggregated data on FTFs.

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Transnational

Internet Security Threat Report

Symantec Corporation World Headquarters

From the sudden spread of WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya, to the swift growth in coinminers, 2017 provided us with another reminder that digital security threats can come from new and unexpected sources. With each passing year, not only has the sheer volume of threats increased, but the threat landscape has become more diverse, with attackers working harder to discover new avenues of attack and cover their tracks while doing so. 

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Protecting Democracy in an Era of Cyber Information War

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The early years of the Internet were marked by a libertarian optimism about its decentralizing and democratizing effects. Information would be widely available and undercut the monopolies of authoritarian governments. Big Brother would be defeated. President Clinton believed that China would liberalize and that Communist Party efforts to control the Internet were like trying to "nail jello to the wall".

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Climate Change Still Seen as the Top Global Threat, but Cyberattacks a Rising Concern

Pew Research Center

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report last year expressing serious concerns about the possible impacts of climate change, both in the near and distant future. But global warming is just one of many concerns. Terrorism, specifically from the Islamic extremist group known as ISIS, and cyberattacks are also seen by many as major security threats.

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