Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!







Piracy and Floating Armouries in the Indian Ocean: Risk or a Solution?

A modern dhow suspected of piracy

A modern dhow suspected of piracy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Riddhi K Shah
Research Associate, National Maritime Foundation (NMF), New Delh

Rising trends in piracy in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Somalia, over the last few years have forced States to adopt innovative and collaborative approaches as effective counter-measures.The once tabooed private military security companies (PMSCs) are an attractive option today, which has triggered a huge demand for it. As of 2013, close to 140 security firms reportedly operated in the Northern Indian Ocean, the bulk of which were conceived in 2011.

The modus operandi is generally to place a team of four armed contractors on each ship for a specific length of the transit; these are generally passages that have been declared as High-Risk Areas (HRA). It is when these ships carrying armed PMSC contractors enter ports that the legal complications begin. Use and transport of arms are subject to international maritime conventions and treaties. Declaration of arms onboard before entry into territorial waters is mandated by several States, while a select few choose to completely debar weapons onboard any visiting vessel. Continue reading

China’s Maritime Disputes

Speakers: Elizabeth C. Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
Shen Dingli, Vice Dean of the Institute of International Affairs, Fudan University
Sheila A. Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Producers: Jeremy Sherlick
Hagit Ariav
April 21, 2014

The East and South China Seas are the scene of escalating territorial disputes between China and its neighbors, including Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The tensions, shaped by China’s growing assertiveness, have fueled concerns over armed conflict and raised questions about Washington’s security commitments in its strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region.

“Maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas are a pressing issue for the United States, China, and much of the rest of the world,” says Elizabeth Economy, CFR’s Director for Asia Studies. The region is rich in natural resources, home to many of the world’s most dynamic economies, and an important global trade route for energy supplies and other goods. Continue reading

10 ways to avoid a Wikileaks or NSA-style data breach

25 Jan 2014 by Samara Lynn

The WikiLeaks furore of 2010, and the more recent debacle of the documents leaked from the American National Security Agency (NSA) has left the world reeling at the power of a well-orchestrated data breach. President Obama recently announced that due to the revealed abuses by the agency, he would reform espionage policy, allowing privacy campaigners around the world to breathe a cautious sigh of relief.


But not every organisation is as insidious or as unaccountable as the NSA, and not every leaker has the good intentions of Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning. One thing to come out of these events is crystal clear: if the government is vulnerable to network security and data breaches, your business is too.

A few safeguards in place could have staved off the leakage of classified information from both these networks, many of which are available to small businesses: activity monitoring, limiting which data is searchable, keeping tabs on user permissions, and deploying a robust data leak prevention solution.

Continue reading

One Week Of Protests: What’s Going On In Romania?

Shirt badge/Association crest

Shirt badge/Association crest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Grecu Cristian-Dan  Source: Roarmag.org

For over a week now, the people of Romania have been out in the streets to protest against the construction of an open-pit gold mine and gas fracking.

Via our comrades at the Centrul de Cultur? Anarhist?.


Sunday, September 1 marked the beginning of a new age in the social struggles unfolding in Romania. Protests occurred in more than 25 cities across the country — against gold mining and shale gas fracking. The same thing happened in more than 20 cities across Europe and even in North America.

For more than 15 years, there has been a struggle against a Canadian gold mining corporation that wants to exploit gold and silver from the Apuseni Mountains, in the Western part of the country, which would represent the biggest open-pit mining project in Europe. The corporation wishes to erase the village of Ro?ia Montan? and four mountain tops, only to be replaced by a lake full of cyanide. The estimations are that about 200.000 tons of cyanide will be used, only to process 200 tons of gold and a couple hundred tons of silver! What will be next is a regional environmental catastrophe, with extremely high chances of toxic contamination across Romania, Hungary, the Danube River and even the Black Sea.

Continue reading

ISIS Europe Publications – November 2012

English: Insignia of the European External Act...

English: Insignia of the European External Action Service (EAS) ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Emblemet tilhørende Den europeiske avdeling for agering utad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted on 26/11/2012

ESR no 62 – The impact of climate change on international security: prospect for an environmental dimension in CSDP missions

Climate change has until now only received limited attention from national governments, EU policymakers and analysts in the framework of international security. A European Parliament report entitled “The Role of the CSDP in case of climate driven crises and natural disasters” was adopted on 23 October 2012. This is a timely moment to provide some clarification and insight on how climate change can impact international security and to describe the position of the international community, especially the European Union (EU).The present Security Review focuses on the definition of a new challenge for international and regional cooperation, military and civilian, in order to target the main problems and thus, to find adequate political, strategic and institutional responses. The impact of climate change is not a problem the international community has to tackle in the future but today.

ESR no 61 – The EU’s mutual assistance and solidarity clauses – November, 2012

Formally introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in January 2009, the mutual assistance and solidarity clauses now enshrined as Article 42(7) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), have, until now, only received limited attention from national governments, EU policymakers and analysts. As these clauses are currently under discussion at the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence, this is a timely moment to provide some clarifications and insight on clauses that arguably challenge Member States’ sovereignty claims and that could potentially constitute a basis for the further development of the Union’s defence cooperation. The present Security Review focuses on the origins, scope, interpretation and technical aspects of the mutual assistance and solidarity clauses and argues that EU and national policymakers should promptly establish operational mechanisms that would give credibility to these clauses, before their symbolic dimension and concrete potential lose their appeal.

Continue reading