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B I N G H AMTON JOU R N A L O n D i p l o m a c y a n d Se c u ri ty

B I N G H AMTON JOU R N A L O n D i p l o m a c y a n d Se c u ri ty

Table of Contents Executive Board Biographies 2 Faculty Spotlight 3 DRD Events and Spotlights 5 The Economy of Al-Shabaab JAKE ETHE 7 Regional Security: the US, Afganistan & South Asia JORDAN P. CLIFFORD 9 Path to Legal Representation & Habeas Corpus for Guantanamo Detainees TREVOR MOHNEY 11 Ousting Yanukovych: Revolution in Ukraine MARK CANNUCCIARI 13 Forced Feeding at Guantanamo Bay RACHEL APPEL 15 The Case for Palestine JON MERMELSTEIN 17 The Case for Israel YAEL RABIN 19 Taking Seafood off the Menu TYLER POTTER 21 Water: Public or Private? MADISON BALL 23 Obstacles to Acting Against Climate Change ZACH KASHDAN 25 Evolution of North Korean Foreign Policy JUWON SUL 27 Limits of Social Media in Supporting Venezuelan Protestors KAREN CORONEL 29

Letter from the Editor Dear Reader, We, today, live in world that is probably more globalized than at any point in its existence. If trends continue, throughout our lifetimes, the world looks to become even more globalized and more co-dependent. As the leaders of tomorrow (and perhaps, even the day after tomorrow), we, as both a generation and on the individual level (yes, even the non-poli sci majors out there), have an obligation to not only be aware of the world that surrounds us, but also to have a deep-rooted, fundamental understanding of that world. The world is shaped not only by leaders and governments, but by individuals like you. In this journal, as a reader, you have the distinct privilege of exploring analysis of that broader world from the perspective of your peers. Not only have your peers worked hard and diligently on their analysis of our globalized world, but they have also done so with great enthusiasm and creativity. I feel, and I hope that you will agree, that the writers included in this journal have tackled some very difficult and complex issues, but made these issues presentable in such a way as to allow readers to fully grasp each issue’s complexity without sacrificing important details. As in the world today, this issue of this journal is not without controversy, but that is

the nature of the world in which we live. In fact, I myself do not agree with every viewpoint in this journal. However, I wish to stress that, while some topics in this journal will no doubt be controversial, the controversy is not something to be avoided - that controversy creates debate, and debate creates understanding. Consensus for the sake of consensus is not an acceptable proposition; in order to embrace and fully understand the globalized world in which we live, we must endeavor to understand all parts, even those parts with which we do not agree. I sincerely hope you enjoy this issue - I personally can attest to the great amounts of both time and effort that my team has put into making this journal, and our high level of determination to create a quality product of which we could be proud. However, if you do happen to find yourself disappointed with our issue, we invite you to contribute or at least to debate and talk about the issues discussed within this journal. After all, at the DRD journal, we believe that debate is the source of knowledge, and we hope that we have aided you in your quest for its discovery. Happy reading! Eric W. Mauser


Executive Board Biographies

Dorothy Manevich Dorothy Manevich is the President of Binghamton Dorm Room Diplomacy and a senior double majoring in Political Science and History. She is one of the founding members of Binghamton’s chapter of DRD and aspires to work in foreign policy advocacy and research. Dorothy is a SUNY-JFEW International Relations Scholar and had previously worked at the United Nations. After graduation, Dorothy will serve as a research fellow at the Partnership for Public Service in Washington DC before heading off to Georgia on a Fulbright Grant.

Eric Mauser Eric W. Mauser is the Editor and Chief of the DRD Journal. Eric has a Bachelor’s in Political Science (with minors and Economics and Hispanic Languages) and is currently pursuing his Master’s in Accounting. He has extensive journalism experience - having served as the news editor for two student newspapers as an undergraduate, and a contributing reporter for a newspaper. Though he currently studies accounting, Eric is very interested in international relations - particularly the economic and business aspects of IR. After he graduates this Spring, Eric will begin working for a consulting company in New York City.

Cara London Cara London is a graduating senior at Binghamton University, majoring in History and minoring in Global Studies and Hebrew. She video conferenced for three semesters that each led to incredible and inspiring conversations. Dorm Room Diplomacy gave her a new perspective of the importance of communication with students worldwide. Being the co-Vice President this past year was a true honor for her.

Ben Sheridan Ben received his degree with honors in political science at Binghamton University in 2013. Ben is from New York City and was a 2012 Goldman Fellow at AJC as well as an intern for Encounter through the Collegiate Leadership Internship Program at New York University’s Bronfman Center in the summer of 2013. He is the Vice President of Dorm Room Diplomacy International and founder of The Binghamton Journal on Diplomacy and Security. Ben has traveled extensively through Europe, North Africa and Asia.

Jordan Clifford Jordan Clifford is a senior majoring in political science at Binghamton University. While at Binghamton, Jordan served as a chapter vice president and as an international board member for Dorm Room Diplomacy. After graduation Jordan plans to pursue a graduate degree at New York University in International Relations with a specialty in regional security and intelligence. His honors thesis focuses on mechanisms of revolution and the role the military plays in revolt.

Joanna Eagle Joanna Eagle is the Secretary of Dorm Room Diplomacy and served as the Deputy Editor of this year’s Journal. She is a first-year student majoring in English Literature and plans to receive her BA in two years before attending graduate school.

Josh May Joshua May is a junior double majoring in History and Political Science, with a concentration in Global and International Affairs. His foci are in the Middle East and East-Central Europe, with special interests in Poland, Russia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. He hopes to pursue a career in foreign policy. Josh has been with Dorm Room Diplomacy since its founding at Binghamton University, and looks forward to leading the group next year as President. Sky Stage Sky Stage served as the art director for this issue of the Binghamton Journal on Diplomacy and Security. She is a senior double majoring in graphic design and English with a concentraion in rhetoric. Her English honors thesis focuses on surrealist and Marxist interpretations of Franz Kafka’s the Metamorphosis.




Faculty Spotlight


DM: How big on an impact have Russian gas exports had on the EU’s reaction to the Ukrainian crisis?

Dr. Katja Kleinberg is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Binghamton University. Her research focuses on the relationship between trade and conflict. Dr. Kleinberg has been published in International Studies Quarterly, Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution, among others. At Binghamton, she teaches courses on political economy, conflict, and international organization. DRD President, Dorothy Manevich, was lucky enough to sit down with Dr. Kleinberg to discuss the role that economic interests have played in the Ukrainian crisis.


DM: First of all, thank you so much for meeting with us. KK: I’m happy to – interesting times. DM: Would you mind sharing a little bit about your background in international political economics and any experience you’ve had with Eastern Europe? I know you’re from East Germany. KK: I am. I was born in East Germany while the Cold War was still going on. The Wall came down when I was 12, and so I experienced, the way teenagers do, the transition from a communist system to a capitalist system. That was fairly interesting. I became interested in international political economy in graduate school. I had a few classes and started paying a little more attention to the world around me. Then I came to Binghamton and had the opportunity to pick the classes I wanted to teach. International political economics is something that the students really seem to respond to.Trade and even domestic economics is something that happens around you all the time.



KK: Oh, I think they were absolutely vital. Before we started talking, I pulled some interesting numbers from the research that is available right now. Europe gets about 40% of its imported gad from Russia. This is interesting because its an interdependence relationship. Europe is fairly dependent on gas from Russia, especially now that some of the larger economies in Europe have turned away from nuclear power. So, Russian gas has actually become much more important. On the flip side, natural gas is the largest export good for the Russian economy. So, they are very much dependent on selling the stuff. Now, the EU has responded to the event, both in 2008 in Georgia and now in Ukraine, with some sanctions. What’s interesting about that is that they have been targeted at individuals. The biggest economic tool that the EU, in theory, has would be to no longer buy Russian gas. The Europeans can’t afford to do that. I suspect that the European dependence on Russian natural gas has been the determining factor in the European response. The United States government has wanted the Europeans to take a stronger position and really coerce Russia into backing off in Ukraine, but the US hasn’t really gotten anywhere in making the EU do that.

