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Many often wonder whether it will be a real possibility to see nuclear fire raining down on Seattle in US or even Seoul in South Korea anytime soon. Just as Gilboa observes, the end of mock ups is indicative of more success in the nuclear weapons amongst the Asian countries than the West would want to imagine (65). The relatively slow but rapidly progressive nuclear weapons program especially in the hands of Kim Jong-un are indeed a catastrophic recipe. Furthermore, cyber-attacks have been on the rise in the recent past. As much as it is a type of battle many people hardly notice, it is worth everyone’s attention. Through malwares, enemies of peace are able to instigate global turmoil (Gilboa 67). Surely, there is need to curb mushrooming of both nuclear weaponry and cyber warfare. This paper explores Obama’s Syrian policy and its connection to proliferation of nuclear weapons and cyber-attacks.
Obama’s Syrian Policy
There has been an increasing global controversy on whether it would have been right for the US to intervene in the Syrian conflict and whether such a move should have been military or strategic (Gilboa 71). Obama’s administration ensured the United States of America avoided military interference in Syria. As opposed to what America is accustomed to, it declined to provide the Syrian rebels with any form of support. Interestingly, the US acknowledged the presence of an opposition leader in Syria. American government was forced to bear global criticism for its non-intervention policy even as the level of violence rose to alarming levels in the Asian country. Gilboa indicates that he Syrian civil war which began in March 2012 for a lengthened period put America on a limbo (69). Since its beginning, the bombings, killings and fleeing of people has never stopped. According to Obama’s administration, America could not afford unsecured contribution for an unpredictable time frame. Barack Obama’s foreign policy focused on putting a halt to all military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq (Benson, McAlaney and Frumkin 267). The US army seemingly never had sufficient time to nurse its wounds and recovery from the post war trauma. The two major wars had somehow compelled the US government to promise the war veterans’ families to end war interventions. Interceding in Syrian war became even more complicated. Just like it had been anticipated, pro-Al Qaeda Jihadist group have taken over thereby making life miserable in the country. Besides, with the Islamic State in Syria has always been a threat to the neighboring countries therefore messing up the balance of power particularly in the Middle East.
Objectives of DOE and OIC
The Department of Energy (DOE) is one of the most important agencies in the American government. It is charged with the duty of maintaining America’s nuclear weapons stockpile (Benson, McAlaney and Frumkin 268). Nuclear non-proliferation surpasses the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Even so, the international community is capable of applying pressure on the states outside the treaty in a bid to conform with the internationally acceptable norms on nuclear non-proliferation. In order to ensure that any weapons functions properly, regular maintenance is necessary. Benson, McAlaney and Frumkin state that DOE checks on the radioactive elements of missiles and bombs (269). The Nuclear Weapons States are supposed to adhere to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under a voluntary offer agreement. America being the world’s super power uses its department of energy in collaboration with IAEA to inspect and ensure that the facilities maintain IAEA standards of accounting. On the other hand, the organization of Islamic Cooperation empowers its member states socially, economically and politically. This is achievable through the promotion of solidarity by increasing cooperation amongst its members. Moreover, through its objectives, it promotes global peace and advancement in science and technology (Gilboa 75). As a result, the member states do not make nuclear weapons purposefully for bloodshed but a way of sharpening their skills.
Cyber warfare has been a contentious issue. There are folks who believe that cyber warfare is an international security threat while there are those who feel that it has not and will never happen (Benson, McAlaney and Frumkin 281). I would say that both groups to a large extent are wrong and right. The thought that the world is supposedly a full blown cyber warfare misleads in defining what this battle is all about. Cyber warfare entails the most pressing insecurity dilemmas the world has ever known. Apart from piracy, cyber-attacks are the greatest challenges to international peace and security. For instance, false news for political purposes should never be left at the disposal of IT experts. Gilboa affirms that organizations and individuals involved in piracy either for personal or political gains should receive severe punishment (77). Edward Snowden, a former contractor of NSA leaked crucial information on American surveillance programs in 2013 (Benson, McAlaney and Frumkin 278). As a result, NHS was crippled and the information spread across the world. The hacking tools believed to have been used belonged to the US National Security Agency. The Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that purported to be behind the hacking attempted to auction off the vital data at a bigger trove. This was very wrong considering the massive number of American enemies outside there. Just an article could be critical enough to turn the ‘free world’ into ashes.
WannaCry was another strain of ransomware. It walloped hundreds of thousands of its targets including public utilities and well established cooperations. It crippled National health facilities in the UK by causing delays in the vital medical procedures (Benson, McAlaney and Frumkin 279). The next ransomware infection which nearly leveraged WannaCry was Petya NotPetya. Believed to be Ukrainian, the malware masked Merck, a US pharmaceutical company; Rosnoft, a Russian oil giant and Maersk, a Dannish shipping company. Amazingly, it hit Ukraine, its host really hard disrupting power system, public transit, central bank and airport opeerations (Benson, McAlaney and Frumkin 280). Apart from laying stringent measures and punishments for those involved in cyber-attacks, there is need for international community to ban information obtained from cyber-attack. Besides, the affected nations need to hold discussions in accordance with the international laws before making conclusions on the way forward.
It was also observed that even if Assad’s regime fell apart, national chaos was most likely to hit Syria because even the Syrians themselves the regime whose rule suited their nation. Besides, America was also unable to break the promise it made to its war veterans. It is because of these reasons that America played no part in the Syrian crisis, a blame former president would carry to his grave. It is important to note that war torn nations create ample ground for developing nuclear weapons. However, because of the turmoil, IAEA is unable to monitor the standard of such weapons. Cyber-attack is another atrocious battle the world has been facing in the recent past. Majority of people give it less attention yet it comprises one of the most gruesome attacks nations can ever face. These are very sensitive issues which need to be addressed urgently lest the world turn into mayhem.
Benson, Vladlena, John McAlaney, and Lara A. Frumkin. “Emerging Threats for the Human Element and Countermeasures in Current Cyber Security Landscape.” Psychological and Behavioral Examinations in Cyber Security. IGI Global, 2018. pp.266-282.
Gilboa, Eytan. “4 Public opinion and Obama’s foreign policy.” US Foreign Policy and Global Standing in the 21st Century: Realities and Perceptions
(2016): pp. 63-78.
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