The Best Self Defense Weapons For Unarmed Security Guards

Often times unarmed security guards find themselves in potentially dangerous or violent situations with someone who is armed and/or dangerous. Because their resources are limited in terms of weaponry, they may have to resort to regular, unassuming items that are part of everyday life to help gain some leverage and protect themselves. Here are some of the best sources of self-protection for unarmed guards:

Keys: Despite being a mundane item that most of us would never think to use in a combative way, keys can be a powerful go-to weapon for guards who have limited options in terms of protection. They are also one of the few items that guards may have on their person at any given time. When held between your fingers with the ends pointing out, keys can simulate illegal weapons such as brass knuckles, and provide a quick defense against an attacker or simply as peace of mind when in a potentially compromising situation.

Pens: A pen is a rarely-used, last-resort type of weapon, but also one that is likely to be within reach in many environments, including that of an unarmed security guard. It most often comes into play when a person is caught in a situation where they must employ a grassroots method of self-protection. The pointed tip of a pen can do some serious damage when applied with great force, and, despite the grisly nature of such a scenario, can be a saving grace in a random attack of violence or aggression. In the same way that pens with rubber grips are preferable for easy writing, they’d prove equally resourceful when being used to defend oneself.

Flashlights: Though most unarmed security guards are not permitted to carry anything that resembles a weapon, it is standard for them to carry flashlights, especially when working at night or in an area that has poor or dim lighting. Though it is not intended to be used a weapon, a flashlight can act as a valuable resource for a guard who is in a precarious situation where he must defend himself. Flashlights are often quite heavy, especially industrial-sized ones made of steel or metal. The shape and weight of flashlights make for a solid form of self-protection, especially if a guard is faced with an attacker who is armed and undoubtedly, dangerous.

Breath Spray: This may sound strange, even comical, but anyone who’s ever felt the icy sting of a wrong-way nozzle (pointed anywhere near the eye) of a pocket breath spray will attest to their minty (though burning!) capabilities; fresh breath sprays are highly potent in anti-bacterial and cooling properties, while some even contain chlorine dioxide; these agents are all meant to be ingested as directed for specific purposes only and an accidental (or emergency) spray to the eye would result in a not-so-fresh feeling of burning beyond belief. This tactic would leave an attacker temporarily clouded vision and may allow the victim to escape or overtake the situation

Home Security Driveway Alarms: Your First Line of Defense

A home security driveway alarm will ensure you rest serenely and safely allowing you the reasonable expectation to sleep peacefully at night and not in fear of a break-in. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns homeowners that a burglary occurs in the United States every 15 seconds. Not surprisingly, a majority a homeowners are a victim to burglaries most often during the daytime, when homeowners are most likely to be at work or school. When this happens in what should be your sanctuary, you may feel violated and vulnerable. Avoid becoming another statistic and protect your home with a defence monitoring system.

Features of a Home Security Driveway Alarm

The need for a monitoring system for a house is clear and an easy solution is with a system in driveway. It is a great addition to a security system because it illuminates the path the leads directly to a homeowner’s front door. Increase your feeling of security by being alerted the moment an intruder approaches your home. It is a set of usually infrared motion sensors that emit distinct sounds such as classical, Westminster, whistle or chimes with adjustable volume control. The range of your transmitter can be set from 40 to over 1,000 feet, depending on the model. This device is an excellent way to extend the boundaries of your current security system. Another great feature with monitoring systems for home is that more often than not they include a warranty when you purchase the system. There is nothing like a guarantee when you purchase additional security for your home.

Driveway Alarms for Multiple Purposes

There are many different types of monitoring systems so ensure that you choose a system that is compatible with your specific needs. May be you currently have a home security system but would like to have additional security. Or maybe you have a house that is an annual target for those teenagers who like to egg your home to celebrate their high school’s Homecoming football game. With your monitoring system, you can now scare away those pesky teenagers, not only with one of the four pre-programmed sounds but with your pre-recorded message. Or, better yet, you can now have fair warning when you in-laws have arrived, as usual, unexpected. Even though they are called driveway alarms, do not rule them out if you do not have a driveway, you can install them anywhere on your property.

Additional Accessories

When you add security to your home with a driveway alarm system, you have more options than just the standard four sounds that come with your device. You can also add strobe lights and sirens to really discourage possible burglars. Some systems even have the capability of automatically dialing a monitoring system or it can be programmed to notify friends or family members in the case of an intrusion.

Ford Motor Company – Case Study

Ford Motors is one of three leading automotive manufacturing companies in the United States. Based in Michigan in 1903 by Henry ford and grew to reach revenue of $150 billion and more than 370,000 employees by 1996 [1]. In the 1970’s, the automobile market for the major auto makers – General Motors (GM), Ford, and Chrysler- was crunched by competition from foreign manufactures such as Toyota and Honda. In 1999, Ford acquired the Swedish Volvo model in an attempt to compete in the foreign market and expand to other regions. Furthermore, Ford launched a full organization re-engineering business process plan called “Ford 2000” aiming at reestablishing the company’s infrastructure. The process meant reduction in their Vehicle Centers (VCs) to only five covering the operations that spanned 200 countries. It also meant cutting redundancies and requiring Information Technology (IT) to be the driving force and the link between Ford centers worldwide.

In building Ford’s IT infrastructure, the company focused on implementing a setup that supported the TCP/IP communication protocol based on the U.S. department of Defense requirements. At those days, Ford internal network was meant to serve files transfer unlike most companies that used the network mainly for email communications. Throughout the 1990’s, Ford developed a cost effective Global Enterprise Network Integration (GENI) process to link all its locations compromising on the type of the connection and the cabling in favor of full coverage. During the same time, Ford started building its Web Farm, which was basically a set of hardware and software managed by a team for building Ford’s public website. The work started by publishing documents for technical references and moved to more advanced images from a live auto show. As a result, the website received 1 million visits a day in less than 2 years after its official launch. Throughout the end of the 90’s, Ford established its web services by increasing the amount of information published, building more intelligent and standard web application in 12 weeks period, purchasing more Netscape browsers for setup on its users’ machines, and creating a B2B server to allow the suppliers secured access to Ford’s Intranet.

In the path towards service cost reduction and bringing more business through the web, Ford worked closely with its competitors in the U.S. market GM and Chrysler to establish what came to be known as “Automotive Network Exchange” (ANX) certificate. The protocols aimed at providing a unified communications standard through the Internet to enable suppliers to provide common technology for all manufacturers. Moreover, Ford focused on making information on its web site more accessible and useful by deploying a team to manage the process of adding and updating information based on an analysis of how humans deal with information. One final aspect of Fords endeavor was to try to build a model through its infrastructure that benefited from the model implemented by Dell computers to improve their supply chain and delivery process. The direct model would not work well for automotives as it would with computers, as a result Ford worked on its retailing network remodeling and identifying what would eventually give it the extra edge in delivery time.

Enterprise Architecture Issues

Ford’s regional expansion to address the competition for market shares demanded cost management for the infrastructure upgrades
IT infrastructure places limitations on the type of application development based on the platforms
Easy access to information and prompt delivery of vital data to key individuals requires proper knowledge managementOrganizations reengineering and process remodeling is necessary when adapting new technologies to maintain the cost and increase efficiency
Supply chain errors and delays can severely affect the progress of the business and the market value of the corporation


Infrastructure Upgrade

Since the inception of the Internet in the 1960’s, much effort has been made in standardizing how computers connect to it. In 1982, the International Organization for Standards (ISO) realized that during that period many ad hoc networking systems were already using the TCP/IP protocol for communications and thus adapted it as a standard in its model for the Internet network [2]. The main driver for IP convergence, at that period, was the growth in data traffic through wide area networks (WANs) established by local companies. Furthermore, in 1991, the Internet was open for commercial use, and that demanded a reduction in the total cost of operating the network to cope with 1 million Internet hosts that materialized in only 1-year time. Telecommunications companies like AT&T understood the potential and worked on standardizing the network offering voice services over IP networks that managed the separation between voice and data transmission [3].

At the same time, Ford had launched its plan to update its infrastructure, and seized the opportunity brought by the global movement of integrating the voice, fax transmission network with data transmission and expanded its WAN to include its offices in Europe and elsewhere. The financial benefits also came from the fact that Ford adapted the TCP/IP protocol from the beginning and made sure that all its technical infrastructure upgrades adhere to the standards. This made the transition of its system to the Internet as cost effective as it could be.

Web Technologies

Intranets employ the hypertext and multimedia technology used on the Internet. Prior to 1989, when Tim burners-Lee invented the Web [4], most applications used standard development languages such as C and C++ to create desktop applications that were proprietary and dependent on the platform. For example, applications running on a command-based operating system such as UNIX would not run under Windows, and those working for PCs might not work on Apple computers and vice versa [5]. The invention of HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) introduced a new model for applications that conform to the standards provided by a single program, the “Web Browser”. Unlike standard applications, the browser brought a unified interface that had a very fast learning curve. Users seem to require no additional training to work with web browsers. Furthermore, system administrators did not have to spend time installing upgrades on users’ machines, since the Intranet client/server architecture facilitated all the updates through the connection with the web server [6].

Since Ford established its Intranet, it was aiming at building web applications through the initial analysis of “Mosaic”, the early form of web browsers. The technical department at Ford used web languages to create the first web site in 1995. In 1996, the team started building applications making use of the unified “Netscape” browser that was deployed on all machines at the company, and working on a standard template to cut on the development life cycle. There was a substantial cut in training cost due to the user-friendly interface of web applications. Furthermore, the speed of development made vital applications available to different individuals across the company. For example, the B2B site allowed suppliers remote and secured access to various sections of Ford’s Intranet. In addition, the development team created an application as a virtual teardown on Ford’s website where Ford’s engineers could examine parts of competitors’ cars and evaluate any new technologies. The alternative would have been an actual trip to a physical location where Ford tears down cars to examine the parts.

Knowledge Management

While there are many definitions for knowledge, each company might adapt its own based on how it analysis data and information to acquire knowledge. The University of Kentucky, for example, defines knowledge as “a vital organization resource. It is the raw material, work-in process, and finished good of decision-making. Distinct types of knowledge used by decision makers include information, procedures, and heuristics, among others… ” [7].

Organizations go through different activities to manage the amount of information they collect to form the knowledge base of the company. Activities include creating databases of best practices and market intelligence analysis, gathering filtering and classifying data, incorporating knowledge into business applications used by employees, and developing focal points for facilitating knowledge flow and building skills [8].

Ford was excited about the traffic it was receiving on the Web site and everyone was publishing all the material they have on desk on the Intranet. Nevertheless, there was a growing concern about the usability and usefulness of the material people were adding. As a result, Ford created a “Knowledge Domain Team” to build complete information in nine areas that were identified as vital to the business. The process Ford took was based on surveys and specialists input in how people perceive information, and what is considered vital and what is distracting in the structure of Ford’s website. The aim behind the initiative was to reduce the time individuals spent in searching for information through proper indexing of the website content, and making sure that what was important could be accessed in due time, and what is trivial did not overwhelm the researcher with thousands of results.

Business Re-engineering

In the area of organization’s re-engineering process innovation is the set of activities that achieve substantial business improvements. Companies seeking to benefit from process innovation go through the regime of identifying the processes, the factors for change, developing the vision, understanding the current process, and building a prototype for the new organization. History shows that organizations who define their processes properly will not have problems managing the issues and developing the change factors [9]. When introducing technology, business redesign is necessary. The industrial fields have been using Information Technology to remodel processes, control production, and manage material for generations. However, it is only recently that companies recognized that the fusion of IT and business would go beyond automation to fundamentally reshaping how business processes are undertaken [10].