DM: In the US, some politicians have, at least in theory, started discussing the US beginning to export natural gas to Europe. Do you think this is feasible?

directly at Russian gas exports. If Europe or Ukraine were in a position to stop buying Russian gas, that would hurt, but neither of them are in a position to do so.

KK: The problem with natural gas is that it is very different from oil. Oil you can just pump out of the ground, put it into a tanker, and send it wherever. The problem with natural gas is that, inorder to get it from the United State to really anwhere else, is that you need to liquefy it. Then put it in a tanker. There is a natural gas boom in the United States. There is a debate about hydrolic fracturing and whether we could become a natural gas exporter, but the technology to build the necessary facilities is a couple of years away. I know that the Department of Energy has granted some licenses to build these facilities, but I don’;t think any of this is realistically going to happen until 2016-2017. That’s the earliest that I’ve read. These are just going to be the first facilities to do this, so doing this on a much larger scale is a few years away. There won’t be any immediate impact. In the long-term, parts of the US government seem to be thinking that this is an opportunity to use United States natural resources for political purposes – wean Europe and Ukraine off of Russian natural gas, for example.

DM: Why hasn’t the US implemented harsher sanctions in lieu of the EU doing so?

DM: In your opinion, why have economic sanctions failed to get Russia to back off of Ukraine? KK: Well, neither the US nor Europe has imposed economic sanctions that cost Russia much of anything. All the sanctions have been targeted at individuals within the Russian government, and in some parts, against sections of the Ukrainian government that are Russian-leaning. But these are sanctions that don’t hurt very much. At least, they’re not hurting as much as sanctions could that would be aimed

KK: Well, there really isn’t much that the US can do to Russia. We don’t actually trade with Russia very much. All the influence Russia has on the continent is through gas, but we’re not buying Russian gas, as far as I’m aware. So, the amount of trade we have with Russia is fairly limited and we can’t use it for purposes of coercing them. DM: The Russian economy has taken several hits since the crisis began. How big of a factor is that in decision-making? In the coming months, will this deter Russia from intervening in Ukraine more than it has already? KK: I’m not sure what the economic impact on the Russian economy really is. The biggest problem for Russia is going to arise if its largest customers stop buying the gas it exports or if the world market price for natural gas drops. Sanctions scholars may not particularly like this, but the thing that is going to keep Russia from being more aggressive, maybe not in Ukraine but definitely in the Baltic States, is NATO. The problem for Ukraine, as well as for Georgia, is that neither one is a NATO member. So, the willingness of the alliance to come to the aid, militarily, over Ukraine or Georgia is limited. It has to be because we’re still talking about a nuclear power here. It is not clear to me that the western states or anybody else, has much they can do if Russia decides to invade Eastern Ukraine. There will be international condemnation. I don’t think we have economic tools to do anything about it. We certainly have


the military tools, but I don’t think we have the willingness to use them. The efforts that are underway are primarily diplomatic. So, if Russia invades Ukraine, there will be a diplomatic price to pay. The Americans and the Europeans have been trying to isolate Putin internationally. I believe that the G8 have kicked Russia out. They are no longer welcomed at the negotiating table. They are no longer invited to high level negotiations or bargaining for really anything. I believe that is a movement that will continue, and could hurt Russia in the long-run. DM: How could diplomatic isolation hurt Russia in the long-run? KK: A lot of international coordination on military issues, on trade issues, is done somewhat more informally between the large powers. If you’re not there, you don’t have a say. There is a movement afoot to intentionally exclude Russia from any of this, which means Russia will be on the outside looking in. Its interests will not necessarily be considered. They will not be able to influence other countries in these negotiations as effectively as they could if they were inside the club. Frankly, it’s also entirely possible that this can make investors wary about investing in Russia. For a country like Russia, that doesn’t have much going for it other than natural gas, this could be a real problem. They don’t have a lot of capital to begin with, so they are somewhat dependent on foreign investors to develop their resources. If investors start to worry that Russia is becoming a pariah state, that means their investments might not be completely safe. This might make them more reluctant to invest. That’s a possibility, but it depends on how far Russia is willing to go and how much this prospect of diplomatic isolation really constrains them. It’s hard to tell.



DRD Events and Spotlights DRD EVENTS 2013-2014

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - DRD Presents “The Wall”: Free Speech at Binghamton University Monday, September 16, 2013 - Roundtable Discussion on US Intervention in Syria Monday, September 30, 2013 - A Night with Dean Eric Schwartz Thursday November 7, 2013 – Ambassador Joseph Melrose at Binghamton University PHOTO CREDIT: JANINE FURTADO, PIPE DREAM

Thursday, February 13, 2014 – Roundtable on Ukrainian Anti-Government Protests Thursday, March 6, 2014 - Roundtable on Russian Invasion of Crimea Friday, March 21, 2014 – Videoconference with USAID on Disaster Relief Monday, March 24, 2014 - Professor Kent Schull and Women’s Voices Now on Honor Violence in the Middle East Thursday, April 24, 2014 – Roundtable on Afghani Election and US Military Withdrawal


EVENT SPOTLIGHTS A Night with Dean Eric Schwartz By Jordan Clifford Eric Schwartz, a Binghamton Alumni, visited his alma mater to give a talk about “the right to protect.” Mr. Schwartz started his career in public service working for Asia Watch, an organization geared towards analyzing human rights in the Asia region. Throughout his career, he has worked with the White House as an 5

advisor on the National Security Council and Special Assistant to the President, and at the United Nations in the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He was highly involved with the ‘Responsibility to Protect’, which holds that it is a states duty to protect populations from genocide and war. Mr. Schwartz gave a presentation on the Clinton Administration and the development of the Right to Protect Doctrine, citing examples of compliance over history and entertaining questions



from the audience. Mr. Schwartz is now the Dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota

Roundtable Discussions By Dorothy Manevich Regular roundtable discussions were a new addition to Dorm Room Diplomacy’s events roster in the 2013-2014 school year. Groups of 10-20 students gathered to discuss relevant international relations issues. DRD’s first roundtable occurred in September as President Obama debated

victims around the world. Students asked engaging questions covering topics from accountability and budgeting to cultural sensitivity in disaster assistance. Students were surprised to discover that USAID often works in tandem with the US military forces to deliver supplies to the places that need them. The USAID representative cautioned students to donate responsibly, describing the ways in which monetary donations are the most helpful in disaster relief. He also emphasized the importance of humanitarianism in colleges and in local communities, and praised DRD for its work at Binghamton University.

Binghamton DRD Presents the Wall: Free Speech at Binghamton University By Dorothy Manevich


action in Syria after the use of chemical weapons against civilians by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Later, DRD gathered students to discuss anti-government protests in Ukraine and the subsequent Russian invasion of Crimea. Professor Kent Schull joined DRD to lead a roundtable on honor violence in the Middle East. Each discussion invited participants to challenge their own viewpoints. This year’s roundtables have hosted students from the United States, Algeria, Turkey, Russia, Iran, and Tajikistan.

