Monday, September 12, 2016

International Terrorism and Peace Process


International Terrorism and Peace Process

Issue description:

“Nation-state efforts to develop or acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, or their underlying technologies constitute a major threat to the security of the United States, it’s deployed  troops, and allies. ” Currently, Iran is an aggressively  emerging threat to US National security  as it  tries  to defy sanctions and develop nuclear technology under the guise of the development of nuclear energy.

Critical Information:

“…The Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) has temporarily inhibited further progress in [Iran’s] uranium enrichment and plutonium capabilities and effectively eliminated Iran’s stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium (Clapper).” However, Iran has plenty of motivation to continue developing ballistic missiles that are capable delivering WMD’s.


Despite US sanctions, Iran continues to be the largest nuclear proliferation threat because “Iran’s progress on space launch vehicles – along with its desire to deter the US and it’s allies – provides Tehran with the means and motivation to develop longer range missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)(Clapper).”


Iran continues to defy US led sanctions, continues to build ballistic missiles, and is continuing to develop long range IBM which clearly threatens US interests in the Middle East, threatens US allies, threatens US National security,  and could potentially create instability  throughout the region which could draw the US into war with Iran.


Worldwide Threat Assessment  of the US Intelligence  Community,  James R. Clapper

Critical issues regarding globalization

Issue Description:

Critical issues regarding globalization.

Critical aspects of globalization and its  implications to the International Community:

Globalization (the understanding that the world  is becoming economically intertwined on a global scale), is happening and it is an inevitable consequence of the fast paced interconnected world we currently live in. The critical macro issues surrounding globalization are political, economic and revolve around human rights, security, health/ environment and technology. On a micro level, these issues relate to population growth, food security, the development  and sustainability of natural  resources,  the spread of terrorism /ISIS/ISIL, the supersonic speed with which information and ideas can spread, and political alliances combined with nationalism.

What is being done to address impending globalization?
Currently the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and several other GO’S and NGO’s are working to provide a clear pathway to achieve economic sustainability through globalization.
What should be done to address globalization, and by whom?

There is no clear road to a sustainable  globalized  economy,  however,  globalization is inevitable. To find the root of these issues, we must first examine the positives, the negatives and the overall consequences  of globalization. 

To do this, I have created the following  pro vs. Con outline:

International Marketplace, better access to products and services from customers across the globe.
Augments manufacturing  on a global scale.
Stable cash flow that slowly lessens the difference of dollars
Slowly a global power is made, politics are unifying,  and advantageous risk can increase the flow of cash, and information throughout  the world.
Creates a universal  understanding  an fellowship  due to the intermingling  of culture  and shared common interests.

People in developed countries  are losing their jobs due to job outsourcing  to other nations.
A shift in wealth from a current leading nation economically may transfer superiority to other nations.
Potentially  leads to social degeneration  and communicable illness.
Risk of one business  ruling the whole world, potentially  leading to the loss of the cultural identity of a nation.

The result is clearly favorable  to globalization.  Globalization,  therefore has two ultimate conclusions. It can harm, and it can benefit the world. Nevertheless, globalization  is inevitable. Globalization  will change the collective consciousness,  it will change the way the world connects through technology,  through education,  through shared common values that spread from nation to nation, and through  the global understanding  that one world is a lot better than NONE.


Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation Challenges to US National Security

Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMD) proliferation challenges to US national security.

Key elements of WMD Proliferation:
Definition of WMD`s: Chemical, Biological and Nuclear weapons. Chemical weapons have  chemical elements and can have explosive elements. Biological weapons contain a biological element combined with an explosive element, but can also be found in aerosol form. Nuclear can be used in explosive form and can be used as small, or dirty, bombs, and/or can be launched via missile.

Key elements of WMD non-proliferation:
Treaties, forms of politics, sanctions, inspections, and International Organizations (IO`s) such as the UN can be used to prevent the proliferation of WMD`s.

*Treaties, such as the Iran non-proliferation treaty (NPT), can be used to induce or relax sanctions, restrict or allow the enrichment of uranium for proposed power and public use, and to ensure that regular inspections can be made.

*Politics can be used to prevent WMD proliferation through meetings among leaders to stablish the foundations of agreement, the use of governmental decisions such as passing laws or agreeing on treaties or to enforce sanctions.

*Sanctions can be used to limit a state`s ability to prosper and flourish. In this regard, through politics, IO`s and through other means, sanctions can limit trade thereby making it even more difficult for a state to peruse WMD`s.

*Inspections performed through the UN via the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can also be used to prevent WMD proliferation.

Primary US security concerns:
Countries that have nuclear weapons: US, France, Russia, Pakistan, Israel, United Kingdom, China, India and North Korea.

Reasons why countries have nuclear weapons:

*Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
*The potential for terrorists to gain control of WMD`s
*The impact of WMD`s on human beings and the environment.

Russia has them, China has them, north Korea has them, Pakistan has them, India has them which means the US must have them. And because China has them, India has them, because all of those countries have them, North Korea has them, and because of our relationship with Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, the US needs them to protect our assets and interests in the area.

International Organizations that proved key assistance in preventing WMD proliferation:

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), United Nations (UN), Governmental ( Congress, President, CIA, etc.).

Friday, September 9, 2016

North Korea and the recent nuclear test

North Korea set to use nuclear weapons at any time.

Issue Description:

"North Korea said [on Tuesday, September 22nd 2015] that it is Ready to use its nuclear weapons against the US at any time and that it's main nuclear facility was fully operational, allowing the country to improve both the quality and quantity of its nuclear weapons."  Although this statement followed preparations for the 70th anniversary of the Workers Party, Kim Jong Un seems to have his sights set on threatening the US due to what Un feels are unfair sanctions.  Further, on Thursday, September 8th,  2015, South Korean officials reported both a 5.3 earthquake in the area used by North Korea to test its nuclear weapons, and confirmed officially that North Korea had in fact successfully tested a nuclear weapon.

Critical Information:

This type of rhetoric and behavior is typical for the Kim regime, and experts believe that, "it's sending a message to the US that it's nuclear threat will only get worse if the country continues to be treated with sanctions and pressure rather than negotiations."  What makes this particular threat, and test unusual is that the 2015 threat was coupled with a pledge that North Korea will use missile technology that is banned by the UN Security Council.  Additionally,  North Korea's Atomic Energy Institute  issued a statement that the Kim regime has been improving, "the quality and quantity of its nuclear weapons," and has reopened Yongbyon nuclear facility.


Kim Jong Un,  and his regime have made it very  clear that economic sanctions and pressure from the Global Community  are not working, thusly proving that sanctions rarely work in cases where nuclear weapons are involved.  This is largely due to the fact that nuclear proliferation gives nations a large bargaining chip.  In fact, of the 18 nations that have been sanctioned for speaking out nuclear technology through 2007, only six have had successful outcomes.


North Korea continues to be a nuclear threat to the United States.  This is mostly due to strength and power of a nuclear weapon.  Similar to a game of chess, the US must wary of Kim Jong Un's threats as well as continue to monitor North Korea's  nuclear activities. Further pressure must be applied, and although sanctions are having little effect, the must continue to be enforced.

Sources: via daily situation report 9/22/15
Bee, Ronald J. - Sanctions and Nonproliferation

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Op-ed: foreign policy regarding Russia, Ukraine, and boots on the ground.

“Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges conceded to reporters Tuesday [March 17th, 2015] that arming Ukraine could help its fragile pro-Western government on the battlefield, at least in the short term. But he [also] said that it wouldn’t be enough to fundamentally ensure that Ukraine doesn’t lose any more territory to Russia in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea last year.” (Unknown, Web).

The aforementioned statement intrigues me as I have recently been giving a great deal of thought to the idea that the United States is headed straight into (knowingly or unknowingly) a humanity devastating, globally transitional, internationally recognized global war… that will ultimately lead to world unification, globalization of economic flows, and a total restructuring of civilization as we currently know it.  In other words, we’re headed for a social change toward unification resulting from overpopulation, war, lack of infrastructure, degrading infrastructure, and change in the collective consciousness of humankind that edges us closer to ,and eventually will become, a unified human race that ultimately pulls together to create a… New World Order.

