Parsing Iran’s grand strategy

  • Author: Kevjn Lim
  • Published: 17 November 2015

To understand the Islamic Republic we need to not look not at its consistencies but at its ‘adjustments’. Iran has now placed a premium on maximising both influence and soft power, constantly renegotiating its margins of maneuver and seeking situations of strength where possible. Whatever hard power it still holds, it has repurposed into tools of deterrence in order to hold its enemies hostage against the threat of regime decapitation and war. Read more

Transnational organised crime monthly briefing, June 2015: Australian Crime Commission highlights links between terrorism and organised crime

  • Source: Intelligence unit
  • Filed: 11 June 2015

Monthly intelligence briefing on transnational organised crime from Open Briefing. This month: the Australian Crime Commission has highlighted the links between terrorism and organised crime; the World Health Organisation has called for an end to the global illicit tobacco trade; the Criminal Justice Inspectorate of Northern Ireland has reported on how organised crime groups are becoming increasingly involved with ‘waste crime’; and more. Read more

Securing change: Recommendations for the British government regarding remote-control warfare

  • Author: Chris Abbott, Scott Hickie, Steve Hathorn and Raphaël Zaffran
  • Published: 4 June 2015

The United States has led the way in developing a new way of conceptualising and executing war. With the rise of austerity in Europe, other Western states have adopted part or all of this ‘remote-control warfare’ approach. However, the assessment of recent trends contained in this report makes it increasingly clear that remote-control warfare has its limits. As such, this report makes 31 specific recommendations to the British government. Read more

Transnational organised crime monthly briefing, May 2015: Fighters from Caribbean travelling to fight with extremists in Syria and Iraq

  • Source: Intelligence unit
  • Filed: 14 May 2015

Monthly intelligence briefing on transnational organised crime from Open Briefing. This month: fighters from the Caribbean region are travelling to fight with extremists in Syria and Iraq; how law enforcement agencies must develop an understanding of the business structures of organised criminal gangs if such organisations are to be effectively undermined; political corruption and money laundering in Nigeria; and more. Read more

Transnational organised crime monthly briefing, April 2015: Australian government launches task force to combat crystal meth epidemic dubbed country’s ‘worst-ever drug crisis’

  • Source: Intelligence unit
  • Filed: 15 April 2015

Monthly intelligence briefing on transnational organised crime from Dr Mary Young. This month includes the task force the Australian government has launched to combat the crystal meth epidemic in the country, how El Salvador is struggling to cope with the collapse of the truce between the MS-13 and Calle 18 gangs, discussion of transnational organised crime by leaders at the US-CARICOM summit in Jamaica, and more. Read more

Hack on Sony Pictures highlights key challenges in cyber security and conflict

  • Source: Blog
  • Filed: 30 January 2015

The international relations fallout from the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment in November 2014 steadily increased through December and into January. The potential for miscalculation in cyber conflict is significant due to the absence of international norms or consensus, lack of shared understanding of relative offensive capabilities and limitations in attribution. As such, the Sony Pictures hack has highlighted far-wider issues than initially apparent. Read more

Why the EU wants Pakistan to condemn Russia. (And why it probably won’t.)

  • Author: Shazad Ali
  • Published: 23 January 2015

In December 2014, the EU envoy to Pakistan, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, urged the country to condemn Russia over what he characterised as ‘violations by a very aggressive Russia against Ukraine’. His intervention has been made at a time when there is a thaw in Pakistan-Russia relations after decades of animosity and mistrust. While the new friendship with Moscow is attractive for Islamabad, Wigemark’s warning puts Pakistan in a difficult position. Read more

India: Jostling for geopolitical control in Afghanistan

  • Author: Shazad Ali
  • Published: 27 March 2014

In this article co-published with openDemocracy, Open Briefing contributing analyst Shazad Ali argues that the international community has somewhat ignored India’s role in Afghanistan’s future, which, in fact, will be pivotal as US forces drawdown in the country by the end of the year. Read more


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