Ambassador Joseph Melrose at Binghamton University By Joshua May On November 7, 2013, Binghamton Dorm Room Diplomacy hosted Ambassador Joseph Melrose in the University Union. Addressing a standing-room only crowd, Ambassador Melrose spoke about his experiences in the US Foreign Service, particularly his ambassadorship to Sierra Leone during that country’s destructive civil

war. Melrose described the dangerous, even life-threatening situations he faced in West Africa and Vietnam. Melrose took questions from an inquisitive crowd and received a strong ovation. Upon the conclusion of his remarks, members of Binghamton Dorm Room Diplomacy took Ambassador Melrose to dinner in downtown Binghamton, where he shared personal insights and stories about his time in government. His anecdotes included drinking beer with President Reagan in Ireland, driving a car through the middle of the Tet Offensive, and helping negotiate the peace talks during the Sierra Leone Civil War. Mr. Melrose had much advice for Binghamton students.

What happens when students are given a blank canvas in the middle of campus? DRD put this question to the test, putting up a wooden wall in front of the new union. Passerbies were told to write or draw anything that came to mind when they thought about walls. What do walls mean to our society, to our world, to our language? The result was a rich, yet beautifully jumbled tapestry showcasing the diversity within Binghamton University. Highlights include “Damn Right, I Support It”, “Fuck the Glass Ceiling”, “Break Walls When You See Them”, “Israel’s Defense and Security”, and messages in nearly a dozen foreign languages.

Discussing Disaster Relief with USAID By Dorothy Manevich In this intimate question and answer session with USAID, Dorm Room Diplomacy members got the low-down on what the United States does to help disaster SPRING 2014



A crowd fleeing sounds of gunfire during Al-Shabaab’s attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Economy of Al-Shabaab:

A new strategy for dismantling one of the world’s worst terrorist groups. By Jake Ethé How do you dismantle a multi-national terror network? History tells us that it often involves indentifying sources of extremism and countering them with force. With developed nations becoming increasingly weary of military intervention, new evidence suggests that there is a simpler, less violent option: cutting off a terrorist group’s funding. This more pragmatic approach could potentially help to combat terrorist groups by taking away its ability to function. To examine just how freezing a terror network’s funding could work, let’s evaluate the case of Somalia-based al-Shabaab, one of the fastest growing terror networks in the world.



Conventional strategies aimed at blunting the growth of al-Shabaab misguidedly ignore the fact that extremist sentiment is much less easily eradicated than the money that fuels it.Without the resources to maintain a network and pay its members, terrorist organizations like al-Shabaab are little more than loosely-unified groups with extremely short half-lives. Though still dangerous, these cells of fragmented radicals do not possess the capacity for large-scale attacks, like al-Shabaab’s 2012 attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, which killed 67 people. Creating a new strategy to incapacitate the increasingly weakened al-Shabaab will require nations and


international organizations to identify and pursue al-Shabaab’s most vulnerable sources of funding. At the same time, intervening bodies will need to be cautious when attacking al-Shabaab’s finances so as to not weaken the economic development of Somalia.

involving financing to al-Shabaab. Countering the antagonism of certain diasporic Somalis is a difficult process. Richard Downie of the Center for Strategic International Studies points out that that while common wisdom would suggest that we ought to crack down on money

“Creating a new strategy to incapacitate the increasingly weakened al-Shabaab will require nations and international organizations to identify and pursue al-Shabaab’s most vulnerable sources of funding.” One of the foremost consequences of the cyclical violence in Somalia is the vast Somali diaspora. Ethnic Somalis have historically immigrated to other parts of East Africa, as well Western Europe and the United States. While the diaspora has led to anecdotal success, it has been wholly detrimental to the state of Somalia. According to Don Borelli, a former counterterrorism agent at the FBI, the influx of money back into Somalia is sometimes intended for the family members of international Somalis, but due to a lack of tracking, often ends up being diverted into the pockets of al-Shabaab. Lead Somali researcher Ken Menkhaus estimates the value of unaccounted remittances from the Somali diaspora to be between $500 and $800 million. Often, the recently-fled Somalis provide not only funding for al-Shabaab, but also manpower. The Fordham Ledger of Facts and Figures estimates that 1/4th of all US domestic terrorist indictments are of Somalis with ties to al-Shabaab, with 1/3rd of those

transfers in Somalia, to do so would be to stop vital sources of income for Somalis. At a time when the country is starting to rebuild its economy, this could be extremely detrimental to Somalia’s development prospects. Governments should instead focus on monitoring areas where large numbers of Somalis and Islamists live. As Geoffrey Kambere of UPDF explains, this is especially true for Kenya, whose neighborhood of Eastleigh is known as “little Mogadishu.” Progress starts at controlling the influx of dirty money into Somalia. Fighting donors with bad intentions must be a prerequisite to interfering with the internal remittance process. Doing so, according to Borelli and Downie, has the potential to hurt Somali households and deter banks from doing business in Somalia, which would hurt growth. Limiting the sum of remittances allows the Somali Transitional Federal Government to more easily manage vital money transfers. Coupling this process with the lowering of tariffs at the TFG SPRING 2014

port of Mogadishu would help to limit the entrance of goods and money into Shabaab-held ports. This would minimize the opportunity for al-Shabaab to tax imports and impose their “Zakah” tax on local businesses. Downie confirms that this is one of al-Shabaab’s primary sources of financing, and the US Monitoring Group estimates that halting it could prevent up to $70 million dollars from flowing to al-Shabaab. Weakening al-Shabaab by targeting its finances begins with temperance. National governments, international organizations, and intelligence communities with the means to do so must first scrutinize Somalia-bound money remittances before jumping to impose stricter regulations within Somalia. Creating economic policy towards developing nations is intricate and involves a balance of external accountability and support. If the money dwindles, so too will al-Shabaab’s ability to continue recruiting members and wreaking havoc in East Africa.



Regional Security

The United States, Afghanistan, and South Asia. By Jordan P. Clifford

American soldiers in Afghanistan.

For the past eleven years, Afghanistan has been economically and militarily supported by the United States and NATO. During this ten-year period, the US spent an estimated $100 billion dollars trying to rebuild the fragile state.US forces have also spent large amounts of time and money training Afghan soldiers and security forces (ANSA) that were tasked with providing security in post-US Afghanistan. Furthermore, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been aided by support from the United States. This military, political and economic dependence has undermined the government’s ability to build institutions and develop the polity, which has left Afghanistan at high risk for state failure and extremist resurgence.What happens next will determine intrastate security and stability as well as Asian energy security and prosperity. 9


Since the arrival of US forces, the Taliban and other insurgents have been confined to small pockets across the country. However, upon the departure of US troops, the new and ill-equipped ANSA will be spread thin, and the Taliban will be able to remobilize.. This problem will be aggravated by the Haqqani network, Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and other Islamic militant groups, which thrive across the border in Pakistan and will likely seek to regain influence and reestablish bases in Afghanistan. The resurgence of militant groups within a state that lacks institutions to govern appropriately will result in a situation similar to post-US Iraq. In post-US Iraq, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have reemerged, and attacks have more than doubled in


Baghdad, Kirkuk, and Mosu. This consequence should remain a focus of the counterterrorism policy in the region. With the Karzai regime lacking the institutions, funding, and capability to address insurgency and stability, Afghanistan will remain a regional security threat. The new players in postUS South Asia will likely be India, Pakistan, Iran and China. Pakistan has long supported the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and the ISI has backed proxy groups throughout the insurgency. Pakistan may seek to regain influence in Afghanistan. On the other hand, India, a longtime rival of Pakistan and growing power in the region, will seek to rival Pakistani influence in Afghanistan; projection of power into Afghanistan will give India a strategic rear base against Pakistan.. Also, with the energy needs of both India and China projected to increase exponentially over the next few decades, Afghanistan remains vital to future energy policy. India and Iran have proposed a multibillion-dollar natural gas deal that would send 7.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas from Iran to India over the next 25 years. This plan would entail the development of a pipeline running from Iran, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to India. Iran also hopes to connect Afghanistan to major Iranian ports via roads. Another gas line will run from the Daeletabad field in Turkmenistan to the Chinese ports of

Gwadar and Pansi, cutting through Afghanistan. Furthermore, China seeks to build a railway connecting its western provinces to resourcerich regions abutting Kabul. While Afghanistan is expected to become more involved in regional energy economics, the state still lacks the

fostered insecurity in the region. The task of a stable Afghanistan remains in the hands of regional powers, to which Washington has now shifted policy focus. These emerging geopolitics are critical to the formulation of US foreign policy oriented towards South Asia,

institutions and capabilities needed to provide stability. With the state in disrepair and the lingering threat of the resurgence of Taliban, investing in and maintaining state security will ultimately fall to regional powers. The US failed its mission in Afghanistan, and as a result, has

especially in a time in which the US is shifting focus away from the daunting MENA region to the nations of Asia.




