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This Week at ISN

10 - 14 Dec 2012 As the reasons for relying on hard power have changed, todays armed forces are restlessly looking for new tools and methods to cope with non-obvious wars. In trying to clarify this quest, this week we will look at how hard power is evolving.

The Future of Hard Power: Tools and Techniques


From Nanotechnology to Nano-Defense
10 Dec 2012

Will nanotechnology impact future global security? According to Jayshree Pandya, such technology is indeed about to change large-scale security dynamics, defense policies and possibly even the global balance of power. More Out of the Loop The Human-Free Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
11 Dec 2012

Unmanned aerial vehicles and similar devices could soon operate without direct human supervision. This worrying trend may eventually lead to a new arms race and needlessly imperil people, or so argues Shane Harris. More International Governance of Autonomous Military Robots
12 Dec 2012

The appearance of lethal and yet autonomous robots will have a significant impact on the use of hard power. As a result, multinational dialogue on how to govern the use of such systems should occur before they are widely applied, or so argues the Autonomous Robotics thrust group. More Remote Control A New Way of War
13 Dec 2012

Remote warfare, which puts a premium on UAVs, special forces and private contractors, is being hailed as an ideal alternative to traditional practices. That's not good, argues Paul Rogers. Whatever war-weary publics may want, this vision of hard power is no panacea for the future. More Lawfare and the 'Legalization' of Conflict
14 Dec 2012

Lawfare is becoming an increasingly important and controversial component of modern conflict. In this podcast, Benjamin Wittes defines the concept and outlines the differences in how lawfare is used and applied by different actors. More

Security Watch
Security Challenges and Transitions: A Look-Ahead to the Next Korean Presidential Administration
10 Dec 2012

South Korea will soon elect a new head of state. In the build-up to next week's presidential elections, the Stimson Center profiles the candidates and considers what impact the voting results might have on South Korea's policies towards the North. More Defense Specialization: Indispensable or Unachievable?
11 Dec 2012

If organizations such as NATO are to maintain their future effectiveness, their members must divide up the roles they play. However, according to Alyson Bailes an absence of trust and other obstacles may impede

needed attempts to lash up different roles into a greater whole. More In Space, No One Can Hear You Pivot
12 Dec 2012

According to Aaron Burgstein, the United States' pivot towards Asia will inevitably impact its presence in Space. He thus considers what strategic calculations Washington may need to make in order to secure its orbital assets from China's increasingly ambitious space programs. More The New Face of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan
13 Dec 2012

Pakistan has recently experienced a dramatic upsurge in sectarian violence against its Shia Muslim minority. According to Gohar Abbas, many observers attribute this spike in violence to top-level personnel changes in the Pakistani wing of al Qaeda. More Meet Martin Kobler, SRSG for Iraq and Head of UNAMI
14 Dec 2012

Global Observatorys Warren Hoge interviews Martin Kobler, the new Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, in order to discuss what the UN Assistance Mission is doing to assist the Iraqi government and people. More

ISN Blog
Frustrations over the ICC and Justice in Palestine
10 Dec 2012

According to Mark Kersten, an International Criminal Court investigation of the Israel-Palestine conflict may seriously undermine the Court's future legitimacy. It may also severely compromise its ability to conduct similar large-scale investigations elsewhere. More Obama's Nuclear Agenda: The Next Four Years
11 Dec 2012

Barack Obama has been criticized for failing to push for a nuclear weapons-free world. According to Ralph Cossa and David Santoro, however, Obama's recent re-election provides an opportunity to evaluate what he can be reasonably expected to accomplish on this issue, particularly within the Asia-Pacific region. More Using Passports to Construct Enemies?
12 Dec 2012

According to Xenia de Graaf, Russia's relations with its neighbors do not just involve border disputes and pipeline diplomacy. She wonders whether Moscows passport policies have also raised bilateral tensions, and thereby negatively affected security dynamics in the former Soviet space. More Germany: The Abstention Champion
13 Dec 2012

Since 2008, Germany has put dealing with the Eurozone crisis ahead of its foreign policy. In Oliver Krumme's eyes, this helps explain why its two-year stint on the UN Security Council was largely characterized by abstentions, particularly when it came to the Middle East. More A US-ASEAN Strategic and Economic Partnership
14 Dec 2012

With a second Obama administration about to begin, Ernest Bower argues that the time is ripe to develop a genuine US-ASEAN Strategic and Economic Partnership. Such a move would institutionalize the existing relationship and surmount the compartmentalized and uncoordinated efforts of the past. More

Video
Evolution of the Egyptian Military In this video, Stratfor's Vice President of Global Analysis Reva Bhalla examines the military's role in an Islamist Egypt. More Israel Shows Off New Drone Technology In this CNN report, Israel showcases its Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). More

How Do You Apply Technology to Future Combat? In this video, the US National Defense Universitys T.X. Hammes explains why technology is not transformative in war. As in the past, it will continue to be just one available tool among others. More

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