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To defeat IS we must destroy it?
The US and its NATO allies have vowed to defeat Islamic State and ultimately destroy it. While at odds with global norms, such a proposed destruction campaign may be strategically necessary. It remains to be seen, however, ...
Reshaping the Middle East : UAE leads the counter-revolution
The United Arab Emirates backed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt is spearheading a conservative Arab effort to reshape the Middle East and North Africa in their mould, in parallel with the US-led war against Islamic State jihadists ...
Building a cyber iron dome : Israel’s cyber defensive envelope
Israel is developing “a national cyber defensive envelope” – a multi-layered cyber defence strategy leveraging automated computerised systems and highly-trained personnel that provide intelligence, early warning, passive ...
Income inequality : new worry over impact of QE
While the policy of easy money known as quantitive easing (QE) has saved the US financial sector from collapse, it has also been criticised for causing various problems. One recent criticism: QE could worsen the already ...
Abolishing Indonesia's direct local elections : missing the forest for the trees?
The Indonesian House of Representatives is due to pass a bill ending direct elections of local leaders, leaving the selection process to legislators in regional parliaments. Is such a move missing the forest for the trees?
Power transition in Afghanistan : challenges ahead
The recent democratic power transfer in Kabul is a major milestone in Afghanistan’s constitutional development. However, escalating Taliban attacks, slowing economic growth and weak Afghan security forces are some of the ...
MD3 laws in Indonesia : sword of Damocles over the Jokowi presidency?
The amended Law on Legislative Bodies (or MD3 Laws) has received scant attention although it is a scourge for the new Joko Widodo administration.
The rise of the Islamic state : who is to blame?
Behind the façade of a united front against the Islamic State the United States and its Gulf allies blame each other for the spectacular rise of the jihadist group that has overrun a swathe of Syria and Iraq. With the ...
Protests in Hong Kong : roots in old and new social movements
The eleven-day standoff in Hong Kong city central is not a single-issue triggered mass event. It is a result of two strands of social mobilisation: the pro-democracy movement with a history of over three decades, and the ...
Returning ISIS fighters : what should be done with them?
Reports that several disillusioned ISIS fighters want to return to their home countries pose a serious challenge of developing an effective response. Their governments will have to strike a careful balance between deterrence, ...