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Air & Space Power Journal

Volume 05, Issue 3, Fall 2014

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Diamonds, Oil, and the American Media
Filtering Out the Logic of Plunder in the Angolan Civil War

Christopher R. Cook, PhD
The Angolan Civil War lasted from 1975, the year of Angola’s independence, to 2002 with some brief intermissions. The war, which destroyed the country’s economy and infrastructure, killed up to half a million civilians. At any given time, the conflict brought in troops and mercenaries from Zaire, Cuba, and South Africa as well as billions of dollars’ worth of aid and materiel from the United States and Soviet Union. The United States found itself stuck in a unique Cold War bind. From a twenty-first-century perspective, it would be easy to say that Angola was the Cold War stereotype of a third world conflict. However, this dichotomy of good and evil would be an oversimplification. Angola presents a fascinating case study of media coverage of a conflict. The media’s power to influence foreign policy has been the subject of ongoing debate. Coverage of Angola in the two elite newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post, was quite extensive throughout the 1980s.

US Covert and Overt Operations in Liberia, 1970s to 2003

Niels Hahn, PhD
This article examines the US Government's (USG) covert and overt operations in Liberia from the late 1970s to 2003. During this period, the USG was instrumental in removing three Liberian governments, through different methods that gradually changed from covert operations to overt intervention. The USG's role in removing President Tolbert's administration in 1980 was the most discrete, leaving only a light US footprint. However, ten years later when President Doe's administration was removed, the USG was more overtly involved, financing and advising West African intervention forces and rebel groups. When President Taylor's administration was removed in 2003, the USG became directly involved through political and military interventions, leading to the deployment of a large US-led UN military force. This article is based on research carried out over 10 years, and draws predominantly on primary sources of data.

Mad Science?
Possibilities for and Examples of Synthetic (Neo)Traditional Practices of Justice and Acknowledgement

Joanna R. Quinn, PhD
The impact of information transmission has been enormous, in globalizing norms and principles, and in bringing new participants into political and social processes, particularly in emerging areas of study such as Transitional Justice. The advancement and use of mechanisms of Transitional Justice is due in large part to the growing exchange of information and participants, and to the facility of that exchange. This paper considers the impact of this communication on the use and development of traditional practices of justice and acknowledgement. Where previously such practices were carried out only within particular ethnic groups, for example, synthetic approaches are now being developed, whether organically, as with the Karamojong and Iteso, or the “bending of spears” among several other ethnic groups in Uganda; or superimposed, as with the Hutu and Tutsi in gacaca courts in post-genocide Rwanda. The paper explores those neo-traditional practices that have been created; those that might be created, as with the Fiji Indians and Ethno-Fijians; how they work; and the implications of that synthesis.

Towards a Regional Solution to Somali Piracy
Challenges and Opportunities

Jens Vestergaard Madsen
Liza Kane-Hartnett

Piracy has topped the international agenda since 2008, when Somali piracy resurfaced as a major threat to global shipping, humanitarian aid delivery, and the well-being of seafarers. The international community responded to this threat with crisis response operations in the form of naval patrols and convoys, privately contracted armed security personnel, and industry best management practices. In addition to crisis response operations, the international community has focused on building capacity in the Western Indian Ocean region with the aim of developing a long-term sustainable solution to piracy. This paper will analyze current international efforts to address piracy, and will propose a way ahead that focuses on leadership from local Somali authorities.

Arab Spring
The Responsibility to Protect and a Selective International Response

Cansu Atilgan
Throughout history the international community has witnessed many massacres, simply looking on while most of them occurred. Many decisions made under international law concerning a large number of atrocities committed are controversial. The controversy stems from concepts, the process by which concepts become norms, and contradictions between concepts and practices. The most striking of these concepts is undoubtedly that of intervention. Whereas intervention itself has a contentious history, the concepts of humanitarian, military, and humanitarian military intervention must remain part of these discussions. This article first explores humanitarian intervention, the basis of the main concept addressed here throughout. Specifically, the discussion examines the process leading from humanitarian intervention to the responsibility to protect (R2P). R2P includes three stages of responsibility: (1) the responsibility to prevent, (2) the responsibility to react, and (3) the responsibility to rebuild.

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