security

North Korean Defectors Describes Arms Export

A major South Korean newspaper ran an article today about North Korean arms exports. It’s a fascinating view of one of the scariest parts of a frightening economy.

A major South Korean newspaper ran an article today about North Korean arms exports, based on information they received from a North Korean defector. It’s a fascinating view of one of the scariest parts of a frightening economy. North Korea sells everything from small arms to warheads, and it has a whole set of structures set up to support the trade.

Somalia: What Happens When Political and Humanitarian Goals Collide?

A New York Times report on alleged malfeasance in the distribution of food aid in Somalia raises important moral and political questions about the provision of aid in conflict zones.

One Senator is Blocking a Bill to Support Peace Efforts in Northern Uganda

Senator Tom Coburn versus victims of war crimes.

Courtesy of Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, millions of Americans have seen how a single United States senator can use procedural chicanery to prevent important legislation from moving forward.  By withholding his "consent" from a resolution extending unemployment benefits to out of work Americans last week, Bunning prevented social security checks from reaching many thousands of people in need. 

One-Third of Yemen's Population May Go Hungry. Still, Money For Weapons But Not Food.

At what point does the focus on military aid to the exclusion of humanitarian relief become yet another example of our myopic focus on the former to the detriment to our long term goals?

A few days ago there was an odd juxtaposition of Yemen-related news.  On the one hand, U.S.

Presidential Decree De-Fangs Afghanistan’s Election Watchdog

A move by Hamid Karzai threatens to undermine the Afghan election process. A view from our correspondent in Afghanistan.

Eleven days ago, I heard a rumor that the office of President Hamid Karzai had re-written Afghanistan’s Election Law in ways that would deal a blow to the country’s beleaguered democrats. The changes had gone into force through a presidential decree, I was told.  While the international press was still quiet, ripples of alarm were already spreading through Kabul-based civil society.
The story is out now, and the worst has been confirmed.

"My Camera is My Gun"

Frontline embeds a journalist with insurgents attacking the northern supply route into Afghanistan. The results are breathtaking.

Last night, on Frontline, Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi gave us a peek at the inner workings of insurgents operating in northern Afghanistan.

Money Going to Yemen's Military, but Not to Civilians Displaced by Military Action

The United States is spending millions of dollars to assist Yemen's military. Why is it so hard to scrape together funds for civilians displaced, in part, by the military?


The UN Refugee Agency warned today that it is facing an acute shortfall of funds for its Yemen operations: 

NewsBusters Makes Stuff Up About Netroots Nation

A fringe site makes stuff up about the Netroots Nation panel I moderated last summer.
  • Tearing down the wall between church and state to advance "faith based" progressive agendas.
  • Stacking SCOTUS with progressive judges to circumvent the Constitution.
  • Why Democrats are not pro-abortion enough.
  • A panel sponsored by the United Nations Foundation to criticize America for taking the world's food supply.
  • American Idol Kris Allen Visits Haiti (Video)

    American Idol Winner Kris Allen visited Haiti with the United Nations Foundation. UN Dispatch gets first dibs at some hot-off-the-press videos of the trip.

    Kris Allen (who won last year's American Idol competition) and UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin travelled to Haiti last week.  The trip is part of the television show's forthcoming episode dedicated to Haiti, which will air on Thursday and help raise funds UN relief efforts.    

    IAEA Thinks Iran May Be Working on Nukes

    The IAEA published a report today that expresses concern that Iran may be using its civilian nuclear program to cover up a nuclear weapons program.

    The IAEA published a report today that expresses concern that Iran may be using its civilian nuclear program to cover up a nuclear weapons program.

    How UNICEF is Helping Haiti's Orphans

    Issues surrounding the exploitation of Haiti's orphans are increasingly coming to light in the wake of the January 12 earthquake.

    Issues surrounding the exploitation of Haiti's orphans are increasingly coming to light in the wake of the January 12 earthquake. Fortunately, we have UNICEF on the ground. The organization is setting up a way of systematically identifying and caring for Haiti's unaccompanied children.  Here is UNICEF in its own words.

    UN Peacekeepers in Darfur Finally Get Some Helicopters

    UN peacekeepers in Darfur received their first five military helicopters on Tuesday after a 2-year wait. Neighboring Ethiopia supplied the tactical aircraft.

    UN peacekeepers in Darfur received their first five military helicopters on Tuesday after a 2-year wait. Neighboring Ethiopia supplied the tactical aircraft.

    Haiti Earthquake Facts and Figures, Latest Update

    The UN gives the latest facts and figures on Haiti recovery efforts, including mortality and displacement estimates.

    The Haitian government has not issued a mortality estimate since January 28, when the government said that 112,405 had died. However, on February 3 the government said that as many as 200,000 may have been killed in the earthquake.  Meanwhile, one of the major new developments of the past week has been a mass exodus from Port au Prince to rural areas.

    What the QDR Says about the UN

    Every four years, the U.S. Department of Defense, by Congressional mandate, is required to publish its strategies and priorities in a document known as the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). Your guide inside.

    The U.S. Department of Defense just released its most recent edition of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), a Congressionally mandated run down of U.S. defense strategies and priorities.

    Kenyan VP In D.C. To "Raise The Red Flag" on Somalia

    Steve Clemons lands a really great interview with Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo "Steven" Musyoka, who was in Washington, D.C. this week for the National Prayer Breakfast.

    Steve Clemons lands a really great interview with Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo "Steven" Musyoka, who was in Washington, D.C. this week for the National Prayer Breakfast.   Anyone interested in Somalia and the politics of East Africa should spend the next 8 minutes watching this video. 

    Did UN Envoy Actually Meet With the Taliban?

    According to the Washington Post, the Taliban leadership council in Quetta is denying that United Nations’ special representative Kai Eide met with any of its members in Dubai last month.

    According to the Washington Post, the Taliban leadership council in Quetta is denying that United Nations’ special representative Kai Eide met with any of its members in Dubai last month.

    U.S. Intelligence Official Warns of Genocide in South Sudan

    A document from the top U.S. intelligence official says genocide is most likely to occur in south Sudan.

    The United States Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair presented the annual threat assessment of the U.S. intelligence community to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.  This is tucked into page 37:

    Susan Rice's Spokesperson calls out John Bolton's former Spokesperson

    Susan Rice's spokesperson takes to the pages of HuffPo to call out John Bolton's former spokesperson for the latter's inane attacks on Susan Rice.

    Last week, the communications director for the past four Republican U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations wrote a scurrilous attack on Susan Rice on Huffington Post. I call the attack "scurrilous," because as I noted at the time, the author completely mis-characterized the findings of a report to suggest that Rice was insufficiently engaged at the United Nations.  

    Why the Sudden Criticisms of Susan Rice?

    There's been some recent criticism of Ambassador Rice suggesting that she is somehow neglecting her duties at the UN.

    There's been some recent criticism of Ambassador Rice suggesting that she is somehow neglecting her duties at the UN.

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