Hariri Center Director Michele Dunne and Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne reflect on US policy toward the Middle East and North Africa in the two years since President Barack Obama promised to make it a top priority to support democracy and human rights in the region.
J. Peter Pham, director the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, was one of four experts invited to address a high-level international conference on the crisis in the Sahel region convened today in The Hague.
Rudolph Atallah, senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, testified at a House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on “The Growing Crisis in Africa’s Sahel Region.”
On the heels of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the United States, Energy & Environment Program Associate Director Mihaela Carstei joins CTV to discuss the Keystone Pipeline project that would transport tar sands oil from Canada and the northern United States to refineries in the Gulf coast of Texas.
In cyber conflict, there are vexing questions on which traditional international norms still apply, whether they apply but with modifications, or whether entirely new norms must be invented. One of the most important norms has been for states to be able to remain neutral in response to international conflict, with rights and responsibilities guaranteed by the Hague Convention. Because of the nature of cyber conflict, such legal norms may be less useful. The Internet protocols themselves route cyber attacks through any number of neutral countries, cyber conflicts are usually not so destructive to obviously trigger international law, and the identity or nationality of the belligerents may not be obvious.
Fortunately, a norm of political neutrality may be able to stand in. Nations might (and probably should) accordingly come under political pressure to take reasonable steps to stop cyber attacks, regardless of whether or not it is a formal treaty obligation. The paper explores this issue and ways a nation may be less than neutral, tying this to a ten-point spectrum of state responsibility to help determine just how responsible a nation might be in a cyber conflict. Nations are likely to face strong pressure to stop attacks sourced or transiting though their systems when the attack is particularly severe, obvious, stoppable and long-duration.
Moreover, as the private sector are the ones that actually own most of the global cyber infrastructure, it is not states but companies that would actually cease to route attacks during a cyber conflict. Accordingly, the paper proposes that commercial neutrality may be, in future, a far more important norm.
On May 23, the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Peace and Security Initiative at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security is hosting a panel discussion on new developments in security cooperation among the United States, its European allies, and the Gulf states, and how they are likely to evolve in the coming years.
On May 30, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will release a new issue brief, The Kaleidoscope Turns Again in a Crisis-Challenged Iran, a discussion of Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.
From June 13-14, the 2013 Wrocław Global Forum will bring together over 350 top policy-makers and business leaders to explore the region’s impact as an actor in Europe, as well as its crucial role in the transatlantic partnership and on the global stage.