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Hypocrisy in Pakistan: Balochistan insurgency and long-standing conflict are red flags for Beijing

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has strengthened cooperation and collaboration between Pakistan and China; however, Pakistan’s corruption within the government and involvement in Kashmir has made Beijing skeptical about its investment in the country. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping disclosed China’s plan to reroute global trade with the BRI. Inspired by the Ancient Silk Road dating as far back as 200 B.C., China built an economic belt, consisting of six corridors that serve as land trading routes. For example, there is a railroad connecting China to London and gas pipes connecting the Caspian Sea to China. Additionally, the Maritime Silk Road is a chain of seaports connecting the So

Drone Warfare: Emerging Tactics and Strategic Implications

The introduction of drones onto the battlefield, not only within the military sphere but also the commercial, has the potential to give insurgents historically unprecedented access to air power. Whereas previously, insurgents had been unable to compete with states in the air, drones “democratize” the battlefield, giving militants access to cheap, expendable, and versatile tools for reconnaissance, sabotage, and acts of terror. As the 2019 drone attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities demonstrate, drones are quickly become ubiquitous tools of modern warfare not only for states, but for militants and terrorists as well. Prior to the 21st century, air power was limited to airplanes and helicopte

FATF: Pakistan on the Verge of being Blacklisted

The Financial Action Task Force, FATF, was founded in 1989 and is considered to be the ‘watchdog’ of money laundering and terrorist financing. The organization is made up of thirty-seven different countries and two regional organizations. The standards and regulations that are made from this organization are followed by all members and a plethora of different international and continental financial aid organizations. When a country is in compliance with the standards that are set, then they will be able to have access to all of the international financial aid organizations to aid their economy. If a country is not in compliance then sanctions will be implemented. If the country still does no

Terrorist Propaganda: Islamic State’s Nasheeds

Proliferating propaganda through the media allows terrorist groups to reach a vast audience on a global scale. The Islamic State of the Levant and Syria (ISIL) is known for its sophisticated media propaganda which is spread on various platforms across the web and has surpassed other terrorist groups’ ability to promote their messages. ISIL propaganda is mainly characterized by high-quality videos and imagery which are often accompanied by nasheeds - acapella hymns that purportedly express religious feelings of Islam. The content of nasheeds produced by ISIL, however, consolidates the group’s extremist ideology and messages towards viewers. Besides accompanying the group’s videos, they are pl

Artificial Intelligence: A Tool for Terrorism?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of machines to learn and perform tasks that are usually completed by humans. As the development of new AI systems proves to be helpful to the efficiency and effectiveness of routine tasks, society must also prepare for and examine future risks posed by AI technology. Terrorists can use AI as a tool due to exposed vulnerabilities, accessibility through commercial markets, partnership with other terrorist networks, and overall AI capability improvements. Although private companies and the federal government strive to refine AI security and standards, terrorists can still use AI technology to their advantage, threatening national security. AI is becom

Violence Against Ebola Responders Creates Dire Situation in Democratic Republic of Congo

Since August of 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been facing the second deadliest outbreak of the Ebola virus since its discovery in 1976. According to resources published by the World Health Organization (WHO), 2150 deaths have been confirmed as of October 12. The rising death toll appears in spite of the development of an effective Ebola vaccine. While international efforts are currently combatting the outbreak, conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo - ongoing armed conflicts, political protests, and local distrust of government - has hindered efforts and created ripe conditions for future outbreaks. The Ebola virus is thought to naturally originate from fruit bats

HIV Outbreak and Sanitation Concerns in Pakistan

In late April of 2019, Pakistan uncovered their latest HIV outbreak. The outbreak was discovered in the Ratodero neighborhood located in the city of Larkana. In the Sindh province in southern Pakistan, investigative, diagnostic, and recovery efforts continue. While this is not the first HIV outbreak Pakistan has experienced, it is the most recent. This outbreak is unique due to the child demographic impact and outbreak size. As more people are tested, and the number of infected individuals continues to increase, following up with investigative efforts, response, and recovery is important. Areas experiencing and recovering from global hazards, such as outbreak, are particularly vulnerable to

Vulnerabilities of Industrial IoTs

The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved the way society operates, with data and the connectivity of the world that can be readily accessed at the convenience of the user has changed the everyday life. Rapidly developing into the industrial sector, known as industrial internet of things (IIoT) or the industrial internet, has attracted many industries from power utilities to the oil and gas industry. The informal definition of IIoT’s is, “all various sets of hardware pieces that work together through internet of things connectivity to help enhance manufacturing and industrial processes.” Similar to IoT, IIoT’s take on a machine–to–machine (M2M) approach with processing and collecting large am

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