Smart Peacekeeping: Toward Tech-Enabled UN Operations

Smart Peacekeeping: Toward Tech-Enabled UN Operations. International Peace Institute. A. Walter Dorn. July 11, 2016.

As the world’s technological revolution proceeds, the United Nations can benefit immensely from a plethora of technologies to assist its peace operations. The U.N. has adopted a strategy for technology and peacekeeping and is showing the will and the means to implement it. New concepts, such as “technology-contributing countries” and “participatory peacekeeping” through new information technology, can improve peace operations. New technologies can also help U.N. field workers “live, move, and work” more effectively and safely, creating the possibility of the “digital peacekeeper.” The report provides an overview of technological capabilities and how they are being used, explores progress to date and key challenges, and offers a set of practical recommendations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 36 pages, 1.38 MB].

A Peace Plan for Syria

A Peace Plan for Syria. RAND Corporation. James Dobbins et al. December 17, 2015.

The paper presents a peace plan for Syria focused on the steps to secure and sustain a ceasefire. It concludes that the external parties that have supported the combatants will need to come together to guarantee and enforce any such ceasefire. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 0.2 MB].

In Syrian War, Peace, Politics and Possibilities Are a Local Affair

In Syrian War, Peace, Politics and Possibilities Are a Local Affair. U.S. Institute of Peace. Osama Gharizi. October 2015.

While the mass bloodshed of Syria’s civil war so far has spared many Kurdish and Arab farming villages in Syria’s far northeast, the war has exacerbated communal tensions there. So recently, 14 religious, tribal and civic leaders from one locality traveled to neighboring Iraq for talks to ease those tensions and prevent an outbreak of violence. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Promoting Rule of Law: Myth Versus Reality

Promoting Rule of Law: Myth Versus Reality. U.S. Institute of Peace. Christina Murtaugh. August 11, 2015.

Rule of law has long been a key international concern, especially for conflict-affected countries, and promoting it is a critical challenge to the international community, according to the brief. It focuses on the misconceptions of what is called the golden hour approach to offer more practicable alternatives. The issue is focus, whether to find a solution among Western paradigms or to empower people, support sustainable change, and provide enough time for the people to act and the process to unfold on their own terms. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 4 pages, 231.07 KB].

Iran’s Role in Iraq: Room for Cooperation?

Iran’s Role in Iraq: Room for Cooperation? RAND Corporation. Alizera Nader. June 1, 2015.

The paper examines Iran’s objectives and influence in Iraq in light of ISIL’s ascendance. It focuses on Iran’s ties with Iraqi Shi’a parties and militias and the implications of Iran’s sectarian policies for U.S. interests. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 23 pages, 0.2 MB].

Setting the Stage for Peace in Syria: The Case for a Syrian National Stabilization Force

Setting the Stage for Peace in Syria: The Case for a Syrian National Stabilization Force. Atlantic Council. Frederic C. Hof et al. April 14, 2015.

After four years of conflict in Syria, peace is still a distant prospect. According to the report, the West insists that there is no “military solution,” while Iran and Russia provide the Assad regime with a military advantage obstructing the possibility of real diplomatic negotiations. With over 220,000 Syrians dead and more than half of the Syrian population displaced, the need for peace is critical. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 44 pages, 1.18 MB].

The Ukraine Crisis: Risks of Renewed Military Conflict after Minsk II

The Ukraine Crisis: Risks of Renewed Military Conflict after Minsk II. International Crisis Group. April 1, 2015.

According to the brief, danger of renewed fighting in Ukraine’s east is mounting. It shows that neither side is looking to compromise or able to win outright. It also sets out a new Western strategy with Russia to defuse one of the greatest post-Cold War threats to European stability and global order. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. Summary in English [HTML format, various paging]. Full Text in English [PDF format, 16 pages, 1.50 MB].

The Ukraine-Russia Conflict

The Ukraine-Russia Conflict. U.S. Institute of Peace. Lauren Van Metre et al. March 23, 2015.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its military operations in Eastern Ukraine have overturned the post–Cold War norms that had provided stability and development for the former Soviet countries bordering Russia. As neighboring countries assess their own security situation based on Russia’s aggressive practices in Ukraine and the West’s response, they are actively testing the new contours of Russian and Western engagement, regional alliances and relationships, and regional conflict dynamics, according to the report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 14 pages, 162.53 KB].

New Ceasefire Points Toward Frozen Conflict in Ukraine

New Ceasefire Points Toward Frozen Conflict in Ukraine. YaleGlobal. David R. Cameron. February 12, 2015.

A ceasefire in the fighting for eastern Ukraine was announced after leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine met in Minsk. But a ceasefire alone may not produce a comprehensive settlement or an enduring peace, warns the author. “That requires resolution of the underlying, and possibly intractable, dispute over the constitutional form of the Ukrainian state.” Russia is shrugging of sanctions and international condemnation. The strategy of intervention, described in Russia as delivering protections for pro-Russian enclaves in bordering states, has been successful in disrupting former Soviet satellite states’ full embrace of European trade or ties with NATO. The ceasefire may end the brutal fighting, and could also chill democratic pursuits and self-determination for nations that are geographically near Russia but which hold higher aspirations than pleasing a bully next door. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense–Issues for Congress

A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense–Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Ronald O’Rourke. January 21, 2015.

World events since late 2013 have led some observers to conclude that the international security environment is undergoing a shift from the familiar post-Cold War era of the last 20-25 years, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power), to a new and different strategic situation that features, among other things, renewed great power competition and challenges to elements of the U.S.-led international order that has operated since World War II. A shift in the international security environment could have significant implications for U.S. defense plans and programs. A previous shift in the international security environment—from the Cold War to the post-Cold War era—prompted a broad reassessment by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Congress of defense funding levels, strategy, and missions that led to numerous changes in DOD plans and programs.

[PDF format, 43 pages, 463.36 KB].