Archive for April, 2020

China’s to blame?

Early on during the outbreak, China first ignored the pandemic. It suppressed public knowledge about the virus hoping that it would just go away. An obfuscation of responsibility, but not malicious. Governments are layered like a bean dip and just because one part knows about a problem doesn’t mean the other levels do. But there is a theory that as the Chinese government began to realize just how problematic the situation was, they continued to limit information of the disease in hopes that it would spread to the rest of the world. Why should China suffer and sacrifice so that other countries remained safe. China might become relatively weak compared to other global powers due to the pandemic. A malicious motive but not impossible. It is a government that takes part is massive ethnic cleaning and global censorship to preserve it’s authoritarian system.

This theory is ridiculous. Not because I don’t think China would be willing to do something like it but because a global pandemic would only harm China more. China relies on the export of goods to other countries. It’s not just those countries that are harmed by shutting down, Chinese factories are also harmed by the global recession. And when your social and political legitimacy is built on economic prosperity it becomes a much larger problem than just a pandemic.


Jakob Frederick Harteis

As COVID-19 Rages, Biden’s Strategy Changes

With the ongoing pandemic, Biden has slowly become the presumptive Democratic nominee as election coverage fades into the background. Biden’s campaign “holds only a very tenuous edge in the for the electoral college”, and the coronavirus has only complicated his election bid. With the current pandemic crisis, Biden has shifted his focus from being the anti-Trump candidate” to providing a plan, were he elected, to tackle the virus. Campaigning on Trump’s missteps with the virus could prove to be more successful than simply attacking his less relevant faults.

A shift in administration could mean a shift in how we are handling the virus, for better or for worse. Our public health could be impacted with a new administration taking charge amid a global pandemic, possibly deteriorating the already precarious situation we find ourselves in.


Can indocternated childern be reformed?

In Afghanistan, there is a detention center for boys of the age of 12 and 18. In the detention center, it holds many boys who have been indoctrinated at a young age to believe in what the radical Islamist taught them and some of the boys were child soldiers fighting for the Taliban or the Islamic state.  Many truly believe in what they were taught. however, the people in the detention center try their best to help these boys but many are taking it as a joke and their minds will not change. Can these boys be saved from violence? some of them will come out of the detention center with a new perspective. however, with being taught these radical ideas at such a young it’s hard to imaging that they will stop believing in what they are taught. it is a sad situation but hopefully, the staff in the detention center are successful with de-radicalizing these youth.

Harold Phillips

US and Iraqi Forces Kill 23 ISIS Members

Last Monday, April 13, the United States worked with Iraqi forces to kill 23 ISIS members in Wadi Ashai, near Kirkuk, Iraq. Later in the week, the US State Department published a statement that said: “The Political Directors agreed to maintain maximum pressure on Daesh/ISIS despite the several and multifaceted challenges, including those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to achieve the enduring defeat of the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, and to remain vigilant against the threat of Daesh/ ISIS around the world.” The Trump Administration should continue to put pressure on ISIS and other terrorist groups despite the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the United States is safe from terrorism, especially at a time where the US may seem preoccupied/weak while dealing with COVID-19.

Widener, Laura. “Video: US F-15s, Drones Help Bomb, Gun down 23 ISIS Terrorists in Iraq.” American Military News, 17 Apr. 2020,

Post by Katherine

Coronavirus Hasn’t Slowed Iran’s Terrorism

The Coronavirus has torn through Iran within the past fews months causing sanctions to be lifted to fight against the spread. Despite what many may think, the virus has failed to curb the Iran’s support of terrorist organizations. It was warned that lifting economic sanctions would be irresponsible and wouldn’t solve any problem, while causing more of a problem for Iran with terrorist groups. Since most of the world is distracting, the terrorist groups have actually stepped up in their attacks: in Iraq, fighting in Yemen, etc.