When foreign companies were allowed to compete in the U.S. market, Ford understood that to succeed in business in a competitive arena it needed to implement strategies that competitors find difficult to imitate [11]. As a result, Ford bought Sweden Volvo to enter the European market, and partially owned Mazda to have a competitive edge with Japanese cars1 [12]. To achieve that it re-engineered its production development activities and global corporate organization and processes for dramatic cost reduction. Furthermore, it understood that expansion requires collaboration and alignment, and thus planned to establish the IT infrastructure through a WAN that connected all the offices. In the process of innovation and re-engineering, Ford has set policies to manage the cost of establishing the network, built models for continuous implementation, and organized global meetings to align all parties with the process. Adding to that, when it came to managing the website, Ford facilitated an awareness campaign for all the branches to understand that Ford is using the web to collaborate and research and adapting information technology as a way to maximize its business value. The goal for Ford was to maintain its leadership in the market and to do that in the most efficient and cost effective method that is there.

Traveler Security – How to Stay Safe While Out of Your Comfort Zone and Survive While Traveling

The enclosed recommendations are a result of my travel throughout the world on business for 20+ years. These observations are offered as a helpful supplement to other sources on the web dealing with personal security issues while traveling. My apologies to those who do not find these observations pertinent to their particular situation. Allow me to say that these suggestions are offered freely and without restriction so they may be passed around with no obligation. Very little of this information is original to me, and I apologize if anyone has written anything similar. Also, I am not a security professional and make no claims of expertise. This stuff works for me… each reader’s mileage may vary. Some of my ideas might actually get people in trouble with the authorities and/or cause physical harm. Please read this with an open mind and a critical eye. .

Lots of US Embassy staff, host country Federal Police and Army staff gave me input, horror stories and advice regarding personal safety issues while I was visiting and working in overseas markets… mainly, Latin America, but including trips to Western European and Pacific Rim countries.

I also have input from international and US expatriates living and working there. I know that many people have a lot of experience in many different countries, and may honestly laugh at all these ideas and issues presented here as stupid and alarmist. How you take it is your business… it is submitted in serious concern for the safety of all international travelers.

It was necessary for me to learn this stuff because I have lived and worked outside the US most of my life. I first traveled internationally in the 1960s and retired in 2005 to live in Argentina. I hope you can understand that the world in post 9-11 has really changed. Radicals of the right, the left and the lunatic religious extreme and NarcoTerrorists all celebrated when the twin towers went down. You should also be aware that even pre 9-11, international travel was seriously more dangerous than it was in the 1960s. Now, bad guys all over the world have become more encouraged by their perception that bad guys can get away with bad stuff… hence, have become more aggressive.

* TRY TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF with the area you plan to visit. There are various aggregates of news that allow one to program their search “bots” to look for keywords involving your area of interest. I use Yahoo News, DogPile News Search element and some others. I also look for the local news sources for the area in question on the web. Here are some questions you should consider when seeking information about your geographical area of interest.

* Are terrorist/organized criminal groups currently active in the area?
* Do they aggressively attack visiting foreigners? Or, is it more local-on-local crime?
* How active are they? How violent have they proven to be within the last 4 – 12 months?
* How sophisticated are they? Do they use military weapons and tactics?
* Are they predictable? Can you expect to be safer by staying out of known areas of operation?
* Will local citizens warn visiting foreigners? Do you have local contacts who can advise you?

Groups and individuals have demonstrated their willingness to employ terrorist/criminal tactics to further their agendas. While some threats have a regional focus, others have become international and affect multiple areas. Foreign visitors, military and diplomatic staff are seriously targeted in virtually every region of the world.

Consider ways you might become a victim of a criminal/NarcoTerrorist attack. Several factors to keep in mind include:


Taxis: Try to never travel alone in a taxi. Try to never take a taxi off the street. Try to ALWAYS have a taxi company card on you and call or have someone call the cab for you. If not, a taxicab stand is the next best solution. Even US embassy marines have to take these precautions, and we know they’re in good shape… pretty tough in a fight. They are also excellent sources of good local information. Unfortunately, one of the thriving businesses in criminal/NarcoTerror Land is to pick up a rich guy (you) off the street in a taxi, and around the corner are two additional thugs with guns who escort you to a quiet place, strip the rich guy, take his luggage, etc.

If a Visa or debit card is found, they will escort you to an ATM and make you withdraw the daily limit before they strip you naked and leave you on the side of the road. Unless… if they are impressed with what they find among your effects, the thugs may decide it’s worth a try to sell you to the NarcoTerrorists (drug traffickers). They may ask for US$5,000 – US$15,000, knowing the NarcoTerrorists’ usual minimum demand for ransom is US$250k. Then, you may spend the next several years of your life chained to a tree in the jungle swatting mosquitoes and eating undercooked beans. If you or your taxi driver notices a suspicious vehicle or two in the vicinity, consider asking the taxi driver to take you to the nearest police station… or high traffic area.

If you must drive a car and your budget does not include an armored vehicle with “run-flat” tires preceded by a “chase” car and a following “blocker” van full of armed bodyguards, try to rent/select an 4-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance. A heavy-duty bumper is a good idea for running through barricades. If you see a police roadblock manned by only one or two officers and one (or NO) clearly official vehicle, consider running the roadblock or going around it. You may prefer to reverse out of the area quickly to a place where you can turn around and leave the area. If it is really a fake-cop scam (or, off-duty/retired cops pulling a scam), you should be OK. You may really need a heavy duty vehicle for this maneuver. If is a legitimate control point/official police roadblock and they catch you, humbly and VERY politely explain that you are sorry and will never do it again, but a friend of yours warned against false roadblocks by criminals/NarcoTerrorists. All around the world, official roadblocks usually have many, many clearly marked police vehicles and uniformed/heavily armed officers. Don’t forget that NarcoTerrorists have Police uniforms and equipment, too… but, usually not too many official vehicles.

If you happen to be driving down a street and one or more people run out in front of the car in an attempt to stop you, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE to slam down the accelerator as if you are trying to hit them. They will get out of the way.

If you are in a known area for auto-related crime and someone rear-ends your vehicle as if on purpose, consider leaving the scene as rapidly as possible. This is a serious “What if… ?” scenario.

In many countries, police understand if you slow down but fail to stop at traffic lights and stop signs after dark because it is known to be too dangerous at night.

PLEASE BE AWARE that motorcycles and scooters are not always a good idea if you have to try to escape while someone is shooting at you. Car sheet metal isn’t much, but every little bit helps.

ATMs: Try to only go to an ATM in the daytime ANYWHERE in the world. Even in the US. Also, pay attention to who is in the area before, during and after getting your money. Situational awareness is difficult when you’re trying to get the pesky machine to work… so, consider not going to an ATM alone.

Buses: Until 1995, I always felt safe taking the bus. I would still take the Nuevo Laredo – Monterrey bus, but probably think twice about taking one in the Juarez or Sinaloa state areas. Why? The various Colombian and Mexican NarcoTerror groups stop buses full of people as bait to get the government forces to move into kill zones where IEDs take them out. I have seen the results first hand, and seeing where 40+ teenage army guys got brutally cut to pieces by home-made bombs will mess up your whole life.

If you happen to be one of the poor guys shivering naked on the side of the road with 20-30 others watching the NarcoTraficantes molest the women passengers, understand that you will spend the next SEVERAL YEARS of your life eating beans in the jungle. Poor folks get to go home…except for the young and pretty girls and teenage boys they want to draft for paramilitary service for the NarcoTraficantes .

The NarcoTraficantes are studying in the same Islamic extremist terror schools as Al-Qaida, and Colombian/Mexican NarcoTraficantes’ IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are really starting to show up a lot more… in recent cases, bait and blast techniques were used in the south of Mexico to kill lots of soldiers and Federal Police.

At an outdoor table at any restaurant, don’t leave your phone, camera, purse or any other valuables in plain sight or within reach of the walking public. Try to sit as far from vehicular/pedestrian traffic as possible. As always, play the “What if… ? Game” and remain alert to your surroundings. Jenna Bush’s purse was jacked in full daylight in Buenos Aires, surrounded by agents.

When leaving a high-end location, such as an electronics store, Armani, etc, an expensive restaurant or nice hotel, you may have just identified yourself as a potential high-end target. If you are carrying packages, and you put them into an automobile, please try to secure the items in the trunk or a lockable compartment and be aware that you will possibly be followed by thugs with evil intent to your next location. If you are in a Range Rover or Cadillac Esplanade, you should understand that you are in a rolling high-value target, with little or no secure storage. If you stop and leave the vehicle in any unsecured location after being seen exiting a high-end location, don’t be too surprised if you come back later to find the locks broken or the vehicle stolen.

A wallet is a liability, and I never carry one. I wear a slim, zippered pouch between my T-shirt and external shirt/sweater for credit cards, driving license and copies (NOT originals) of my passport, birth certificate, travel or residency documents. Sometimes, I prefer a photographer’s vest with lots of internal/external zippered or Velcro pockets. This vest can contain as much as a small suitcase… currently, about 4 kilos of stuff. Fanny packs are less secure, so I usually just put reading material, inexpensive sunglasses, gum, etc in them. Cameras/GPSs and other high-end items are secured in Velcro pockets in the vest or coat pocket. As a side note, I have copied and reduced in size all my important documents for daily carry and emailed these copies to several of my web-based email accounts so I can replace them at any time from any internet/print location.

The amount of cash I carry is as small as possible. I keep large denomination bills in a money clip in the bottom of one front pocket with a handkerchief crushed down on top of it. Another money clip contains the daily allotment of small bills is in another front pocket, so I don’t have to flash large bills for most purchases. It is also crammed down in the bottom of the front pocket with another handkerchief crammed on top of it. The bulk of my funds, original passport and other documents, valuables, etc are kept in a WalMart small combination safe that fits in my luggage, which I check in at the front office safe at the hotel when traveling. PLEASE NOTE that I do not agree with several recommendations that a “decoy wallet” stuffed with paper be carried to toss away so as to distract attackers. I prefer throwing my decoy stash of small denomination bills to scatter everywhere as a more time consuming distraction for a better chance of escape.

Luggage security: Most complaints regarding theft, damage or loss involves the contents of luggage. Savvy travelers will make a written inventory of items in their luggage and photograph it in case of loss. Carry important items like medication, eyeglasses, and expensive jewelry in your hand luggage, a traveler’s vest like photographers use to carry their small equipment items, etc. My vest holds up to 8 kilos of goodies. Photocopy the contents of your wallet and your passport. Carry a copy in your hand luggage and leave one at home as back up. Keep luggage under your control until you check in at your destination. Consider traveling with sturdy plain-looking luggage. Expensive looking luggage may be targeted for its perceived contents. External bag tags should not list your full home address and telephone number. I put my cell phone number, my phone number and email address on my tags. I do not put my name or any affiliations on bag tags. Consider defacing your beautiful luggage with big bands of tape all around the outside, laterally, with your phone numbers, email, etc in case of loss.

