Friday, May 6, 2011

Narcotics and Armed Conflict: Interaction and Implications

ARTICLE Svante E. Cornell, "Narcotics and Armed Conflict: Interaction and Implications", Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol. 30 no. 3, 2007.

The paper can be downloaded from this link.. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Palestinian reconciliation: Nudge it along

The West and Israel, for their own good, should encourage Palestinians to get together

Published by "The Economist", May 5th 2011

AMID the joy of the Arab awakening, the most stubbornly insoluble of all the Middle East’s problems, the argument between Jews and Arabs over the Holy Land, seemed almost forgotten and perhaps better shelved for the next few years. No more. The upheavals elsewhere in the Arab world are affecting even the Palestinians—and by extension the Israelis. On May 4th the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, bloodily at odds for many years, signed an historic agreement to support a national-unity government in the Palestinian territories: the Gaza Strip, now ruled by Hamas, and the West Bank, ruled by an authority under the sway of Fatah.

The Israeli government under Binyamin Netanyahu has rubbished the Palestinian deal, declaring that it will shun any Palestinian administration that includes or is backed by the Islamists of Hamas, because it doggedly refuses to recognise Israel. If he sticks to his word, the prospect of meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the near future is zero. Mr Netanyahu’s loathing of Hamas is understandable, yet he is wrong to scorn Palestinian reconciliation. The Hamas-Fatah deal is good news, because peace between Palestinians could be a stepping stone on the road to peace with Israel. Read more...

Renewed Calls To Close Metsamor Nuclear Power Station

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 8 Issue: 77
April 20, 2011 06:41 PM Age: 15 days
By: Fariz Ismailzade

After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and its disastrous impact on the Fukushima nuclear plant, the international community is once again raising concern about the Metsamor Nuclear Power station in Armenia. On April 11, National Geographic ran a powerful story, entitled “Is Armenia’s Nuclear Plant the World’s Most Dangerous?” ( The article cited the European Union’s envoy as calling the facility "a danger to the entire region" and the United States government, calling the plant "aging and dangerous." The forty year old plant is the only one of five first-generation water-moderated Soviet units that is located in the seismic zone. Despite the fact that it is long past its retirement age, the Armenian government refuses to shut it down. In 2004, it even refused the EU’s offer of a 200 million Euros ($289 million) loan to finance its closure. The magazine interviewed Antonia Wenisch of the Austrian Institute of Applied Ecology in Vienna, who calls Metsamor “among the most dangerous” nuclear plants still in operation.  Read more...