Pentagon a ripe target for cuts
by Linda Bilmes for The Boston Globe,
July 31, 2013
A common theme connects recent protests in Turkey, Brazil,
Egypt, and elsewhere. That theme is the rising discontent of the middle
class brought about by the failure of their governments to deliver
popular priorities. Apart from the brief Occupy Wall Street movement,
people aren’t taking to the streets here in the United States.
Nonetheless, there’s growing evidence that some of the trends unfolding
abroad also are at work in our own backyard.
Last fall, a coalition of 85 grass-roots organizations,
including teachers, veterans, unions, and community activists, placed
something called the “Budget for All” on the Massachusetts ballot. The
referendum urged the federal government to end the war in Afghanistan,
reduce military spending, shift funding to domestic priorities, and
increase taxes on the wealthy. Voters in the Commonwealth approved the
measure by margins of nearly 3 to 1 in all 91 cities and towns where it
was on the ballot, including many places that voted for Mitt Romney in
the presidential race.
The Legislature has now taken up the matter. State
Senator Dan Wolf, Representative Carl Sciortino,
and 34 co-sponsors have proposed a Budget for All resolution that calls
on President Obama and the US Congress to embrace these priorities.
Read the full op-ed at
The Changing of the Monetary Guard
by Joseph E. Stiglitz for Project Syndicate,
August 5, 2013
With leadership transitions at many central banks either
under way or coming soon, many of those who were partly responsible for
creating the global economic crisis that erupted in 2008 — before
taking strong action to prevent the worst — are departing to mixed
reviews. The main question now is the extent to which those reviews
will influence their successors’ behavior.
Many financial market players are grateful for the
regulatory laxity that allowed them to reap enormous profits before the
crisis, and for the generous bailouts that helped them to
recapitalize — and often to walk off with mega-bonuses — even
as they brought the global economy to near-ruin. True, easy money did
help to restore equity prices, but it might also have created new asset
To read the entire article,
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In Other News
A trade in iron and blood: the impact of American guns
on armed violence in Mexico
by Jacob Parakilas for Action on Armed
Violence, July 30, 2013
For all the news and emotion surrounding the debate over
mass-shootings and gun control within the United States, another
related tragedy has been unfolding simultaneously just across the
border. Unlike in the US, however, this tragedy has much greater
bloodshed and much less media attention.
Since 2006, tens of thousands of people have been killed
in Mexico in drug-related violence. The numbers dead are similar to a
conventional war. But, in contrast to other conflicts with
comparable casualty figures, the violence in Mexico is largely carried
out with small arms. Admittedly, there have been a few notable
incidents that involved grenades, anti-tank rockets and incendiary
weapons, but the victims in Mexico are generally dying by gunfire.
And the guns that are killing them are mostly imported
from the United States.
The article in full can be
Call for papers: Journal of Internal
MIGRATION AND DISPLACEMENT: IMPACT ON WOMEN, January
The Journal of Internal Displacement (JID) is a
scholarly and inter-disciplinary platform for raising the profile of internally
displaced persons through discussions, critical dialogue, emerging
themes, reflections and explorations on a wide range of topics and
regions around the globe. Our mandate is to raise the agenda and
prioritize internally displaced people concerns through scholastic
exchange of information. With eighteen international editorial team
members, JID supports open and free online access.
Displacement is an all-pervasive phenomenon and the
post-Cold War world is confronting this situation on an unprecedented
scale, more so in the developing world. Exposed to atrocities and
difficulties in conflict situations or natural calamities, civilians
are forced to flee their homelands. The flight nevertheless does not
bring an end to their problems. A long struggle for survival,
settlement and return await the displaced at the places they land.
Find more about the call for
Major Powers Fuelling Atrocities.
Why the world needs a robust Arms Trade Treaty
An Amnesty International Report March 2013
Every year, thousands of people are killed, injured,
raped and forced to flee from their homes as a result of abuses and
atrocities committed with conventional arms and ammunition. This
briefing illustrates the role of each of the UN Permanent Five (China,
France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the US) in the global arms
markets, and highlights key measures in the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)
that need to be improved. Amnesty International is calling on political
leaders and state officials to use their influence to secure an
effective ATT by the end of March 2013.
Download the full report
Arms and Influence in Syria: The Pitfalls of Greater
A Policy Analysis
by Erica D. Borghard for The
CATO Institute August 7, 2013
In the midst of growing public wariness about large-scale
foreign interventions, the Obama administration has decided to arm the
Syrian rebels. Those who call for increasing the scope of US aid to the
Syrian rebels argue that (1) arming the rebels is the cheapest way to
halt a humanitarian catastrophe, hasten the fall of the Assad regime
through a rebel military victory or a negotiated settlement, and allow
the Obama administration to influence the broader direction of Syrian
politics in a post-Assad world; (2) failure to step up US involvement
will damage America’s credibility and reputation in the eyes of our
allies and adversaries; and (3) US objective scan be accomplished with
a relatively small level of US commitment in Syria.
These arguments are wrong on all counts. There is a high
risk that the decision to arm the Syrian rebels will drag the United
States into a more extensive involvement later, the very scenario that
the advocates for intervention claim they are trying to avoid. The
unique characteristics of alliances between states and armed non state
groups, in particular their informal nature and secrecy about the
existence of the alliance or its specific provisions, create conditions
for states to become locked into unpalatable obligations. That seems
especially likely in this case.
