Archive for November, 2018

US Moving out of Africa

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46234122?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cnx753jejqwt/somalia&link_location=live-reporting-story

The United States armed forces are beginning to consider Rssia and China a larger threat to its security. Because of this, troops are being removed from Africa to prioritize other regions of the world. Around 700 troops will be removed from Africa and placed in different regions of the world. While 700 troops will be removed, there are currently 7,200 US troops throughout the African continent.

It is good the the United States is prioritizing troops in other regions of the world. In many cases, such as Somalia, the use of US troops have not resulted in any significant successes in conflicts. Instead, placing these troops in other regions may prove more beneficial to the promotion of other US interests.

Tim M.

Para Mi Familia, mi hijos

The Migrant caravan saga continues as people from Central America are have reached Mexico hoping to make it to America to plead asylum. This article provides updates on the realities of the migrants seeking asylum, specially following one man and his families journey from rural Guatemala. The story of the Baltazar family expands on the disconnect between the migrants and the US government.

Juarez is the town  many of the migrants have reached. As of now migrants in the area are receiving inked numbers on their arms to indicate where they are in the process of being called to review their asylum status. Many of the bridges have been closed in order to funnel migrants to one centralized spot for processing which according to the reporter can take days and even weeks. Many of the migrant that have been processed have be labeled as seeking economic asylum (essentially looking for better job opportunities) and this claim will most likely get them denied for their asylum claim.

President Trump maintains that the overwhelmed system is allowing in criminals is turning people away are the California boarder. In the other side many migrants like the Baltazar family, having no access to constant updates on the mandates of the presidency, The patriarch of the family stating that he  does not know what Donald Trump is saying about the migrant group or even know about the process itself. Written information is a challenge for the Baltzar family due to their literacy in both Spanish and english. The language barrier is an important obstacle that is contributing to the tensions as to understanding the migrant group and in turn discerning the voice of the President versus the requirements and protections under US law. The author also writes that while President Trump Strong rhetoric about the migrant group is out there, it is not stoping more migrants from moving north, with threat of violence and lack of job opportunities rising, all the families and individuals within the migrant caravan have is hope for an opportunity to plead their case.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46133083?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/crr7mlg0vr2t/mexico&link_location=live-reporting-story

Ayanna

Trump Uses Foreign Aid as a Bargaining Chip

With the approaching caravan of migrants along the southern U.S. border, Trump has continuously threatened cutting off the U.S. supply of foreign aid to several Central and South American countries if they do not aid the U.S. in stopping the caravan. With Trump’s administration, foreign aid and foreign assistance has been used as a bargaining chip to continuously look out for American interests on an international scale. There are several examples, such as U.S. foreign aid to Pakistan and other Middle East countries in return for intelligence about terrorist movements. Recently, the U.S. approach to foreign aid (which is typically used without expecting something in return) has become a transactional agreement between the U.S. and whoever is involved in the relationship, and is less based on humanitarian purposes.

Although this is not necessarily a threat to U.S. national security, it is impacting the way the U.S. interacts with the international community, and its authority on a global scale is being matched by other world powers, such as China, where foreign aid is not as transactional.

 

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/red-alert-politics/trumps-big-bargaining-chip-foreign-aid

The Food Part of Security-Mackenzie

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2018/11/26/artificial-intelligence-agriculture-food-systems-tom-vilsack-ag-farm-tech-drone-ai-robots/2114073002/https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2018/11/26/artificial-intelligence-agriculture-food-systems-tom-vilsack-ag-farm-tech-drone-ai-robots/2114073002/

 

So this article provides an interesting perspective on the necessity of artificial intelligence in terms of the United State’s food production to prevent waste and food shortages.  It kind of alludes to it being a security crisis. The potential I see for this would be that in the event of a food shortage in other parts of the world which could in ways cause a security crisis in the sense that it could affect the safety of our allies as those states experiencing the shortages would begin to break down etc.  So what this is proposing is to prevent that it makes food production and distribution through artificial intelligence more effective.  Thereby preventing some sort of future crisis stemming from lack of food.

 

 

 

NATO-Ukraine Commission

Ukraine called for a meeting with NATO due to the Russian’s having seized by Ukrainian Ships and sailors recently. NATO has condemned this and called fro Russia to allow Ukraine to continue to have freedom of navigation in the sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait along with calling for the release of the prisoners and ships. The allies further condemned the Crimea annexation and claimed that Russia should leave. It was highlighted that the allies will continue to sanction Russia and Ukraine will be further reinforced both practically and politically.

 

It is highly possible that if Russia does not play this out carefully there could be dire consequences. While this will most likely not lead to war, it is possible that this will lead to an extreme escalation of the conflict and I am not sure this is a fight Russia can really take on effectively.  At the very least, it would not be surprisingly to see more NATO troops be stationed in Ukraine or at least more exercises such as the ones in Norway be under taken in the near future to try to force the point that NATO will be willing to fight Russia should they continue to be so aggressive in the region even if they may not be exactly true.

