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Ten theses on security in the 21st century

openSecurity has closed as a section of oD—temporarily, it is to be hoped—because its funding has expired. Here, some of the themes emerging from these three fertile years of publishing are distilled. Below are some emblematic pieces—with signals to the series of which they were part.

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Protecting the state over against the citizen doesn't make anyone feel safer.

Syria's digital civil war

Militarised spyware has played a crucial role in the Assad regime's offensive against the Syrian opposition. But further risk remains as Syrians' data has been swept up in the global surveillance dragnet. 

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit—what next?

The ceasefire agreement in Minsk over Ukraine was better than no outcome at all. But only a little better.

Assessing Europe’s response to the Paris attacks

Since rising intolerance in Europe is not confined to anti-Semitism, Europe’s response also needs to be broader.

“Frankly, I don’t think we know who we killed”

A drone strike in Somalia highlights how the US is increasingly pursuing a strategy of remote-control warfare.

The two big holes in the strategy against IS

The US-led campaign against Islamic State isn’t working. It won’t unless it addresses Shia sectarianism in Iraq and Assad’s atrocities in Syria.

Burying Vietnam, launching perpetual war

Perhaps the most damaging legacy of the post-Vietnam era lies in the way Americans have learned to live in a perpetual “wartime” without war being part of daily consciousness.

Blowback: the failure of remote-control warfare

It all seemed so convenient: remote-control warfare would minimise military casualties while rendering the civilian dead invisible. But the battlefield has come home.

Precariat meets Proletariat—tackling labour-market insecurity

The zero-hours contract cleaner might symbolise the insecure netherworld of a global ‘race to the bottom’ in employment. But trade unions are finding ways to link precarious outsiders with more secure, organised workers.

Islamic State: the unknown war

Western states express optimism about the anti-jihadist campaign in Syria-Iraq. A report from a high-level meeting in London offers another view.    

Yemen: descent into anarchy

With the resignation of its president and prime minister, Yemen lacks the capacity to steer its political transition towards the goal of greater stability. The alternative, however, does not bear thinking about.

Lebanon is cracking under the pressure from Syria and Iraq

Hizbullah's attack today on Israeli forces near the Shebaa Farms area contested by Lebanon highlights how the country is a fragile mosaic close to shattering.

Multilateralism: is the end in sight?

The P5 process was a British attempt to spark multilateral nuclear disarmament. It should no longer be accepted as an excuse for inaction.  

Obama, Netanyahu, Iran, Congress and the Republican Party

An intense political battle is going on over Iran on Capitol Hill. Insular Republicans underestimate at their peril international pressures driven by global security concerns.

Scapegoats for an insecure Europe

The crisis facing Europe could be perceived as a product of conflicting class interests in what Keynes called the capitalism of the casino. All the more important that it should instead be blamed on conveniently stigmatised Others.

How Israeli high-tech firms are outfitting the US-Mexico border

American academic and corporate knowhow and Mexican low-wage manufacturing are to fuse with Israel’s border and homeland security companies.

Free speech in the French Republic

Since the touchstone of a free speech regime is in how well it protects speech that most find revolting, its defenders have to be willing to speak also for those whose opinions they don’t find respectable.

Why the fight against Islamic State is not the success we're told it is

Is John Kerry right to be so gung-ho about military successes against Islamic State? Not reallyas the fundamental political challenges in Iraq and Syria remain unaddressed.

Fear, rumours and violence: Boko Haram’s asymmetrical warfare

While the global media were transfixed by the Islamist killings in Paris, Boko Haram was engaging in further massacres in north-east Nigeria and even over the border in Cameroon. How has its campaign escalated?

In Ukraine, NATO has ceased to be an instrument of US foreign policy

In the renewed cold war over Ukraine, while Russia’s economy has been weakened by European sanctions, the US is no longer the hegemon it once was—and NATO is under strain.

Space shrinking for freedom of expression in South Korea

‘National security’ is often the card played by states denying human rights. With the North Korean dictatorship next door, in South Korea it is a regular trump.