Arming Ukraine citizens is edging us closer to world war (and eventual global unification) because, if America really is striving for peace among nations through the UN, foreign policy, etc., the United States has a responsibility to protect its allies.  At the same time, Russia is theoretically the US’ ally (through the P5+1, etc.) thusly putting American foreign policy in a sticky situation.  Officials must ask themselves, “Should we arm Ukraine and risk a global war to protect our allies?  Or, should we let Ukraine fend for itself and watch our other ally (Russia) destroy…” It seems to go on and on like this forever.  It’s easy to understand why even the highest echelon US officials are having trouble answering the armament question in Ukraine.  According to, “‘Providing weapons is not a strategy,’ Hodges said. ‘There are great arguments for giving weapons to them to help raise the cost for the Russian’s.  I think that is a valid argument.  But saying that’s a valid argument is different from saying that this ought to be the policy.’” (Unknown, Web).

Officials are confused, American citizens are confused, Russia is very obviously confused, and Ukraine is caught in the middle of it.  And, foreign policy was still born out of this indecisiveness because in March, 2015, The US sent weapons and boots to Ukraine, even though - at the time - the media (including reported that, “Hodges’s comments highlight the difficult policy choices facing the White House, where a growing number of senior military officials and civilian officials have publically said in recent weeks that the United States should arm Ukraine.” (Unknown, Web).

So what was the policy then?  Boots on the ground, arm the Ukraine citizens, and stay neutral.  But, how do we stay out of a war between friends?  “Here, take these guns Ukraine and , Russia, you already have weapons so, you’re on your own.”  Then what?  Should the US say, “OK.  We’re gonna drop these weapons in, but from the air – we’re not going in – but, we need to train these guys how to fight you with our weapons so, here… Don’t start fighting until AFTER we get out.  OK… Ready… Set… Go!”  Something like that? We should make a song – Get Neutral, kind of like, We are the World.  Everybody holding hands, sitting on the sidelines, order hot dogs and, who knows… Kebabs or falafel while we watch as, sort of, curious onlookers.  It would be nice… I can envision the pageantry… then… in a few months… New administration in. old administration heads out quietly and says, “we’re out of here, you’re on your own with that.”  I guess, that’s how it will go…  Pass the buck.

That said, if the buck keeps passing along, the world goes further into turmoil… Well…  THE BUCK WILL STOP AT MY DESK, and never leave (should I ever have the privilege of attaining such an amazing responsibility)… Until we finish what should be done now.   Here’s what I would do in this situation (were I President now, and not in 2020 as I am currently planning)… Hindsight- it’s my year.        ;-)

• One: Talk with both countries in a neutral place like – Bolivia.  I say Bolivia because we have a great deal of influence in that region, but it theoretically could be held anywhere outside of the EU, Russia, and the US. 

• Two.  Discuss the issues. Three, Review and Translate into foreign policy (FP) according to Smart, Moral and Legal (FP mainstay doctrine). 

• Three, defer to Congress, the United Nations, and relevant international organizations, revealing outcomes to said organizations PRIOR to consideration of further action.  If answers were needed immediately – as was the case on 9/11 – This process would need to be accomplished real time. 

• FOUR.  Ready the ships.  Prepare for large scale war.  Monitor Russia.  Study troop movements.  Plan for ground assaults.  Plan invasion tactics.  Be prepared for a military outcome. 

• FIVE.  Negotiate again.  Get back to the drawing board and put the negotiating brainiacs to work! 

• SIX.  Notify the press that the US is prepared to take action, but wants both sides to negotiate before it becomes involved.

• SEVEN. Review results, refer to SML, take action.

Essentially, the US foreign policy needs to be fluid enough to have real time action plans, long term action plans, and an action plan that sits somewhere in the middle.  These plans have to be working in conjunction with each other at all times.  In order for this functionality to occur, a system has to be established that can accomplish this task by using all forms of technology available known and yet undiscovered.  Obama’s administration has an uphill fight to accomplish this over the next year and a half.  For it is on his watch, that future foreign policy will be built, and a New World Oder will begin.  What that new world looks like, remains to be seen.  Russia, Ukraine, and the US’ reaction will undoubtedly play an integral part in humanity’s future outcome.

Works Cited
Unknown., Web. 20015.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Critical issues regarding global energy as written for Prof. Keith Hansen, Sierra Nevada College (INTB 465)

Issue Description:
Critical issues regarding global energy.

