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All that Glitters is Never Gold: India’s Food Security Bill Raises More Questions than Solutions

Pradyut Hande is The Future Forum’s Program Director for India and an award-winning youth leader and writer. He has over 250 publications in leading national and international dailies to his credit. This is the first in a three part series aimed at addressing critical aspects of the global water scarcity problem.

In a landmark development, President Pranab Mukherjee cleared the ordinance on the highly contentious Food Security Bill, paving the path for multi-lateral political ramifications and a potentially game-changing legislation in the long run. The timing of President Mukherjee’s decision has taken many quarters by surprise considering his outlook towards the concerned issue thus far. Also the fact that he chose to clear the ordinance in its current form; even in the face of mounting criticism from the BJP, Left and other major national parties; has raised a few eyebrows. Read more

Thinking Beyond Intervention: A Limited Transatlantic Policy Towards Syria

A version of this post originally appeared on Atlantic-community.org. Atlantic-community.org is the world’s first online foreign policy think tank, and aims to provide a voice for a new generation of thinkers and young leaders on issues impacting the transatlantic community.

Memo 45: Arming the opposition, creating a no-fly zone, and intervening in Syria are not feasible options despite currently dominating the headlines. Instead, Western governments should focus on creating political dialogue, inclusive of Assad’s government, that leads to the country’s federalization. They should also secure Syria’s chemical weapons, including through diplomacy with Russia. Lastly, the transatlantic partners should send military and technological support to Turkey’s southern border.

Atlantic-community.org members generally agree that arming rebels will escalate the conflict in Syria, a no-fly zone is too risky and cost-inefficient, and that intervention is politically unlikely. Instead, the three goals they should pursue, as outlined below, are: (1) support political dialogue that includes the regime and leads to federalization in Syria; (2) secure Syria’s chemical weapons, including by partnering with Russia; (3) reinforce the security of Turkey’s southern border to reduce the spread of violence and to help Turkey to better serve its citizens and refugees.  Read more

Embracing Brazil: Transatlantic Cooperation to Confront Global Challenges

A version of this post originally appeared on Atlantic-community.org. Atlantic-community.org is the world’s first online foreign policy think tank, and aims to provide a voice for a new generation of thinkers and young leaders on issues impacting the transatlantic community.

Memo 44: Atlantic Community members generally agree that embracing Brazil as a transatlantic partner should be a key goal for the US and Europe. While initiatives already exist to facilitate this process, they are not being employed to their full potential. The transatlantic partners must build on these initiatives and, in doing so, acknowledge Brazil as a valuable ally in combating global challenges.

Greater cooperation with Brazil would allow the transatlantic community to better address some of the biggest problems facing the world today, including development issues, climate change, energy policy, and global trade. As the policy recommendations below make clear, greater cooperation with Brazil must occur on three levels: institutionalizing existing dialogue to better address global development needs; supporting Brazil’s development of global energy policy; and encouraging Brazil to take on greater responsibility in international institutions.   Read more

The Thin Red Line: Mounting Tensions in the Korean Peninsula and Why North Korea Must Soon Come to its Senses

Pradyut Hande is The Future Forum’s Program Director for India and an award-winning youth leader and writer. He has over 250 publications in leading national and international dailies to his credit.

The Korean Peninsula has borne witness to a heightened sense of fractured stability and intensified military tension over the last few weeks. For a region characterised by a perennial state of volatility, recent developments have highlighted the stark reality of uncertainty that presently shrouds the situation. With North Korea adopting an overtly abrasive and belligerent standpoint, ever since the UN censured the “rogue state” with further sanctions in light of its widely condemned recent nuclear test, matters appear to have snowballed into a state of hyperactivity and have consequently, become a cause for concern for multiple stakeholders. Read more

The Balkan Puzzle: Serbia and Kosovo Struggle to Resolve their Ongoing Dispute

Pradyut Hande is The Future Forum’s Program Director for India and an award-winning youth leader and writer. He has over 250 publications in leading national and international dailies to his credit.

Since time immemorial, history has unfailingly taught us many a lesson. One such lesson of grave significance is the well chronicled arduousness associated with tackling critical simmering bilateral or cross-regional tensions across the globe. On Wednesday, bilateral talks between the Balkan States of Kosovo and Serbia over the contentious status of Serb-dominated Northern Kosovo ended, failing in their endeavour to break the ensuing deadlock between the bickering nations. Mediated by the European Union, the talks were supposed to find at least a temporary solution to the diplomatic quagmire that continues to threaten the stability of an already volatile region. Read more

Destiny’s Children: The Falkland Islands Decide on their own Fate, Leave the UK and Argentina on Tenterhooks

Pradyut Hande is a business student and an award-winning youth leader and writer based in Mumbai, India. He has over 250 publications in leading national and international dailies to his credit.

