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The U.S. Army in Asia, 2030-2040

September 29, 2014 Comments off

The U.S. Army in Asia, 2030-2040
Source: RAND Corporation

For the next 20 or more years, the U.S. relationship with China will be the fulcrum on which the East Asian security order balances. As a result, U.S. policy should seek to prevent the emergence of an overtly hostile U.S.-China relationship while hedging against the possibility that one could nonetheless emerge. Such a strategy must balance between protecting U.S. interests in East Asia, where clashes with China’s preferences are most likely, and cooperating with Beijing globally where the two sides have common objectives. Crafting and sustaining such a strategy will be a major challenge. It must have clear and realistic goals flowing from larger U.S. interests and strategy in the region, take into account the need for U.S.-China cooperation on a host of global security and economic matters, be flexible and responsive to Chinese moves, seek to channel Chinese conduct in favorable directions, and reflect the new realities of Asia resulting from China’s increased military and economic power. The U.S. Army will have an important role to play in supporting U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific, primarily by providing training and support to allies and partners; helping to defend key facilities from enemy ground, air, and missile attack; providing key enabling support to the joint force; projecting expeditionary combat forces into the theater; contributing to new conventional deterrent options; and helping to encourage China’s participation in cooperative military-to-military engagements.

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UK — Children with special educational and complex needs: guidance for health and wellbeing boards

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Children with special educational and complex needs: guidance for health and wellbeing boards
Source: Department of Health

The Children and Families Act 2014 introduces a new statutory requirement for local services to work together when providing care and support for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) are responsible for overseeing the implementation of the new requirement, ensuring that local services are fulfilling their role and that children are getting the care they need.

From September 2014 local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and education services will be expected to collaborate when assessing, commissioning and implementing care plans for children with SEN and disabilities.

This document provides guidance and advice for HWBs on how best to oversee the implementation of changes made by the Act.

EU Council Library Think Tank Review — September 2014

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Think Tank Review — September 2014 (PDF)
Source: EU Council Library

Think tank publication activity did not cease during the summer. This double issue of the TTR carries content on Brexit, separatist pressures, banking union, economic governance, energy and much more, including, predictably, Franco-German relations and, less predictably, Google searches in Finland (!). Energy security in relation to the Ukraine conflict is obviously a key concern. Also noteworthy is a series of analyses on security issues, from defence industry to cyber-security, published around the time of the NATO summit in Cardiff. The European Council’s new Strategic Guidelines in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice received critical attention, as did the energy aspects of the June European Council. The recent elections and nominations to the top EU offices triggered a number of broad policy or strategy recommendations, and various reviews of possible institutional reforms.

Also noteworthy, this month, is a particularly rich selection of Regards croisés across Member State borders.

CRS — Increased Department of Defense Role in U.S. Ebola Response, CRS Insights (September 17, 2014)

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Increased Department of Defense Role in U.S. Ebola Response, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

On September 16, 2014, President Obama announced a major increase in the United States response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The Department of Defense (DOD) submitted requests to Congress to make excess Overseas Contingency Operations funds appropriated for FY2014 available to support this effort. The requested funds would be used to provide humanitarian assistance, including:

  • transportation of DOD and non-DOD personnel and supplies;
  • coordination delivery of supplies from both DOD and non-DOD sources such as isolation units, personnel protective equipment and medical supplies;
  • construction of 27 planned Ebola treatment units; and,
  • training and education in support of sanitation and mortuary affairs functions to limit the spread of the Ebola outbreak.

DOD officials have stated that DOD personnel will not provide direct medical care to Ebola victims, but that non-governmental organizations are submitting proposals to the World Health Organization and other entities to provide health care workers.

Spillover from the Conflict in Syria: An Assessment of the Factors that Aid and Impede the Spread of Violence

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Spillover from the Conflict in Syria: An Assessment of the Factors that Aid and Impede the Spread of Violence
Source: RAND Corporation

All roads lead to Damascus and then back out again, but in different directions. The financial and military aid flowing into Syria from patrons and neighbors is intended to determine the outcome of the conflict between a loose confederation of rebel factions and the regime in Damascus. Instead, this outside support has the potential to perpetuate the existing civil war and to ignite larger regional hostilities between Sunni and Shia areas that could reshape the political geography of the Middle East. This report examines the main factors that are likely to contribute to or impede the spread of violence from civil war and insurgency in Syria, and then examines how they apply to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan.

CA — A Three Year Review of Federal Inmate Suicides (2011 – 2014)

September 25, 2014 Comments off

A Three Year Review of Federal Inmate Suicides (2011 – 2014) (PDF)
Source: Office of the Correctional Investigator

Sadly, we have come to expect about ten suicide deaths each year in federal penitentiaries. Though the number of prison suicides fluctuates annually and has generally been declining, the rate has remained relatively stable in recent years and is still approximately seven times higher than in the general population. In the 20-year period from 1994-95 to 2013-14, a total of 211 federal inmates have taken their own life. Suicide is the leading cause of un-natural death among federal inmates, accounting for about 20% of all deaths in custody in any given year.

While there is no fail-safe method to predict suicide in a prison setting, there is an obligation on the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to preserve life in custody. A comprehensive suicide awareness and prevention program increases the likelihood of identifying and safely managing suicidal inmates.

This report, part of the Office’s continuing focus on prevention of deaths in custody, consists of a comprehensive review of all completed acts of suicide (n=30) that occurred in federal penitentiaries in the three year period between April 2011 and March 2014.

Progress in industrial competitiveness per EU country

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Progress in industrial competitiveness per EU country
Source: European Commission

The 2014 Member States’ Competitiveness Report “Reindustrialising Europe” found that European firms fought hard to maintain their competitiveness during the crisis originating in 2008. However, despite these efforts, without appropriate action at EU and Member State level the severe legacy of the crisis cannot be overcome.

Aggregate data demonstrates the recovery of exports and an increase in productivity in most Member States. However this positive data at EU level masks considerable differences between the performance and policies of Member States and sectors. The report indicates that many factors which hinder competiveness are common across Member States. Examples include lack of investment, limited access to finance and access to markets, in particular for SMEs; high energy prices, and the need for a more business friendly environment and a public administration.

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