USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, January 31 - February 6, 2013

Table of Contents

**Click here to subscribe to USIP's Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding News Roundup,
which includes a special section on Internet and social media.**

Five Things to Know about North Korea's Planned Nuclear Test
North Korea's plans for a new nuclear test, like most things that happen inside the reclusive state, are shrouded in mystery. But that's not stopping analysts and officials from making some informed guesses about what's going on. Its declaration that it would carry out the test came just two days after the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of imposing broader sanctions on the regime in response to Pyongyang's long-range rocket launch in December that was widely viewed as a test of ballistic missile technology.
See the full article (CNN, Jethro Mullen, 4/6/13)
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In Syrian Conflict, Real-time Evidence of Violations
There are growing calls for Syria's leaders to face war crimes charges for the fierce assaults against rebel targets and civilian areas. If that happens, veterans of past war crimes prosecutions say, Syrians will have one big advantage: the widespread gathering of evidence across the country is happening often in real time. Megan Price with the Human Rights Data Analysis Group says modern technology has put the means of evidence-gathering into the hands of ordinary Syrians.
See the full article (NPR, Peter Kenyon, 2/5/13)
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The Global Farmland Rush
Over the last decade, as populations have grown, capital has flowed across borders and crop yields have leveled off, food-importing nations and private investors have been securing land abroad to use for agriculture. The prospects for conflict are heightened by legal uncertainties. Often, an absence of authoritative land registration and titles makes it easy for foreign investors, with the connivance of host governments, to secure land that local communities have long depended upon, even if they cannot demonstrate formal ownership.
See the full article (New York Times, Michael Kugelman, 2/5/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Diplomatic Code
For foreign policy to be successful, diplomacy and the use of force must go hand in hand. The cyber domain is no different. Yet the State Department has far fewer staff and resources focusing on Internet policy than the Pentagon. The number of diplomats clearly pales in comparison to the number of warriors at Cybercom and other arms of the Pentagon, to say nothing of the cybersecurity elements at the Department of Homeland Security.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Tim Maurer, 2/5/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Training for War and Fragile Peace" on February 12 at 2:00pm.
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Pakistan's Largest Province Tries Innovative Technology-driven Initiative to Tackle Corruption
Corruption is so pervasive in Pakistan that even Osama bin Laden had to pay a bribe to build his hideout in the northwest where he was killed by U.S. commandos. Now, an enterprising group of Pakistani officials is cracking down on this culture of graft with an innovative program that harnesses technology to identify corruption hot spots in the country's most populous province, Punjab.
See the full article (AP, 2/4/13)
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Coming to a Sky Near You: Drones
Having transformed war, drones are getting ready to transform peace. It's true that drones have revolutionized warfare, especially for the U.S. military. Drones are an enormously powerful, disruptive technology that rewrites rules wherever it goes. Now the drones are coming home to roost. Police departments will use them to study crime scenes. Farmers will use them to watch their fields. Builders will use them to survey construction sites. Hollywood will use them to make movies. Hobbyists will use them just because they feel like it.
See the full article (National Geographic, Dan Stone, 2/4/13)
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Click here to subscribe to USIP's Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding News Roundup,
which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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