The Boogaloo Menace | Another World War? | COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy, and more

·  “On balance, however, I do not think that even the extraordinary economic conditions we are witnessing today are going to have much impact on the likelihood of war.”

·  “First of all, if depressions were a powerful cause of war, there would be a lot more of the latter. … Second, states do not start wars unless they believe they will win a quick and relatively cheap victory. … Third, and most important, the primary motivation for most wars is the desire for security, not economic gain.”

·  “To be sure, I can’t rule out another powerful cause of war—stupidity—especially when it is so much in evidence in some quarters these days. So there is no guarantee that we won’t see misguided leaders stumbling into another foolish bloodletting. But given that it’s hard to find any rays of sunshine at this particular moment in history, I’m going to hope I’m right about this one.”

The Psychology of Inoculation: How Many Will Take a Coronavirus Vaccine? (Erin Anderssen. Globe & Mail)
Doctors and nurses need to combat vaccine hesitancy in patients now, before one for coronavirus becomes available – if it does – for mass dispersion

Pandemic Propaganda and the Global Democracy Crisis (Haroro J. Ingram, War on the Rocks)

·  “The evidence is clear that social distancing is crucial for flattening the epidemic curve and many governments have responded by imposing strict lockdowns and even surveillance measures on its citizens. For democracies, the implementation of such draconian measures, even if only temporarily, places pressures on democratic institutions which, in turn, risk undermining public trust that democratic freedoms are being protected.”

·  “In the face of these unprecedented challenges, a variety of malign actors have looked to exploit these crises with pandemic propaganda and disinformation. It is no coincidence that the world’s democracies have been the target of such malign influence efforts by the global champions of authoritarianism and violent extremists alike.”

·  “Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials have actively championed conspiracies that the U.S. Army is the source of the virus while engaging in a broader ‘soft power’ campaign to present itself as the world’s public health leader and threaten ‘economic coercion’ against nations that criticize it. … Meanwhile, the Russian government has broadly followed its customary playbook with multilingual campaigns, spreading false and provocative messages designed to sow discord and mistrust in Western democracies.”

·  “Violent non-state actors from far-right extremists to jihadis have variously framed the pandemic as either indicative of or a catalyst for the collapse of democratic and free market systems.”

·  There is something that all the world’s democracies could do right now, and that is publicly join Australia in its demand for an independent inquiry into COVID-19’s origins and transparency around the CCP’s initial response.”

These Are the Fake Experts Pushing Pseudoscience and Conspiracy Theories about the Coronavirus Pandemic (Jane Lytvynenko, Ryan Broderick, and Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed News)
A guide to the spin doctors and conspiracy theorists clogging up your social media feed.

U.S. Tussles with France, U.N. Over Counterterrorism Efforts in West Africa (Robbie Gramer and Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy)
The Trump administration seeks to put an American in charge of the U.N. mission in Mali.

Mother of Manchester Arena Bombing Victim Says “Terrorism Has Not Gone Away” and Teachers Must Look Out for Radicalization (Jamie Johnson, The Telegraph)
Manchester is preparing to mark the third anniversary of the Arena suicide bombing with online memorial services

The British Government Must Stop Kowtowing to China and Side with Our True Allies (Charles Moore, The Telegraph)
Why aren’t we forming tech partnerships with Japan, South Korea, Finland and Sweden, instead of fattening the Chinese cuckoo in our nest?

Preventing the Next Boko Haram in Northern Mozambique (John Campbell, CFR)
As the world’s attention is fixed on the global COVID-19 pandemic, a brewing conflict in northern Mozambique is threatening to plunge the region into chaos. The conflict, which broke out in Cabo Delgado province in the fall of 2017, has since resulted in more than 1,000 deaths and forced 100,000 people to flee their homes. The details remain murky—not least because the government has banned researchers and journalists from covering it—but it is becoming clear that the so-called Islamic State is trying to capitalize on the insurgency. Along with the rising death toll, growing humanitarian needs, and brutal human rights abuses, there is concern among analysts that the conflict could spread into neighboring countries across southern and eastern Africa, not unlike the spread of jihadi violence in the Sahel.