From Global Discussions: Here is your weekly news update!
Also, mark your calendars! On February 28th the Global Discussions club is hosting the global issues forum in the Commons and everyone is welcome! Click on our website to find out more about our speakers! (https://sites.google.com/a/collegiate-va.org/global-issues-forum/)
America’s ISIS Debate:
In the past several months, ISIS has been responsible for thousands of deaths, and now the White House wants to take further military action by asking Congress for war authority. Although Obama has already done several airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, he now wants congressional approval for United States military involvement. This declaration comes after the deaths of several Americans, such as James Foley, Steven Sotloff (journalists), and Kayla Mueller (teacher). However, Americans only account for 19 out of 17,000+ deaths caused by ISIS, thus creating conflict within Congress on whether to authorize war. Congress is also frustrated by Obama’s delay in asking for war authority, as Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat, stated ““I’ll tell you what offends me about this. We’ve already lost American service members’ lives in this operation, and we’ve done it without Congress being willing to do the job of having a vote. If we’re going to ask people to risk their lives, then Congress ought to do our job and put our thumb print on this mission and say, it is in the national interest”. Congress will release its decision in the coming months.
More than 5,300 people have been killed by fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels since April 2014. The pro-Russian forces come largely from eastern Ukraine, where the country borders Russia. Western countries (like the US) believe that these forces are being armed by Russia, but Russia continues to deny these claims. Various peace plans have been attempted up to this point. This Wednesday, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France aim to meet in Belarus’s capital Minsk in order to discuss a new one. Although details of this plan, which will not be starkly different from past ones, have not been released, it is thought to include a demilitarized zone of 50-70km (31-44 miles) around the current front line. The push for a new plan may have been spurred by the potential that the US may send weapons to Ukraine, an action of which European leaders are not fond. Read more in this BBC article.
Jordan On The Offensive:
After captured Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, was burned alive in a cage at the hands of ISIS, the country of Jordan demanded retribution. Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Jabour released to the world that Jordan is “determined to wipe them [ISIS] from the face of the Earth.” Since this past weekend, Jordan has engaged in 56 air strikes targeted against ISIS, an increase from their initial September 23rd offensive.
The US coordinator for the anti-ISIS coalition of western and Arab countries, John Allen, declared that Iraqi troops will assist Jordan through a “major ground offensive against the jihadists ‘in the weeks ahead.'” al-Jabour believes 7,000 ISIS troops have been killed in the attacks, yet that number is disputed by several analysts for being too high over the course of a weekend or perhaps rendered unclear as the sum of the total ISIS deaths since the September 23rd offensive. Furthermore, Jordan saw the assistance of fighter jets with pilots and technicians from the UAE. Analysts believe the combined efforts from the UAE, Jordan, Iraq, and the anti-ISIS coalition of western and Arab countries will pose a severe threat to ISIS, with the location of the “frightened” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to be determined (Unknown since July 2014).
From The Huffington Post: Protesters gather outside the governmental palace in Buenos Aires to protest after the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
In 1994 in Argentina a Jewish community center was blown up, killing 85 people. It was suspected that the Iranian Government was responsible for the attack, but not much proof could be found. This case has been in the news recently because the prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, working on the case was found dead on January 18th. Nisman had supposedly found evidence of the President of Argentina making a deal with the Iranian government to cover up Iran’s role in the attack. Nisman was actually going to testify in court against the President the day he was found dead. He died of a gun shot to the head, which was first ruled a suicide, but it is now being labeled a homicide. While searching through Nisman’s apartment the police found drafts of an arrest warrant for the President making the whole situation more suspicious. President Kirchner has denied any involvement in the death of Nisman, but the police investigation is ongoing. To learn more click here.