One entrance to Guantanamo Bay Detention Center

The Path to Legal Representation and Habeas Corpus for Guantanamo Detainees TREVOR MOHNEY

The United States has struggled for the past decade to determine which legal rights apply to nonenemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Upon the arrival of detainees at the detention facility in 2002, the Bush administration refused to extend either the rights enshrined in the Geneva Convention or the protections of the United States civilian judicial system to the so-called “non-enemy combatants”. Any cases involving habeas corpus for “non-enemy combatants” that were currently in federal court were stayed. Supreme Court decisions since 2004 have deemed this approach unconstitutional. The Court ruled that detainees are under the jurisdiction of the United States judicial system and specifically stated that Guantanamo detainees are entitled to the protections provided to “enemy combatants” under Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions. In 2009, President Obama ordered the facility’s closure but the Senate voted 90-6 to block funding necessary for the transfer of prisoners. President Obama’s signing of the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill also placed tough restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo 11


prisoners to either the mainland U.S. or foreign lands. Complicating matters further, even if domestic law permitted the transfer of detainees overseas, some countries were opposed to repatriating detainees. In Rasul v. Bush (2004), the Supreme Court established that the United States judicial system has jurisdiction over detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006) struck down the executive branch’s authority to try detainees in Guantanamo Bay-specific military commissions separate from the existing military and U.S. Justice Systems. This 2006 decision declared the Bush administration’s Guantanamo-specific tribunals unconstitutional and established that only Congress had the power to authorize such a system. Later that year, Congress exercised the power the Supreme Court detailed in Hamdan by passing the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA). This act re-established Guantanamo Bay military commissions, but this time under Congress’s imprimatur. The MCA banned detainees labeled “nonenemy combatants” from using habeas corpus to challenge their detention before a federal court judge, thus reinstating the approach supported by the Bush Administration.


Any cases involving habeas corpus for “non-enemy combatants” that were in federal court were stayed. In June of 2007, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case addressing the constitutionality of the MCA. In this case, Boumediene v. Bush (2008), the Court reaffirmed a detainee’s right to access the United States judicial system and thus declared the MCA unconstitutional. The Court also allowed habeas corpus cases stayed by the MCA to be refiled in federal courts. Hamdan, along with a predecessor case, al-Bahlil, set a precedent that the executive branch could not try detainees charged only with “providing material support” and “conspiring” with AlQaeda before the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. While these two offenses are established crimes under United States law, the MCA only authorized military trials for war crimes recognized under international law. AlBahlil also established that detainees could not be charged with crimes that were not established war crimes when committed. As a result, alleged terrorist supporters who are accused of providing logistical support, financial backing, and background operations planning, but who are not alleged to have “committed” terrorist acts, are tried in civilian courts. Determing which court system the detainees should be tried in has been a challenge as well. Prior

acts of domestic terrorism were tried in civilian courts. According to the US judicial system, those accused of directly committing terrorist acts against United States interests abroad and those “non-national armed force combatants” captured abroad should be tried by military tribunals. These cases present the most difficult legal circumstances as evidence is often hard to obtain. The information presented during a trial is often dated and

and not within the United States; those committing or conspiring to commit acts that are captured within the United States should be held in US territory and tried in the civilian court system. The effort to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay has been, and continues to be, a long, tedious process. Politics, public opinion, foreign relations, international standing, and questions of judicial efficiency all add to its

attempts to build a case by connecting the individual to other “supposed” or accused terrorists. Persons accused of providing material, logistics, and financial backing should be tried in civilian court. The recent case in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York involving Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, is an example of this principle. These precedents are applied to those apprehended abroad

complexity. While many Americans support Guantanamo Bay’s continued operation as a detention center, holding detainees for years (or decades) without proper charges or legal proceedings tarnishes the US’s human rights record and undermines our nation’s commitment to international law.




Ousting Yanukovych: Revolution in Ukraine

By Mark Cannucciari

Crowd assembled at Maidan Square to protest the Ukrainian government after President Yanukovych fails to sign a trade deal with the European Union.

Some say that the second Cold War began this winter when Russia annexed the Crimean region from Ukraine. How have matters turned severe enough to elicit the use of the term “Cold War�? The catalyst for this new international conflict was a protest by Ukrainian citizens pleading for more democracy and unity with the rest of Europe. Bureaucratic corruption as well as betrayal from the Ukrainian President piled onto a struggling national economy, and pushed many Ukrainian citizens over the edge of their tolerance. The current unrest can be traced back to the electionof President Viktor Yanukovych Violence breaks out during anti-government protests in Ukraine. in 2010. With very few western Ukrainians the presidency.However,once in office,Yanukovych promised showing up to vote, the predominantly Russian-speaking southern and eastern parts of the more ties to Europe and the West. This reassured many country propelled Yanukovych, the pro-Russian candidate, to Ukrainian citizens who thought opening economic ties with the European Union would save the ailing Ukrainian economy. 13



On November 21, a government press release stated that decisions were made to protect Ukraine’s “national security” and to suspend preparations for an EU Association Agreement. In the weeks leading up to the November announcement, Russia had been pressuring Ukraine not to sign on to any EU trade deal. Russia aspires to rival the EU by creating its own customs union consisting of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, stated in a recent BBC News report, “We believe that the future for Ukraine lies in a strong relationship with the EU,” calling the decision a “disappointment.” On November 30, what started out as scattered and unorganized student protests over the “disassociation” decision quickly escalated to a march by around 350,000 Ukrainians on Independence Square in Kiev. With President Yanukovych stating that Russian pressure was behind his decision not to sign the EU trade deal, protesters demanded the resignation of the President’s government and new elections. Protesters threw bricks at riot-police blockades meant to protect government buildings. The police brigades responded by subduing the protesters with tear gas and stun grenades. Initial reports indicated that over 100 people were injured. To deepen suspicion that Russia played a major role in convincing the Ukrainian government to suspend the EU Association Agreement, on December 17 Vladimir Putin promised $15 billion in loans and much cheaper gas lines from Russia. Then, on January 16, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a series of anti-protest laws.

