Archive 11

ICC Bashir Appeal Begins

On Monday 10 September, the ICC Appeals Chamber began its hearings in Jordan’s appeal against the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision that Jordan failed to comply with its obligations under the Rome Statute by failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir when he visited Jordan in 2017 to attend the Arab League Summit. The development is analysed […]

John Bolton delivers first major speech as National Security Adviser

On Monday 10 September, John Bolton delivered his first major speech as US National Security Adviser  to the Federalist Society. The speech was entitled “Protecting American Constitutionalism and Sovereignty from International Threats”. The full text is available on the Lawfare website here, and a video recording is embedded below.

Bolton’s speech was self-described as a major announcement on US policy towards the ICC, which Bolton called “ineffective”, “unaccountable”, “deeply flawed” and “outright dangerous”.

Analysis is provided by John B Bellinger III on the Lawfare website here. Dapo Akande has also examined the legality of potential US retaliatory action against ICC judges and officials on the EJIL: Talk! blog here. More general commentary is available from Foreign Policy here.

New ICRC Blog Posts: children in conflict and detention in armed conflicts

The first post – “Bombs and Blast Waves: Why Children in Conflict Need Special Care” – is written by Paul Reavley. His overarching question interrogates how we can be better prepared to treat children in active war zones. The post also details Reavley’s work with the Paediatric Blast Injury Partnership initiative between Save the Children and the Centre for Blast Injury Studies at Imperial College London.

The second post – “Detention and Armed Conflicts: Exploring Realities and Remedies – is written by Helen Durham. Sharing her own thoughts on the realities faced by detainees in modern conflicts, she questions how we can reinforce the legal framework protecting such detainees, and how we can ensure that these efforts translate into concrete protection effects in the field.

UN-organised Geneva Consultations on Yemen halt

Last week, UN News reported on the impending commencement of the UN-organised Geneva Consultations on Yemen, designed to bring an end to the years-long conflict. To date, however, the talks appear to have stalled, with the Houthi delegation being either unable or unwilling to attend, despite UN Special Envoy Martin Griffith insisting that the consultations have started.

On Tuesday, however, UN Special Envoy Martin Griffith asked the Security Council for “more support to ‘move back’ to the negotiating table”, noting that “the level of confidence is at its lowest and the human and humanitarian cost is ever rising”.

“Australia’s Deadliest Soldier: The Killer Commando”

Media company Vice has produced a new documentary on Paul Cale, a former member of the ADF’s 2 Commando Regiment who has developed a model for close-quarter fighting called “integrated close combat” which special forces (including the ADF) around the world have since adopted:

Interview with Sasha Ghosh-Siminoff on the looming “Battle of Idlib”

Sasha Ghosh-Siminoff is Executive Director of People Demand Change Inc and former Executive Director of the Syrian Emergency Taskforce. He recently appeared on the modern warfare podcast program Popular Front to discuss the situation on the ground in Syria and the looming Battle of Idlib, and suggests that he conflict will likely prove to be a “huge humanitarian catastrophe”:

Listen here

In related news, the ICRC also released a recent statement from Fabrizzio Carboni, regional director for the Near and Middle East last week, emphasising that “hostilities in Idlib should not produce massive civilian suffering”. The UN Special Envoy for Syria also stated this past week that it is “time to apply maximum ‘moral pressure’ to save lives” in Idlib.

More recently, UN Secretary-General Guterres called for a full-scale battle for Idlib to be avoided at all costs,  warning that the situation runs the risk of “transforming into a blood bath”. The UN’s Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, similarly stressed that the “sanctity of human civilian life” in the province must be preserved.

“Designing against Terror”

Asia & The Pacific Policy Society has published a new article by Jon Coaffee discussing urban design and protection against terrorist acts, drawing attention to the increasingly difficult balance being struck between security and liveability...

Relatedly: an interesting research/commentary piece published by War on the Rocks analyses the “demographics of Southeast Asian Jihadism” by drawing on new research designed to identify typical members of such groups who may carry out or support terrorist attacks.

“Talking to the Chiefs: Rick Burr (part 1)

A recent article on the Australian Strategic Policy Institute website summarises an interview with new Australian Army chief Lieutenant General Rick Burr. Burr provides insights into the ADF’s necessary process of adaptation to complex and increasingly high-tech threats in the Asia-Pacific region and broader globe: “Like every new Chief of Army, I really focus on […]

ASPI Reports: “The Month in Women, Peace and Security – August 2018”

This helpful post by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute summarises various relevant WPS events/news items occurring during the month of August which may not previously have received wide reportage. Many are particularly relevant to the Asia-Pacific region, including:  Japan’s induction of its first female fighter pilot; An all-female SWAT team guarding the Red Fort during […]

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