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Why are the Baltic states so rattled?

This week, soldiers from Germany and Belgium are settling into a new posting in Lithuania as part of the latest NATO troop deployment. Will their hosts—and the region—feel more secure as a result of their presence?

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 30, 4:58 PM

This video from the Economist shows how shifting political situations in one country can create some powerful ripples elsewhere.  It also shows how fluid geopolitical alliances can either embolden a waxing power, or create anxiety among states that might be waning in regional influence.  Supranational allegiances can weigh heavily on smaller states. 

 

Tags: Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, supranationalism, political.    

Alexander peters's curator insight, February 14, 9:18 AM
My opinion is that vlad is a bad guy
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Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East

Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

"Without trying to defend or absolve U.S. policy, then, it is worth stepping back to ask what shared historical experiences might have left these four countries — Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen — particularly at risk of violent collapse. The following maps help highlight how, at various points over the past century, historical circumstances conspired, in an often self-reinforcing way, to bolster the stability of some states in the region while undermining that of others."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 19, 2016 4:31 PM

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

Kelly Bellar's curator insight, October 22, 2016 9:30 AM

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

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ISIS: A New Threat

ISIS: A New Threat | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

In this lesson, students will:

Explore the role of ISIS in the Middle EastInterpret political cartoons on the U.S. response to ISISIdentify the techniques used by cartoonists to express political opinionMonitor the news media coverage of ISIS over time
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 20, 2015 12:29 PM

The Choices Program produces some great materials and this is from their Teaching with the News series.  The newest in the series is a resource guide for the terrorist attacks in Paris.  


Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict, geopolitics, ISIS, Choices.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, November 27, 2015 4:32 PM

Guerras

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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why

Watch how the Syrian civil war became the mess it is today.

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Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:10 PM

I read articles about the Syrian war and watched this film and I got to tell you it sure is confusing. The picture on one of the websites that really disturbed me is the father holding his lifeless  8 or 9 year old daughter in his arms. I have a 9 year old daughter and it was her birthday on that day I saw the picture. Sometimes it is better emotionally to be ignorant about what is going on in the world.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:37 PM

Syrian civil war has escalated into a proxy wars between many nations that all have different goals in mind. It all started from the Arab Spring and is still on-going because there are many sides taking place and none of them wants to back down. Mainly due to the emerge of the Islamic State that cause a shift in the war of fighting a terrorism organization to fighting the different factions within Syria. 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:19 PM

An interesting and well written breakdown of the Syrian war and its local, regional and global factors that have caused the escalation to this point. It should however be pointed out that some of the information within the video is actually wrong. The United Nations did a investigation and report regarding the use of chemical weapons and found ti was the rebels not Assad who had used them. Furthermore it leaves out some reports from the initial protests in Syria that some of them were armed with weapons and fired on police (suggesting that instead of one side it was mutual escalation). Plus much of the fighting in Syria is also sectarian with Shiites backing Assad and the Sunnis backing Assad's opposition (prior global intervention). If these pieces of information were corrected in addition to talking about the Kurdish predicament a bit more along with the origins of ISIS the video would be perfect. So in a way I suppose the video kind of left out important local geographic details that influenced the regional and global ones.

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The 9 biggest myths about ISIS

The 9 biggest myths about ISIS | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
If you want to understand the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, the first thing you have to know about them is that they are not crazy. Murderous adherents to a violent medieval ideology, sure. But not insane.

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David Lizotte's curator insight, March 14, 2015 2:39 PM

This article does a good job helping the reader gain a more rounded perspective of ISIS, that is ISIS' rational. The writer feels it necessary for people to better understand ISIS' reasoning for its being so there are in turn no misjudgments formed about the terrorists. I knew the writer was in no way defending ISIS, rather giving an intellectual input on the matter to try and enhance everyones perspective. However, as contextual as it was, the writer truly needed to get across how crude/violent the movement truly is. Yes, understanding ISIS is important, it helps form a more precise explanation for their actions... but they are terrorists whom are exploiting the misfortune of a people (Sunni misrepresentation in a political setting) in order to form a society... which is ultimately founded on violence and acts that counter the true fundamentals and meaning of Islam. A less experienced reader could perceive this article as defending the reasoning(s)/rational of ISIS.

Personally, I find that there is rational behind every movement/terrorist factions/rebel actions, etc... There is usually a common goal, no matter how well-thought out and actions then occur in order to obtain this goal, no matter how well-thought out. Even Joseph Kony (at his height), rampaging through central Africa has a rational behind his actions-to disrupt villages/communities, gain profit in food and money, as well as abduct and dehumanize young children in order to make them fierce warriors, all these reasons ultimately support his main issue/goal, that being fighting government suppression. Horrible rational which leads to atrocities, yet no piece was written to help the world gain a better understanding of Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. Because in either case they are terrorists...

