What’s new in the world of autonomous weapons?

Branka Marijan Americas, Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Europe, Featured

The call by some states and civil society for the regulation of autonomous weapons continues. But concern is also being expressed that investment and research in autonomous weapons systems are outpacing regulation. In advance of the August meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), here’s an overview of recent developments. 1. The …

Fortress Europe

Tasneem Jamal Europe, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration Leave a Comment

Understanding the June 2018 EU migration deal Following two days of fraught negotiations, EU leaders reached a key agreement on migration on June 29 that aims to alleviate rising tensions over the handling of the arrival of migrants on European shores. The electoral victories of right-wing, populist candidates—some, on an openly hostile anti-immigration agenda—have catapulted this issue to the forefront of …

A race to the bottom on migration

Cesar Jaramillo Africa, Asia, Europe, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration

The European Union has recently weakened protections for migrants under the guise of cooperation, writes Cesar Jaramillo, warning of a downward trend. Mere hours before 100 African migrants drowned off the coast of Libya on June 29, European Union leaders appeared cautiously optimistic about a key agreement on migration struck at a two-day EU summit in Brussels. But the deal, which calls for the establishment …

Turkey (2003 — first combat deaths for this phase of the conflict)

Ploughshares Armed Conflicts, Europe, Mideast

Turkey (2003 — first combat deaths for this phase of the conflict)     The Conflict at a Glance Who (are the main combatants): The government of Turkey is in conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which contains a militant wing with ties in northern Iraq. The PKK is viewed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and other countries, including …

Russia (Chechnya) (1999 – first combat deaths in current phase)

Ploughshares Armed Conflicts, Europe

Russia (Chechnya) (1999 – first combat deaths in current phase)     The Conflict at a Glance Who (are the main combatants): Until recently, conflict had primarily been between the Russian Federation and the Kremlin-supported Republic of Chechnya and the Caucasus Emirate (CE), as well as smaller Islamist splinter groups in surrounding republics. However, by 2016, it appeared that CE had …

The case for the Petrov rule

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Europe, Featured Leave a Comment

On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov, a 44-year-old lieutenant-colonel in the Soviet Air Defence Forces, made a critical decision (Chan 2017). Petrov was on duty at Serpukhov-15, a control centre outside Moscow that monitored the Soviet Union’s Oko early-warning satellite system, which identified ballistic missile launches, mainly by the United States. The Soviet Union/Russia used these satellites until 2015. Petrov …

Ukraine (2014 – first combat deaths)

Ploughshares Armed Conflicts, Europe

Ukraine (2014 – first combat deaths)       The Conflict at a Glance Who (are the main combatants): The Ukrainian government has deployed the Ukrainian Armed Forces and volunteer battalions to combat pro-Russian separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine. Separatists are reputed to be receiving military assistance from Russia in the form of personnel and equipment. What (started the conflict): Pro-western “Euromaidan” …

The European Union outsources asylum policy and protection

Sonal Marwah Africa, Europe, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration Leave a Comment

In a deal reached in March 2016 between the European Union (EU) and Turkey, “all new irregular migrants” who reached Greece after March 20 were to be returned to Turkey. In exchange the EU would resettle more Syrian refugees living in Turkey, increase its financial support for refugees in Turkey, and remove visa requirements for Turkish citizens (Collett 2016). To …

Global displacement not a European refugee crisis

Sonal Marwah Europe, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, News

This year is turning into the “deadliest year yet” for migrants and refugees. Deaths and drownings in the Mediterranean have climbed, even though fewer people are crossing to reach Europe. While in 2015, 1,015,078 people crossed the sea, only 327,800 did so in 2016. But, according to UN refugee agency UNHCR, “from one death for every 269 arrivals last year, …

Promoting and broadening the governance of forced migrants

Sonal Marwah Europe, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, News

Mobility is a defining characteristic of our time. Worldwide, there are 244-million international migrants—persons  living in a country other than the one they were born in—who have migrated for complex reasons, including a search for safety and a better life and reunion with family. More than 65.3-million of these migrants have been forcibly displaced. Some scholars call all people who leave their country …