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Summit for Democracy USA

What Should Be the Aim of President Biden’s Democracy Summit? (Anders Åslund, Just Security)

President Joe Biden’s plan for a virtual Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9-10 offers an important opportunity, considering the global decline in democracy since 2005. It is high time for the world’s most powerful democracy to try to reverse this trend through a major international initiative.

What Should Be the Aim of President Biden’s Democracy Summit? (justsecurity.org)

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Russia

The Threat from Outer Space: Russia Tests Kinetic DA-ASAT Weapon (Erin Pobjie, Just Security)

Russia’s unannounced direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile test last Monday raises important legal and policy questions about the prohibition on the use of force in outer space. The highly destructive weapons test – which forced astronauts aboard the International Space Station to seek shelter and created a long-lasting field of space debris – underscores the need to urgently develop international standards for responsible behavior in space.

The Threat from Outer Space: Russia Tests Kinetic DA-ASAT Weapon (justsecurity.org)

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Belarus

Stirring Trouble at the Border: Is Belarus in Violation of International Law? – Part 2 (Aurel Sari and Ben Hudson, Just Security)

This is the second article in our two-part series examining whether Belarus is acting in breach of its international obligations in relation to the migrant crisis unfolding at its border with the European Union (EU). In the first part, we argued that Belarus is violating Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter, the principle of non-intervention and the sovereignty of Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. In this second part, we turn our attention to the bilateral agreements that Belarus has concluded with these three EU countries, as well as the pertinent human rights agreements to which Belarus is a party.

Stirring Trouble at the Border: Is Belarus in Violation of International Law? – Part 2 (justsecurity.org)

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Syria USA

Questions on the Baghuz Strikes (Brianna Rosen, Luke Hartig, Tess Bridgeman and Ryan Goodman, Just Security)

In March 2019, the U.S. military launched airstrikes against the last ISIS hold-out in Baghuz, Syria. Despite official Department of Defense (DOD) reporting that only four civilians were killed in the strikes, new reporting from the New York Times indicates that it was one of the largest civilian casualty incidents in the war against ISIS. In response to the Times investigation, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) publicly acknowledged for the first time that 80 people were killed, and that it was unable to determine conclusively the civilian or combatant status of 60 individuals.

Questions on the Baghuz Strikes (justsecurity.org)

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Eastern Europe

Escalating Risks on Europe’s Eastern Frontier: Belarus-Poland, Russia-Ukraine, and How the US Can Work With Its Allies (Daniel Fried, Just Security)

It would indeed be good for Russia’s relations with the United States (and Europe) to be more stable and predictable, as the Biden administration has characterized its short-term objective with the Kremlin. But that’s not where things are. This has become clear with the Belarusian manipulation of migrants at the Polish border and with the Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine.

Escalating Risks on Europe’s Eastern Frontier: Belarus-Poland, Russia-Ukraine, and How the US Can Work With Its Allies (justsecurity.org)

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ICC Latin America

Closure for Colombia, New Scrutiny for Venezuela: ICC Investigations in Latin America (Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Just Security)

The new chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) recently made his first official trip to Colombia and Venezuela. During the visit to Bogotá, he announced he was moving to reduce the number of cases in the preliminary stage by closing the long-running preliminary examination in Colombia. A few days later, in Caracas, he announced the opening of a formal investigation into crimes against humanity in Venezuela. Both decisions were controversial, featured innovative efforts to advance complementarity through agreements with the respective governments, and created a new panorama in the region going forward.

Closure for Colombia, New Scrutiny for Venezuela: ICC Investigations in Latin America (justsecurity.org)

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Uncategorized

Amid Haiti’s Deepening Crisis After Earthquake, US Must Heed Citizens on Aid and Political Change (Just Security)

On Saturday morning, I awoke to find my country sinking even further into crisis: a massive earthquake hit Haiti, about 90 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, killing more than 2,100, and injuring more than 12,000. Many remain missing, and neighbors continue to frantically search for family and friends as the rains from tropical storm Grace soak our island: yet another heartache on top of a tragedy. The United States has begun to deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance, but such aid will be ineffective if the United States does not direct it to the right people and if it doesn’t also support our work in Haitian civil society to fix our broken state. This week is crucial on both fronts, as the new U.S. envoy returns from a visit to Haiti and civic groups prepare to issue an accord to begin resolving the political crisis.

Amid Haiti’s Deepening Crisis After Earthquake, US Must Heed Citizens on Aid and Political Change (justsecurity.org)

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Uncategorized

Evidence Destruction and the Crisis In Afghanistan (Just Security)

Afghan activists, journalists, and advocates for women’s rights scrambled to identify escape routes Sunday as international civil society organizations intensified a chaotic effort to evacuate local allies under threat following the Taliban’s overthrow of the Afghan government. The stunningly swift collapse of the Afghan state injected a sense of desperation into a months-long effort by outside aid groups and religious and advocacy organizations to secure visas, flights or other paths out for Afghans seen as likely targets by the Taliban and other actors emboldened by the collapse of the Afghan state.

Evidence Destruction and the Crisis In Afghanistan (justsecurity.org)

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Uncategorized

Take Time to Judge Taliban’s Actions, Not Words (Just Security)

During their first week back in power, the Taliban leadership has gone to great lengths to show the world their movement has evolved on issues of governance, terrorism, and women’s rights since they ruled the country 20 years ago. However, the international community must approach the Taliban pledges with skepticism and wait to see if their actions on the ground match their early statements. While countries like Russia and China with little interest in defending civil liberties may rush to recognize the Taliban, the United States and its like-minded partners must condition diplomatic recognition on the Taliban meeting human rights and counterterrorism standards.

Take Time to Judge Taliban’s Actions, Not Words (justsecurity.org)

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