HIR Blog Articles

Edward Snowden, the now infamous NSA leaker, said that his worst fear was that everything would stay the same. For a while, it looked as if his fear would be realized, that his leaks would fail to change anything about the international security status quo. But today, I have good news for Snowden. Things are changing in perhaps the least likely of places: Russia. To guard against the heightened possibility of leaks, the agency responsible for the Kremlin’s security is spending 486,540 Rubles ($14,909) on new typewriters. This measure at the same time reduces the likelihood of leaks and makes it easier to catch potential leakers, as each document can be traced to the typewriter it comes from.

By Isaac Inkeles  |  July 12, 2013

I do not think it an overstatement to say that much of the progress of the Arab Spring was reversed on Wednesday in Egypt, that the popularly backed military coup is a serious blow against democracy. Morsi was the democratically elected president of Egypt – the first freely elected president in Egyptian history – and although his exercise of power was less than democratic, nothing can take away from the significance of his election and the power it vested in him. Employing extra-constitutional means to remove a democratically elected president from office is a both a blow against democracy and constitutionalism. It is a moot point, I will try to show, that perhaps Morsi usurped power and exercised his authority unconstitutionally.

By Isaac Inkeles  |  July 7, 2013

Last Thursday the US Senate passed a far-reaching immigration reform bill which, unlike most current policy directives, won the approval of politicians on both sides of the aisle. Yet the new bill—especially the provision allocating $40 billion in funds to border security—may hinge on a misunderstanding of the US-Mexico border's history. This legislation, which may shape the future of immigration, grew from piecemeal appeasement of both political parties—a last ditch attempt at political cohesion—rather than from a coherent vision that considers the past and future of this complex topic.  The $40 billion could be much better spent./p>

By Jacob Moscona-S...  |  July 7, 2013

Unfortunately, it seems that Nelson Mandela is fated to pass away shortly. This certainly gives us cause to reflect on his singularly significant life: in a sentence, Mandela saved South Africa. After spending 27 years in prison, he advocated restraint and inclusion. He urged his fellow Africans to forgive and tried to include whites in the ANC. Without his leadership and vision of compassion and equality, it is not hard to imagine that South Africa would degenerate into violent civil war, which could very well precipitate despotism and even genocide. However, when remembering Nelson Mandela it is important to also remember the role that the United States played in ending apartheid.

By Isaac Inkeles  |  June 28, 2013

Chip Starnes, the co-owner of a Florida-based business, spent much of the past week trapped inside his Chinese factory by workers demanding severance packages after deducing that their factory would be shut down and its operations moved to India. Though Starnes was let out today after an agreement was reached and signed by 97 workers, the root of his problem is still very much present all over China and the world. With China’s wages rising and their economy slowing, the country seems ready to end its thus far omplicated relationship with the process of globalization.

By Julia Geiger  |  June 27, 2013

It is being reported that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved Pope John Paul II’s second miracle. What this means is that the only thing that now stands between John Paul and sainthood is the approval of the Congregation’s commission of cardinals and bishops. They are expected to meet in the next few weeks. If any readers are curious, both of the soon-to-be-saint’s miracles are medical: his second miracle, he performed an “extraordinary healing” on a woman suffering from a brain injury; his first miracle, his intercession in heaven cured a French nun of Parkinson’s.

By Isaac Inkeles  |  June 21, 2013

In a choice between losing the government by force and losing it through democratic election, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei chose the latter. By allowing Hassan Rowhani to run, and then allowing votes to be counted accurately, Khamenei allowed a self-professed moderate with views of reforming both domestic and foreign policy in Iran to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

By Julia Geiger  |  June 20, 2013

“We cannot have a situation in which chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people. We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is, we start seeing a whole bunch of weapons moving around or being utilized.” Thus spoke Obama. And thus acted Obama: on Thursday the White House announced that it would begin to arm Syrian rebels.

By Isaac Inkeles  |  June 14, 2013

On Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was presented with the proposed set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This new Development agenda will serve as a replacement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight initiatives designed in 2000 to reduce global poverty and increase quality of life by 2015. Anticipating the end of the established timetable for completing the MDGs, in August of 2012 the UN Secretary-General established the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a body representing all branches of civil society and academia, intended to work closely with the UN on a new global development plan.

By Jacob Moscona-S...  |  June 12, 2013

A few weeks ago, writing a blog post in homage to Madeline Albright, I referenced Samantha Power’s work on genocide. Author of one of the original and most important accounts of genocide in the former Yugoslavia, Power has grappled with questions about the role of intervention in the face of mass murder, how the international community should respond to human rights violations, and why the most common response to atrocity is silence. Power’s nomination to the role of US ambassador to the United Nations, and Susan Rice’s appointment as National Security Advisor, may signal a new and improved direction for US foreign policy.

By Jacob Moscona-S...  |  June 8, 2013