Kirthi Jayakumar's Blog – February 2013 Archive (4)

A fight to the finish?

Civil wars are easy to predict. The result is easy to glean well before they come to an end. Whether it was the American Civil War where Jefferson Davis did not doubt that he would lose the war after Atlanta fell, or in the 2011 Libyan case where Muammar Gaddhafi was fighting a lost cause after the NATO intervened, this has been true in most instances.

Following that long line of examples, is Bashar Assad of Syria. A civil war that began with the Arab Spring, the Syrian case is not…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on February 24, 2013 at 1:45am — 1 Comment

Chad's Prosecution Chambers

Twenty years after the brutal reign ended, Chad’s ex-dictator, Hissene Habre, is now being prosecuted by the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. Habre’s exit to Senegal in 1990 came just after his brutal reign drew to an end – a period that was characterised heavily by torture and killings that numbered by the thousands. A domestic Chadian inquiry was instituted, and while in exile, Habre remained at large.

He managed to escape many attempts that were made to initiate trials…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on February 17, 2013 at 1:00am — No Comments

A law, or not a law. That is the question.

That International Law was created to bind civilized states is now an acceptable principle, for the realm it covers is the conduct of states with respect to each other in their interrelations. But what is a state? When is an entity fit to be considered a state? Is it necessary for other states to recognize a state for it to be one? How many recognizing states are enough to make an entity a state?

These questions strike at the very root of international law. It doesn’t help that…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on February 10, 2013 at 2:03am — No Comments

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the prism of IHL

After Palestine was accepted as a non-member observer state to the United Nations last year, Israel immediately announced that it would construct new settlements in what it continued to recognize as the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to gather that this is the biggest obstacle to peace negotiations between both states.

The Israel-Palestine conflict goes back a long way – involving plenty of questions of legality, each beset with plenty of…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on February 3, 2013 at 12:59am — 1 Comment

Carnegie Council

Russia's Information Warfare, with Molly McKew

"You saw the Russians start to pay attention to social media, in particular after Obama's election, because the way that he was elected was new to them. They always watch our elections very closely. So you see them toying around in this whole space of the sphere of information, the use of information as a tool of political warfare, developing new tools." Molly McKew delves into Russian disinformation campaigns in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now, with Alan Rusbridger

"Were we a business, were we a mission, were we a public service, or were we a profit center?" Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of "The Guardian," grapples with the questions facing all newspapers in this new age where people "communicate horizontally" rather than via the old, vertical "tablet of stone model." He explains how "The Guardian" has not only survived but prospered and has surprisingly positive things to say about new media.

Control and Responsible Innovation of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence's potential for doing good and creating benefits is almost boundless, but equally there is a potential for doing great harm. This panel discusses the findings of a comprehensive three-year project at The Hastings Center, which encompassed safety procedures, engineering approaches, and legal and ethical oversight.

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