• IISS Voices

    A primer on geo-economics

    30 March 2012.  We in the editorial department have to admit we weren’t entirely sure what we were getting when the institute announced its ‘geo-economics’ and strategy programme in 2011. Nearly ten months on, we’re more familiar with the concept. However, we were still happy to see an in-depth explanation of, and introduction to, geo-economics preface the latest IISS seminar on the subject. As programme director Dr Sanjaya Baru explained, geo-economics may be defined in two different ways: the geopolitical...

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    Bosnia knocks again on Europe’s door

    29 March 2012.  Two decades after the start of the Bosnian war, Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija says his government wants Bosnia to join NATO and the European Union as a way of assisting the country’s economic and social cohesion. Speaking at the IISS almost 20 years to the day the siege of Sarajevo began, Lagumdzija said that the Dayton Agreement that ended the inter-ethnic war in 1995 had left Bosnia with an incomplete peace and...

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    Syria peace plan suits Assad’s strategy

    28 March 2012.  There’s a spot-on quote on Syria from Emile Hokayem, our Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, in Time today. Hokayem has long highlighted the problematic splits in the Syrian opposition. Now he tells Time that President Bashar al-Assad, for his part, is playing a masterful game. Assad’s tour of Homs on Tuesday (pictured), and his supposed acceptance of special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace deal matches the president’s ‘three-leg strategy’. The messages Assad wants to send are clear...

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    Oil at heart of Falklands dispute

    28 March 2012.  Argentina has been turning up the heat on its simmering row with the UK over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, as the 30th anniversary of the war approaches. In an effort to force the UK to the negotiating table, Cristina Kirchner’s government has persuaded its increasingly powerful Latin American neighbours to speak out in its favour and put pressure on domestic companies to cut off UK trade links. Even Hollywood...

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    The US in the Arctic: policy not strategy

    27 March 2012.  The United States doesn’t so much have a strategy in the Arctic as simple policies on the region – as Washington has not yet undertaken a comprehensive assessment of national interests and capabilities in the High North. This was one of the messages to emerge from a talk at the IISS last week by Sherri Goodman, General Counsel of CNA and Executive Director of CNA’s Military Advisory Board. Goodman pointed out that...

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    Jasper Pandza: What Seoul can and can’t achieve

    23 March 2012.  By Jasper Pandza, Research Analyst, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme  ‘Beyond Security, Towards Peace’: the official slogan of next week’s Nuclear Security Summit is plastered around Seoul. And as South Korea prepares to host the largest gathering of world leaders on its soil, hopes are high for significant agreements aimed at protecting nuclear materials, including preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorists. However, the summit is already being overshadowed by North Korea’s planned satellite launch...

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    Tim Huxley: The power of partnerships

    23 March 2012.  By Tim Huxley, Executive Director, IISS-Asia  A satellite launch planned for next month by North Korea, developments in Myanmar and the increasingly urgent need to find a solution to the conflict in Syria were among the themes touched on by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the inaugural IISS Fullerton Lecture in Singapore. The speech focused on ‘Securing our Future: Singapore, the Region and Beyond’, and Ban said he was ‘very...

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    Iran can be stopped

    22 March 2012.  Our prolific director of non-proliferation – or ‘the Great Fitzpatrick‘ as some others call him – has the cover story in the latest issue of the British current affairs magazine, Prospect. In the article, which draws on and updates both the strategic dossier on Iran’s nuclear capabilities that he edited last year, and 2010′s Iran missile dossier, he argues that sanctions and the threat of military action may dissuade Tehran from building a bomb. ‘It is not inevitable’...

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    Becca Wasser: Bombings rise sharply in Iraq

    21 March 2012.  By Becca Wasser, Program Officer and Research Analyst, IISS-US  A series of coordinated bomb attacks shook Iraq yesterday, on the ninth anniversary of the US-led invasion and just days before the Arab League summit, scheduled for 27-29 March. The blasts bore all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which soon claimed responsibility, saying that it had wished to derail the ‘meeting of Arab tyrants in Baghdad‘. Parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi had already...

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    Asia’s Syria Shame

    20 March 2012.  While the Western world has been vocal in its objections to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal suppression of dissidents, most Asian governments have remained eerily silent on the matter. Writing in The Diplomat, IISS Adjunct Senior Fellow for Asian Security Affairs Dr Chung Min Lee argues that now is the time for Asian governments to put aside their policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of others. ‘If Asia’s rise is going to...

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IISS Voices

The IISS Voices blog features timely comment and analysis on international affairs and security from IISS experts and guest writers.