Consider durable luggage that is capable of being locked or secured and that will withstand being at the bottom of a pile of hundreds of other pieces of luggage without popping open. It is a good idea to add extra banding… $5 for a wide nylon strap with side snap locks at WalMart… or airport plastic wrap or duct tape to your luggage locks to prevent anyone from opening your luggage without detection. When flying, I do NOT lock my bags. I only use self-locking plastic tie-wraps. They work well for securing my luggage. All airport inspectors have replacements if they have to cut your ties to inspect your bags. You can buy these at any home improvement store for about a dollar. The reason for this is that smugglers have been known to slip drugs/weapons, etc into luggage only to retrieve it later and maybe with force. Passengers have unknowingly transported illegal substances/firearms that were slipped into their suitcase by baggage handlers only to be arrested later by authorities. What explanation you would give to prove your innocence to a foreign government of why you are carrying drugs or guns? If your luggage was properly sealed, you should see if it has been tampered with prior to opening it. Report any luggage tampering immediately to security before opening the case.

Luggage locks: If there is a combination lock on the bag, I put a piece of tape on the bag under the lock with the combo… usually, 0-0-0. This is because my bag was seriously harmed by customs forcing the bag open EVEN THOUGH IT WAS UNLOCKED. A sign of the times, no?

Airplane security: Beyond the obvious precautions, I would suggest trying to reserve a window seat as close to the middle of the cabin as possible. The rear and front of each cabin is where the bad guys congregate to watch over the victims. Consider what you can do to avoid being obvious about your business/military/nationality/religious affiliations.

Cruise Ship Security: Cruise ships are like a small city where passengers are encouraged to forget their troubles and relax once onboard ship. It is natural for passengers on vacation to let their guard down, especially when out to sea in a resort-like setting. Try to not let a false sense of security aboard a cruise ruin your vacation by becoming a crime victim. Before you ship out, consider taking some of these preventative steps:

After you enter your cabin, and while the door is still open, always check inside the bathroom or closest before sitting down inside. Don’t assume that your cabin is as secure as a hotel. Many people have keys to your cabin and your cabin door may be left standing open for hours while the cleaning crews or cabin steward services the room. Cabin doors locks are sometimes horribly outdated and are not re-keyed as frequently as hotel rooms. Obviously, don’t leave valuable items lying around. It is a good idea to have inventoried your luggage and photographed expensive items at home, and even emailed the info to your web email account for easy retrieval anywhere before you packed them at home in case of loss. Since most ship passengers are set up on a charge account system, be sure to use the ship safe deposit box for storage of valuable items, papers, credit cards or extra cash. Use all locks on the cabin door including the night latch. Consider carrying a hardware store door stop in your luggage and deploying it for extra security while in the cabin. Some are available with alarms from web suppliers. Don’t open your cabin door to strangers. Whatever the person wants can be expressed from the other side of the closed and locked door. Be sure to teach children about this important procedure.

Just like in a hotel, protect your cabin key and cabin number. Dishonest crew or passengers will look for the opportunity to snatch a loose key or one that is left unattended. When in port, be sure to leave your key with the registration desk before disembarking.

Remember the phony hairspray/deodorant can safe if small items need to be secured and no safe is available. Once on board and out to sea, don’t assume that you are totally safe from criminal acts. While there is little danger of an outside predator robbing or attacking you on a cruise ship, crimes can just as easily be committed by crew members or by fellow passengers. Many cruise lines hire transient and seasonal employees at low wages. Because of this, turnover is high and cruise lines struggle to keep a ship fully staffed. While most crew members are hardworking and honest people, you cannot assume that the ship has properly screened that nice cabin attendant, waiter or below deck crew.. Consider a Family Security Plan: If you bring your children aboard, be sure to establish family rules in advance. Set curfews and restrictions…just like at home. Teenagers especially should be told never to accompany crew members into non-public areas nor should crew members be allowed inside your cabin. Being at sea can cause a false sense of security. Even though the crime incident rate per thousand is relatively low, there can still be predators on board. Ship nightclubs, casinos, swimming pools and jacuzzis are favorite spots for those looking for a victim.

You also need to keep your guard up with intoxicated passengers. Food and liquor consumption peaks on board ships and cause bring out the worst in some people not used to it. Just because passengers are dressed up, doesn’t mean they will act appropriately or not be overly aggressive. It is not unheard of for a ship passenger to slip a drug into your drink and take advantage of you just like on shore. There are pickpockets, purse thieves, and cabin burglars on board waiting for you to let your guard down or become careless. There are also scam artists who seek and prey on rich vacationers if given the chance.

Your family security plan for children might include bed checks, curfews, restrictions, and special meeting places. Beware of which children they hang out with, just like at home. Your children can be exposed to other children who use drugs or like to get into mischief, just like at home. Try to limit your child to ship sponsored activities in public areas. You should make contact with your children periodically even if they are supervised. Giving them the run of the ship while you are otherwise engaged is not a good idea. Always have a backup plan and identify a ship crew member as a contact person in case your child fails to show up or you get separated at a port. Make certain that the kids understand there is nothing you can do to retrieve a kid from the police if they are caught in a foreign country with contraband.

You are not in Kansas anymore. Although you boarded a ship in a US port doesn’t mean that you are protected by the US justice system. Most ships are registered in non-US countries and travel in territorial waters where US laws might not apply. The cruise industry does not report crime data consistently, if at all, to the FBI or have a database of ships with the most crime problems. Shipboard crimes sometimes fall into a “no man’s land” of law enforcement. A crime can occur between two people of different nationalities, on a ship from a third country, and in the territorial waters of a fourth country. The governing law is the International Maritime Law and is not as well developed as US law. Reporting a crime on board a cruise ship doesn’t mean anything will be done or that the crime will ever be investigated. The FBI is the only US law enforcement agency that can investigate a major crime but only if it occurs in International waters, otherwise crimes are reported to the jurisdiction of the closest foreign country and to the embassies of the parties involved. Prosecution of crime, in many cases, will be left in the hands of the local port authority where no one can predict the outcome.

Be aware that if you or your family member gets into trouble on board a ship or in a port, you may be held accountable to the laws of a foreign country. The thing to do is to stay alert, be cautious, and stay safe while at sea. For details on the safety record of your cruise ship or how your ship will handle problems such are lost luggage or crime acts, contact the cruise line directly and ask for written disclosure of their policies and regulations. You can also contact the Cruise Lines International Association in New York City who represents the twenty five largest cruise lines for more information.


Location: Local terrorists may target locations frequented by foreigners or foreign military personnel such as certain hotels, apartment buildings, public transportation centers, and nightclubs. Avoid possible target locations. They often use the employees of foreigner frequented establishments, taxi drivers, airport staff (especially banking/money changing establishment personnel) and adult entertainment workers as associates or sources of information about possible lucrative targets.

Opportunity: Terrorists and criminals look for “soft targets”… so, learn to avoid appearing so. It is difficult to over stress the need to maintain vigilance, practice good personal safety, and to alert the proper authorities of suspicious behavior. If you find yourself unable to avoid being outdoors at night, try to walk down the middle of the street (not always possible). Be especially watchful if passing a large van or a vehicle with people in it, courtyards and deep doorways near your path. Walk purposefully with strong, determined strides… shoulders back, head erect, head and eyes constantly moving. Use windows/mirrors near the street to check your surroundings. Under no circumstances allow anyone to engage you in conversation at this time. Criminals will try to slow you down while their helpers get into position to assault you. Keep moving, speak into your cell phone as if carrying on a conversation… preferably in a language you think the possible attackers don’t know. To attack you, terrorists generally must perceive you, your association, or your location as a target. Put serious thought on the subject of how to avoid appearing to be an easy target.

Be alert for how criminals/NarcoTerrorists prepare and conduct attacks through predictable steps. Through vigilance, you might be able to recognize preparations for an attack before it is executed. Be alert to unusual behavior that may indicate intelligence gathering, surveillance, collecting materials for attack, dry runs, and rehearsals. For example:

* Taking photos or videos of potential targets
* Writing notes or sketching details about a possible target
* Showing abnormal attention to details of routine activities and security measures
* Using false identification
* Paying cash for items normally bought on credit
* Purchasing large quantities of items that could be used as part of an attack (e.g., chemicals or cell phones)
* If you see something unusual, report it immediately to security officials for further investigation. Make a note of the individual’s description and activities, the time of day, and equipment being used.

Terrorist/criminal attacks at the Spanish/English/Japanese rail systems, Mexican border towns, Bali, Indonesia, Luxor, Egypt, London, England, and other tourist locations signal an increased threat to foreign travelers. While visiting a new location, it is natural to tour local sites of interest. While sightseeing, you should keep good anti-crime/anti-terrorism practices in mind.

Plan Ahead

* Research any known potential threats in the area. If the threat is elevated, take extra precautions or postpone your activities.
* Plan activities and a route that includes safe locations. Keep thinking, “What if…”
* Ask a friend or coworker to join you – small groups are usually safer than individuals.
* If sightseeing with others, pre-designate a location to meet at if separated during an emergency. Make sure someone knows your itinerary (acquaintances, business contacts, hotel staff?) and what time you may be returning.


* Conceal your national/business/religious affiliation and try to blend in with other tourists. USA red white and blue t-shirts, soccer/baseball logo clothing and religious jewelry are overly conspicuous in many instances.
* Observe and conform to local culture. Activities such as public displays of affection, drinking alcohol, or wearing shorts or skirts may be inappropriate.
* Do not bring undue attention to yourself. Avoid loud or boisterous behavior. Walking the streets at night in an inebriated state in very dangerous in many locations.

To get more info on TRAVELER SECURITY, email me at [email protected] or visit my favorite survival and preparedness (Surviving Argentina… lessons learned in total meltdown) blog at

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Merely the Notion of Self-Defence Is Changing?


Professor Zemanek has identified the No. 1 issue of the latest developments in international law. I fully agree with all of his major conclusions. I do not think that any State may “lead” the international community in any respect, and act as a supreme arbiter of right and wrong, derived from its belief in the superiority of its legal order, and human rights standard. I find particularly dangerous the Bush administration’s reference to the “legal” conception of preemption. However, I see some change in the notion of self-defence, not necessarily as a consequence of the American behavior. In this paper, I will touch upon merely the interpretation of these two notions: self­defence and preemption.

The Notion of Self-Defence

The question emerged after 9/11, whether the United States had lawfully exercised the right to self-defence against Afghanistan. The first answers were negative. Alain Pellet wrote just some weeks after the terrorist attacks that they cannot be considered acts of war. A war presupposes “an armed conflict between adversaries if not identified, at least identifiable… [The attacks] are neither an ‘aggression’ in the legal sense of the word, nor war crimes. One might possible classify them as crimes against humanity… More troubling, by the [UNSC] Resolution 1368, the Council goes as far as to consider (sic) that the acts of terrorism of 11 September justify the exercise of the ‘inherent right of individual or collective self-defence’ in accordance with the Charter”. According to Pellet, this is an “extremely wide interpretation which hardly conforms to the letter of the Charter” A similar view was held by Antonio Cassese. Pierre-Marie Dupuy feared that the reference of the Security Council to the inherent right of self-defence would give the United States “a carte blanche to do, alone, what it likes and when it likes”. The same opinion was expressed by the Hungarian international lawyer Boldizsar Nagy. In his chapter, Karl Zemanek also comes to the conclusion that according to “traditional understanding… defensive action is allowed only against an ongoing attack”. He denies that the US would have been entitled to “eliminate the source of the attack”, i.e. al Qaeda and the supporting Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Actually, the UN Charter refers to states against which no force can be used. However, the Charter was prepared at the end of World War II, when the founding fathers of the United Nations wanted to address classical, inter-state aggression, which until that point posed the most serious threat to mankind in history. Resolution 3314 of the General Assembly, however, presented a definition of aggression that included, among others, the following act: “The sending by or on behalf of a State armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out armed attacks against another State,… or its substantial involvement therein”. According to the Resolution, only acts of “such gravity” as “bombardment” of the territory of another State, the “use of any weapons” against it, or attacking its ground, air or naval forces can be considered. Therefore, the question that arose on 11 September was whether the State of Afghanistan- or the Taliban- was “substantially involved” in the preparation and perpetration of the terrorist acts.