 

https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_160789.htm

 

Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates with Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships

Yesterday, Russia seized three Ukrainian vessels with 23 sailors on board claiming that they crossed its maritime border and maneuvered dangerously. Russia believes that this is a provocation from the Ukrainian side to declare martial law and postpone the March elections, which President Poroshenko is almost certain to lose. Ukraine sees this as just another dangerous Russian aggressive action against Ukraine and called on NATO and United Nations to condemn Russia. During the emergency UN security council meeting, US UN Ambassador Haley condemned Russia’s behavior and said that Russia purposefully impeded Ukrainian vessels from lawfully entering the Kerch Strait. This action was also condemned by the NATO secretary general Stoltenberg, who highlighted Russia’s open use of force against Ukraine, which injured a number of sailors. President Poroshenko declared martial law, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Ukrainian Rada. This is the highest the tensions have been between these two countries, which could potentially escalate into an open conflict.

These events underline the perilous situation that Russia and Ukraine find themselves in. United States and its NATO allies need to do everything they can to deescalate the situation. Russia should be urged to return the sailors safely and unharmed, as well as the vessels. They also should allow commercial traffic through the Kerch Strait, because it breaks the international law of free maritime travel.

-Yegor

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/26/world/europe/russia-ukraine-kerch-strait.html

IDF Goes Undercover

Members of the Israeli special operations forces (IDF) are being accused of impersonating human aid officials and infiltrating the Gaza Strip presumably for intelligence purposes. Hamas has suspected this for some time now and several news agencies, including the Israeli Television News Company, have reported it. The members are assumed to have carried fake Palestinian ID cards and issued claimed to have had food distribution coupons to hand out to the refugees in the strip. Israel probably used the name of a well known aid organization such as UNRWA to avoid suspicion.

This is clearly a border security issue that could turn into an even more intense humanitarian issue. Hamas may become more suspect of aid groups. If able to, the organization may fully prevent foreign aid workers from coming in and make all Gazans come to Hamas for their necessary aid. This could make more people loyal to Hamas in the area, radicalize them, and create an even bigger security problem for Israel if the blockade is not lifted soon.

Aeriana

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-botched-israeli-operation-in-gaza-endangers-human-rights-groups-1.6680622

FaceBACK in hot water

Internal Facebook documents were seized in England from an American businessman traveling in London as Facebook is back in hot water with British lawmakers regarding the earlier Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal. The British hearing and document seizure highlight growing tensions between European regulators and Facebook just as the social media company is facing additional questions in the United States from lawmakers, which will likely intensify as Democrats retake control of the House in January. A dispute has now arisen on whether or not to make the seized documents public.  It is believed that these documents will shed light on the company’s data practices leading up to the 2016 election of Donald Trump.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal took the world by storm in March, and this likely won’t be the last data harvesting scandal. The seizure of these documents and subsequent hearing will be interesting to learn about, and new bombshells may be dropped. Data is harvested by millions and millions of apps each day, so much that “privacy” seems to be a state of the past. If the documents are made public, they could also certainly add fuel to the fire that is the Mueller investigation.

 

 

 

-Sarah

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-cybersecurity-202/2018/11/26/the-cybersecurity-202-british-parliament-turns-up-heat-on-facebook-over-privacy-practices/5bfacc971b326b60d1280019/?utm_term=.d5249c278cf2

Some Indicators of Hope for Iran’s Economy

Iran’s main airline, Iran Air, actually increased the number of international flights after the Trump Administration’s sanctions were reintroduced on November 5th. This is a decent economic indicator into the future of Iran’s economic security. Many speculated that the corporate mainstays of Iran would take, at the very least, a short term hit because of the indirect and direct pressure the United States is putting on the Iranian economy. This is good news for an already bad economic situation for the Iranian people and economy. If the economic trends and earnings of other corporate entities within Iran follow the path  of Iran Air the Iranian economy may be able to survive. This is a good direction for the economic security of the Iranian people.

The early failure of the United States sanctions is that the European Union in charge of flight travel into Europe, has stated that they will not enforce the U.S. sanctions and will continue to observe the various regulations and agreements of the JCPOA.

The United States Treasury reinforced its position of corporations that choose to do business with Iran Air or any other sanctions entity will face “punitive treasury action.”

Moves to support Iranian interests by the E.U. may encourage States and Firms that have little economic interdependence with the United States to push the boundaries of the U.S. sanctions and continue to do business with Iran.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/irans-top-airline-stays-busydespite-u-s-sanctions-1543228240?ns=prod/accounts-wsj

Brenden

Aussies under… siege? Attack? What?

China is once again on the defensive after US Vice President Pence squarely fingered Chinese intelligence services for repeated cyberattacks against Australian companies. These attacks, which have reportedly been going for years, have specifically targeted sectors across the Australian economy from industry to corporate and military. According to senior Australian officials the goal is “…to steal our intellectual property.” The attacks have led to criticism of  Australia’s public and private sectors in their lax security against such threats. To be sure, this is a threat that is unlikely to diminish as China seeks to steal ideas from or sabotage perceived competitors. The larger issue at play here however, is that there is no set norm of what an appropriate response would be to such a cyberattack. At present, it seems the only public response to such attacks is to issue a strongly worded statement. Even if these countries are conducting retaliatory strikes, these are carried out in relative secrecy and do nothing to assure citizens and firms that their governments are able to provide for their security. If one country were to drop bombs on another, we have some idea of what the response would be, but a cyberattack? Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer.

-Henry

https://www.businessinsider.com/china-top-security-agency-accused-of-cyberattacks-against-australia-2018-11

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