Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Hubert Robert, The Ponte Salario, French, 1733 - 1808, c. 1775, oil on canvas, Samuel H. Kress Collection

Hubert Robert, “The Ponte Salario,” c. 1775. Via National Gallery of Art.

While some believe that drones are more discriminate than traditional attacks from manned aircraft, this article suggests that “drones kill more civilians than manned aircraft do,” with an interesting twist on why this is the case. While much of the drone conversation is concerned with military applications, others point to the potential benefits in such areas as healthcare delivery in remote, often inaccessible areas. The technology could even play a role in search-and-rescue efforts in the Mediterranean in the midst of the current refugee crisis.

Though the majority of refugee-related discourse is focused on the EU, the European crisis is part of a much broader story of global people flows. Take, for example, the hundreds of migrants from the DRC who are currently holed up in a Costa Rican town. Or what about the fact that 10% of of the 30 million residents of the Northern Triangle – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – have fled the region in recent decades. Further afield, Australia’s ‘deterrence strategy’ for migrants has come under attack yet again. This comes as the second refugee in as many weeks has resorted to self-immolation in an effort to draw attention to the dire circumstances in the camps.

As the Obama administration warns of a future filled with ‘climate refugees,’ climactic pressures – such as desertification – are leading to increased conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farming communities in Nigeria. Also in Nigeria, the US is looking to approve the sale of attack aircraft to the government in continued efforts to confront the threat from Boko Haram. In Senegal this week, an agreement was signed that allows for “the permanent presence” of US soldiers in the country.

In the Caribbean, Islamist extremism presents a threat in Trinidad. And in Haiti, the political impasse remains as deadlocked as ever.

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