News Roundup Archive

Friday, December 12, 2014

PeaceTech News Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


PeaceTech Roundup
Weekly News Highlights, December 4-10, 2014


Technology and Science

Media and Social Media

International Newspapers React To CIA Torture Report: Media Responses Range From Anger To Apathy
The CIA torture report may have been released in the United States, but its contents could be found in newspapers across the world Wednesday. Several international media outlets covered the extensive report of the five-year Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the harsh techniques used to interrogate terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
See the full article (International Business Times, 12/10/14, Julia Glum and Lora Moftah)
[Return to top]

The Sudanese Journalists Reporting Through Difficult Times
Sudan is one of the most challenging media environments in the world. Detentions, financial punishments and harassment are common place as President Omar al-Bashir tries to keep a tight rein on the press. Journalists in South Sudan suffer less intrusion but have seen an increase in threats and attacks which have escalated during the ongoing civil war. They also struggle with low-staffed newsrooms, small budgets and an illiteracy rate of 74%. But in both countries committed reporters are determined to keep pushing boundaries to do their jobs.
See the full article (The Guardian, 12/10/14)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "A Year of War in South Sudan: A Facebook Discussion" on December 15, 2014 at 11:30am.
[Return to top]

Reporter In Kabul Wins Award For Courage In Journalism
Matthieu Aikins has taken great risks reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. This year, he won a Polk Award as well as the Medill School of Journalism's James Foley Medal for Courage in Journalism for his investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by U.S. Army Special Forces team in Afghanistan. That article was published in Rolling Stone. Last June, Aikins traveled to rebel-held Aleppo, Syria and spent eight days with a civil defense team, following them as they rushed to the site of each nearby airstrike, digging out survivors and bodies from the rubble.
See the full article (NPR, 12/9/14, Terry Gross and Matthieu Aikins)
[Return to top]

ISIS Has A Message. Do We?
Denouncing murder and enslavement should be an easy task, but for Western governments determined to counter the narrative of the militants of the self-styled Islamic State, it is proving much trickier than they thought. Efforts mounted so far don't seem to be stemming the flow of foreign recruits eager to join the caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi-nor have they done much to deny jihadis online opportunities to groom followers and market their ideology. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cited no progress in the information war and offered no new ideas about how to counter militants adept at spreading their message using Western-based social-media sites such as Twitter or Facebook.
See the full article (The Daily Beast, 12/8/14, Jamie Dettmer)
[Return to top]

2 Hostages Killed In Yemen As U.S. Rescue Effort Fails
United States commandos stormed a village in southern Yemen early Saturday in an effort to free an American photojournalist held hostage by Al Qaeda, but the raid ended in tragedy, with the kidnappers killing the American and a South African held with him. The hostages - Luke Somers, an American photojournalist, and Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher - were killed by their captors. Mr. Somers had been part of a group of freelance journalists who covered the aftermath of Yemen's 2011 uprising and had stayed on, working as a freelance editor at English-language publications and as a photojournalist.
See the full article (New York Times, 12/6/14, Kareem Fahim and Eric Schmitt) *New York Times Subscription may be required to read full article
[Return to top]

Featured Story from the USIP Foreign Policy Peace Channel

Nigeria's Double-Edged Front Line by Georgia Holmer
Vigilante action is a controversial but common measure to counter Boko Haram - and one that may complicate efforts to find a longer-term solution to extremist violence in the country. They have become vital in the country's fight against Boko Haram. But is there a way to ensure they're not also making things worse?
See the full article
Click to read "Boko Haram Kidnappings Prompt Northern Nigerian Women's March" an Olive Branch post by Georgia Holmer.

[Return to top]

Technology and Science

Watch ISIS Surveillance Drones Film The Battlefields Of Aleppo
A video uploaded today to an ISIS-linked YouTube account shows what appears to be footage captured by aerial drone. The four-minute clip features peaceful images of an annihilated Aleppo, as the drone hovers hundreds of feet in the air, far from the chaos, cut with visceral battle footage of fighters running in between the bombed out streets below.
See the full article (Vice, 12/9/14, Ben Makuch)
[Return to top]

How Technology Will Not Save the World
I'm concerned that we have begun to approach social problems with solutions based on technology as opposed to root cause. Military drones are a great case in point. No doubt they protect soldiers, create fear and, when the stars align, allow for targeted operations with little "collateral damage" -- yet in the aggregate they are solving nothing and, in fact, might even be extending the conflicts, as we rarely examine the systems that are creating the kind of hatred that leads to violence, murder and mayhem.
See the full article (The Huffington Post, 12/8/14, David Sable)
[Return to top]

Coming To A Conflict Near You: Robot Wars
The use of lethal robots in conflict is inevitable. When it happens, it'll create a significant shift in the ways of warfare. A discussion has already begun on how such capabilities might be developed and applied. The degree of autonomy will be a key driver of a robot's role in conflict and is likely to evolve in three generations; the semi-autonomous, the restricted-autonomous, and ultimately the fully-autonomous generation.
See the full article (The National Interest, 12/5/14, Marcus Fielding)
[Return to top]

Satellites Track Heritage Loss Across Syria And Iraq
Shut out of a region plagued with competing armies, humanitarian crises, and hostile ideologies, archaeologists have largely been distant and anguished bystanders to the wave of ruin afflicting ancient sites in Syria and northern Iraq. By tracking the damage using satellites and on-the-ground intelligence, researchers hope they can help raise a global outcry and lay the foundation for salvage and reconstruction when the wars end.
See the full article (Science Magazine, 12/4/14, Andrew Lawler) *Login may be required to read full article
[Return to top]

Did we miss anything?



Share this: FacebookTwitterDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend