Tag Archive: Security

Jan 15

Smallpox and North Korea

Biological weapons are both terrifying and elusive. On the one hand, the Soviet Union made long-term investments in bioweapons research during the Cold War, as Ken Alibek’s tell-all book Biohazard makes clear. On the other hand, these diseases have proved difficult to weaponize, and the problem of blowback has made them unlikely to be used by …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2018/01/smallpox-and-north-korea/

Dec 27

The Nisman Conspiracy Theories

In Argentina a judge has just ruled that the death of Alberto Nisman was a murder, not a suicide. One of Nisman’s old employees was also charged as an accessory to murder. Nisman’s death has been an ongoing mystery, after he was found dead with a bullet wound in his head, the day that he …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/12/argentine-mystery-and-conspiracy/

Nov 24

The secret deal in Raqqa

By the summer of 2017, the city of Raqqa in eastern Syria was the last remaining stronghold of ISIL in the Middle East. The U.S. backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) launched a major attack on the city beginning in June. On October 17, 2017, these forces announced the fall of the city and the utter …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/11/the-secret-of-raqqa/

Nov 21

The Dogs of War

Recently, there have been a series of articles pointing to the signs of war in the Middle East. Of course, given the ongoing civil war in Syria, the chaotic situation in Libya, and the current blockade of Yemen, it’s also true that war is already ravaging the region. Still, many observers are pointing to the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/11/the-dogs-of-war/

Sep 22

Drug War in the Philippines

I’m teaching a fully online course on the Global Drug Trade this fall. In the Americas when we think of the drug trade we typically think of cocaine and the Mexican Drug War. Yet the drug trade is a global trade, which runs from the fields of poppies in Afghanistan, to the fentanyl produced in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/09/drug-war-in-the-philippines/

Aug 04

A very expensive poison, a book review

Luke Harding’s, A Very Expensive Poison, describes how Russian security services murdered dissident Alexander Litivenko in 2006. While the study of the assassination itself is detailed, riveting, and depressing, the true horror is the picture that the book paints of the Russian state. According to Harding’s detailed and well-sourced account, Russia’s senior leaders -including Vladimir Putin …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/08/a-very-expensive-poison-a-book-review/

May 01

Statistics on the Global Drug Trade

This quarter I am teaching a class on the Global Drug Trade, as a fully online class. One question is where can students find reliable statistics on the drug trade for their project. With many thanks to the PSU library, here are a couple of reliable sources of information: United Nations Office on Drugs and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/05/statistics-on-the-global-drug-trade/

Feb 22

Murder and Mystery in Malaysia

I’ve always been interested in international mysteries, and I’ve covered many of them in this blog, such as the strange death of Natalio Alberto Nisman in Argentina; the authorship of the Stuxnet virus; the nature of Number Stations; the massacre in Coahuila; the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370; Cicada 3301; chronic kidney disease in Central America; lost nuclear weapons in Canada; the death …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/02/murder-and-mystery-in-malaysia/

Feb 17

Cracking the North Korea Puzzle

I want to thank Dr. Mel Gurtov for the following guest post: Donald Trump inherits an intractable problem in Asia: North Korea’s determination to modernize its weapons arsenal and, absent a better deal from the United States, continue working toward an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability. The North’s latest missile test—one with intermediate range of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/02/cracking-the-north-korea-puzzle/

Jul 25

ISIS and encryption

One of my favorite podcasts is Reply All, which covers cyber issues in a creative and clever manner. The hosts recently had an interview (“Decoders,” episode #62) with New York Times’ journalist Rukmini Callimachi, as well as Runa Sandvik, the director of bureau security at this newspaper. In essence, Callimachi discovered a new means that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/07/isis-and-encryption/

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