International Security in an Age of Austerity


11-13 June 2012.
Residence Inn by Marriott, Kingston Water’s Edge

Is it possible for western democracies to maintain military effectiveness while grappling with dramatic changes to the global economic and strategic environments? Western militaries face increasing challenges from the combined effects of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and its continuing aftershocks together with the strategic consequences of the decision to draw down the military presence in Afghanistan and, for the United States, in Iraq. As a result of these interrelated developments, Western militaries are experiencing broad and consistently downward pressures on their defence budgets as governments seek to re-evaluate their international roles and strategies in the context of restraining the growth of government spending, addressing national debt concerns, and striving to meet budget goals. These factors will establish the broad parameters within which nations will resource their militaries and shape their national security strategies, and this in turn will affect national roles in maintaining the international security environment.

KCIS 2012 will examine how western countries are reshaping their national security strategies in an age of budget austerity. The discussion will explore the contemporary global system where there is no existential threat from other great powers but where there is an on-going threat to security from non-state actors, including anti-western extremists who are organized globally and willing to use terrorism to advance their goals; and globally organized criminal networks and organizations. It will also look at the domestic political environment in western countries that appears to be increasingly skeptical about the kind of protracted expeditionary operations that western democracies have been engaged in since the end of the Cold War, particularly in the wake of a global economy weakened by a series of shocks—the dot-com crash, the subprime crisis, pressures on budgets from overseas military operations, and difficulties within the euro zone.

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5 solutions for Mexico’s drug violence and security challenges

Coat of arms of Mexico. Español: Escudo Nacion...

Coat of arms of Mexico. Español: Escudo Nacional de México. Français : Armoiries du Mexique. 日本語: メキシコの国章。 Română: Stema Mexicului. Русский: Герб Мексики. Svenska: Mexikos statsvapen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once every 12 years there is a unique opportunity to reinforce the bonds between Mexico and the United States, when our presidential election cycles coincide. For Mexico, the July 1 elections will be a crucial moment that will set the tone for our future and define the US-Mexico relationship for generations to come.

Undoubtedly, one of the main concerns that has caused social unrest today is that of security. At this time, violence has made an impact in Mexico and threatens to escalate and surpass the US border. This challenge transcends my country and could have far-reaching consequences for Central and North American security. Unless we act now to solve these common issues, we are placing the future competitiveness and prosperity of the entire region at risk, and a good way to start is by focusing on Mexico’s domestic situation.

True progress requires a real strategy based on partnerships that recognize the failed efforts of the broken system we live in, and present bold initiatives that can guide our country’s security efforts. I believe there are five main points of action that we must follow in order to move forward on Mexico’s security challenges.

By Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexican presidential candidate
posted June 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm EDT

1.Eliminate the root cause of criminality

A woman is comforted while walking outside a drug rehabilitation center in the outskirts of Torreon, Mexico June 3 where armed gunmen left 11 people dead and at least 8 wounded. Mexico’s drug war has claimed more than 55,000 lives in less than six years. Leading Mexican presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto says Mexico’s security challenges threaten an entire region.

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21st Century Chinese Cyberwarfare


The UK’s 2010 National Security Strategy identified cyberattacks as one of the four highest-priority risks faced by the UK. President Obama has declared cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges the US faces as a nation.

There is an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) posed by organised crime and state level entities, targeting large multi-national corporations and foreign governments. Organisations of all sizes can suffer collateral damage. China has been regularly identified in the press as a major player in modern cyberwar activities but, until now, little has been written to describe the depth and severity of this threat.

21st Century Chinese Cyberwarfare, from IT Governance Publishing, is a comprehensive and in-depth review of the Chinese role in cyberwarfare. Drawing on a combination of cultural, historical, business, linguistic and personal experience, the book attempts to explain China to the uninitiated. It describes how the combination of Chinese Communism and the unique cultural and linguistic heritage of the People’s Republic of China are driving Chinese cyber activity.

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CIA plans language upgrade and technology improvements

Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency of the...

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Associated Press

Posted: 04/27/2010 02:11:40 AM PDT

Updated: 04/27/2010 02:11:42 AM PDT

WASHINGTON — The CIA will spend millions of dollars over the next five years to improve intelligence gathering, upgrade technologies and enable analysts to work more closely with spies in the field, under a new plan laid out Monday.

The plan renews the agency’s year-old goal to increase the number of analysts and overseas operatives fluent in another language — a problem that has plagued military and civilian intelligence officers throughout much of the last decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq Continue reading

UK – A New School on tackling terrorism

The tide is turning on counter-terrorism laws – but can the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation keep up?

A change has come. Judges know it; they have been gradually dismantling the architecture of Labour’s counter-terrorism measures, and one by one, the verdicts have been damning.

Control orders, imposed on a terrorist suspect where there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ but no known case against them? A violation of the right to a fair trial, the House of Lords said last June Continue reading