Turf Wars Making Farce of US Intelligence

By Jen Alic of Oilprice.com* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – The US intelligence community is in a state of disarray – most recently illustrated by the Boston Marathon Bombings – and the idea of a more structured cooperation with Russian intelligence as a direct result of this incident is a paper tiger.

The mainstream US media has latched on to the idea of a new era of US-Russian intelligence cooperation as a result of the Chechen connection to the Boston bombing because this is an attractive post-Cold War idea that makes for good headlines.

Testing Times Again For Democracy in Pakistan

By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – In a country of coups, where generals take precedence over political parties, democratic transition can be a fraught affair. So it is in Pakistan as it prepares to elect, on May 11, a new 342-member National Assembly and four provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Youth Holds Out Hope For Banning Nukes

By Ramesh Jaura* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN | GENEVA (IDN) – If it were up to the youth, all nuclear weapons in global arsenals would be declared inhumane and a comprehensive treaty banning these would be put in place. This is the upshot of an international survey released at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) during a milestone conference.

The survey, carried out by youth members of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), shows that 91.2% of respondents aged between 15 and 45 are of the view that nukes are inhumane and 80.6% favour a comprehensive global treaty banning all these weapons of mass annihilation.

Civil Society Defying Tough Times

By Rchard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BRUSSELS (IDN) – The 27-nation European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Cathy Ashton, has expressed concern “about the efforts of some states to bar, constrict, or control the work of NGOs”, and stressed that “a vibrant and independent civil society is an essential ingredient of effective and stable democracy”.

‘War Crimes’ Wrangle Ignores Lankan Tamils’ Challenge to India

By Shastri Ramachandran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

CHENNAI (IDN) – Some five weeks after the foreign policy fiasco on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) – which earned the Congress-led UPA government the hostility of all sections in Sri Lanka and the Tamil political parties in India – New Delhi seems to have gone back to sleep on the issue.

The March 21 resolution called upon Sri Lanka to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law – during the final phase of the 26-year war, which came to an end after Sri Lanka’s army defeated separatist Tamil rebels in 2009.

Nukes Indefensible on Humanitarian Grounds

By Hirotsugu Terasaki* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

TOKYO (IDN) – It is a cause of grave concern that there are an increasing number of regions under tension and exposed to the threat of nuclear weapons; namely, the Middle East, South Asia and Northeast Asia. Today, there are more countries that seem to be adhering to the doctrine of nuclear deterrence and/or extended deterrence than during the Cold War era.

This reminds me of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s warning to the world, “Unfortunately, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence has proven to be contagious. This has made non-proliferation more difficult, which in turn raises new risks that nuclear weapons will be used.” It is critical that all of us share an awareness that humanity is standing at an important tipping point today.

Globalisation Polluting Environment

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) – Globalisation has had some crucial negative impacts on the environment. But given vital, political regulations and incentives, it can be part of a solution that addresses the breadth and urgency of the challenges ahead, says a new study commissioned by the Public Affairs and Communications Directorate of Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Presently, disagreements between developed and developing countries on responsibilities and cost sharing are major stumbling blocks in discussions about an international agreement on climate change.

Europe Bidding Adieu To Justice and Solidarity

By Roberto Savio* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

ROME (IDN | Other News) – For a long time it was a given that while Europe was based on defending a more just society, with social values and solidarity, the United States was based on the glory of individualism and competition, and anything public was considered “socialist”. One of the main accusations of the last electoral campaign in the United States was that Barack Obama had an unspoken design to change the United States into another Europe, beginning with health reform.

Well, it’s time for an update – the defenders of market fundamentalism are now in Europe.

Globalisation Makes Poor More Vulnerable

By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Does globalisation promote development? If you scratch beneath the surface, the answer of OECD researchers to this crucial question in times of financial collapse and its atrocious consequences for the vulnerable sections of people around the world is: globalisation helps the rich get richer and the poor poorer.

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