What followed was a week of intense Volodymyr Makeyenko, resigned, anti- government protests against the stating that he could no longer serve “illegal” new protest laws. The week ended with the first two deaths of the “revolution.” One of the bodies was found in a forest days after the victim’s abduction by riot police. By the end of January, protestors had seized many government buildings in many western and central Ukrainian cities.Then, on January 28, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government resigned following a vote to repeal the anti-protest laws. On February 14, protesters began to vacate government buildings after Parliament promised an amnesty deal that would release many protesters arrested earlier that month. Four days later, Parliament announced that it would Former Ukrainian President, Victor Yanukovych. not listen to protesters’ demands, which were to change the Ukrainian constitution in office while ordinary people were in order to reduce the powers of being murdered. On February 22, the the President. This would spark the Ukrainian Parliament, in light of the bloodiest day of the Ukrainian protest massive death toll,unanimously voted movement. That same day, violent to remove President Yanukovych. clashes pushed the death toll to 25. On February 20, riot police were “anonymously” given the order to use live ammunition against protesters. By the end of the following 48-hour period, the death toll reached 77 (according to the Ukrainian medical service), with some opposition estimates placing the casualties at over 100. The next day the mayor of Kiev, SPRING 2014



Amnesty International protests the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Forced Feeding at Guantanamo Bay: American Human Rights Abuses in the Spotlight. By Rachel Appel

Shackled and chained to a chair, a man is constrained by five people.Two hold his legs,two hold his arms,one holds the head and neck—all with severe force so the man cannot move an inch and can barely breathe. A nurse then inserts a feeding tube into the man’s nose. Beginning in February 2013, detainees at the United States detention center at Guantanamo Bay went on a widespread hunger strike. The strike lasted until September 2013, with a minority of detainees remaining on strike after September. 15


In accordance with the DOD Joint Task Force at Guantanamo policy to “protect, reserve and promote life,” the response to the hunger strike was forced feeding. Detainees were considered hunger strikers if they missed nine consecutive meals or weight dropped below the equivalent of 85% of their ideal body weight. The highest recorded number of hunger strikers in Guantanamo was 106 out of 166 persons detained in the facility.


This was not the first hunger strike at the facility; the first was in 2005 and involved more than 200 detainees. The 2005 strike was largely in response to the brutal treatment of the detainees and their conviction that this treatment was not in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. The catalyst for the 2013 strike was the

the feeding solution often causes severe bloating and constipation, but many prisoners do not receive laxatives to alleviate their suffering. The key word here is suffering. The American Medical Association, United Nations officials, and the World Medical Association (WMA) all deplore force feeding,

“It is time that Guantanamo Bay stopped being an exception to every international human rights law.” initiation of searches and seizures of detainees’ Qurans. Motives for the hunger strike then became general detainee concerns about deteriorating conditions in the camp, increasing restrictions and repression, as well as the perceived notion of indefinite detention—especially for those who had already been cleared for release. In December 2013, Guantanamo military officials stopped releasing numbers of prisoners still on strike, claiming the strike was largely over and that reporting numbers would further the protests. Prisoners have been able to relay stories of force feeding incidents through their lawyers. One prisoner described how one of his nostrils became swollen shut from repeated force feedings. Sometimes the nurses improperly place the feeding tube, and there have been instances in which prisoners have choked. If a prisoner vomits post-force feeding the guards will restrain him and begin another round of the feeding. In addition,

citing it as inhumane, unethical, and, in some cases, as torture. The Declaration of Tokyo was adopted in 1975 at a general assembly of the WMA and sets the international guidelines for physicians concerning torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment in relation to detention and imprisonment. The Tokyo Declaration expressly forbids the practice of force feeding prisoners. The WMA and Tokyo Declaration were created in response to the Nuremburg Trials and the atrocities committed by many physicians in the Nazi concentration camps. Last month, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay named Imad Abdullah Hassan filed a lawsuit petitioning against Guantanamo Bay’s practice of force feeding detainees on a hunger strike. Hassan was cleared for release in 2009 and went on strike to protest his indefinite detention. This lawsuit once again raised to the forefront President Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo Bay and


address the issue of jurisdiction over Guantanamo. As a supposed beacon of moral and intellectual superiority, the US does not adequately justify such brutal treatment? Fasting has long been used as a nonviolent political tool to promote awareness of issues and raise pressure to meet demands. Guantanamo Bay’s doctors say they are just following orders, evoking the image of a heartless, tyrannical machine. The hunger strikes are an exercise of choice and free will. In effect, forced feeding takes away the ability of the detainees to make their own decisions, transforming a “health” issue to an issue of human rights violations. Does the US fail to see the hypocrisy and simple cruelty of such a policy? The most recent lawsuit seems to promise that an end to this inhumane practice is in sight. It is time that Guantanamo Bay stopped being an exception to every international human rights law and accepted standard.



The Case for Palestine

Palestinians stage a peaceful protest against the state of Israel.

By Jon Mermelstein Israel and America have always been close allies. In fact, a 2012 CNN poll shows that 59% of Americans sympathize with Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while only 13% sympathize with the Palestinians. The prevailing narrative in this country is that Israel is a beacon of freedom and democracy, facing unilateral hostility from anti-Semitic Arabs. The Palestinian refugees fleeing during the 1948 War. Palestinian perspective is largely One major reason is Israel’s settlement policy in the West absent from American discourse. Bank. There are approximately 500,000 Israelis currently Yet, it is important to understand why beyond the “Green line,” or the pre-1967 borders – almost Palestinians harbor so much resentment towards Israel. triple the population in that area in the early 1990s. 17



Today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues to rapidly expand settlement construction, and the Israeli government even provides economic incentives to encourage Israeli migration to the West Bank. These settlements are considered illegal by the United Nations, since they violate international law, which forbids occupying land acquired by force. Indeed, Theodor Meron, legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 1967, wrote after the Six-Day War, “My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” Multiple UN resolutions have condemned these settlements - a position reinforced in March by the UN Human Rights Council. Aside from abstract legal theory, however, these settlements are problematic for several reasons. Firstly, they severely undermine the possibility of the creation of a viable, independent Palestinian state. Even Netanyahu has acknowledged that the two-state solution is the only possible agreement that would lead to sustainable peace. Yet, the continuing encroachment of Israelis into the West Bank is stripping away critical land from what would become Palestine. Moreover, the scattered nature of the settlements renders a geographically contiguous Palestinian state increasingly difficult. Israeli occupation not only makes peace unlikely, but also causes enormous hardship to Palestinians on a daily basis. Access to water is limited, as Israel pumps water from occupied territories to meet its own needs. Palestinians receive, on average, about 1/3 less water than is recommended,

and some are not even connected to any water grid. Electricity, too, is often restricted, especially in the summer. Economically, the occupation has been devastating to Palestinians. A new Oxfam report outlines how the Jordan Valley, which the report calls Palestine’s “potential breadbasket,” has been off limits for Palestinian farmers. Transportation infrastructure is often restricted for only Israeli usage. Settlements in the West Bank must be understood to be a military occupation; a constant presence in the domestic lives of Palestinians.* As the occupation subjugates those in Palestine, Israel’s refusal to grant the right of return to Palestinian refugees ensures that millions continue to languish in refugee camps. There are almost 5 million people today living in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan as the direct result of their family’s expulsion from their homes. Many of these families were living in what is today Israel; still others were kicked out of the West Bank in 1967 during the Six-Day War. Many who support Israel note that only about 50,000 of these refugees were actually forcibly removed from their homes themselves—the rest are merely descendants of refugees. Yet, these descendants still suffer the atrocious conditions associated with life in refugee camps. Increasingly overcrowded, strained for resources, and short of medical personnel, the refugee camps were intended to be interim lodging docks before Palestinians could return home, not permanent cities. Residents struggle with chronic hunger, thirst, and unsanitary conditions. Journalist Grace Halsell, on a visit to a Palestinian SPRING 2014

refugee camp in Jordan, referred to the area as a “Medieval ghetto…filled with uprooted, stateless, scattered people.” Israeli apologists will often assert that these refugees were born in these places, so they are therefore “at home.” But just as an Englishman would hardly feel at home in Estonia, so too Palestinians face cultural isolation in Syria. Many refugees still have the keys and deeds to their old homes: relics preserved to enshrine the memory of their homeland and the hope that they one day can return. Discrepancies between how the Israelis and Palestinians view the issues of settlements and refugees appear to have doomed John Kerry’s mediation efforts. Palestinian leaders also deserve some criticism for the diplomatic stalemate. Yet, by unequivocally halting the construction of new settlements and displaying a genuine willingness to grant Palestine statehood, Israel can display its clear dedication towards peace. With an autonomous Palestinian state, free of Israeli occupation, a solution can be negotiated to grant Palestinian refugees citizenship in this state instead of in Israel. An autonomous Palestinian state will give its citizens dignity and help eliminate a prime rationale for antiIsraeli violence. The appeal of militant groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah will plummet, which will help improve Israeli security. International boycott movements would lose steam. If Israel is serious about future negotiations, with or without American mediation, it must make the concessions necessary to create a lasting peace.



Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The Case for Israel BY YAEL RABIN

Refugees Palestinian refugees are unlike any other type of refugee in the world. They are refugees because their fellow Arabs and Muslims would not take them in and grant them citizenship—not even to the Palestinians living within the borders of other Arab nations. After 1948, the United Nations created a special committee specifically for Palestinian refugees in the Near East called the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). According to the UNRWA, there are nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees. However, these 5 million refugees are obviously not the same refugees from 1948. Under UNWRA, the title of refugee is inherited by any descendent of a Palestinian refugee from 1948. For instance, a Palestinian child born today is considered a refugee even if he or she is born in Jordan, Lebanon, or the United States. So when we hear about the 5 million refugees, let’s not assume they all live in squalor or under oppression. This figure is misleading; some have actually not lived in Palestinian refugee camps for decades (if at all). 19


Another neglected fact is that the money allocated for these refugee camps does nothing for refugees. The authorities within Palestinian refugee camps fail to provide and support refugees with basic amenities. Why are there no pro-Palestinian voices advocating for these Palestinians living under conditions they so love to publicize and brand as a violation of human rights by Israel? Why are they not appealing to UNRWA and the rest of the United Nations for help? Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt all contain Palestinian refugee camps and all deny citizenship to Palestinians living within their borders, denying them any semblance of basic rights. The Arab world views the Palestinians as a pariah and has essentially turned its back on the refugees since the 1973 war. The solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees does not lie with Israel and the Israeli government. It does not lie in peace negotiations. It lies in the Arab world. It lies in cooperation between the Arab world and UNRWA,


and it lies in the recognition of a people whom Arabs created by denying them citizenship within their borders.

Settlements Today, of the entire West Bank,

untruthful with the Palestinian people. Israel, on the other hand, consistently provides beneficial humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territories. For example, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a three-day workshop to train thirty-five leading Palestinian agronomists and farmers to use recycled water. According to a Ministry of Agriculture representative, the thrust of this program was to help Palestinians farmers overcome hardships that were partially the result of the PA itself. This is just one example of how Israel seeks to help and positively influence Palestinians in the West Bank. To argue that settlements are

Jewish settlements make up 1.7% of the land, many of which surround Jerusalem. In areas A and B of the West Bank, which are under complete Palestinian rule and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control, respectively, 40% of the land is Palestinian settlements and 60% of the land is uninhabited. In Area C, which is under complete Israeli civil and security control, Israel has the right to build homes for its people. Israel only has complete control over 1/3 of the West Bank—the part that the Jewish people inhabit. Areas A and B comprise the Palestinian community and is under Palestinian civil control, meaning its infrastructure, schooling, housing, roads, etc. all fall under Palestinian jurisdiction. It is important to stress that the Palestinian population of the West Bank is under Palestinian authority—not Israeli. If a Palestinian wishes to enter Israel’s borders, he or she must submit to Israeli law. To argue that Israel is at fault for any One section of a security barrier put up by Israel in the West Bank. Palestinian infrastructural problems is completely inaccurate. The major obstructions to the peace process Palestinian Authority (PA) fails its people is incorrect. For years, this has prevented in ensuring access to water, sanitation, safe Palestinians from agreeing to join the roads, and housing. The PA fails to provide negotiating table. On November 25, basic infrastructure and does not properly 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin allocate money and funds to Palestinian Netanyahu imposed a ten-month settlements. The PA is notorious for settlement freeze just to bring the PA to abusing its power and is routinely the negotiating table. The PA rejected the SPRING 2014

offer to discuss peace and again we entered an endless cycle of debate and controversy regarding settlements in the West Bank. The issue of settlements will not go away as a result of peace talks, mainly because it appears obvious that the PA does not want a to form a state based on the 1967 armistice lines. There has been ample opportunity for a creation of a Palestinian state, but the real issue preventing said creation is neither refugees nor settlements; rather, it is the fact that Palestinians continue to refuse to recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state and want to return to the 1947 partition plan rejected long ago. Time and again Israel attempted peace with the

Palestinians. Israel has made concessions just to speak the Palestinian leadership. How is Israel supposed to make peace with a people who refuse to acknowledge their existence and their right to live as a free people in their homeland?



Taking Seafood Off the Menu THE INCREASING DANGER OF OVER-FISHING. By Tyler Potter

Imagine a world without fish. It might sound like a minor inconvenience or annoyance to imagine at first blush - no tuna fish sandwiches, no sushi, and certainly no Filet-o-Fish meals from McDonalds. However, the problem becomes deadly serious when you take into account the heavy dependence that more than half of the world has on fish as a key source of protein - and the fact that that source is quickly beginning to disappear. The oceans of the world are more crucial to every aspect to human life than many suspect. Oceans provide anywhere from 50 to 85 percent of the world’s oxygen and 3.5 billion people depend directly upon earth’s oceans a source 21


of protein -- a number estimated to grow to 7 billion in the next twenty years, according to Save the Sea, a non-profit organization for marine conservation. Save the Sea also claims that total fish production has grown approximately 34 percent over the past decade - an indicator of future production in an increasingly crowded world. According to the Economist, twothirds of fish stocks in the high seas are over-exploited; as the need for valuable nutrients found in the sea grows, the supply dwindles. Commercially attractive fish including tuna, cod, swordfish, and marlin have declined by as much as 90 percent in the past century. The damage done by humans over the past century of nearly unregulated ocean affairs is astonishing,


American fisherman collecting their catch from large industrial nets.

and can be attributed to what is known as “The Tragedy of the Commons”. In 1968, Garrett Hardin published an article entitled “The Tragedy of the Commons,” which helps explain the incentives of over-fishing and abuse of valuable sea resources. “The Tragedy of the Commons” explains that if no one “owns” a property/resources, it is held jointly, and it is in an individual’s self-interest to deplete it. In a mad dash to profit from limited resources, there is little thought of the long term effects, and virtually no collaborative sustainability planning. A conservative estimate provided by the Economist reveals that the sea produces over $3 trillion of goods and services, but the environmental impact of this production is practically immeasurable. The “buzz-word” of the decade has been sustainability, but modern and historical production practices of the sea have been anything but.

On December 9th, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared that there has been a “moral and political failure” to protect the ocean. Less than 0.5 percent of marine habitats are protected by law, with 11.5 percent of global land area being protected. It is time for the law of the sea to become as prominent as the law of the land, they are equally important. Unfortunately, the United Nations’ ocean oversight operations are currently separated by specialized departments, and goals are often obscured or divided. The Economist recommends streamlining operations at the UN by merging different sub-organizations pertaining to maritime law and regulations into a “World Oceans Organization”. This organization would have the ability to not only study the issues with pollution and overfishing of the world’s seas, but also have the ability to craft legislation to SPRING 2014

mitigate those issues. Another issue that a “World Oceans Organization” would need to confront is the issue of private property and the seas. Daniel Benjamin, writing for the Property and Environment Research Center, argued for private property in the ocean. According to Benjamin, “Where the commons has been at least partly privatized there is less damage to fish stocks, the fishing is safer, and fewer resources are needed to achieve a given harvest.” Studies by marine biologists show that there is a correlation between marine habitat protection and increased fish size and quantity. The benefits to cooperative solutions are innumerable but many vested interested create a blockade to modern ocean governance. The deterioration of fish stocks, the destruction of biodiversity, the rise of dead zones (unsustainable, oxygen depleted areas in the water), and the failure to curb further damage to the sea by humans must be reversed. Basic economics shows that companies/people take care of property better when they own rather than rent it. This principle can be applied to the sea, but there cannot be a transition to this structure without a more integrated and influential United Nations oversight body. The clock is ticking and there are more questions than answers, but the international community has an obligation to test solutions.



