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Asia Pacific Security

The Maldives – An Unlikely ISIS Haven

The Maldives, a small republic of 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, is traditionally a peaceful place, with most locals taking their security and stability for granted. However, today the Maldives has the highest per capita number globally of foreign fighters who have travelled to take up arms and fight in Syria. The government must reinforce its efforts to tackle the root causes of radicalisation, as well as the exacerbating factors in play on the islands. 

Security Southeast Asia

Myanmar Coup: a Return to the Dark Ages?

Myanmar is turning its back on a decade of democratization processes whilst facing a nationwide reckoning with its historical ethnic and religious divisions. If the military junta has decided power-sharing is no longer on the table, the choices Myanmar faces are stark.

Europe Security

NATO and the EU: What Does Brexit Mean for The UK’s Position in European Security?

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU last year calls into question the security implications that the split will have. The UK has continued to support NATO as the primary security provider on the continent and has acted at the forefront to reform the organisation to better address the changing security environment in Europe. On the other hand, the EU forges on with its efforts to form an autonomous strategic partnership to ensure European security through collective efforts. Without resistance from London, this policy is likely to go ahead creating uncertainty for the future of NATO in Europe and UK’s place in the security of the continent.

Africa Politics Security

The Political Economy of Sudanese Reform

Since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir, the civilian Council of Ministers headed by Abdullah Hamdok has been tasked with realising the aspirations of the Sudanese people who took to the streets to protest for a better future. All the while, they are hindered economically by the legacy of Sudan’s affiliation with transnational terrorism. Meanwhile, the presence and influence of Sudan’s military officers remains significant, especially in the face of myriad security concerns, whose political ambitions are undimmed.

China Security

China in Mali and the Sudan: A Stepping Stone to Greater Chinese Influence in the UN?

China is pushing to become a bigger player in UN peacekeeping. Past involvements in conflicts in Mali and Sudan have shown that China is capable and willing to involve its own troops in UN missions. The decreased presence of other major contributors has allowed China to gain more influence within the UN. It is likely that China will capitalise on this, but at what cost?

Middle East/North Africa Security

Middle East – The resurgence of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq

Islamic State (IS) rarely makes the mainstream media headlines these days. After losing the last of their territory during the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani in early 2019, the “caliphate was declared “defeated”. However, 2020 saw a significant growth in IS attacks in their traditional heartlands of Syria and Iraq, as well as a growing presence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and across large parts of the African continent continent. Despite the loss of territory, the ideology of ISIS was not defeated, and although it’s difficult to put a precise number on their manpower, there is evidence that they are re-establishing themselves in the Middle East.

Africa Security

Mozambique and the Fight Against Insurgency

Following a lack of progress in combating the Islamic insurgency in Cabo Delgado, President Filipe Nyusi has turned to private military contractors for help. With so many PMCs operating within the same conflict, it is worth examining who they are and how effective they can be in tackling the insurgency.

Africa Security

What do Divergent Security Interests between the Malian and French Governments mean for the Future of French Operations in the Sahel

Growing divides in security approaches between the Malian and French governments are making security objectives harder to achieve in the Sahel. Recent developments are likely to complicate the issues further, as the new prime minister Moctar Ouane calls for more negotiations with armed groups in the north. 

North America Security

Sunburst: US Government Bodies Face Most Seismic Cyber Breach Since Cold War

Over the weekend of 12th-13th December 2020, it became apparent that a number of US Federal agencies and departments had been hacked as part of one of the “worst ever” cyber attacks in history. The intention of the attack appears to have been to conduct a “high-end espionage operation”, with the goal of stealing government and military secrets. The true scale and significance of the breach remains unknown. However, the attack has shaken governments around the world, exposing the fact that their defences are not strong enough, and that the security of software suppliers is an issue of vital importance.

Africa Security

Counter-terrorism in the Sahel: Can Task Force Takuba be a Game Changer for France

In 2021, Task Force Takuba, bringing together the special forces of 7 European countries to fight terrorism in the Sahel, will become fully operational with an initial mandate of 3 years. France, stuck in what looks like an unwinnable war despite the mobilisation of 5,100 troops as part of Operation Barkhane since 2014, has been advocating for a “Europeanisation” of the military intervention in the region for quite some time. While Takuba will enable more tactical wins against terrorist groups and enable France to break with its diplomatic and military isolation, it is unlikely to change the direction of the conflict. In this context, what is the future of operation Barkhane?