Transitional justice in Sri Lanka demands military reform
The recent clampdown on deserters by Sri Lanka’s army underscores the need for military reform, argued Gerrit Kurtz in an interview with RFI on February 14. Currently, the military is the country’s biggest employer and defense spending accounts for the largest share of the annual budget, despite the war in Sri Lanka having ended almost eight years ago. If the government is serious about transitional justice, it needs to downsize and reform the military.
US travel restriction could undermine national security
The recent immigration ban by the Trump administration is not only a humanitarian setback, but also raises US national security concerns, argued Erica Gaston in an interview with The Guardian on January 28. Drawing on over a decade of experience in the region, she said that working with local partners is key to tackling security challenges in countries such as Yemen, Iraq, and others listed in the ban. Travel and exchange play a critical role in that effort.
How are local forces reshaping security in Iraq and Afghanistan?
After the immediate crisis with Daesh ends, what role will armed non-state actors play in security provision in Iraq? This is a critical question for Iraq’s future, agreed participants at a December 15 workshop held at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani (AUIS). Kicking off a three-year research and knowledge-sharing project led by GPPi in consortium with the Institute for Regional and International Studies at AUIS in Iraq and the Afghanistan Analysts Network in Afghanistan, the consortium solicited future research questions and locations, and shared a background literature review summarizing existing research on the impact of these forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Time for Germany to prepare for influence operations
We should assume that Russian intelligence agencies have already gained access to the servers of German political parties and parliament, and should focus our attention on how we will react to the release of that information. Instead of using the material for political gain, parties need to stand together, and the media must pay special attention to reporting on potentially tampered information. Mirko Hohmann made these and other points on Thadeusz und die Beobachter, which aired on Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) December 14.
In Pakistan, politically active youth raise hope for critical reform
While political power has remained concentrated within a select group of parties for the past eight years, a tremendous surge of youth interest in politics has the potential to change Pakistan’s socio-political discourse, argued Abdullah Khurram in a guest lecture at Humboldt University in Berlin on November 25. He showed how a better-informed media, increasing social media usage and a heightened public interest in active youth forums have made youth more aware of the global governance standards and their responsibilities as citizens.