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After the end of World War II, more than 45,000 young Japanese women married American GIs and came to the United States to embark upon new lives among strangers. The mother of Kathryn Tolbert, a former long-time journalist with The Washington Post, was one of them.

Kathryn noted, “I knew there was a story in my mother’s journey from war-time Japan to an upstate New York poultry farm. In order to tell it, I teamed up with journalists Lucy Craft and Karen Kasmauski, whose mothers were also Japanese war brides, to make a short documentary film through a mother-daughter lens. Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides was released in August 2015 and premiered on BBC World Television. To show the experiences of many more women like our mothers, I spent a year traveling the country to record interviews, funded by a Time Out grant from Vassar College, my alma mater.”

I knew there was a story in my mother’s journey from war-time Japan to an upstate New York poultry farm.
—Kathryn Tolbert, Co-Director, Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight

The Japanese War Brides Oral History Archive is the result of her interviews. The Oral History Archive documents an important chapter of U.S. immigration history that is largely unknown and usually left out of the broader Japanese American experience. In these oral histories, Japanese immigrant women reflect on their lives in postwar Japan, their journeys across the Pacific, and their experiences living in the United States.

SPICE developed five lessons for the Japanese War Brides Oral History Archive that suggest ways for teachers to engage their students with the broad themes that emerge from the individual experiences of Japanese war brides. The lessons are: (1) Setting the Context; (2) Japanese Immigration to the United States; (3) The Transmission of Culture; (4) Notions of Identity; and (5) Conflict and Its Analysis. SPICE also developed a teacher’s guide for the film, Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides, that helps teachers set the context for the film and provides guided viewing activities and debriefing activities. The lessons and teacher’s guide can be found at the webpage below.

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SPICE has developed free lesson plans on an important chapter of U.S. immigration history that is largely unknown.

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Introduction to Issues in International Security is a collaboration between the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). Four CISAC scholars are featured in accessible video lectures that aim to introduce high school students to issues in international security and increase awareness of career opportunities available in the field. Free discussion guides, developed by SPICE, are available for all of the lectures in this series.

The CISAC scholars and descriptions of their lectures are listed below.

Professor Crenshaw explores some fundamental issues about terrorism, such as why people resort to terror, the political goals of terrorism, and the importance of understanding the complex web of relationships among terrorist organizations.

The Honorable Gottemoeller discusses the difference between national and international security. She takes a close look at the nuclear weapons program of North Korea and highlights the possible danger that North Korea’s nuclear weapons could pose to the world, as well as different ways to mitigate this risk.

Professor Naimark discusses the difference between ethnic cleansing and genocide. He highlights key historical events that have taken place around the world and discusses the “Responsibility to Protect” and how it has shaped the way the international community responds to such atrocities.

Dr. Palmer discusses how biological threats shape our world—different types of threats and what we can do to prevent and to prepare for them.

An online symposium for high school students from four high schools is being planned for May 2022. They will have the opportunity to meet with one or two of the CISAC scholars to discuss issues in international security and careers in the field of international security. The online symposium is part of CISAC’s and SPICE’s DEI-focused efforts. In the 2022–23 academic year, CISAC and SPICE will invite high school teachers, who introduce the curriculum series, to recommend students to a second online symposium.

For more information about the curriculum series and the 2022–23 symposium, contact Irene Bryant at irene3@stanford.edu.

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Irene Bryant

Instructor, Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan
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A new video curriculum series is released.


Abstract: This talk will explore the historical roots of the modern concept of identity, and how it plays out in contemporary nationalism, Islamism, populism, and liberal multiculturalism.  It will be based on my forthcoming book Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in September 2018.

Speaker bio: Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at FSI and Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He has worked previously at the State Dept., the Rand Corporation, and taught at George Mason University and Johns Hopkins SAIS before coming to Stanford in 2010.
Frank Fukuyama CDDRL, Stanford University

Abstract: Governments around the world have been targeting and killing individuals to prevent them from committing terror attacks or other atrocities. They use this method secretly, sometimes without even taking responsibility for such operations, and without making public most of the relevant information: who is being targeted and what are the criteria for targeting individuals, what evidence is used to make targeting decisions, and what procedures are adopted to identify mistakes or misuse of this method. Recently released documents, such as the U.S. Department of Justice Drone Memo (analyzing lethal operations against U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi), the more general White Paper on targeted killings of US citizens, or the Report of the Israeli Special Investigatory Commission on the targeted killing of Salah Shehadeh, shed some light on otherwise highly secretive decision-making processes, thereby introducing to the public debate important information previously unavailable. At the same time, in revealing only a small amount of relevant information, they emphasize the thick veil of secrecy that still surrounds the discussions in this field. Moreover, the information that is available demonstrates the vague nature of the relevant rules; the security-oriented implementation of these rules; and the inadequacy of current oversight mechanisms of targeted killing operations. These challenges to a process designed to take human lives emphasize the need to develop effective and independent accountability mechanisms, with powers to investigate high-level policymakers as well as operational-level decision-makers. This policy-paper proposes concrete solutions to the main weaknesses of the current legal framework: it narrowly (and clearly) defines legal terms such as ‘imminent threat,’ ‘feasibility,’ and ‘last resort’; it develops an activity-based test for determinations on direct participation in hostilities; it designs an independent ex post review mechanism; and it calls for governmental transparency and meaningful oversight. Most importantly, it promotes a targeted killing policy that protects civilians from both terror and counter-terror attacks.

About the Speaker: Shiri Krebs is a JSD Candidate at Stanford Law School, specializing in international criminal and humanitarian law. She was recently awarded the Christiana Shi Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship in International Studies and is a Law and International Security Predoctoral Fellow at Stanford Center on International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).

