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Six Degrees of Foreign Policy Narration

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Exploring Digital Diplomacy

There seems to a prevailing opinion among International Relations’ scholars that our world is one of perpetual crises. The moment one crisis ends, such as the threat of Ebola, another begins, such as Russian military involvement in Syria. Communication has always been an integral part of crisis management. Moreover, diplomatic crises are often defined as a breakdown in communication between states.

During diplomatic crises, nations make frequent use of the media. At times, this is in order to pass indirect messages to other nations. At other times, this is an attempt to control the narrative of the crisis in the local and global press. Controlling the narrative of a crisis may be achieved through the utilization of networks. Such activities are in line with a networked model of diplomacy, as opposed to the club model  (for more on this see Jorge Hiene’s paper). Networks may be made up of diplomatic…

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The Evolution Of Modern Russian Tanks

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21st Century Asian Arms Race

Soviet T-55 column Warsaw Pact 02

As the world’s dominant land power the Soviet Union understood the value of mechanized forces. This is why the Red Army possessed between 22,000 to 25,000 armored vehicles, including at least several hundred KV-1 and 2 heavy tanks, at the onset of the Great Patriotic War.

By the time the almost indestructible Joseph Stalins arrived at the Reichstag the total number of Soviet tanks had swelled to more than 60,000. The lesson learned from defeating the Axis powers would resonate for generations to come: Tanks will decide the outcome of any great war over Eurasia.

In the ensuing decades the Cold War arms race inspired the continuous production of new and ever deadlier tanks. Even when derided as crude and unsophisticated the Red Army’s armor always leapfrogged the West in terms of cost-effective mass-production, ruggedness, and firepower.

The Soviet Union’s relentless military-industrial development also left today’s Russian Federation with a…

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ISIS survives largely because Turkey allows it to: the evidence

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Good read!

UndercoverInfo

10505328_10154729840000012_6173827095010968907_n Kurdish (YPJ) frontline troops

The real frontline confronting ISIS is not US or French bombers (the latter currently targeting Raqqa, a city with 140,000 civilians, who are virtual prisoners of ISIS) but the Kurds of Iraq and northern Syria. Just over a week ago the combined Kurd forces, under the command of the Yezidis, liberated Sinjar from ISIS. For the Kurds, their war is not just about defeating ISIS, but about creating their own autonomous region – a region that would link all the Kurd cantons. This will not be easy, especially as the Iraq-based Kurds (Peshmerga) are allied with Iran and benefit from US support (nor are the Iraqi Kurds in any hurry to secede from Iraq). But the largest hurdle to an autonomous Kurdistan is Turkey, which not only has rekindled its war with the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party), but has done everything it can over the…

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