Today most analysts agree that the Taliban was “substantially involved” in the attacks. It is interesting to note that prior to 9/11 as many as four Security Council resolutions had been passed regarding the Taliban and al Qaeda. No attention has been paid to these resolutions by either international lawyers or political scientists.

The first Resolution, 1193 (1998) was adopted after Taliban troops occupied Mazar- e-Sharif, where they stormed the Consulate of Iran and murdered eleven diplomats and one journalist. In its Resolution, the Security Council condemned these atrocities and expressed its “grave concern at the continued Afghan conflict which has recently sharply escalated due to the Taliban forces’ offensive… causing a serious and growing threat to regional and international peace and security, as well as extensive human suffering”. The Resolution demanded that “the Afghan factions… refrain from harboring and training terrorists and their organizations and… halt illegal drug activities.” The second Resolution, 1214 (1998), states that the Security Council remained “deeply disturbed by the continuing use of Afghan territory, especially areas controlled by the Taliban, for the sheltering and training of terrorists and the planning of terrorist acts”. The third Resolution, 1267(1999), mentioned Osama bin Laden by name. It stated that the Taliban continued to provide “sanctuary and training for the international terrorists and their organization” which constitutes a “threat to international peace security”. The Security Council demanded that the Taliban turn over bin Laden to either the United States or a third country where he could be brought to justice.

The antecedents of the fourth Resolution, 1333 (2000), deserve special attention. In the late 1990’s the Russians realized that “Afghan” mujaheddin were participating in the war in Chechnya. Russian intelligence found a remarkably high number of Arabs among these Afghans and quickly tracked them back to Osama bin Laden’s organization. There was a growing interest in Russia to get rid of them. Moscow discussed the matter with Washington. After intensive Russian-American consultations the Security Council adopted Resolution 1333 (2000), which condemned the Taliban for the “sheltering and training of terrorists and planning of terrorist acts” and reaffirmed its “conviction that the suppression of international terrorism is essential for the maintenance of international peace and security”. The UNSC noticed that the Taliban benefited directly for the cultivation of illicit opium by imposing a tax on its production and recognized that “these substantial resources strengthen the Taliban’s capacity to harbour terrorists”.

The above resolutions clearly indicated that the members of the Security Council were convinced that the Taliban had been “seriously involved” in providing support for the activities of al Qaeda and, consequently, held the Taliban responsible for events on Afghan soil. This is why, as early as the day after the terrorist attacks, Resolution 1368 (2001) was adopted, in which the Security Council condemned the “horrifying terrorist attacks” in New York and Washington, declaring them a “threat to international peace and security” and recognized “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in accordance with the Charter”. Furthermore, the resolution stressed that “those responsible for aiding, supporting or harboring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held accountable”.

NATO took a similar position. The Permanent Session of the North Atlantic Council concluded that “if it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be regarded as an action covered by the Washington Treaty”. On 2 October 2001, the North-Atlantic Council discussed the information provided by the United States. Secretary General Robertson announced after the meeting that it had been clearly determined that “the individuals who carried out the terrorist attacks belong to the Afghan terrorist organization headed by Osama bin Laden and protected by the Taliban regime”. Therefore the terrorist acts must be regarded as “attacks from abroad”. A similar position was also taken by the European Council on 21 September. In their conclusion, the Heads of State and the Governments of the European Union stated that “on the basis of UNSC Resolution 1368 a riposte by the US is legitimate. A week later, on 28 September, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1373 (2001). The document referred again to the right of self-defence and the threat of terrorism to international peace and security. In addition, it determined that terrorism and its support were inconsistent with the purposes of the UN. Finally, on 16 January 2002, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1390, which affirmed all its previous resolutions with regard to Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Although in these resolutions the UNSC did not authorize any state to carry out military counter-measures, the fact that three permanent members of the Council (France, Great Britain, and later Russia) opened their airspace for military actions and the fourth (China) assured the United States of its support proved that a number of significant states recognized that since 11 September, the United States has been in a permanent state of self-defence. Some international lawyers did not come to the same conclusion. Pellet, Dupuy and Nagy stated that:

(a) the behavior of the United States cannot be regarded as self-defence because Washington launched the counter-offensive several weeks after the attacks rather than immediately and, moreover, against a state located several thousand kilometers away;

(b) when executing counter-strikes the United States might have used force against terrorists or states harboring them only if the Security Council authorized it to do so.

“The inherent right of self-defence has limits”, wrote Boldizsar Nagy, referring to the Caroline case. “It was the US Secretary of State Webster who put down his immortal words in 1841 that have remained valid even today.” During the act, Webster noted that “the partying referring to this has to prove the necessity of self-defence, instant overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation”. The same view was expressed by Cassese and Pellet. In the opinion of Pellet, “the use of armed force must be subject to the authorization of the Security Council which has not (yet) been given”. According to this view the party concerned has no right to a delayed use of force in response to an armed attack. Cassese insisted that the use of force by the victim state should be directed “to repel the armed attack of the aggressor state”.

The more than 150 year-old “immortal” words of Webster were, however, applicable only for defence against traditional acts of aggression only under certain conditions. As far as terrorist acts were concerned the Webster thesis is absolutely inapplicable. Moreover, it is the terrorists who could make the best use of it. In the case of a terrorist act the attackers and their supporters remain either unknown or are identified only after some of them are killed during the attack, while the others disappear and hide in remote countries. On the basis of this interpretation action against Osama bin Laden and his organization would have been possible only on 11 September and only if they had been, say, directing the execution of the attack on a mobile phone aboard a yacht in New York City harbor. Otherwise, the US would have had only one recourse; to turn to the UN in order to convene the Security Council, which would either have given a go-ahead for coalition war (as before the Gulf War) or not (as in the case of Kosovo).

If one took the position of Karl Zemanek, a number of legally recognized counter­measures should have been deemed illegal, e.g. the use of force by Great Britain to take back the Falkland Islands from Argentina in 1982. The Argentine forces invaded the Islands on 2 April while the massive British counter-strike was launched only many weeks later, on 21 May. The British needed some time to build up their expeditionary forces and to cover the huge distance between Britain and the theater of war. On the basis of the conditions suggested by Zemanek, all “delayed” self­defence should be considered illegitimate. However, this does not reflect military and political realities. As far as the “elimination” of the source of the attack is concerned, a number of UNSC resolutions provided that the Taliban should refrain from supporting and harbouring terrorist organization like al Qaeda. It is difficult to see any other way to decrease the threat of further terrorist attacks on the part of bin Laden’s organization due to its close ties with the Taliban regime. After 9/11 the question was asked, with some irony, whether the Taliban should be eliminated to stop the activity of al Qaeda or vice versa.

Cassese admits in his paper that “the magnitude of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington may perhaps warrant the broadening of the notion of self­defence. I shall leave here in abeyance”, he added, “the question of whether one can speak of ‘instant’ custom, that is of the instantaneous formation of a customary rule widening the scope of self-defence as laid down in the corresponding rule customary law. It is too early to take a stand on this difficult matter”.15 My view is that is should not have been left here by Cassese. The decisions of the Security Council, the North Atlantic Council and the European Council indicate that the military counter-measures adopted by the US and its allies were accepted by a major part of the international community, including the remaining members of the UNSC and all NATO members. Moreover, this did not represent a single occurrence, but rather a continuum of unfolding developments regarding Afghanistan that date back to 1998.

The new threat posed by terrorism requires a new interpretation of the notion of self-defence, because it differs in many aspects from the traditional military threat posed on a number of occasions since 1945. It may well be that no new written norm could be formulated regarding the response of a state suffering terrorist attack. Of course, it would be extremely difficult to describe in written legal norms how a state might respond to such an attack. In any case, my conclusion is that the old interpretation of the notion and scope of self-defence has been extended by the actions of the international community on 12 September 2001 and the following days. It represents an important change in customary international law. This was, however, the only change in international law as a consequence of 9/11. It does not mean, of course, that the nature of international law itself has changed in any way.

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Globalisation Between Promotion And Demotion – A Look Into The Phenomenon Of Immigration

For long ignored or considered marginal, international immigration recently erupted on the world agenda as, traditional destination countries suddenly realised the intensity of the phenomenon. Understood as the intensification of exchanges worldwide, globalisation has often been seen through transfers of capital, goods or information. The permanent or temporary residence of a person in a country different from his original country or a country he claims citizenships as we define immigration, implies the sharing of the risks, misery and other threats felt by some to the whole world. International immigration as such gives concreteness to the concept of global village, a village where it becomes more and more difficult to hide the misery of slums to neighbours who lives in rich areas.

The roots of immigration are generally poverty and conflicts or war . Exposed to squalor, of all ages, peoples have tried to settle in greener pastures of safer haven. From the first known cases of Hebrews leaving for Egypt during the reign of Pharaohs, to the attempts of Africans leaving for Europe or Southern Americans leaving for the Northern part of the continent, immigration has always been part of mankind’s history, structuring to a certain extent the face of the world as it appears today.

The discovery of Americas in 1492 launched the first era of massive international migration. In large flows, Europeans both investors and people without capital migrated to Americas. For Europeans, this happened in a context of growing economic recession and scarcity. America and later Oceania presented opportunities to improve on their conditions. The period of the Napoleonic Wars was characterised by freer movement of goods, capital and labour and as such was referred to the “first global century”. Prior to this period, Africans were massively forced to migrate in America as they were reduced to slavery .

With the abolition of Slavery in the 1850s and thanks to innovations in both transatlantic shipping and transcontinental railways, Europeans, confronted to squalor and famine in their continent especially in Italy and Ireland migrated to cause peaks never reached before then by immigration .

Others inflows were observed elsewhere in the World. During the colonial domination, though the Coolie system a large flow of Chinese and Indians settled in estates of the Indian Ocean (Madagascar, Maurice, Seychelles, South Africa)

The trend dropped after World War I as restrictive legislation on immigration emerged in traditionally receiving countries, while public hostility and economic recession was developing in those countries.

After a period of relative stability, international immigration increased especially since the last two decades of the 20th century. This era is marked by new origins of migrants and the emergence of new destination countries as well as sophistication of the phenomenon. In 2000, the total number of people living out of their countries was 175 millions .

The collapse of former Soviet Union increased the number of migrants. Citizens of those states in large numbers migrate since then to America and West Europe., Africans in large numbers migrate daily to Europe, North America or the Persian Gulf; other flows include Southern Americans leaving for North America or South Asians moving worldwide. The migration senses observed during the Napoleonic Wars still persist but dropped considerably in number.

For long tolerated, ignored or even encouraged by receiving countries, international migration became in recent years mostly perceived as a plague. Worldwide, we observed the multiplication of measures to reverse the trend: the erection of gates, the closing of centres for asylum seekers, the reformulation of laws. Meantime, migrants are the object of increasing xenophobia in receiving countries, with states doing little to protect or to integrate them. Growing confusion between economic migrants and asylum seekers is observed as the second are increasingly treated the same as the first.

Whatever the causes of immigration: search of asylum or the improvement of the living conditions of migrants, considering the trend of the phenomenon, the growing inequalities between richer and poorer countries, tendency would hardly reverse in the coming years. The human scandals of Pas-de6Calais, Ceuta and Melilla, Rio Grande call for humane and moral considerations of all states stakeholders of the phenomenon. Side by side, transit, destination and sending countries, losers or gainers in the process should address the roots causes, trapped and castigated as they are today, migrants should effectively as victims of the whole process, whose sole expectation is to have a better life.