Yes, understanding the enemy and how/why it functions the way it does is important. Yes, interpreting there rational is important. But this article truly fails to get across how ruthless and disturbed ISIS actually is. The writer states ISIS is basically doing what many rebel groups do when upset with the political setting... they rebel and try to form there own territory. Well, this is true, especially the political reasoning behind ISIS' actions and its existence (something the article does do a good job explaining) but the way ISIS goes about is non-comparable. Look at the Russian-backed separatists in the Eastern Ukraine. Both oppositions engaged in war fare. They aren't playing a game of hide and seek beheading civilians, torturing reporters, etc... all for political gains... ISIS are terrorists-of course they have a rational, of course they are smart, there predecessor "al-Qaeda" were smart too. Joseph Kony can be seen as smart... he hasn't gotten caught, thats smart isn't it? 

The article explains that them being smart and having a strong rational motive makes them dangerous. No kidding they are dangerous.

The article does a good job at educating people about ISIS yet it certainly teeters on the line of defending them. It gives reasoning behind there soulless attacks, scholars know the reasoning, they do not have to be written out in a quasi defense format like I believe this article does. "The end justifies the means" is the perspective of the Islamic State... it shouldn't be so for this writer!

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 18, 2015 9:04 PM

This may be a little off topic but with a President like Obama, how could America even try to stop ISIS alone?  That man has made a fool of our country!  I don't think ISIS would self-destruct on its own; it will continue to grow and become more powerful because people are afraid.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:13 AM

Like much of the Middle East, ISIS is shrouded in myth. To many Americans, they are just a band of savage lunatics who want to chop peoples heads off. In reality they are not that insane. The violence they commit is calculated. "It  is targeted to weaken their enemies and strengthen ISIS' hold on territory, in part by terrorizing the people it wishes to rule over". They are driven by radical ideology, but they do have an ultimate goal in mind. They want to rule territory and form their own radical empire. Violence is a tool to achieve that aim.  The rest of this article describes eight other myths commonly associated with ISIS. This article does an excellent job of breaking down commonly held assumptions of ISIS.

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Here are three of Russia's military options in Ukraine

Here are three of Russia's military options in Ukraine | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
There have been a number of warnings from Kiev and Washington about the possibility of a direct and open Russian military intervention in Ukraine. But what could that look like?

Via Seth Dixon
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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 9, 2015 5:50 PM

add your insight...I feel like Russia is always up to something shady. I dont understand why Putin wants to move forces into Ukraine. The story makes it seem like the only reason he has interest is because there is a high number of Russians living there. Does not seem like a good reason to attack another country.  This smells really bad and I have a feeling something major could be on the horizon.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 1, 2015 10:44 AM

Russia needs to tread lightly if they don't want to dismantle the international political progress that they have made since the fall of the Soviet Union over twenty years ago.  If they decide to manhandle and manipulate the government in Kiev, along with the rest of Ukraine, they could have an international boycott and sanction put on everything Russian.  This situation is very important, not only for Russians and Ukrainians, but globally as well.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 10, 2015 6:31 AM

Putin's military adventure into Ukraine is troubling to say the least.  Putin has made no secret about his desire to recreate the lost Soviet Empire. He is truly a dangerous man on the world stage. Generally speaking, Putin seems to favor the destabilization approach. He has yet to conquer an entire nation. By launching  destabilizing attacks, he probably hopes to create an environment of uncertainty and chaos within the invaded country. Such chaos could lead to the overthrow a anti-Russian government, and the instillation of a pro Russian government. The word will eventually have to face up to Putin.

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Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks on Ukraine

"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry deliver remarks on Ukraine at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on April 24, 2014. A transcript is available here."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 25, 2014 1:12 PM

If you want to understand the U.S. government's official stance and perspective on the escalating geopolitical tensions in the Eastern part of Ukraine (and Crimea), this speech is a good place to start.  These geopolitical tremors have regional impacts; so how might this situation impact Moldova and the Transdniestria region (breakaway section with pro-Russian sentiment)?        


Tag: Ukraine, political, conflict, geopolitics.

Kaden Schmittner and Jack Rosetti's curator insight, October 12, 2014 3:45 PM

Other countries are breaking the agreement about the Ukrainian war and are getting involved and choosing sides. Could this lead to WWIII?

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ISIS and the U.S. Presidential Election

The United States is already taking some steps to roll back the Islamic State (ISIS) and restrict its resources and recruits, including airstrikes, armin

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 4, 2016 9:51 PM

This is a non-partisan post and a video that is fairly balanced; this video nicely lays out some of the cultural and political factors that the next president of the United States should consider when crafting foreign policy in the especially problematic Middle East.  

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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Introducing ISIS

"The invasion of Iraq was supposed to turn the country into a democracy that posed no threat to the United States, or the rest of the world. Thirteen years later, Iraq has collapsed into three warring states. A third of the country is controlled by ISIS, who have also taken huge amounts of territory in Syria. VICE correspondent Ben Anderson gains exclusive access to the three front lines in Iraq, where Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish forces are fighting for their lives. Anderson visits with the Russian military forces in Syria, meets captured ISIS fighters in Kurdistan, and interviews US policymakers about how the situation in Iraq spun out of control."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 13, 2016 2:15 PM

Many young students are especially baffled at how a terrorist organization can seize control of large chunks of territory.  If you are looking for a good video introduction that explains how and why ISIS was able to gain power and than gain and maintain territory, this is it (it's classroom safe despite the source). 

