USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, July 26 - August 1, 2012

Table of Contents

West Bank's Emerging Silicon Valley Evades Issues of Borders
Compared with other industries that the anemic West Bank economy might look to develop, the information and communications technology sector has an advantage: it is much less affected by impediments to movement that Israel imposes on the territory in the name of security. Experts and business leaders say that the main resource the Palestinians have to work with is their young, well-educated, entrepreneurial-minded population. But there is a need to overcome the image the world has of the territory as a volatile conflict zone where people ride to work on camels.
See the full article (New York Times, Isabel Kershner, 7/29/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
Click to read "Political Upheaval in Israel," a USIP Peace Brief by Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen.
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How Technology Makes Us Vulnerable
Technology has made our world increasingly open, and for the most part that has huge benefits for society. Nevertheless, all of this openness may have unintended consequences. Take, for example, the 2008 terrorist assault on Mumbai, India. The lethal innovation was the way that the terrorists used modern information communications technologies, including smartphones, satellite imagery and night-vision goggles to locate additional victims and slaughter them.
See the full article (CNN, Marc Goodman, 7/29/12)
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Pakistan Official Slams Drones Ahead Of CIA Talks
Pakistan's ambassador to the United States is calling for an end to CIA drone strikes ahead of an intelligence summit in Washington between the two countries expected next week. In a frank debate Friday with White House war adviser Douglas Lute, Ambassador Sherry Rehman said the drone attacks have already succeeded in damaging al-Qaida but are now only serving to recruit new militants.
See the full article (AP, Kimberly Dozier, 7/28/12)
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US Cyber Commander Accuses Countries of Targeting Infrastructure
Unspecified nations played a role in a 17-fold jump in cyber attacks on U.S. infrastructure since 2009, but this does not appear to reflect payback for a reported U.S. role in malicious code known as Stuxnet, the head of the Pentagon's National Security Agency said on Thursday. Some of what the general called the 17-fold increase was attributed to nation states and some to "hackers and other criminals," he said.
See the full article (Reuters, Jim Wolf, 6/26/12)
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A Country with Fourteen Psychiatrists
A recent World Health Organization study found that 21,000 out of [Misrata's] population of 250,000 were suffering from psychological trauma. While scientists now understand a great deal about post-traumatic stress in individual cases, they have yet to understand precisely how widespread experiences of trauma affect societies that are emerging from periods of mass violence. It seems likely that the collective trauma among Libyans will have an impact on their efforts to build a new, democratic, post-Qaddafi state.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Portia Walker, 7/26/12)
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Millions in Pakistan Suffer Mental Scars from Militant Violence, but Few Get Help
While there are no official figures, [Mian Iftikhar] Hussain and another psychiatrist with a clinic in Peshawar, Wajid Ali Akhunzada, estimate that up to 60 percent of the more than 20 million people who live in Pakistan's northwest could be suffering from violence-related psychological issues. The number of psychiatrists and psychologists in Pakistan is far short of the level needed to handle the current crisis. There are also few social workers who deal with psychological problems in Pakistan.
See the full article (AP, Riaz Khan, 7/26/12)
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