Critical aspects of global energy use and their global implications:

The critical issues surrounding global energy consumption are vast and generally relate to fossil fuels, solar power, electric power, and wind power.  These issues vary in size, scale, by country, by demographics, by population, by a state’s foreign and domestic policies, and they cannot be fully measured.  The primary large/ macro issues relate to an increase in demand for fossil fuels, renewable/ alternative energy, environmental constraints, cost, and storage/ the cost/ the disposal of new energy sources such as batteries, etc. 

The primary detailed / micro issues relating to fossil fuel revolve around the durability of reserves and supply, pollution resulting from greenhouse gasses and climate change, the cost of extraction, the geopolitical dependability of supply, the unintended consequences of extraction (fracking, earthquakes, methane hydrate (natural gas)), and several other unknowable issues. 

The primary detailed/ micro issues relating to solar power include transportation (e.g. how does the international community move energy from the source to the consumer), currently there is only a 20% dependability of solar power, Dependence (US) is only at 20%, Investment/ tax credits, etc. depend on legislation, there are currently no efficient, affordable, transportable batteries or panels, solar energy requires a large landscape (land) for panels and storage, there is a great deal of concern over pollution resulting from improper storage, etc., and China is at the forefront of solar energy creation due to their supply of rare earth materials. 

The primary detailed/ micro issues relating to wind power relate to the need for vast quantities of land/ space, there are environmental concerns, the transportation of energy from the source to the consumer, the cost efficiency compared to that of oil, the dependability of wind power is only at 20%, the storage, transportation, and pollution resulting from batteries, and the fact that legislation is not dependable. 

The primary detailed/ micro issues revolving around nuclear power involve nuclear waste and safe disposal, terror risks (technical and human, natural disasters, cheating, political legislation, and the fact that costs to maintain and dispose of nuclear power are going up.

What is being done by the international community to address the issues surrounding global energy use?

Currently, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) are leading the way in solving the global energy crisis.  In addition to the aforementioned, the United Nations (UN) is forging a pathway to energy sustainability through its forum and through global treaties and initiatives.

In addition, the following can be accomplished to further enhance global cooperation, and continued energy sustainability efforts:

A global commitment from all nations to eliminate fossil fuels, and promote alternative new, and renewable sources of energy must be imagined and created.  The initiative should be written and agreed upon by all nations throughout the globe.  This initiative should not only strongly encourage the positive, realistic, and achievable goal to reinvent the way, the process, the distribution of, and the storage of renewable/ sustainable energies, it should also be international law. Further, all nations must abide by this law in order to ensure that the future of humankind can reach endless longevity.

In class Notes
Global Issues, Jackson, Robert M. pp. 127-135

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Critical aspects of WMD

Critical Aspects of Weapons of Mass Destruction and challenges to the global community:

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s, AKA Chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons) proliferation has been humankind’s greatest struggle since their creation.  Chemical weapons have a devastating effect on human beings, the environment, and contain chemical elements combined with explosive elements, while biological weapons contain a biological element combined with an explosive element, but can also be found in aerosol form, and nuclear weapons can be used as small or “dirty” bombs, bombs, and/ or can be launched via missile.  Countries that currently possess nuclear weapons are: The United States, Russia, France, Pakistan, Israel, the United Kingdom, China, India, and North Korea.  Some of the primary global concerns about the proliferation of WMD’s are: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), the potential for terrorists to gain control of WMD’s, and the impact of WMD’s on human beings and the environment.  Additionally, the fact that Russia has them, China has them, Pakistan has them, North Korea has them, India has them, and because the aforementioned countries have them, the United States has them, is leading the International Community into a proliferation cycle that is never ending.  Ultimately, countries that possess WMD’s have them for both security, and as a deterrent.  Further, a growing global fear of WMD’s falling into the hands of ISIS/ISIL and other terrorist organizations is preeminent among leading global nations, GO’s, and NGO’s.
International concerns and tools used to prevent WMD proliferation:

Several treaties including the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1970, the START treaty, the SORT treaty, the SALT I/II treaties, and the New Start treaty have been created and implemented to induce or relax sanctions, restrict or allow the enrichment of uranium for proposed power/ public use, and to ensure that regular inspections can be made.  Diplomacy and politics are being used to prevent WMD proliferation through meetings among leaders to establish the foundations of agreement, the use of governmental decisions such as passing laws, or agreeing on treaties and to enforce sanctions.  Additionally, sanctions are being used to limit a nation state’s ability to prosper and flourish through the proliferation of WMD’s.  Further, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) can perform inspections through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and can be used to prevent further WMD proliferation.
Additional steps that the International Community can use to prevent further WMD proliferation:

