July 23, 2014

This page consolidates all of the blog posts from across the site. Posts are also featured at the bottom of each relevant issue or author page, as well as the 'Take Action' and 'Build Skills' pages. Post a comment - we’d love to know what you think! Happy reading!

Soccer, BRICS, Inequality, and Solidarity

By Alex Tuai. Nine days ago in a captivating match Germany beat Argentina and won the 2014 World Cup by a single decisive point. As the estimated 600,000* visitors return home hundreds more fly to Fortaleza to begin the 2014 BRICS (a moniker coined by Jim O’Neill in 2008 and changed in 2010 to highlight the five fastest growing economies-Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Summit. As discussions of cooperation, a BRICS bank, development, and future economics begin the World Cup will fade into the background. The eleven stadiums … [Read more...]

Fight or Fall: Internal flaws the UN must fix for South Sudan

By Alex Beck. As mentioned in the previous AIDemocracy article on South Sudan, the United Nations’ peacekeeping activities are currently providing badly needed security and shelter for civilians in UN refugee camps. This is, of course, a vital function that is essential for the survival of many South Sudanese civilians. However in addition to this task, the country’s UN peacekeeping force, known as United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)*, has its own internal problems that need to be solved. The intent of this article is … [Read more...]

Strategic Goals 2: A Series on the US State Department/ USAID Strategic Plan

By Virginia Cady. In March the U.S. State Department and USAID released a joint Strategic Plan for 2014-2017. This article is the second in a series of five on each of the main strategic goals outlined in the 2014-2017 plan. Strategic Goal 2: Strengthen America’s foreign policy impact on our strategic challenges. Taking a close look at the strategic objectives in this section does a good job of informing the reader what the Department of State views as the most important of the U.S. strategic challenges for the next few years. Strategic … [Read more...]

Does Putin Really Have His Sight Set on the “Next Crimea”?

By Ani Hakobyan. With the recent annexation of the Russian-majority Crimea, comes the fear that most, if not all, members of the former Soviet Union are asking themselves, “are we next?” This, of course, is referring to the worry that areas of certain countries in the former Soviet Union will become Russian President Vladimir Putin’s newest desire for conquest. Before listing the areas, it is important to remember that after the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, with South Ossetia and Abkhazia breaking away, all of Eastern Europe and Central Asia … [Read more...]

What’s More Than Just Bringing Back Our Girls

By Lauren Shin. After three unsettling months of little progress made in investigating the Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings, 63 school girls managed to escape on the July 3rd and 4th. These students snuck away while their captors were caught in the midst of a chaotic attack in Damboa town. While this news finally brings hope in rescuing the rest of the girls, the escape was not aided by the help of the Nigerian government or military. With 219 girls still missing, the government has received a lot of criticism for its failure to act accordingly. The … [Read more...]

Game of Drones: An Introduction to President Obama’s Air War

By Zander Farrow. “Battlefields have changed and technology has evolved”*. Speaking at the National Defense University in May 2013, President Obama emphasized the need to employ advanced military technology in order to effectively engage terrorism on a global scale. Enemy combatants hide in caves and caverns and swim in a sea of civilians. Therefore, conventional methods of warfare are often not effective for rooting out belligerence; the United States must wage an unconventional war against terrorism. Furthermore, the Bush administration first … [Read more...]

US-Iranian Relations: Why it Matters

By Alen Amini. US-Iranian Relations: Why it Matters American-Iranian relations are slowly improving --especially after the election of President Hassan Rouhani and the subsequent end to the presidency of unpopular demagogue, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad-- and it is crucial for Middle Eastern stability, the international community, and the two nations that relations continue to normalize. Here is why. Global Energy Supply Iran has the world’s second largest oil reserves, it is the third largest exporter of oil, and it has the world’s largest … [Read more...]

Search and Destroy: The Combat of South Sudan’s Civil War

By Alex Beck. This week’s article will examine the overall combat of the war in order to better emphasize of the current situation South Sudan is facing. Reports of large scale fighting have not been reported by the media recently, likely in part due to the country’s troubled peace talks that are underway. It’s nonetheless vital to understand what type of fighting has taken place throughout the course of the war for understanding the fragility of the nation. So far, the war has seen a dynamic back and forth between government and rebel forces … [Read more...]

The Politics Behind the Recognition of the First Genocide of the 20th Century

By Ani Hakobyan.   If you mention the first genocide of the 20th century, you will leave most people scratching their heads. It seems, unfortunately, that Hitler’s comment, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians,” seems true. Thankfully, there are many people who do remember. For the past 99 years, Armenians all around the world have commemorated this tragic and dark event in history by holding concerts to honor the victims and demonstrations in front of Turkish embassies to urge officials to admit to the … [Read more...]

How Can Social Media be Used as a Mobilization Tool?

  By Alex Tuai. In the age of the Internet, social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Youtube are playing more and more significant roles in connecting people both domestically and internationally. Social media platforms have become one of the main methods of rallying people around a cause. Despite the criticism they have received, think of efforts like Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 or the Twitter hash tag #BringBackOurGirls in response to Boko Haram’s kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian school girls. Another very well … [Read more...]