The Falkland Islands have for long been at the centre of a geopolitical tug of war between Britain and Argentina. The infamous war fought over the contentious isles in 1982 is far from a distant memory. Over the years, Britain has consistently endeavoured to thwart Argentina’s earnest attempts at laying claim on the Islands. Although the Falkland Islands possess their very own indigenous Government, it still remains an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, with the British Government responsible for its critical aspects like Defence and International Relations. Read more

Get “Smart”: Paving the Way to a More Efficient Alliance

A version of this post originally appeared on Atlantic-community.org. Atlantic-community.org is the world’s first online foreign policy think tank, and aims to provide a voice for a new generation of thinkers and young leaders on issues impacting the transatlantic community.

Memo 40: NATO’s Smart Defense initiative aims to provide more security for less money. In order to achieve this goal, the Alliance will need to focus on facilitating more cooperation between NATO members, providing efficiency mechanisms, encouraging cooperation amongst like-minded states, and including non-NATO actors in their strategic calculations.

Atlantic-community.org’s “Your Ideas, Your NATO” policy workshop competition, sponsored by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the US Mission to Germany, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, challenged students and young professionals to answer the question: How might NATO encourage nations, concerned about diminished sovereignty, to invest in Smart Defense? What mechanisms would make this kind of cooperation efficient and effective?

The five best submissions were published and intensely debated online. Afterwards, the five authors, Bram De Ridder, Samuel Erickson, Moritz Poellath, Max Smeets, and Dmitry Stefanovich, wrote the following policy memorandum. The editorial team of atlantic-community.org facilitated and moderated their online collaboration utilizing a wiki, text chat, and a conference call. Read more

Geo-Graphics: Should the United States Be the Military Lender of Last Resort?

A version of this post originally appeared on Geo-Graphics, a Council on Foreign Relations blog by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.

In 2011, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned that “there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. . . . to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources to be serious and capable partners in their own defense.” France in Mali is now a case in point; the Obama administration is providing only grudging assistance to an under-resourced French intervention.  As the small upper right figure in today’s Geo-Graphic shows, France has very little of the vehicular equipment necessary to prosecute the Mali operation—less than 5% of what the U.S. has in stock. Read more

North Korea’s Impending Nuclear Test and the Need for Greater Stability in the Korean Peninsula

Pradyut Hande is a business student and an award-winning youth leader and writer based in Mumbai, India. He has over 250 publications in leading national and international dailies to his credit.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has gradually become the international community’s Pariah for multiple reasons over the years. In its well chronicled endeavour at pursuing its own interests, North Korea’s reigning elite have seen their Country being relegated to the status of a “rogue state”. The single minded dedication with which it continues to pursue its enhanced militarization and “nuclear” agenda at the cost of both justifiably incurring the wrath of the global community and its own socio-economic, political and civic progression, especially relative to that of the entire region – hasn’t done its cause any good. The fact that it continues to stand steadfast in its desire to embrace an overtly bellicose, pugnacious, irreverent and insular approach; despite its plummeting international standing; is a matter of grave concern. Read more

Is Chaos in Syria the Way Out?

Maksymilian Czuperski has worked on the crisis in Syria with the SRCC and spent extensive time following the region’s developments both domestically and from Israel. A version of this post originally appeared on DC Linktank.

Earlier this week, Israel’s military reported ‘direct hits’ on targets in Syria after a series of mortar shells hit an open area in the vicinity of an IDF post in the central Golan Heights. This incident is startlingly similar to last month’s skirmishes along the Turkish border where a series of mortar shells landed on Turkish territory, forcing Ankara to launch a series of warnings towards Damascus. Even so, tensions continued to increase and so did the number of mortar shells landing on Turkish soil, eventually leaving five civilians dead in the Turkish town of Akcakale. In response, Turkish Armed Forces retaliated by firing on Syrian targets.

Monday’s incident in the Golan Heights wasn’t the first involving Assad’s troops and the Israeli Defense Forces; future confrontation seems likely. Early last week IDF soldiers observed Syrian tanks moving through territory in the Golan Heights, putting Israeli officials on high alert. While Israeli officials reacted to the first incident with surprising calm, the escalating crisis in Syria, and spilling tensions in Lebanon, have produced escalating concerns in Israel. Read more