Water: Public or Private?

Mwamongu Village water source, Tanzania.

By Madison Ball It’s the year 2050. Air pollution is at an all time high, with certain geographical regions of the world’s air so full of toxins, it’s considered a health hazard to inhale regularly. A new industry recently emerged: air purification. Air purification companies buy the air in a certain geographical region, clean it, and sell it back to the residents. These companies have made a public good a private good by buying the rights to air in a region or country. Quite simply, these companies own the air and residents must pay them, monthly, to stay. Those who cannot afford to pay the companies are executed. Because the consequences of not paying the air bill are so dire, companies can charge extremely high prices. 23


This hypothetical scenario is not outside of the realm of possibility. Beginning in the late 1990s, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund required developing countries that were unable to pay back their loans to sell their water systems to private investors. The idea was that, by privatizing water, private


companies would be incentivized to provide adequate systems, thereby increasing efficiency and decreasing the corruption that existed in the previously public-funded systems. These vulnerable, underdeveloped nations soon became the targets of corporate giants such as Vivendi, Suez, Bechtel and Coca-Cola. Once these companies had control over a nation’s water, they could increase their prices as much as they wished because their consumers were left with only one choice: pay or die of thirst. Bolivia was a prime target for a privatization scheme and,in 1997,sold its water rights to Bechtel. Bechtel is an Americanbased construction and engineering company, which, in 2013, placed fourth on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies by revenue. Once Bechtel started managing the water, prices began rapidly increasing, in some cases doubling the cost people had been paying under the previous government-run water systems. Outrage erupted in Bolivia when a large portion of the population could not afford Bechtel’s prices, leaving them without access to water. Violence and protest eventually forced Bechtel out of the country, but it was not long until Bolivia had its next runin with privatization. Years later, the Bolivian government signed a contract with Suez to manage the water in the El Alto area of the Bolivian capital.In 2005,Bolivian protest again resulted in the cancellation of their contract. There is a new prospect for mass water privatization on the horizon. This time, however, it’s not in the developing world—it’s in Europe. Crisis countries, such as Greece and Portugal, are particularly vulnerable because of their dependence on “The Troika”— the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Plans for privatization do not end with Portugal and Greece; the European Commission has plans for privatizing water all over Europe. The process has already begun in Pacos de Ferreira, Portugal, where the water industry turned to privatization against the will of its citizens. One dissatisfied citizen told MONITOR, a German public television show, that “In the

past you could drink the water here.It was good, liberalization of water services in the EU, fresh water. Not anymore!” Another resident and to ensure people across the world have described the negative economic consequences access to clean and safe drinking water. of privatization saying, “We had a 400% price On February 17, the first ECI increase in a few years. And then again every hearing for Right2Water took place in the year 6% price increase. This is a disaster.” European Parliament in the presence of the Berlin’s water was privatized in Vice President of the European Commission. 1999 by Veolia, the world leader in water There, the Right2Water campaign urged the services, and the German water giant RWE. EU Commission to declare water a human Privatization caused water prices to increase dramatically, with a majority of the increases being solely for corporate profit. In 2011, the people of Berlin voted on a referendum that forced full disclosure of the contract, exposing many p r o b l e m s , A man collects clean water from a pump in a UK-supported camp for displaced people near including a Sittwe, Burma violation of the Germany’s competition law. The results right, guaranteeing its access to everyone. of the disclosed document pressured the On March 19, the European Commission government to buy back control of its water. officially responded to the ECI by recognizing In 2012, Berlin bought RWE’s stake, and the the importance of water as a public good, city is to pay Veolia for its share of control. stating that “[W]ater is not a commercial Citizens of nations in the product.” While the European Commission European Union have responded to has favorably acknowledged the campaign, the threats of privatization with the it has not made any legal commitments first ever European Citizen’s Initiative to implement any change in policy. (ECI). Available since April 1, 2012, The action or inaction of the the ECI allows citizens to add an issue European Commission will have enormous to the political agenda by collecting one implications for the future of water as million signatures from at least seven EU either a public or private good. This Member States. A campaign to resist privatization trend may very well create privatization and organize the ECI has a world in which corporations have the emerged called “Right2Water”. As stated power to dictate who has access to water. by Jan Willem Goudriaan, the vicepresident of Right2Water, the campaign has three main goals: Implement the human right to water, prevent the SPRING 2014



UN youth protest lack of action against climate change after this year’s typhoon in the Philippines.

Obstacles to Acting Against Climate Change By Zack Kashdan

In 2015, the Conference of the Parties (COP) will meet for the twenty-first time to draft a second treaty addressing climate change. The COP meets on regular intervals, set forth in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—an international treaty designed to foster discussion and ultimately create legally binding treaties regarding climate change. However, nations all across the world are already signaling their noncompliance with any future agreement, potentially rendering any new agreement dead on arrival. Let’s begin with China. Eager to bolster its role in the climate change discussion, China has pushed for all nations to ratify



the future treaty. However, China, keeping in mind its classification as a developing country, is asserting that richer nations should lead by example. China cites developed nations’ historical contributions to GHG emissions as the primary reason for urging, among them, the United States to commit to an international treaty. Naturally, such an imposition does not sit well with the United States, especially when taking into account the fact that China recently surpassed Japan’s position as having the second largest economy. China’s demeanor also belies its actions, given the reconstruction of its energy sector. As of 2013, China began


development of what will soon become the largest Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) industry in the world. The magnitude of this stems from the fact that scientists at Duke University have determined “SNG driven electricity production can be expected to generate 36%82% more GHG than traditional pulverized-coal-fired power.” Considering that countries such as the United States are attempting to phaseout coalfired plants due to their already egregious GHG output, the development of these facilities has the potential to be devastating. Protestor vents his/her anger over political ineffectiveness in dealing with climate change. As a major source of result in the latter. The role of coal in these degrading energy programs. The United anthropocentric greenhouse gas emissions, the United States has pledged to talks is only substantiated further by the fact States, despite its vocal agreement to take adhere to the future treaty. In preparation for that 38% of total emissions stem from power part in the next commitment, is hampered the expected commitment period, President plants in the United States, a third of which by political infighting that may preclude Obama recently submitted a proposal to the are fueled by coal. Thus, the US’s ability any future action. Even the EU, often the Environmental Protection Agency in efforts to effectively participate in the next treaty leaders in climate change negotiations, to set national limits on carbon emissions. hinges on our ability to either wean ourselves has exemplified its disdain and mistrust of This has led many legislators to claim that off of coal or reconcile partisan divisions. the international community. While the Turning to the European Union, treaty will most likely be implemented, the plan has the potential to cause a great deal of harm to the coal industry in the United things seem to be equally as bleak. Recently, the likelihood of its success is dubitable. States. Thus, the Republican-controlled the European Union has decided to take an House voted 229-183 to block the measure. exceedingly minimal role in the formation of Such infighting regarding climate a new carbon trading market. Many looked change is, of course, nothing new. This to the European Union to be the paragon for obstinate behavior is reminiscent of the international cooperation, as the development controversy surrounding the Kyoto Protocol, of a new carbon market was regarded as an and the resulting Byrd-Hagel resolution. integral step towards a successful Paris 2015. The resolution stipulated that the United However, the European Union also alluded to States would not support any protocol that: a lack of compromise on the part of developing “(A) mandate[s] new commitments to limit countries as a main reason for its inaction. or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Such developing countries continue to impede Annex I Parties, unless the protocol or other progress by failing to commit to a plan of agreement also mandates…greenhouse gas action or provide meaningful fiscal assistance. Unfortunately, it seems that these emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period”; or (B) conferences are marked by a lack of leadership, “would result in serious harm to the economy reliability, and accountability. While of the United States.” Based on the vocal developing nations call for the developed opposition from the House, many believe countries to lead by example, nations such as that phasing out coal-fired plants would China continue to develop environmentally




Secure barrier at the demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel that separates North Korea from South Korea.

