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Roundup: Our top 5 posts on defense and security

With the imminent publication of the UK Strategic Defence and Security Review, issues of national and global security have been at the forefront of conversations on foreign policy. Here are our top picks to learn more.

A Norwegian F-16 figther jet during take off from Souda Air Base, Crete, during the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector.
A Norwegian F-16 figther jet during take off from Souda Air Base, Crete, during the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector.

With the imminent publication of the UK Strategic Defence and Security Review, issues of national and global security have been at the forefront of conversations on foreign policy. Here are our top picks to learn more:

Not with a bang, but a white paper: An anonymous military officer from a NATO member state illustrates how and why the UK has lost its status as a major global power.

Almost no one expects the ‘strategic’ reviews released in the coming months to be very strategic at all. British commentators have been acerbic about this. In the words of retired Major-General Jonathan Shaw: ‘I judge that Britain is incapable of doing a Strategic Defence and Security Review; it lacks the culture and institutions required for the task’. Most agree that this is because ‘strategy’ itself is a lost art in Britain, and has no accepted definition within the British government.

A South China Sea Air Defense Zone? In this article, Erik Lin-Greenberg, PS21 global fellow and doctoral student of political science at Columbia University, explores the possible outcomes of Beijing’s establishment of an air defense zone in the South China Sea.

Chinese officials haven’t ruled out the possibility of establishing a new zone, and new military facilities in the South China Sea could streamline Beijing’s ADIZ enforcement efforts. Establishment of such a zone would undoubtedly heighten diplomatic tensions between Beijing and other South China Sea actors and raise the likelihood of confrontations between military aircraft operating in the region.

African owned and driven strategies key in addressing terrorism: Security, Leadership and Society Fellow at University of London Kings College Edward Wanyonyi proposes a three-pronged approach to fighting transnational terrorism in Africa.

African governments need to shift from this ‘entitlement’ stance where they demand international support as a condition for dealing with their own porous borders, corrupt security services, inefficient justice processes and economic policies that seek to disenfranchise and push young people towards the appeal promoted by jihadi ideology and extremist narratives.

Crime and Counterterrorism in Karachi: Check out the key takeaways from a PS21 discussion held with former counterterrorism official Omar Hamid on crime, corruption and militancy in Karachi.

“What you can learn from Karachi’s example is exactly what not to do in any mega-city,” he said. “With the expansion of megacities, have a situation where the central government — in many cases the local government — has very little control. As these cities grow organically, control over scarce resources often ends up in the hands of nonstate groups… political parties or organised crime syndicates. The challenge for urban governance will be how the state is able to impose itself or how it can prevent resources from being taken over. That will be the measure of success in urban governance this century.”

PS21 Report: Countering Violent Extremism: Finally, read our report on Countering Violent Extremism from an event hosted in collaboration with Just Security. Moderated by NYU professor of law and Just Security co-editor Ryan Goodman, Richard Barrett and Faiza Patel discussed the rise of “Countering Violent Extremism” programs.

Patel: I am a “CVE sceptic”. That’s how I define myself in this debate. I don’t see the kinds of things that have been put forward as predictors of radicalisation or violence or extremism as particularly useful. I look at my own kids who are 15 and 17 and I can assure you that if I went through the indicators of radicalisation put forward by Lisa Monaco from the White House about a year ago, my kids would probably meet about five of them.

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