Immigration, provide opportunities to workers both skilled and unskilled to find jobs not affordable in home countries. Be they migrants from developing countries settling in developed countries or reverse, migration of workers is always motivated by the quest of jobs in quantity as well as quality. Unskilled workers through immigration were able over the years to satisfy receiving countries demands of low-value jobs left -as not interesting by their nationals. An example in point is that of Arabs from Maghreb largely employed in the building industry of France. By easing employment needs of receiving countries, the flow of migrant workers leads to deflation of labour cost in receiving countries while the side effect affects the sending country.

Inflow of remittances and foreign exchanges appear to be for sending countries and communities the main satisfaction derived from immigration of their nationals. Though remittances are difficult to quantify since they are channelled through various means to their ultimate destination, remittances are increasingly growing in their impact on the provision of additional financial means to the sending countries. From a study by United Nations, remittances represent the first source of wealth in: Egypt, Cap-Vert, Jordan, Lesotho, Samoa and Yemen where they surpass any exportation product . In 2002, from estimation by IMF, 130 billion dollars were sent as remittances by migrants to their home countries, 79 billion of them were for developing countries. Though not equal to foreign direct investment, remittances surpassed official development assistance. Remittances from migrants are largely geared towards family consumption as such, its direct effect on the general wealth of countries is somehow mitigated or difficult to assess. Nevertheless these inflows have the advantage of reducing social pressure from poorer group on their governments, it should be recalled that in some regions of the world: Western Africa and Philippines migration is seen there as the main chance for some families to achieve upward social mobility . Traditions of migration have developed in countries like Mali whereby migrated relatives constitute in many respects strong supports to large groups. The organisation of migrants into community development committees to finance their communities’ development is among the main sources of construction of facilities in regions like Kayes in Mali and remote areas of the Philippines.

Table 1: Financial flows to developing countries, 1980-2003, source UN/DESA: based on the IMF balance of payments statistics database

Migration can foster trade between countries stakeholders in the process: transit, sending, and destination countries. The trend however is likely to be more of a trade between sending countries and receiving ones. Migrants could introduce products from their home country in their attempts to satisfy their needs. Also, they could foster trade of such products already available in destination countries from sending countries but not demanded enough or ignored at all in the destination country. The inverse would happen when migrants specialise in trade and introduce in the form of commodities, products of home country. This is achieved once the migrant return home country or serve as intermediary in trade. The development of second hand cars’ trade, equipment and other furniture in developing countries are clear manifestations of the fostering of trade through migration.

A close look at history of the phenomenon shows how migrants from western countries contributed in tying the fate of their original country to those of receiving countries. The settlement of Spaniards and Irish in America definitely sealed that continent’s fate to that of Europe as both parts have ever been privileged partners so far. A term “Greater Atlantic Economy” is used to mean the trading relationships emerging from European migration to Oceania and America. Before the emancipation of those regions they were mostly participating in trade as supplier of raw material for European industry, the peak being during the Atlantic Trade Slave.

Return of skilled workers to their original country would increase local human capital with additional experiences at times not available at home. Putting the experience acquired from the sojourn in a different country (often more developed), skilled workers could introduce new working methods; propose solutions to problems experienced in their home country. Also, the return of workers skilled or not, may have as outcome, enabling both countries (receiving and sending) to benefit from former ties left behind by migrants. Former friends, employers and partners of any kind could be useful in one way or the other to both countries.

For developing countries, migration could constitute an opportunity to achieve acquisition of new technology often too slowly transferred from developed countries. By exchanging with their

Migrants through effective participation in their family’s and community’s development have so far become elite no matter the level of education, what actually matters has become the extent to which they assist those left behind.

For developing countries, migration could constitute an opportunity to achieve acquisition of new technology often too slowly transferred. By exchanging with their relatives or in trading, migrants introduce a number of appliances of common use in their receiving country but not yet introduced in their home countries. The migrant return is an additional source of technology transfer as they are likely to introduce and share knowledge regarding the said technology.

Despite the numerous gains they derive from the phenomenon of international migration, developing and poorest countries are nevertheless exposed to loss of highly skilled and motivated workers. Workers’ movements are largely motivated by differences in wages and economic opportunities between the country of origin and the countries of destination. Sending countries end up facing lowered service quality. As Coppel et Al observed, “Immigrants tend to be better educated than those they leave behind, though they may be less educated than the average population of the host country.”

Brain drain is the main side effect of immigration for poor countries; it needs to be addressed with a minimum of equity by countries and organisations stakeholders. Brain drain for development is underscored by the “new growth theory”. According to this theory, a person’s knowledge not only provides a direct benefit in terms of available skills but also has a positive effect on the productivity of others. Elimination of those with skills eliminates this indirect benefit to the economy of sending countries at large. The case is worsened when considering that Official Development Assistance is largely obtained from donors with conditionalities such as to be directed in priority in the domains of education, health by receiving countries. Deprived of those skills, developing countries tend to be cheated twice as they end up paying to train skills serving richer countries. The situation becomes acute when considering the formulation of new immigration policies, richer countries have clearly given preference for highly skilled workers as there is progressive restriction of immigration of unskilled workers considered useless and harmful to their counterparts of those countries where they would migrate. A case in point is that of Southern African countries where the whole health sector is bereaved with its qualified personnel having migrated after training in their home countries to western countries.


States’ reaction at migration depends upon their political, demographic, social or economic needs. According to their needs, receiving countries would either encourage or discourage migration. The receptiveness of countries to migration is at least in part a reflection of previous migration trends and the public expectation of further immigration. Just as till 1990s Ivory Coast encouraged neighbouring countries citizens migrating to work in the agriculture in extension, today migrants have turned into a target owing to the proportion and influence they had gradually gained in that country. Botswana might no more encourage skilled foreigners to settle as over time their skills are gradually shared by its nationals

Migration affects the social fabric of both home and host country, gainers and losers of the phenomenon have been opposed since immigration erupted in the global agenda. For long ignored or perceived as marginal, immigration in traditionally receiving countries is the object of separate ands co-ordinated actions. If one is obliged to admit the righteousness of every state to set rules governing foreigners’ entry into its territory, the unforeseen consequences and the dislocation of world societies thanks to walls, soldiers and laws need to be addressed. Jose Antonio Ocampo reminded that the recent explosive growth in international migration is a response to perceived inequalities of opportunity between sending and receiving countries, at a crossroads, world leaders must seize every opportunity to take bold and decisive action to reverse negative trends

National policies at international migration have been adopted to address an array of concerns including: the effects of low fertility and population ageing, employment, the protection of human rights, social integration, brain drain and brain gain, remittances, the granting of asylum, undocumented migration and persons smuggling. Immigration policies are mainly intended to have a bearing on the size and composition of international migration flows. The number of countries adopting measures to restrict international migration has increased significantly in recent decades: by 2003, 1/3 of all countries had adopted policies to lower immigration, compared with only 7 of all in 1976

All governments have the right to determine whom it admits into its jurisdiction on what bases. While states are obligated to accept their own citizens, the admittance of non-citizens is a prerogative of individual governments. Legal instruments provided for by United Nations for refugees or migrants workers are facing harsh days as growing radicalisation is the trend in rejection of migrants confused with asylum seekers more often than not.

There is an urgency to address the causes of immigration so as to reverse the trend of uncontrolled inflows of workers in countries was there are not always expected or desired. Phenomenon of “boat peoples” hundreds of young peoples wondering in deserts, attempting trespassing walls or exposed to malpractice by smugglers involved in illegal immigration.

First policies at immigration were meant to ensure a control on the quality and quantity of migrants in traditionally receiving countries. In 1917, facing enormous migration rates, United States passed the first Immigration Act. The Act increased the tax required per immigrant to $8 US and imposed a literacy test on immigrants. The 1917 Immigration Act included an “Asian Barred Zone” provision that effectively excluded all immigrants from Asia. The 1921 Emergency Quota Act (Johnson Act) set limits to immigration according to national origin. The Asian Barred Zone remained in place until the late 1940s. Policies nowadays though less radical are in their implementation more restrictive indeed.

The most significant cases of restrictive policies are those enacted in the European Union and broad Schengen Space. In the main countries of destination especially European countries, increasingly restrictive immigration policies and public hostility towards migrants emerged towards the end of the end of 20th century and gradually become harsher. The aim is mostly to protect the economic interests of the unskilled workers of destination countries. On the one hand, in order to contain the ever growing inflow of migrants, rigid controls at potential points of entry to the continent have been installed. They include: heavily armed guards, the erection of walls in European enclaves located in African continent. A growing number of receiving countries have negotiated readmission agreements with countries of origin obliging them to readmit their national who lack proper documentation in order to facilitate their expulsion. Recent examples include agreements between Germany and Albania, Spain, and Mauritania. Efforts to counter undocumented migration have also included bilateral agreements between transit and receiving countries. Morocco and Tunisia are for instance expected to readmit foreigners who, having transited through them, were residing in European Union without authorisation .

For Abderrahmane Essadi in their attempt to ensure externalisation of their migratory policies, European countries have imposed a division of tasks whereby other countries are in charge of protecting Europeans boundaries. Transits countries are transformed into nets where migrants are all retained when undocumented, little care being given to discriminate those who may need international protection. A clear defiance by European states of their obligations towards asylum seekers has been the closure of transit camps in Europe . This was recalled by the Call of Bamako for Respect of Migrants Dignity on 26th January 2006. Pushed away by despair from their home country, refugees are confined in camps, maltreated and later expelled. Such policies lead to disasters such as those of Ceuta and Mellila enclaves, violence on refugees in Cairo, desert dead, boat people scandals in Mediterranean Sea or Rio Grande .

Criminalisation of illegal immigration is also part of the arsenal resorted to by receiving countries. In United Kingdom, under UK Asylum and Immigration Act (1996) made it an offence for employees to employ any individual without work permit. In Australia until their case are examined asylum seekers are detained. An example in point of receiving countries determination at reversing immigration trends are the growing stigmatisation of migrants , the repatriation rate imposed by some governments to their security forces , pressures on air transport companies to avoid transporting undocumented passengers . Receiving countries have recently decided to take advantage of the phenomenon by selecting those to admit in their territories on the grounds of the receiving country’s needs in skills and labour force.

Recent developments in receiving countries policies to reverse migration trends include the resort to “selective migration”, and advocacy of a “co development” of states stakeholders of immigration. One of the prominent promoters of these approaches has so far been Jacques Chirac, French president. He reiterated his view of during at Bamako’s France-Afrique Summit in 2005. Co development implies for migrants to invest with the support of governments of receiving countries in their home countries so as to create better prospects for those remaining. If one could encourage this approach’ effort at alleviating precarious conditions for both migrants and migrating peoples, there are high risks associated with co development. Sending countries in the context of selective immigration would lose skills to the benefice of destination countries. Added to co development, selective immigration will definitely consecrate the global division of labour.

The terrorist attacks against United States on September, 11 2001 and the Global War on Terror have further complicated the conditions of immigrants. Receiving countries in order to not serve as haven to terrorists or in view of protecting their territory and citizens have further strengthened the policies governing admission of migrants. The defiance to international law and institutions has also affected migrants as, on the ground of ensuring their security, refugees have gradually been treated the same as economic migrants or worse, meantime the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrants Workers and their Families is largely ignored by ratifying states.