Evolution of North Korean Foreign Policy By Juwon Sul

North Korea cannot be left out when discussing intriguing countries. Several predictions have been made throughout its existence discussing the possibility of an abrupt collapse -- but North Korea, though extremely impoverished, managed to survive the deaths of its two leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jung Il. Although always topping the rankings for most undemocratic, failed, or corrupt states, it’s a puzzle that North Korea is still relatively intact while many other of its communist peers have long since collapsed. In trying 27


to understand current North Korean behavior, it is useful to observe how North Korea’s foreign policy changed over time. During the first phase of foreign policy, North Korea genuinely tried to overthrow the South Korean regime and unite the two Koreas by force. North Korea was, at first, far better off than its Southern counterpart. Coming out of the Korean War, South Korea’s GDP per capita was only $79 - one of the lowest in the world at the time - while North Korea was considered as one of the most developed nations in East Asia.


Several North Korean attempts have been made through the 90s to directly assassinate South Korean leaders. One attempt, the Rangoon bombing in 1983 when the President Chun Doo Hwan was visiting Myanmar, nearly succeeded. It considered a sign of respect for all foreign dignitaries visiting Myanmar to visit the mausoleum of Aung San. North Koreans planted a bomb under the roof of the mausoleum, and if there had not been a decision to rehearse at the location before the actual visit, Korea might be one nation today. Although the President’s life was spared, many others perished. The 90s marked a phase to a second phase of North Korean policy towards the South. Due to a severe famine in North Korea, the collapse of its ally and backer the Soviet Union, tremendous economic growth of South Korea, and the death of Kim Il Sung who was revered as a near-god, hostilities towards South Korea decreased significantly. No country, whether democracy or autocracy, can survive without feeding

its people. Combined with economic hardship induced by famines and supply shortages due to lack of support from its allies, North Korea began opening itself to South Korea and the West. North Korea not only received aid from South Korea but also from other international organizations such as the United Nations. The current and third phase of North Korean foreign policy seems to have shifted again to belligerence towards South Korea and the West. The two main factors that may explain this change are the nature of North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jung Un, and the change in China’s attitude towards North Korea. When Kim Jung Il came to power, it was not unexpected as he was named Kim Il Sung’s successor in 1982 and had time to acclimate himself with the North’s political climate before taking power. However, Kim Jung Il’s death was sudden, and the North’s new young leader was not even in his 30s when he came to power. Recent nuclear tests and continued provocation towards South Korea and the United States, seem to be as an effort by this young leader to establish legitimacy and influence in North Korea and the world. Also, the fact that China approved, for the first time, sanctions in the United Nations against North Korea last March imply that the relationship between the two might be changing.

The situation worsened when Kim Jung Un recently executed Jang Song Taek who was considered Kim Jung Un’s and had deep connections with Chinese officials. North Korea seems to have undergone various shifts in its foreign policy due to various internal and external circumstances. The current policy appears to be belligerent, but one should remember that the goal of North Korea is state survival rather than mutual destruction or world conquest. Past experiences demonstrate that North Korea’s foreign policy has been flexible, and its hostile policy will probably mitigate if Kim Jung Un succeeds in stabilizing his grip on the regime.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. SPRING 2014



The Limits of Social Media in Supporting Protestors in Venezuela

Protestors assemble to demonstrate against the Venezuelan government.

By Karen Coronel The Venezuelan protests, which began on February 12, have garnered global attention. Globally supportive humanitarian messages appeared on many social media websites. To my surprise, Binghamton University joined in on the ‘crusade’ of sending supportive messages to Venezuela. Facebook and Twitter were 29

University students show solidarity with Venezuelan protestors in the Twitter campaign #PrayForVenezuela



filled with hashtags and images sending support to Venezuelans. After reading the article, #PrayForVenezuela and the Dangers of Hashtag Humanitarianism, I questioned myself on what exactly I was ‘praying’ for—but I’m getting ahead of myself. First, a recap of events in Venezuela. On February 12, protests erupted in Venezuela lead by

Venezuelan students speak of abuse by police officers during demonstrations and have called for a development of a better, more transparent government. Meanwhile, Maduro and his government have done their utmost to eradicate protesters and their demonstrations and maintain control of the nation. Support for the protests has

“Many of us at Binghamton have forgotten about Venezuela, but the protesters’ struggle continues.” students who demanded an end to goods shortages, better security, and protected freedom of speech. The protests have been held against recently-elected President Nicolás Maduro’s government. Maduro won the presidency on April 14, 2013, after being handpicked as the successor of deceased President Hugo Chávez. President Maduro has lead in essentially the same socialist, “Bolivarian” style of government championed by Chávez. However President Maduro’s government has not been as popularly supported as Chávez’s. High inflation rates and continued crime rates have created new dissidents in Venezuela, and have lead to the continuation of protests. Amid the mass protests around Venezuela, skeptics from both sides of the debate have come forward to share their personal motivations for protesting.

spread throughout the world, with some calling the protests the “Venezuelan Spring” to highlight its similarities with the events of the Arab Spring in 2011. Nevertheless, how many one-time supporters of the protests in Venezuela have moved on to the latest internet trend? These protests continue throughout Venezuela and have become more violent of late; recently, President Maduro accused the United States of foul play and of devising a coup against his government. As time progressed, Maduro accused and charged three Air Force generals with planning an anti-government coup. No further information has been disclosed on what action the Maduro government will take against the accused. The biggest challenge for Venezuela, as was the case during the Arab Spring protests, has been the censorship on media. SPRING 2014

Venezuela banned CNN from operating within the country. As in other mainstream mediarestrictive countries, social media has provided protestors with an outlet for their side of the story. I am not denying the importance of social media in acts of protest against the status quo. I am instead asking “Why we believe assisting nations through social media for a week would help improve the nation’s condition?” Many of us at Binghamton have forgotten about Venezuela, but the protesters’ struggle continues. Protesters hope to find resolutions amidst a strict, violent government crackdown, and they have but a slim opportunity to achieve change Although humanitarian social media makes us feel empowered, social media will not, for the most part, help end the issues that may be occurring abroad. What movements like the one in Venezuela need are our continued attention, support, and activism— and yes, sometimes that requires a bit more than 140 characters.



SPECIAL THANKS To the following groups and individuals

Binghamton University Political Science Department

Pipe Dream Student Newspaper

Binghamton University Classical and Near Eastern Studies Department

Convocations Committee

Binghamton University History Department

Professor Benjamin Fordham

Binghamton University Sociology Department Binghamton University Student Association The Office of the Dean of Harpur College


Professor David Clark Professor Kent Schull Ms. Sandra Glemby Ms. Kathleen Fedorchak

Binghamton Alumni Association

Dorm Room Diplomacy acknowledges that the content presented in any given presentation may not reflect each of the various perspectives on a given issue. Often political material is biased with little attempt to discuss the many dimensions that surround a given reality. Dorm Room Diplomacy has no political or religious affiliation and is in the process of becoming a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization.

Binghamton Journal on Diplomacy and Security  

The second edition of Binghamton Dorm Room Diplomacy's annual international relations journal.

Binghamton Journal on Diplomacy and Security  

The second edition of Binghamton Dorm Room Diplomacy's annual international relations journal.