To read the analysis,
SIPRI seeks a Programme Director to establish a new research programme on the macro-economics of security and
Following the appointment of its new Director, SIPRI is
set to expand its activities in the field of conflict and development,
subject to additional funds being acquired. The strategic aim of the
new programme is to establish SIPRI as a
global leader in the analysis of the economics of security and
development, building on the traditional strengths of SIPRI in the
collection, analysis and dissemination of policy-relevant security
data, especially in the area of arms transfers, arms production and
military spending. Building on these existing data-sets in related programmes, the focus of the new programme is expected to be on macro-economic and
public finance issues of conflict and development.
Details about the
position are available here:
Educational Funding and Awards
American Association of University Women
One of the world’s largest sources of funding for
graduate women, AAUW is providing more than $3.7 million in funding for
more than 245 fellowships and grants to outstanding women and nonprofit
organizations in the 2013–14 academic year. Due to the longstanding,
generous contributions of AAUW members, a broader community of women
continues to gain access to educational and economic opportunities —
breaking through barriers so that all women have a fair chance.
Fellowship and grant recipients perform research in a
wide range of disciplines and work to improve their schools and
communities. Their intellect, dedication, imagination, and effort
promise to forge new paths in scholarship, improve the quality of life
for all, and tackle the educational and social barriers facing women
For more information about
funding and awards, see
The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol. 8,
No. 1: On the defense and firearms industries,
growth, and foreign aid — April,
Military expenditure and economic growth: A
J. Paul Dunne, Nan Tian
Armed conflict, terrorism, and the allocation of
The defense industry in an age of austerity
Demand and supply of commercial firearms in the
is a peer-reviewed online publication hosted by EPS-UK. Published twice
yearly, it raises and debates all issues related to the political
economy of personal, communal, national, international, and global
peace and security. Previous contributors include Joseph Stiglitz, James Galbraith, and Lawrence Klein. The Journal’s
website also features book reviews submitted by members and
EPS members receive a 25% discount on the annual subscription to the Economics of Peace and
Security Journal. A regular one-year subscription is $32;
for EPS members, it's only $24! Non-subscribers can access the
abstracts and contents pages.
For more information about
the Journal or to subscribe:
a member of EPS (and qualify for the subscription
Learn more about this issue
of the Journal by visiting
EPS Quarterly, June 2013 — Challenges
and Barriers to Recovery from the Crisis
Economists for Peace and Security presented two sessions
at the AEA/ASSA meetings in San Diego on Friday, January 4, 2013. This
issue is comprised of edited transcripts from the first session, “Up
from Here? Challenges and Barriers to Recovery from the Crisis.”
Read this issue of EPS
To see EPS participation at
this and past AEA/ASSA meetings, visit
EPS Quarterly, March 2013 — 25th
Anniversary "Is War Over?" Issue
On Friday, January 4, 2013, at the AEA/ASSA meetings in Los
Angeles, EPS presented the second of two sessions: "Is War Over?
The Economics of National Security after Iraq and Afghanistan."
This issue of EPS Quarterly is comprised of edited
transcripts from the session. To see EPS participation at this and
past AEA/ASSA meetings, visit http://epsusa.org/events/aea.htm.
Table of contents
Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending
Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets
Utility of War Spending: How Much
is Too Much?
Inequality and Conflict: Some Insights for Peacebuilding
of US National Security: A View from the Outside
Read this issue of EPS
Sixty-Eight Years Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Support nuclear disarmament
on this anniversary
August 6th marked the 68th anniversary of the first use of
a nuclear weapon. Tens of thousands of people in Japan and around the
world commemorated this attack with prayers, vigils and other events.
In Hiroshima, people remembered those who died and prayed for peace at
the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.
of Congress need to hear from you. Back in June, it was announced that
military leaders had agreed to reduce the nuclear arsenal by one-third,
a commonsense reduction that cuts the Cold War-style stockpile to
better reflect the security needs of today.
Join in supporting nuclear
disarmament by visiting
Get the word out on the
topics that matter most to you!
When freedom is under attack in Congress and state
legislatures, an engaged populace is its first line of defense. Take
action on current issues and let lawmakers know that you want
them to protect your civil liberties. The ACLU website offers a
list of key issues and actions you can take to make your voice
heard. It also offers a tool with which to check your elected
officials' voting records, and the ACLU Congressional Scorecard.
Check out the ACLU list
of topics, your representatives' votes, and the Congressional Scorecard
Do you have a foreign policy alternative that should be
heard in the halls of government?
Citizens for Global Solutions Political Action Committee
(Global Solutions PAC) works to elect federal candidates who support
building effective democratic global institutions that will apply the
rule of law while respecting the diversity and autonomy of national and
To learn more about Global
Solutions PAC, visit
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ground mail addresses of your representatives in Congress or the
Senate, enter your zip code at
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Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
17 — 18, 2013 Peace and
Conflict: an International Interdisciplinary Conference hosted
by The Conflict Research Society at the University of Essex, UK.
The CRS is an interdisciplinary forum linking professionals
and academics concerned with co-operation and conflict, and provides a meeting point for sharing their work. The
conference embraces theory, evidence and practice, inviting
presentation and discussion. It seeks to bring together developments in
the "real" world and developments in academic understanding —
topical issues and enduring issues. Moreover, it recognizes the
existence of disagreement: concepts, theories and approaches can be
The 2013 conference carries forward the work of the annual conferences
running since 2003. Tuesday and Wednesday constitute the
"core" of the conference and follow the pattern of previous
years (Streams A to D). Thursday, repeating last year’s innovation, is
for those who have a special interest in the scientific study of peace
more about the conference at
details about the conference, email
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