The history of immigration and even recent developments however include examples of receiving states efforts at ensuring a smooth integration of migrants, at times this went up to encouraging immigration of certain groups for moral purposes. Applied for long in Australia, a number of restrictions with respect to non-Caucasian immigrants were removed in 1966 and, since 1973; Australia has abandoned its long standing “white Australia policy”. United States under Immigration Act 1990 raised the number of permanent migrants to 675,000 since 1995. Criteria governing admissions under this Act include: family reunification, needed labour, refugee and special eligibility.

Since 11th September 2001 many countries are giving high priority to the monitoring of those entering their jurisdiction. Increased emphasis is placed on scrutinising the background of visa applicants for security reasons. European Union launched in early 2003 EURODAC, the first automated fingerprint identification system for asylum seekers and certain categories of illegal immigrants arriving Europe Union, Iceland and Norway.

Under PATRIOT Act passed a few days after the 11th September attacks, the defence and security forces were given additional powers in dealing with migration issues. Security forces and officers are authorised to detain without charge for as long as necessary any person attempting entry in United States. Asylum seekers have obviously been targets of provisions. Also since that Act consular authorities have been empowered to reject the documents of any person seeking entry in United States. In United Kingdom, anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001) extended governments provisions to cover detaining suspected terrorists.

If countries either losers or gainers from immigration all want to effectively address the issue so as to turn into an exclusively benefiting factor, the roots causes need to be addressed so as to prevent precarious conditions in South. This implies the resort to good governance in the sending countries, this would create conditions supporting hope for the thousands of young desperate leaving daily and exposed to smugglers, violence and humiliation. The North in turn should cease considering the best thing to do is to extract the best form South, for the current experience shows how the rebuttals from the other parts of the World can cast threats upon their well being.

bagneki hugues is a cameroonian reading political sciences and author of several articles published by many sources

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Israel and Palestine Existentialism in Brotherhood

Perception of Jews:

A particular community is a favorite, another particular community is held in disdain and the trend changes to suit the flavor of the audience, not necessarily based on the goodness or badness of the communities. Why would the globe be so interested in these two particular communities and the interest has reached a level that drove the globe to invent a method to highlight the particular likes and dislikes, placed their respectful observations, devote time to monitor and supervise their actions?

The creation of Israel by the UN in 1947 under the leadership of the most powerful colonial power is deciphered after 64 years of Israel’s statehood as a favored treatment that completely overlooks the compassionate ground and the associated reason leading to such global compassion. The eyes that see Jews as a favorite of 1940s are now perturbed by Israel’s close proximity with the mightiest military power. The perception changes from once a upon a time favorite to today’s disfavor in reminiscence of Nazism.

Interestingly, the deep resentment against a particular group of people finds no valid cause to light the eternal flame of negative emotions. The trivial unhappiness arising from a supposed favorite treatment by the most powerful colonial power in its nascent stage of state formation and later nurtured as a trusted friend by the modern day super man; seems to be the sole reason to despise this coveted position occupied by a petty holocaust survivor. Those minds must judged Israel not on its performance as a nation, as a major contributor to science and humanities or its global relationship with others, but on its dealing with a neighbor armed to detest its existence through terrorism. The users of the propaganda conveniently ignored the terrorist status of that neighbor in order to allege the military action of self defence to counter terrorism, simply to reduce the performing nation as a terrorist state committing violence on civilians.

Historically, resentment against Jews guided by the natural human tendency of intolerance towards achievers and contributors commonly found in this mad universe led to anti-Jewish movement beginning with Hitlerism. The grievance is nothing but sheer intolerant attitude towards a change agent for modern Economy, Commerce, Arts, Science and Humanities, beginning from the days of the European Renaissance. Alas, the megalomaniac mind of a dictatorship intolerant towards positive contributions led to the historic holocaust!

The mindset of a society on the threshold of modernism in a world just opened to free competition could not bear a particular dedicated community and this attitude continues in the ultra modern period, the dislike heightened by emotion and commotion over Israel’s alliance with the world’s mightiest military power. Israel is often comically called the younger brother of a super man who is allowed a free hand to fiddle everything including the international politics. It causes discomfort to its neighbors who became more disturbed with the rising global status highlighting its superior technology especially in armaments. The favorite of the world’s mightiest colonial power in its nascent stage and a friend, philosopher and guide to the modern day super power in its adulthood is just simply intolerable globally.

Reality towards Palestine:

Had the cause of humanities been the real concern, Middle East countries beset with history of human atrocities, China for its illegal occupation on Tibet or India on unresolved Kashmir issue would first endorsed their own moral responsibility before endorsing some one as immoral. The brazen truth is that the support for Palestine is not for love of Palestine per say but to achieve a grossly misplaced objective. Palestinians are not the concern here; the utmost desire for all is to avoid at any cost the distraction of oil supply.

At individual level, China’s misplaced objective is focused on reducing the muscle of a might. China is not against Jews but is directing attack on the closest ally to a competitor it wishes desperately to target. China is Israel’s third investment destination, military ties were revived recently and China looks forward to intense technology cooperation with Israel. In that process of power competition, Israel became the scapegoat.

Arabs did not build a state, kingdom, empire or a colony to mark its ownership in that empty land of Judea and Samaria after Romans invasion five thousands years ago. Arabs interest was alerted only after creation of Israel in 1947 and it thence vehemently pursue the greater objective of Arabic expansionist vision with no glimpse in sight about civil liberties of Palestinians whose rights are curbed by a terrorist leadership. Similarly, India’s support to Palestine statehood UN bid against the backdrop of a close cooperation with Israel is guided mainly by Muslim vote banks than a concern for Palestine civil liberties. In the same position, involuntary support from Muslim states is guided by religious commonality than on Palestine state development feasibility that holds a very grim picture for the future under radicalism.

Europe is esteemed as the ultimate center of learning par excellence that enjoyed the recognition of a torch bearer for modern civilization. Modern concepts, principles and ideas flow from Europe and nations have been created and nurtured under this wisdom. The creation of Israel in Judea and Samaria was a rare wisdom that deserved recognition. The wisdom failed the confidence of the most important stakeholder because the players perhaps did not know how to try hard enough to convince the stakeholders in a way they could be convinced. The unconvinced Arab brothers would not have intended to battle Israel who shared peaceful neighbor relations in the same land before creation of Israel statehood. Unfortunately, the unhappiness was misdirected towards the closest person they see as responsible for disturbing their own settlement. The Jews became a scapegoat amidst the confusion and contradiction.

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap?

The rising number of Muslims in Europe accompanied with rise in demands for complete acceptance by the system and institutions has deeply stirred Europe’s core political and social system. The link between the new power structure with substantial Muslim holdings in the new structure and a threat of a forceful religious ideology poses an alarming threat to European security perception. It is time to reflect seriously on the effect of Hitlerism and the intention of a vulnerable group to use the abhorring image as a model, discernibly promoted by certain groups to intensify the blow against Jews globally. The universal principle of justice ordained injustice to meet its own fate and pray heaven, the repentance and reform of stained hands may save the wreckage.

Make Hay While the Sunshine:

In the end, both the Jews and Muslims are mere pawns like many in the universal game power and neither is a permanent favorite. Therefore, they need to resolve to refrain from turning the pages of history and instead look ahead. The deemed action on settlement issue using an indigenous solution without anger, hatred and revenge is the need of the hour. It is time for both to reconcile, realized and built a relationship on the foundation of a common heritage, origin, cultural religious affinity and develop to compete the rising global powers in brotherhood.

The Biblical information records the common heritage of the Jews and Arabs. History cited Jewish persecutions in Arabic countries under a religious ideology. Nevertheless, the harmonious settlement of Jews with Arabs in the land of Judea and Samaria under British protection is a cherished memory. Recently, science has established a common gene for both Palestinians and Israeli Jews. In a strange mysterious ways, this perhaps signify the return of lost wandering Jews from the closest neighborhood Arab world in the aftermath of the great diaspora, the lost group groped in darkness searching for an identity for decades. The most recent discovery of Jewish seal in Jerusalem belonging to the second era of ancient days established the Jewish ownership of Judea and Samaria with Jerusalem as its capital city. The fading hope is gaining strength in the light of the historical record of brotherhood and in the present scientific revelations. Let that tiny sparks open the blockage of 64 years of bitter relationship and let the light take the lost brothers to reconciliation, peace and prosperity in the world.

Ms. Margaret Gangte is an author of Journal articles.

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Restoration in Russia: Much Needed and Inevitable

Translation of Russian political analyst Alexey Pushkov’s article of the same name.

Handing over power to Vladimir Putin in 1999, Boris Yeltsin sought to preserve the political alignment of forces and coordinates he set during his rule in Russia in 1991-1999. The project ‘Heir’ did not only imply selecting a man from Yeltsin’s ‘camp’, but the one who would preserve the status quo of the regime. This is indicated, among other things, by the fact that he insisted on his ‘key men’ Alexey Voloshin and Mikhail Kasyanov to have the longest possible term in office.

However, the overall results of Putin’s five-year office show that he has discarded most of Yeltsin’s heritage.

First of all, he bridged the basic gap of Yeltsin’s epoch, the gap between the left and the right wings. Under Yeltsin, there was a continuous struggle between the authority, on the one hand, and the communists, patriots and socialist-oriented part of the population, on the other. The country was fevered by constant strife; the State Duma, where the communists had majority, being in the vanguard of struggle with Yeltsin and the elite, could not carry out the legislative process, as their laws did not suit the executive and were virtually directed against the latter.

Putin neutralised the left, adopting much of their arguments: Russia does have the acute demographic problem (the low birth- and high death-rates), the oligarchy dominance, corruption and weak army. These points were taken upon by Putin in his election program, at least as a rhetoric (in the part of olgarchy limitations and army financing they were put into actual practice). Then, Putin broke the Communists’ ‘monopoly’ on patriotism, thus rendering their traditional ‘anti-people’s regime’ rant meaningless.

Communists are now heard only when the authority initiates rash, unprepared and ill-grounded laws, like the monetisation of perquisites for pensioners – the measure, which was not enough elucidated in the press.

Secondly, the President was able to revamp the pattern of power and unite the elite. Putin assigned the issues of economy to liberal democrats, those of security – to the military and law enforcement, and entrusted the administrators who succeeded in retaining power in later Yeltsin’s weakened hands with domestic policy. These are all very different people representing differents parts of the elite, but to a certain extent united under Putin.

Why did the Union of the Right Forces (the SPS) lose the recent election? Because it was no longer indispensable: many government officers, such as German Gref, Alexey Kudrin, Igor Shuvalov pursue the rightist policy as it is. The perquisites monetisation, drafting the hyperliberal Forest Code, cancellation of State Standards for pharmaceutical products and even motioning prison privatisation are the telltale signs of the liberal course in Russia’s domestic policy (whether these measures are for the good or for the bad is another matter).

V. Putin has in his arsenal not only the leftist, but also the rightist ideas. It is not accidental that Anatoly Chubais tried to throw in the catchphrase ‘a liberal empire’ to define the present political system in Russia – the SPS was losing its ‘property right’ for liberal reforms. Neutralisation of the right wing is the third accomplishment of Putin’s office.

Fourth. Putin was able to considerably weaken the influence of big business on the State machinery and policy. Mikhail Khodorkovsky made an attempt of directly converting money into power, like at a bureau de change – he offered 15 billion roubles for power in Russia. His plan was frustrated by Putin. Some people say, it is not democratic. But did Khodorkovsky act in a democratic way? How were the 15 billion rubles obtained? In general terms, does big money entitle a person to power purchase? The history of Russian oligarchy is essentially about converting money into power. Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Gusinsky were doing it through mass media, for example, when in 1996 Gusinsky helped Yeltsin win the elections enlisting the services of the establishment-sponsored television channel NTV, it was the direct conversion of a media resource into power.