This is just another detrimental thing to hear with everything else going on. You would hope that there would be some humanity of everyone working together, but obviously terrorist groups aren’t going to take a break and let everyone regain strength. I am sure that members of the terrorist groups have gotten corona and it is just sad to see that that is what they are spending their time on.

–Alexis Byers


A sign of strength and normalcy

NATO forces continue to patrol the waterways and integrate their forces for the safety of the alliance. International citizens need to see that normalcy will return. When it does, we cannot take the chance that bad actors will try to take advantage of the weakness of damaged economies and move upon their neighbors. Now that the virus has been identified, tentative treatments and prevention established, and a possible end in sight, it is time to assure the world of the continuation of peace. This is the purpose of NATO and the world is watching.

Dozen Sectors Reopening in Pakistan


Despite the country being on lock-down, Prime Minister Khan has ordered that approximately a dozen sectors reopen immediately to try and stave off a full economic collapse in Pakistan some of which include construction, glass manufacturing and cement production. We all are aware the countries everywhere have come to a stand still, with only the essential businesses remaining open. Prime Minister Khan is worried that his country could not stand a full blown lock-down until the 30th of April. Precautions are in place in the sectors he is reopening to try and mitigate the spread of the virus. Pakistan has approximately 6,000 cases and 107 deaths. -Olivia

End of the line?

Protests against stay at home measures have begun in several states, including Virginia. Importantly, President Trump has signaled his support for these protests via Twitter, with Tweets highlighting Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia with tweets like “LIBERATE MINNESOTA.”

Experts say further testing is needed before stay at home measures are lifted, and in order for people to feel comfortable venturing outside the home once more the availability of testing needs to be increased. The president has said that he has plans to expand nationwide testing, though he has said that state governors are responsible for testing in their states. The president has also asserted that he thinks the surge is over, estimating that the number of deaths in the US will be between 60,000 and 65,000. The death toll currently is 36,773.

While I would love to be able to go outside again (allergies notwithstanding), I think it’s far too early to be lifting stay at home restrictions. We may have made it through the first wave of COVID19, but in the past pandemics have had second, even deadlier waves of infection, which we are starting to see in China as people become reinfected and restrictions lift.


Organized Crime After Covid-19

A lot about how the post-pandemic world will operate remains unclear. What is certain is that organized crime will change. Already, drug trafficking groups have had to adapt to the restrictions placed by governments. Local groups have even taken it upon themselves to enforce curfews and stay-at-home orders. With increased internet activity, some groups are sure to add cybercrime to their repertoire (link to Americas Quarterly article).  These changes in crime must be studied so that states can implement changes in crime prevention. Clearly, decades of mano duro (hard hand) policies have not worked in curbing organized violence and crime. As Covid-19 has shown, organizations can adapt. The US and its Latin American partners must use the post-pandemic world as an opportunity to critically assess old policies and try new ones. Perhaps more importantly, states must determine what they truly wish to accomplish. Illicit narcotics are here to stay; maybe there are ways to reduce violence without dismantling the drug industry. Now is a good time to start thinking about that idea.

Dillon S.

I am not touching you!

Isn’t it odd how international relations are merely scaled up version of basic animal instincts? An American planning a flag on the moon is 28-billion-dollar version of a dog peeing on a telephone pole to claim it as its own. Imperialism was the great power version of Hungry Hungry Hippos where all the balls lost. If you forgive my hyperbolic simplification of international relations, then I hope you agree with me that the game of big boat diplomacy in the South China Sea is our modern day game of “I am not touching you” where every country in the region attempts to take up as much space as possible without causing World War Three. I am not the first one to point out that from the outside many international conflicts seem childish but now I think it’s app to ask, now that the world has burnt to a crisp leaving only essential workers, is it worth it. Is the amount of money that both the U.S and China are spending on these regions will either country receive a return on investment? After all at best the South China Sea it’s fill with fish, metals, oil, and trade all of which I am questioning the value of and sustainability of.


Jakob Frederick Harteis

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