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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Paris Bloodshed May Be the Latest of Many ISIS Attacks Around the World

Paris Bloodshed May Be the Latest of Many ISIS Attacks Around the World | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
At least a dozen countries have had attacks since the Islamic State, or ISIS, began to pursue a global strategy in the summer of 2014.

Via Seth Dixon
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Chelsea Martines's curator insight, November 21, 2015 3:41 PM
The Paris attacks from ISIS are now being discovered as linked to other attacks that ISIS has planned out. They have up until now according to the article, done 'lone wolf' attacks and now are changing to bigger and city kind of attacks across the globe. They are taking over much of the Middle East and Africa, in hopes to make that area chaotic enough to start more global conflict and another world war, accoring to the article. There have been studies and research in tracking ISIS and they have found that attacks in many other cities in the world have been inspired by ISIS as well.
Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:23 PM

These maps were very helpful in understanding the spread and threat of ISIS. It also helps the understanding of just what a wide range of places they have attacked is. They are capable of striking much of the world in the name of fundamentalism. However, the video of Muslim's chanting is one of those things that can kind of turn down the fear, especially of admitting refugees, that has gripped much of the world. We are as safe as we can be, but idea's are bulletproof and there's no end in sight to the elimination of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, December 4, 2015 10:55 AM

Read this article and fill out your Socratic seminar question sheet for the inner/outer circle on Tues, Dec 8

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Recent Developments in the Ukraine Conflict

"Stratfor Military Analysts Paul Floyd and Sim Tack discuss how Russia's strategy will maintain options as violence in eastern Ukraine continues."

 

Tags: Ukraine, conflict, geopolitics, political.


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Bharat Employment's curator insight, February 9, 2015 11:28 PM

http://www.bharatemployment.com/

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 18, 2015 6:15 PM

I cant believe the cease fire lasted all but 40 minutes!  Putin and Russia are a bunch of scumbags that are just looking for conflict.  As if Russia is not large enough that they have to scrap for these small areas of Ukraine.  Its going to be because of assholes like this that get other countries involved and many lives end up getting lost.  

Avery Liardon's curator insight, March 23, 2015 9:46 PM

Unit 4 :

Russia beginning to take violent actions against the Ukraine. It is interesting to view the military strategies that countries take, and to see the outcomes of these schemes. 

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CrisisWatch: The Monthly Conflict Situation Report

CrisisWatch: The Monthly Conflict Situation Report | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
Mapping global conflict month by month.

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Giovanni Sonego's curator insight, June 19, 2014 4:15 AM

Questa mappa interattiva vi permette, muovendovi sui singoli paesi, di leggere un aggiornamento sulle situazioni di conflitto in tutto il mondo. 


L' International Crisis Group è una organizzazione indipendente, non governativa e no-profit dedicata alla prevenzione e alla risoluzione dei conflitti. Hanno creato questa mappa interattiva per rendere più semplice e immediato l'aggiornamento sui principali conflitti nel mondo. 

Claudine Provencher's curator insight, June 19, 2014 5:40 AM

This looks like an excellent tool for students of international relations.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 23, 2014 12:26 PM

unit 4 --but really a great overall course resource!

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Here are three of Russia's military options in Ukraine

Here are three of Russia's military options in Ukraine | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
There have been a number of warnings from Kiev and Washington about the possibility of a direct and open Russian military intervention in Ukraine. But what could that look like?

Via Seth Dixon
more...
Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 9, 2015 5:50 PM

add your insight...I feel like Russia is always up to something shady. I dont understand why Putin wants to move forces into Ukraine. The story makes it seem like the only reason he has interest is because there is a high number of Russians living there. Does not seem like a good reason to attack another country.  This smells really bad and I have a feeling something major could be on the horizon.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 1, 2015 10:44 AM

Russia needs to tread lightly if they don't want to dismantle the international political progress that they have made since the fall of the Soviet Union over twenty years ago.  If they decide to manhandle and manipulate the government in Kiev, along with the rest of Ukraine, they could have an international boycott and sanction put on everything Russian.  This situation is very important, not only for Russians and Ukrainians, but globally as well.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 10, 2015 6:31 AM

Putin's military adventure into Ukraine is troubling to say the least.  Putin has made no secret about his desire to recreate the lost Soviet Empire. He is truly a dangerous man on the world stage. Generally speaking, Putin seems to favor the destabilization approach. He has yet to conquer an entire nation. By launching  destabilizing attacks, he probably hopes to create an environment of uncertainty and chaos within the invaded country. Such chaos could lead to the overthrow a anti-Russian government, and the instillation of a pro Russian government. The word will eventually have to face up to Putin.