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Ten years after: Is Kosovo an inextricable knot?

Tomorrow marks ten years since Kosovo’s declaration of independence – a pivotal event that precipitated geopolitical and juridical issues. Accordingly, when twenty-two European Union member states on February 17, 2008 swiftly chose to recognize Kosovo’s independence, it quickly affected the security situation in Europe. Not only did the event have unintended consequences for international law, but was concurrently used to justify the conflict that erupted in the summer of 2008 between Russia and Georgia, and few years later in Ukraine. Moreover, as a consequence of disagreeing with the premise, Serbia chose to reorient its foreign policy in order to receive support from Moscow – a move that would challenge European security considerably. The major rift created between Brussels and Belgrade quickly overshadowed their ongoing cooperation and soon became a major obstacle in their relationship. But what effect did these repercussions exactly have on the prospect of peace and stability in Europe, and can the Kosovo issue ever be successfully resolved?

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The destruction of online privacy: the case against Telegram

In a world of rampant terrorism, fear dominates the agenda and consequently, the individual privacy of citizens are being questioned. Should we trade our rights for alleged safety?

National security agencies promote the discourse that they need more means, both financial and in terms of jurisdiction, in order to ensure a safer society for individuals. While that may be true, the transfer of power is likewise an imposition on citizens’ individual rights.

The question of individual privacy is a conundrum because we want the authorities to catch terrorists and criminals, but we also want to be able to communicate freely without state interference into our private lives. This article will highlight potential pitfalls in the dilemma through a case study of the instant messaging service Telegram and the company’s current dispute with the Russian authorities.

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Capitalizing on Insecurity – Who is left when no one else wants to do the job?

The security industry is booming globally. In the international strive for global peace and stability, governments depend more and more on private contractors to ensure their foreign policy goals are met. However, oftentimes foreign security forces are not welcomed abroad because they are enforcing foreign governments’ policy tasks. Think of the incident known as Black Hawk Down in 1993, where an American soldier was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia after a US Army helicopter was shot down by Somalis. This caused US citizens to demand the discontinuation of employing American ground troops. Consequently, anti-terror interventions in dangerous or hot zones were increasingly outsourced by government to Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), who are luring their employees with lucrative bonuses and relatively low entry requirements. In this article I want to underline the need to take a closer look at this flourishing industry by presenting specific case examples that show the downsides of privatizing security. After all, the bodies of four American security men working for the private military company Blackwater were beaten, burned, and then dragged through the streets and hung over a bridge in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, indicating that the privatization of the military did not lead to a cooling of conflicts or more security in these danger zones.

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Reflections from Mons: On NATO, the cyber domain and its implications

Nearly two months have passed since the YATA Denmark delegation visited Mons, Belgium, to attend NIAS 2017 Cyber Security Summit. This came as the second NIAS to be held after NATO recognized cyber as an operational domain of war in July 2016, which remained a key topic during industry and government keynote speeches. With this adaptation, cyber is commonly referred to as the fifth interdependent domain, with the remaining four being land, sea, air and space. Cyber, as of right now, is the only non-physical domain acknowledged by NATO and other member state militaries.

This raises the question of why something which is so ubiquitous should simultaneously be understood as something which stands on its own. Seemingly, it would be counterintuitive to accept cyberspace as an independent domain when operations are carried out with it in regularly in every physical domain. So what really are the merits of identifying Cyber as a domain? And how will this recognition shape how we operate in other domains? Both from a unilateral and from a NATO standpoint these questions are likely to shape the way cyber capabilities and doctrine evolve in the future.

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Nord Stream 2 – the Danish affair

The Nord Stream 2 project is a set of pipelines stretching from Russia to Germany in order to provide reliable, affordable and sustainable new gas supplies to the EU. The pipelines are to follow the same route as the already established Nord Stream 1, which was finalized in 2011 and 2012; however, the new adjacent pipes are causing European dissonance as various incompatible interests coincide. The new pipelines, like the previous ones, are to cross through Danish territorial waters, and in turn require a Danish permit.

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NATO defence in cyberspace

Cyberspace is no longer an abstraction; it is something very real that has tangible impact on our daily lives. That is why NATO has recognised cyber as a domain of operation par with the traditional security domains. Every year NATO organises the NATO Information Assurance & Cyber Defense Symposium (NIAS), and YATA Denmark Research participated in this year’s event in Mons, Belgium to get acquainted with state of the art of cyber security.

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The Ilulissat Declaration ten years on

The Danish government recently published the Danish Foreign and Security Policy Strategy 2017-2018, which includes an initiative to “use the 10th anniversary of the Ilulissat Declaration to draw attention to the political obligations and expand the practical collaboration for shared interests”. The Ilulissat Declaration was a Danish (and Greenlandic) initiative and in consequence, it is only natural that it is the Danes who are reminding the other signatories of the common goals agreed upon.  

The Danes are right to take credit for the initiative as the declaration is a tangible demonstration proving a shared willingness to cooperation and dialogue concerning the Arctic between the Arctic nations. However, the question remains; does the Ilulissat Declaration have merit in today’s world or is it a remnant of the past? 

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All Quiet on the Eastern Flank: Shake-up of Military Forces

Tensions are building between NATO and Russia and one place this is playing out is in Poland where, for the first time, NATO has stationed a battle group. The events unfolding today in the region are contextualized by Poles’ memories of a not so distant history. This article examines the recent military build-up on the Polish-Russian borders and discusses the immediate implications.

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Breaking Free from Fear of Terrorism

Terrorism. There seems to be nothing more frightening than terrorism or the unstoppable thought about when and who might be under attack next. The global threat that has now completely arrived in Europe makes us so very afraid that we abandon core values of the European Union like open borders and free movement across the continent. This article shows the failures of approaches adopted by Western governments to tackle terrorism and re-establishing security – felt and real. Furthermore, it should illuminate a different angle towards terrorism and show how our fears stand in the way of peaceful coexistence.