Earlier in 1994 Alexander Korzhakov, the then Chief of the President’s Security Service, conducted – by Yeltsin’s instructions – the ‘mug in snow’ operation against Gusinsky, so that the oligarchs could understand that authority should not be conflicted with, but paid off (not necessarily with direct finance). So the oligarchs began to finance media to brainwash people by meting out, distorting information, misinforming, launching media attacks as a punishment for public figures, orchestrating public opinion, spin control and fixing elections… For such services Berezovsky even obtained an office in the government – he became deputy secretary of the Security Council and was responsible for the Chechen issues (a glaring absurdity from today’s perspective!).

Berezovsky and Gusinsky believed that Yeltsin’s apointee Vladimir Putin would let them play their games as before. They were baulked in their plans. However, certain aggressive representatives of big business persisted in their struggle for power – the inertia of complete license was too strong, the sense of omnipotence struck root. ‘We would beat Yeltsin all the same – while he had been learning to play domino, we had mastered chess’, said Leonid Nevzlin, a businessman and public relations expert. Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s logic was of the same strain: the sense of exclusiveness prompted him to attempt to use financial clout and gain control over the State Duma and the Federation Council, thus becoming the ‘power broker’, de facto leader of the country. That splendid coup was thwarted – Putin’s government wouldn’t play either domino or chess with Khodorkovsky, it simply upturned the table. Some say it wasn’t nice or fair. Perhaps. But it was not fair play on the part of Khodorkovsky in the first place.

Khodorkovsky’s political failure as the failure of converting money into power was logical. Yeltsin depended on the oligarchs, as he had no other ‘point of rest’, being politically and physically infirm, unpopular, and undergoing persistent pressure from the left wing. Contrariwise, Putin is popular; he succeeded in uniting the elite and was able to move away from the oligarchs.

Some political scientists maintain that the restriction of big business power is wrong, as it entails the omnipotent power of State bureaucracy. True, the official powers should be counterbalanced, otherwise the State becomes overpowering (this was Russia’s permanent political bane, but the country needed it because of its size, climate and a number of other factors). But Yeltsin’s immoral big business is not the kind of counterbalance the community needs. While Russia was historically better off unter total power, the oligarchs would retain it, but make it inhuman and anti-national – even more unscrupulous, mercenary and corrupt. State totalitarianism would turn into oligarchal totalitarianism. There was but imitation of democracy under Yeltsin, but if Khodorkovsky could have gained power, the political pseudodemocracy might have turned into oligarchal pseudodemocracy, with its arsenal of manupulative and venal media. The restriction of oligarchal influence on the policy and strategy of the State is necessary. Giving a resolute check to Khodorkovsky’s plans, Putin made him understand that individuals (even very rich ones) cannot dictate the policy to the State.

Fifth. Putin proclaimed the foreign policy based on national priorities. Under Yeltsin it was based on absolutely different principles: the first postulate was that Russia should at all costs become the part of civilised world, implying the West; the second was that Russia has no national interests basically different from those of the USA; the third was that Russia should completely reject the use of force in solving its political problems, as it is ‘undemocratic’.

Over the past 10 years we have seen other nations solve their problems by various methods, including, alas, the use of force as, for instance, in Bosnia or in Iraq.

We also realised, that the course of equating Russia’s political interests with those of US or EU is not absolutely correct. Putin agreed with the USA in the crucial issue of fighting terrorism, but he made it clear that our countries’ views on some other issues differ. He is not afraid to say that Russia has inherent interests in the countries of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), even if it may annoy some political parties abroad. However, the practical realisation of Russia’s national interests may be impeded by two factors: the cosmopolitan character of big business and the ‘anational’ mentality of the younger generation of Russians, formed during the past 10 years.

‘Paying taxes is our only duty, and we owe nobody but God and our conscience’, Peter Aven, a business and media tycoon, said in his interview. Yes, but if an individual knows neither God nor conscience? Why should big business detach itself from the rest of the nation? Russia’s big business is essentially cosmopolitan, not to say anti-national.

As for the ‘anational’ mentality, it becomes apparent from the fact that younger people, even those whose major at universities is political science, sometimes question the necessity of Russia’s ‘special attutude’ towards certain issues. ‘Why don’t we just trim ourselves to the US position?’, they ask. The notion of ‘national interests’, as well as patriotism, has been decried as narrow-minded anachronism.

Russian politicians still argue which party to pattern our economy and policy on – Europe or the USA. Oh, but we must pattern them on Russia, the total of its interests! Checking our interests with those of other counrties, of course.

Sixth. Under Putin the country’s controllability was restored, its slow disintegration was stopped. When Yeltsin was in office the national republics fell off the Union, break-away sentiments appeared in the Chechen, Tartar and other autonomous republics, even certain Russian regions began to claim autonomy (let us remember the Urals Republic proposed by the Urals governor Eduard Rossel). This process was slow, but it endangered the country’s integrity. Meanwhile Yeltsin took the ‘gulp as much sovereignty as you can’ stance.

Zbignev Bzhezinsky, a well-known American political scientist, published a map where Russia was divided into three countries: European, Siberian and Far Eastern. That was his tentative project for Russia. Yes, there was a possibility of such an outcome – take the town of Khasavyurt in Dagestan, a part of Russia that was given 5 years’ independence. The danger of disintegration is still looming, although the Center is keen on consolidating the country. Putin lifted the national morale and showed that separatism will not go unpunished. He should beware, though, putting too much pressure on the national republics and divesting them of their rights, as it may cause an outburst of nationalism.

Seventh. Despite all the drawbacks of the present government, V. Putin was able to win back people’s trust for public authority. There is no trace of ‘devilry around the throne’, so glaring in Yeltsin’s time and headed by Boris Berezovsky. Even the liberal journalists, who criticise, sometimes unreservedly, the present government, admit that there was a mafia-like ‘family clan’ around Yeltsin, which held power in the country. True, there are various factions and influential groups, promoting their interests and struggling with each other in today’s administration, but none of these claim to have entire power, to be the only decision-makers.

Some people say V. Putin’s team is not united. Yes, there are controversies in it. But, on the other hand, there is no ‘family’ either. St. Petersburg’s representatives were at first considered more ‘close’ to the President than others, but it was not born out, say, Dmitry Kozak, was dispatched to the Southern Federal District as the President’s plenipotentiary to deal with the Chechen Republic and terrorism. Under V. Putin the ‘office politics’ (the code of relations between officials) became fundamentally different – meritocracy was established.

However, there are serious problems ahead for Putin. He ‘steered the ship about, but has not set a well-defined course for her’.
First. The economy grows largely due to the oil price rise. Russia hasn’t begun forming a competitive economy – developing high technologies, launching large-scale target programs, renovating the defense establishments, etc. All these could only be attained with the participation of the state, but it left the economy to its devices. The positive dynamics of Russia’s economy won’t keep, if the oil prices drop.

The economy remains passive: it absorbs enormous sums of money and yields 6-7 percent growth, but Russia keeps selling its staple raw materials and does not work up new foreign markets. There is no growth in mechanical engineering exports, nor in high tech production. However, the competitive strength of an economy is determined by these two factors, and not by raw materials, but by finished goods. So far Russia’s economy has not been set for efficiency, no innovative breakthrough has been made.

Second. The situation in Chechnya is much more serious than it may seem, and the Chechen leader Ahmad Kadyrov’s assassination is a heavy blow to the peace in this region. Though there is no war in the classic sense there, as separatists have no power to ‘fight on fronts’, Chechnya is pervaded with separatist and terrorist agents. Raids and acts of terrorism still obtain in the region, and even spread to the country at large.

Third. Vladimir Putin has not yet created an efficient state machine. For example, the events in Beslan on September 1-3 2004, when more than 4,000 children and teachers were held hostage, prove the low efficacy of security service. Under B.Yeltsin the KGB was being consistently wrecked under pretence of fighting communism (the consequences of this act are not yet fully overcome). Yet not one democratic state could manage without strong security services, what was really needed is to reform the former Soviet intelligence.

Fourth. Russia should vindicate its positions in foreign policy with more firmness. American politicians spoke to me (Alexey Pushkov) about the surprise Russia’s refusal to back the war in Iraq caused with the US administration. Why did Russia give an impression that it could be counted on in any matter, or that it shouldn’t be reckoned with? Because it had settled for anything the USA was doing, be it the withdrawal from the Anti-Missile Defence Treaty (the Russian government’s comment: ‘a deplorable error’) or the second round of the NATO expansion. The US administration overestimated its influence on Moscow, but it was Russia who gave cause for this, adopting a policy too ‘comfortable’ for the USA.

Unfortunately, many features of Yeltsin’s administration devolved on that of Putin. The lack of publicity in legislature is one of them. We are faced with political reforms, which come as if out of the blue – nobody has taken the trouble to explain their essence and prove their necessity. This is said to be the traditional Russian authoritarian style of administration. But bad traditions should be changed, unless the government is willing to stand aloof from its people.

The main dangers impending over Putin’s administration are as follows.

The first is the situation in Chechnya. The efficiency of Putin’s policy largely depends on his ability to settle the Chechen conflict. If the ‘vertical of power’ built by him does not yield fruit in that region, he will fail to convince the country in the necessity of exerting control. It is precisely the issue of Chechnya that will be the touchstone of Putin’s policy, both in Russia and internationally. The Chechen war and terror became Putin’s gravest challenges, which demand the consolidation of power, strengthening of the State, and in some cases, turning the screw. But if the screws are tight, and the vehicle does not move, the question of the adequacy of such a policy will arise.

The second danger (more prominent during his second term in office) is the appearance of consolidated opposition. It includes the liberal politicians who lost the election in the Duma, but have a solid support of big business, their own financial resources, and a substantial backing from abroad. They are eager to score political points using the government’s mistakes. For example, against the logic of their liberal market views, they are attacking the monetisation of perquisites for pensioners. They are doing it, because the authority is vulnerable in this poorely prepared reform. The next power standing in opposition to Putin is the ‘exiled’ oligarchs. Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Nevzlin are people with resources, and have connections in the West. Berezovsky is quite frank in saying that his principal goal is to weaken Putin’s regime. Then, the government is opposed by certain liberal media (which include several central TV channels of Russia), especially their aggressive part backed by the oppositional big business. A part of national and regional elite, displeased at the decision that regional governors be appointed by the President (and apprehending the restoration of the unitarian state), may also join the opposition. A part of liberal intelligentsia and the communists joining the liberals on certain points also swing against the administration. Finally, the anti-Russian and anti-Putin forces in the West are also opposed to Putin. All the mentioned forces are, however, largely outnumbered by Putin’s supporters (in Russia the ratio is about one to ten). Nevertheless, they should be reckoned with.

Putin has few propagandists of his ideas and proposals. He himself has to explain his home and foreign policy, the ideas of his political reforms. His press secretaries and information services keep silence, although it is their duty to compete with the huge bulk of anti-Putin propaganda. The system lacks people with active ideological and political thinking, capable of supporting its plans and decisions. And this is in the face of strong opposition, nostalgic for Yeltsin’s Russia – weak, docile, corrupt, and disintegrating.

However, if the efficiency of administration rises, the economy grows, the opposition will have to bear Putin’s ‘authoritarian liberalism’. Conversely, if there are no tangible results, he will be accused of sacrificing democracy. Putin must prove that his model is efficient.

