In the wake of Snowden, governments scrambled to secure their data by regaining “technological sovereignty”. That approach misses the point.
Four ways to move forward. By Ramesh Thakur.
The right to read, write and express one’s thoughts should never be denied because an idea is unpopular. Yet, for thousands of Baha’i students in Iran, their ideas have led the government to ban them from attending university.
Current national security debates miss the larger picture: we face many threats, of which terrorism is but one.
Combating extremism requires more than military might. A digital strategy is key, but needs government, the private sector and NGOs to get onboard.
Greece’s Syriza is just the first in a wave of leftist parties that rally against austerity. Not since the 1970s has the parliamentary road to socialism been so relevant. By Bryan Evans.
An interview with Aimen Dean, a founding member of al-Qaeda who became a British spy in 1998. “There is no single process of radicalisation. Some people, it took them years to be convinced of coming to the jihad and some people it took them minutes… They all want martyrdom and redemption and to various degrees.” From BBC News.
How not to fight extremism
The Boko Haram rebellion in Nigeria is a cautionary tale of how not to respond to a domestic insurgency, writes Geoffrey York. The Nigerian government should have tackled root causes: poverty, corruption, repression and regional neglect. Instead, it gave its corrupt secure forces free rein to terrorize the population. From the Globe and Mail.
Hedgehog or Fox?
When it comes to foreign policy, is Stephen Harper a hedgehog, which knows one big thing (in Harper’s case, economic diplomacy), or a fox, which knows many things? Madelaine Drohan doesn’t like either analogy. She think Harper is more of a Wolverine, “tenacious and aggressive in the face of much larger predators.” From the Literary Review of Canada.
Practicing diplomacy in Somalia
The U.S. just nominated Katherine Dhanani to be its first ambassador to Somalia since 1991, although she will be working out of Nairobi, not Mogadishu. Neil Wigan, the British ambassador, has been in Mogadishu since 2013. He travels wearing a flak jacket, surrounded by ex-British military bodyguards carrying M4 carbines.
Amateur journalists for justice
In the favelas of Brazil, police violence is common – so common that it rarely makes the news. Can amateur journalists fill that void and document what would otherwise be ignored? An interesting discussion of citizen journalism vs activism as much as it is about Brazil. From the New York Times Magazine.
Good Putin, bad Putin
When we think of Russian foreign policy, we often conflate it with our image of Putin: hard, unfeeling, perhaps a little evil. But even if Putin were the nicest, friendliest world leader you could ask for, it wouldn’t change Russia’s geographic location, historic associations, or its longstanding wish to keep the West at bay, argues Keith Gessen for Politico.