UNITY: Germany Signs on to Tackle the Islamic State
According to the European Council on Foreign Relations, Germany will deploy 1200 troops to assist in the fight against the Islamic State. In a vote of 445 to 145, the German Bundestag elected to join France both in naval and reconnaissance missions, as well as a support mission to Mali, until the end of 2016. Germany’s support for the international alliance with direct military support is a departure from Chancellor Merkel’s past trajectory of supporting and integrating refugees coming into Europe. The move demonstrates how a strong Franco-German alliance is necessary to unify the European Union in times of direct and indirect security threats to the continent.
European Council on Foreign Relations: http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_germany_france_syria_berlins_calculated_solidarity_4057?utm_content=buffer020fb&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
THE CLIMATE: Red Alert in Beijing
Beijing declared its highest alert status for smog in the capital city. Measured currently at 400 micrograms per cubic meter (anything above 25 is considered dangerous by the World Health Organization), the city’s residents have been advised to stay in doors, where masks, and advised that schools may be shut down. Car renters have seen a spike in the number of electric vehicles being rented, as residents attempt to reduce the amount of particulants contributing to smog. The alert comes at the same time as the Paris Climate Meetings (COP21), and where China has pledged to cap and gradually reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. They are joined by India, whose capital NEw Delhi boasts a higher air pollution rate than Beijing.
GEOPOLITICS: Weapons to ISIS come from China and Russia
ISIS has managed to obtain a variety of arms from different countries and groups, including both China and Russia. The two countries, through decades of lax arms controls, have allowed ISIS to obtain small and medium arms in its fight in Syria, according to Amnesty International. Most arms used by the Islamic State came through raiding former Iraqi military armories during the US pullback from the country. The key event was the capture of Mosul, where fleeing Iraqi military units of the Al-Maliki regime left behind a treasure trove of weapons, including US, Russia, and Chinese equipment. As of a 2014 report, ISIS has enough weapons and ammunition to stay active until well into 2016.