The International Community can and should create a new global initiative that demands and encourages positively - through diplomacy, politics, and the use of all means available - the destruction of WMD arsenals.  This initiative should take into account peaceful uses of nuclear power, the harmful nature of WMD’s to humanity and the environment, and the growing need for a more globally unified world that incites peace, rather than a call to arms.  Further, the global initiative should have international recognition as the governing order regarding WMD proliferation and create standards and policies that can be realistically achieved.  Additionally, this global initiative should require all nations to undergo frequent inspections, require accurate weapon counts to ensure the viability of a no cheating policy, and should require global compliance through effective policies, practices, measures, and treaties.

In class notes
Global Issues (Payne) pp. 121-135
Great Decisions #3/205, What ISIS Really Wants
Global Issues, The Putin Doctrine
US National Security, Sarkesian, Williams and Cimbala, pp. 81&85
Global Issues #6/2011, Sanctions and Nonproliferation
Why is Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal Not Mentioned in the Iran Deal Debate? Landay, Johnathan S.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Critical issues relating to China and global security as written for Prof. Keith Hansen, Sierra Nevada College 2015

Issue Description:

Critical issues relating to China and global security.

China’s long proud history began long before democracy (as the US defines it) existed.  Reaching back as far as the first century, China has a long and proud history of dictatorship that evolved through a revolution in 1949 which led to the installation of a communist government, and a, “…Complex mix of intensifying [international] diplomacy, growing international rivalry, and increasingly intertwined [international] economies.”  Communism, cyber terrorism, a global dependence upon rare Earth material, an international dependence on Chinese exports, economic instability, and fear of nuclear proliferation are among the top global concerns regarding China.

Additionally, China suffers from overpopulation, China does not share democratic values/ ideologies, maintains a nuclear arsenal, and relies on the following three structural components to form its foreign policy: One; Sovereignty, to maintain cultural and political stability.  Two; to keep China’s large population in check.  Three; development, to feed and secure the Chinese people.  Further, China wants to be seen as a super power, has a history of sensitivity to domestic disorders caused by foreign threats, and has an aging population that is composed of a diverse group that includes Chinese Nationalists, as well as different religious and ethnic groups.

Further, China has a need for Iran’s oil which has resulted in China’s need to protect Iran thusly complicating negations and nuclear non-proliferation efforts being made by the United Nations (UN) with Iran.  India is the largest democratic nation in Asia which has led to several conflicting interests between the two nations.  Taiwan, composed of primarily separatist Nationalists, is still considered by China to be within Chinese territory, however, the Taiwanese do not consider themselves to be part of China which complicates relations between China and several democratic nations including the United States.  To further complicate matters, China is currently building a string of islands in what has been traditionally considered international waters (the South China Sea).

International tools being used to address China’s global objectives:
The United Nations (UN), and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) are currently being utilized as a forum to maintain international peace, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and treaties like the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) are being used to monitor global nuclear weapon/ energy activities, and organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) are working to direct and coordinate international health within the UN system.

Additional steps the International Community can take to deal with China:

Working with China diplomatically through negotiations, treaties, and NGO’s combined with a common vision that promotes global peace is the best path to incorporating China’s ideology into the International Community.  Using the IAEA to rid the world of nuclear weapons further promotes the interests of global nuclear nonproliferation and prevents China from cheating, reduces and prevents the reckless sale or theft of nuclear materials, and promotes a healthier more peaceful international community.  Finally, incorporating rather than ex-communicating China’s economic interests into a global strategy for International economic sustainability will further encourage a more peaceful International community.

Council on foreign Relations;
In Class Notes
Strohecker, Lena; INTL 420 review
Worldwide threat Assessment of US Intelligence Committee, Senate Armed Services Committee (2015); Clapper, James R.
LeRoy, MeiLi; INTB 465 review
Global Issues #5.1 China’s Search
Global Issues #3.4 China’s Bad Earth
Global Issues (Payne) pp. 38-39