TOPIC BRIEFS

The Question of Foreign Manipulation of Domestic Political Institutions and Affa

The involvement of external agents in international political issues through spreading illegally obtained information has continued to become an ongoing issue that threatens a country’s sovereignty, democracy, and political security. Despite the positive uses of foreign policies as countries build stronger relationships between one another, covert operations and foreign policies can become an issue of international manipulation, exploitation, and abuse of power, as a country’s vulnerability to cybercrime is taken advantage of. With cyber warfare being at an ultimate high, foreign manipulation is likely to increase in severity. Looking into foreign manipulation, nations have the ability to hack into other nations’ software systems, giving them access to confidential information that could not only benefit them but used to their advantage as they have the power to threaten the release the information discovered. Situations like these have happened in the last decade as Russia leaked confidential information that jeopardized Hillary Clinton’s position in the 2016 U.S. election. Efforts have been put into finding solutions for this controversial issue from countries like France, the U.K and Germany as the United Nations are working on understanding this issue, however, the issue is likely to increase in intensity.

The Issue of Militarization in the Arctic

Many states are developing interests in the Arctic region, especially with its popularity sprout over the past decade. Some countries not directly bordering the arctic believe that its natural riches are the property of all humankind, especially considering that the arctic as a whole cannot be claimed by one nation for its self. Therefore they argue that its resources should be developed in the framework of the broadest possible international cooperation. The Arctic is newly mainly utilized for military enhancements by its bordering nations. The absence of a security framework and the lack of proper land division by arctic nations has led to the uncontrolled advancement of military bases and sea-based technologies. Considering the competition for control over this region, it is undergoing militarization in several areas. The Arctic powers in recent years have seen a substantial rise in the number of vessels belonging to different nations. The issue lies within the ability of these states to co-exist in the arctic and continue with developing their weaponry, in addition to the demands of non-arctic bordering countries for a claim of resources and space to advance their own weaponry and military program. This is even expected to further develop as the ice sheets and glaciers in the arctic are melting away, hence leaving more room for human industrialization and making it easier to do as such. 

Situation in the Central African Republic

Since March 2013, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been experiencing violent sectarian conflict. The conflict initially began between two well-defined rival religious groups, Muslims and Christians, that became increasingly fragmented, with competing agendas and interests. Further, the current transitional government lacks the capacity and political will to enforce any real political reforms. Being situated in a region full of conflict, the ongoing problems CAR are often overlooked by the international community. The almost 60 years of history of the independent CAR are full of violent conflicts, forced changes of governments and repeated international interventions. The government only controls parts of its territory, leaving large parts of the population fleeing their homes as they try to escape the conflict. In August 2017, Stephen O’Brien, the Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in the United Nations spoke of “the early warning signs of a genocide” being present in CAR. The Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, the United Nations peacekeeping mission, has not yet been able to provide relief to the country as it continues to be shaken by waves of religious and intercommunal violence. However, the cause of the crisis lies deeper than the superficial conflict between the religions.