The period of authoritarian development is inevitable. The liberals condemn Putin’s policy as restoration, but restoration is a normal practice for any country after a sharp ‘side slip’. If a nation loses capacity for correcting its ‘side slips’, it may, like a car, roll over at a sharp turn of history. Restoration is the nation’s adaptation to new conditions, its self-regulation, aligning a car after a drastic side slip.

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European Footballer of the Year Candidates

Real Madrid president, Ramon Calderon announced that his newly signed Italian centre-back Fabio Cannavaro had won the prestigious Ballon D’Or, or Golden Ball, and was to replace Ronaldinho as the European Footballer of the year. This came to the surprise of many and rose more than a few eyebrows. Not, through the fact that Cannavaro had been the selection, far from it given his dominant displays during the World Cup, but due to the fact that the winner of the much hyped award is not actually announced until 27th November. Surely this means one of two things. The first of these is that France Football, the magazine that actually host the prize, have a mole in the camp and need to seriously bolster their security, alternatively Senor Calderon is living up to the traditions of the Madridistas and filling newspaper columns with self gratifying propaganda.

If it was a media frenzy that Calderon wanted, then he will be a happy man. Italian newspapers were not slow in announcing: “Cannavaro, it’s all true.” (Gazzetta dello Sport) and: “Golden Ball to Cannavaro.” (Corriere della Sera). Despite the excitable nature of the Italian media, it would appear that the issue is done and dusted. Which would change the purpose of this article from a preview of the front-runners, to a selection of the nearly men. However, the famous trophy is not yet causing the Italian skipper feng shui difficulties at chez Cannavaro and so I will continue with my initial intentions.

The Ballon D’Or was created in 1956 by France Football magazine. At a time when Europe had begun to come out from the hangover of World War II a decade earlier, and football was enjoying its progression as a worldwide game. The inaugural European Cup (now known as the UEFA Champions League) was played out in the same year, and Stanley Matthews, the Blackpool winger was pronounced as Europe’s first Player of the Year. In the years that followed, the awards were dominated by the all conquering Madrid side, their forward Alfredo di Stefano claiming the title twice. The very idea of the award showed that football was now a sport that could bring people of different countries together, such an important factor when we consider that much of the continent had been a battlefield little over a decade before. Despite being held by France’s leading football publication, the award is based upon the considered opinion of journalists Europe-wide.

The award has been pretty evenly distributed around the leading lights of European club football over the years, Juventus lead the way with a total of eight winners (a total that could well have been further extended had the Calciopoli match fixing scandal not intervened), AC Milan (seven), Barcelona (six), Real Madrid (five) and Bayern Munich (five) all follow. Of course we must take into consideration that the award ceremony is traditionally held in November of every year, so many victorious players may well have been at new clubs at the time of the award, having earned the plaudits that lead to the prize at another side (both Luis Figo and Ronaldo are examples of this, having only moved to Madrid a few months prior to the presentation). The only major change in the award since it began came in 1995 when it was decreed that the winner need not be European in nationality himself, merely have his contract held by a club that comes under UEFA’s jurisdiction (much to the delight of the Liberian forward George Weah who took full advantage of the rule change in 1995).

An obvious start point for such an award would be to begin where we left off last year. The Brazilian Ronaldinho, who won last years award (to sit proudly on the mantelpiece next to his World Player of the Year award) to reconfirm him as being regarded as the planet’s finest player. The Barcelona man, by his very high standards, had a disappointing year. Despite adding the Champions League to his collection of medals, he was relatively below par in the World Cup (a competition that usually can be considered the deciding factor for the award) as his Brazilian side (and pre-tournament favourites) limped out in the quarter finals having been widely tipped to take a sixth title. Of his compatriots, only really Kaka’ shone in Germany and unfortunately the AC Milan forward ended the season medal-less despite enhancing his growing reputation as a force to be reckoned with in world football, and possible future winner of the award.

As we have previously examined, major tournaments often have a large impact on who is to be the recipient of the award. Take, for example, Ronaldo’s Ballon D’Or of 2002. Following yet another injury plagued season in Italy with Internazionale, el phenominon (as he is known by his adoring fans) turned it on in the Far East to help Brazil claim a fifth World Cup, scoring an incredible eight goals along the way and exorcised the some of the demons of his breakdown in the 1998 competition. Although many commented that surely seven games does not make a season, Ronaldo, who had since joined the Galacticos of Madrid, took the coveted prize.

From this theory, we can assume that this year’s victor will most likely hail from Italy. As previously mentioned, all of this talk is fairly irrelevant as Fabio Cannavaro has been, although as yet unconfirmed, declared by his club’s president as the winner. In reality, should this be the case, few could argue. The Italian captain was a lion in the heart of the formidable Italian defence that provoked headlines of ‘campione del mondo’ (‘champions of the world’) across the Mediterranean peninsula. However, the 33 year old former Juventus man is himself not getting as excited as his President (at least not before the famous ‘fat lady’ has had her moment). Cannavaro has said: “Of course I would like to win it. It would be wonderful and very gratifying on a personal level.”

As well as the Madrid man, Italy can boast strong claims for the award through both midfielder Andrea Pirlo and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Pirlo, during the previous season with Milan, and the World Cup with his nation, enhanced the reputation that he had, in his early career at least, threatened without ever achieving. Some superb displays in the heart of the Azzuri’s midfield raised Pirlo’s profile to be rated amongst the continent’s finest in his position, although lack of success on the domestic front may have cost him. More interesting though, is the calls for the award to be given to Gigi Buffon. The Juventus and Italy stopper has long been regarded as the finest in the World in his position. In Germany, Buffon further embellished this claim. Some heroic performances, most notably in the semi final against the hosts and his penalty saving performance to claim the trophy in the final, gave credence to him becoming only the second goalkeeper to win the award. In claiming the Ballon D’Or he would truly claim a place amongst the greats as the only other ‘number one’ to have won the award was the Russian Lev Yashin in 1963. He also has the support of Italy legend, and former European Footballer of the Year, Gianni Rivera. Upon hearing of Cannavaro’s premature victory, Rivera proclaimed: “I would have chosen Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon but if it is true that Fabio is to win it, I’m happy anyway.”

If the Golden Ball is to head to Italy, it will be the country’s forth winner after Rivera himself (1969), Paolo Rossi (1982) and Roberto Baggio (1993).

However, not all are in agreement that the award should be given to an Italian. Upon hearing Ramon Calderon’s claims, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reacted in typically defiant fashion: “Congratulations to Cannavaro if that’s the case,” Wenger said Friday. “But for me there’s only one candidate this year, it’s Thierry Henry. He just deserves it.

In retrospect, this is a fair argument. Henry appeared in both of the showpiece events in world football during 2006, and despite being on the losing side in both the World Cup and Champions League finals, getting to both is a testament to the man. Henry is widely regarded to have been the best striker in world football of the past few seasons. Consistently the English Premiership’s leading marksman and considered amongst the finest ever to have graced these shores, so perhaps, for once, Mr Wenger has seen something, he went onto say: “What does he have to do? Just to keep going. Sometimes you get rewarded at the moment where you expect it the least. That’s as well the sign of a superchamp.”

Other possible contenders are pretty thin on the ground. Samuel Eto’o of Barcelona was at his explosive best helping propel his side to titles in both La Liga and the Champions League, although not appearing in the summer’s festival of football due to Cameroon’s failure to qualify did not help his cause, as neither did the long term knee injury that will keep the striker out of action until the new year. The Portuguese midfielder Deco is another who has been mentioned in relation to the award. The diminutive string puller was considered to have been as, if not more, vital than Ronaldinho to Barcelona’s success last term. Another option, and one for the romantics, would be if the award was to go to Zinedine Zidane. The mercurial Frenchman finally hung up his golden boots during the summer after dragging his nation to the final. Some imposing performances from the one di Stefano dubbed ‘the maestro’ won Zizou the World Cup Golden Ball for being the tournament’s most outstanding player. However, we all know how it ended and, head-butts aside, the play-maker had a relatively poor season with Real Madrid.

With all considered, I feel I am largely discussing the competitors in a race already won. From a personal perspective I find this somewhat disappointing as it appears to be the closest competition for the award for some time. Not that I do not perceive Cannavaro a worthy winner, we have to go all the way back to Franz Beckenbauer in 1976 to find our last defender to have won the prize in a roll-of-honour dominated by players more accustomed to creating and scoring goals rather than stopping them. In this similar vein it would appear that given our three perceived favourites of Cannavaro, Buffon and Henry, only one is a striker. Perhaps a reflection upon the changing face of football? Perhaps merely a reflection of an Italian World Cup win? Either way, for me it is sad that such a prestigious award may not be announced with all of the pomp and ceremony that the eventual winner would undoubtedly deserve.

The author is David Hardy who writes for , a large, frequently updated football / soccer website dealing with all facets of the game.

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Security Cooperation-A Business Opportunity For IT and Defence Companies

The US has established a program of Security Cooperation with foreign sovereign nations who share common interest and values to meet common defence goals. Island Consulting has learnt that the Security Programmes must be authorised by the US Foreign Assistance Act and, as amended, by the Arms Export Control Act to enable the Department of Defence, or commercial contractor, to provide defence services and articles in support of national policies and objectives.

The two key programs within the security cooperation brief are Foreign Military Sales and International Military Education and Training, (FMS & IMET). The FMF program is managed by the Department of Defence on a not for profit basis. The beneficial country in question has grant aid allocated which may be “spent” against the acquisition of US defence articles in support of security cooperation.
When required defence articles or services have been identified, in the end user country, the countries representative must provide a Letter of Request normally through the local US Embassy Office of Defence Cooperation representative.

The reply could be in the form of Price and Availability information or a Letter of Offer and Acceptance. If the requesting country accepts the LOA the US will then provide the material or services offered.

A wide range of articles may be requested through the FMF program including such things as; Electronic Defence Systems, Logistics systems, Support equipment, and training. Training in US military schools can also be available particularly where items being acquired are similar to those items being transferred through the FMF programme.

As a separate line of Defence Cooperation countries can be offered support for IMET International Military Education and Training, after making the appropriate request as for FMF.

US companies operating in the defence field can benefit their European business by taking advantage of these Cooperation programs and implementing IT and Defence systems supported by FMF.
It is interesting to see how the US Foreign Assistance is requested at the Congress level as this gives an idea of the priorities assigned to individual recipient nations.

If we limit our interest to Central and eastern Europe we can see that the mature Western nations are understandably not offered direct assistance, but the former Eastern European nations have accrued considerable benefit as they bring their Defence infrastructure and systems more in line with western standards. Typically Hungary, Poland and the Czech republic have been beneficial recipients but this has now moved in favour of countries such as Bulgaria, Romania the Ukraine and most recently Turkey.
By way of example Island Consulting understands that in 2005 Bulgaria received approval for $6.9m, Romania $29m and Ukraine $3m whilst Turkey received $33.7m.

Island Consulting is an independent Research Consultancy giving your organisation business advantage in Government, Defence and Public Sector account research within Western Europe. Services include: Market Intelligence for ICT companies targeting Government, Defence and Public Sector accounts. If you are focusing on these customers Island Consulting can deliver specific market intelligence data to improve your business opportunities. Three key methodologies are employed to meet customers market intelligence requirements.

1.Meetings and interviews with MoD, Public Sector and Defence experts enables up to date information to be effectively collected for standard reports or customer specific requirements. 2. Dedicated data gathering includes opens source desk research augmented by direct follow up with the targeted accounts. 3. Telephone research is available for customer projects or sales campaigns.

For example the European Defence Research project provides ICT companies with a detailed analysis of current status and areas of opportunity, across 18 Central European countries

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