Changing the “War on Terror” script

Jessica West Defence & Human Security, Featured, News

Two events brought the ‘War on Terror’ to our attention in recent weeks: the attack on Westminster bridge and Parliament in London on March 22, and the ban on large electronics imposed on a selection of airlines flying from several countries in the Middle East and North Africa to the United States and the United Kingdom. Although unrelated, both events …

Nobel Peace lecture: From the impossible to the possible

Ploughshares Americas, Armed Conflicts, Defence & Human Security, Forced Displacement and Migration

Six years ago, it was hard for Colombians to imagine an end to a war that had lasted half a century. Today, after six years of serious and often intense, difficult negotiations, I stand before you and the world and announce with deep humility and gratitude that the Colombian people, with assistance from our friends around the world, are turning …

Colombia takes historic step toward peace

Cesar Jaramillo Americas, Defence & Human Security, Featured

For Colombians of my generation, it is hard to conceive of Colombia at peace. We were born into the longest-running armed conflict in the Western hemisphere, now in its 52nd year. The protracted war between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) became a distressing, yet routine, backdrop to everyday life. Over time, the conflict permeated …

The human costs of war

Sonal Marwah Defence & Human Security, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, News

Human displacement has reached record levels as old wars continue and new conflicts emerge. The second half of the 20th century saw a decline in wars between states, but a steep rise in the number of internal armed conflicts and other violent situations that caused mass displacement across borders. These internal wars have proven to be more protracted and complex. …

Our fears came true in Brussels: now what?

Jessica West Defence & Human Security, Europe, News

An underlying current of fear has run through Europe since the attacks on Paris last November. While life returned to normal in France, ‘normal’ was marred by a continuing state of emergency, increased surveillance, stronger policing and detention powers, neighbourhood raids, and an increased presence of police and weaponry. For five days Brussels, Belgium, launch site for the Paris attacks, …

Molenbeek: The Belgian epicentre of violent extremism

Branka Marijan Americas, Defence & Human Security, News

Until recently, few had heard of Molenbeek, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium. Now the media have labeled it “Europe’s jihadi central” and a “haven for jihadists.” The man described as the architect of last November’s Paris terrorist attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, resided there. Five days ago, Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old French national of Moroccan descent suspected of involvement …

Creeping militarization : Why are Canada’s police officers looking increasingly like soldiers?

Tasneem Jamal Americas, Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security Leave a Comment

Author Branka Marijan Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 37 Issue 1 Spring 2016 Police militarization has long been perceived as an American phenomenon. According to a National Public Radio investigation, since 2006 the U.S. military has given local police services in the United States equipment worth $1.9-billion (U.S.), including 79,288 assault rifles and 206 grenade launchers (Rezvani 2014). For Canadian observers, the extent …

After Paris: Examining resilience

Tasneem Jamal Defence & Human Security

Briefing 16-1 Published January 19, 2016 Author Jessica West With bravery and kindness, through art, music, and social gatherings—the response to terrorism in Paris has been inspiring. But expressions of resilience and solidarity, in France and beyond, have been accompanied by a hard, excluding edge and the erosion of fundamental values, exposing an underlying fragility and fear. As democratic societies …

A new rallying cry

Tasneem Jamal Defence & Human Security

Author Jessica West Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 36 Issue 4 Winter 2015 It’s time to reformulate Canada’s foreign policy The ongoing, complex war in Syria, with its violent tentacles and humanitarian shockwaves, is a harsh reminder that the global security context needs rethinking. The focus on counterterrorism, which has dominated foreign and security policy in the West both at home and …

Q&A: In pursuit of peace with Lucie Edwards

Tasneem Jamal Armed Conflicts, Defence & Human Security

Author Branka Marijan Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 36 Issue 4 Winter 2015 It would be an understatement to say that Lucie Edwards has worked in some difficult environments. During her 33 years of service with the Department of Foreign Affairs, she served in the Canadian embassies in Tel Aviv (1977-1980) and in South Africa, under apartheid (1986-89). From 1993-1995, she was …