Her doctoral dissertation focuses on war crimes investigations and fact-finding during armed conflicts. This interdisciplinary research project combines theories and methods from law, psychology, sociology and political science, including online survey experiments.

From 2005 to 2010 Shiri served as legal advisor on international law matters in the Chief-Justice's chambers, the Israeli Supreme Court. During that time she has taught public international law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a teaching assistantship which granted her the Dean's award for excellent junior faculty members, as well as 'best teacher' award. After leaving the Supreme Court, Shiri joined the Israeli Democracy Institute as a researcher, working on 'Terrorism and Democracy' projects, and publishing frequent op-eds in various newspapers and blogs.

In September 2010 Shiri started her graduate studies at Stanford Law School. Her Masters thesis - an empirical analysis of preventive detention cases - was presented in several international conferences and has won the Steven M. Block Civil Liberties Award. 

In 2012, while working on her dissertation, Shiri was appointed as a Teaching Scholar at Santa Clara University School of Law, teaching international criminal law and international humanitarian law. She is currently serving as a Teaching Assistant for the Stanford Interschool Honors Program in International Security Studies. 

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Shiri Krebs is an Associate Professor at Deakin University’s Law School, and Co-lead, Law and Policy Theme, at the Australian Government Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC). She is also an affiliated scholar at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and cooperation (CISAC).

Dr Krebs’ research focuses on wartime controversies and fact-finding processes, as well as on human-machine interaction in legal decision-making, exploring issues at the intersection of law, science and technology.

Her scholarship has been published at leading international law and general law journals (e.g. the Harvard National Security Journal), and has been supported by a number of research grants, including, most recently, from the Australian Government Cyber Security Cooperative research Centre. Dr Krebs was invited to communicate her research findings to government departments, security agencies, and civil society organizations in various countries, and her work has affected data collection processes.

Her publications granted her several awards, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Researcher Award for Career Excellence (Deakin University, 2019), the Lucinda Jordan Research Award (2018), invitation to the 2016 American Society of International Law (ASIL) ‘New Voices’ panel, the Franklin Award in International Law (Stanford University, 2015), the Goldsmith Award in Dispute Resolution (2012), and the Steven Block Civil Liberties Award (2011). Dr Krebs has taught in a number of law schools, including at Stanford University, University of Santa Clara, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she won the Dean’s award recognizing exceptional junior faculty members.

Krebs earned her Doctorate and Master Degrees from Stanford Law School with Honours, as well as LL.B. and M.A., both magna cum laude, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Shiri Krebs JSD Candidate at Stanford Law School, CISAC Law and International Security Fellow Speaker Stanford University
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The terrorist shootings in Paris have brought a new round of attention to issues of immigration, political polarization, religious discrimination and threats to global security. Scholars at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies are following the developments and talking about the attacks.

Cécile Alduy, is an associate professor of French literature writing a book on France’s far-right National Front political party and is an affiliated faculty member of FSI’s Europe Center. She is in Paris, where she wrote an opinion piece for Al Jazeera America and spoke with KQED’s Forum

David Laitin is a professor of political science and also an affiliated faculty member of The Europe Center as well as FSI’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. His co-authored book, Why Muslim Integration Fails: An Inquiry in Christian-Heritage Societies, examines Muslim disadvantages and discrimination in Europe.

Christophe Crombez is a consulting professor at TEC specializing in European Union politics. And Martha Crenshaw, a senior fellow at FSI and CISAC, is an expert on political terrorism.

How are Parisians reacting to the tragedy?

Alduy: The mood here is of grief, disgust, anger, and fear. We were all in a state of shock: a sense of disbelief and horror, as if we had entered a surreal time-space where what we hear from the news happening in far away places—Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria—had been suddenly catapulted here, on our streets, in our everyday. The shock has given way to mourning. Lots of crying, swallowed tears and heavy hearts. But there’s also revolt and determination to not let that get to us and to not let it succeed in reviving internal wounds.

I was surprised by the spontaneous quiet demonstrations and collective mourning happening all over France: that people would go out rather than hide in spite of the fact that two heavy armed gunmen were on the loose. It was such a naturally humane, human, compassionate response. It was a real consolation to witness this getting together, this flame of humanity and solidarity braving the fear and silencing the silencers.  

What can we say about the brothers who allegedly carried out the attack?

Crenshaw: Apparently they are French citizens of Algerian immigrant origin, who had moved into the orbit of French jihadist networks some years ago. They were both known to French and American authorities, just as the 7/7 London bombers were known to the British police.  One had spent time in a French prison for his association with a jihadist network that sent young men to fight in Iraq, and the other is said to have recently trained in Yemen.  In that case, he would almost certainly have come into contact with operatives of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (known as AQAP).  AQAP is an extremely dangerous organization in Yemen and abroad.  The U.S. has regarded it as a number one threat for some time – this is the group that sent the infamous Christmas or underwear bomber on a flight to Detroit in 2009.  Its chief ideologue, the American Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed in an American drone strike in 2012. The fact that the terrorists were two brothers also brings to mind the case of the Tsarnaev brothers and the Boston Marathon bombing.  

What are the cultural and societal implications of the shooting?

Alduy: The event highlights a menace that had been rampant, and duly acknowledged by the French government: that of French-born radicalized Muslims going to Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq to be trained as jihadist and then coming back to conduct terrorist attacks on French soil (this was already the case for Mohammed Merah, but he was not part of an Al-Qaeda cell and acted all alone, as did the man who attacked the Jewish Museum in Bruxells). The cultural and societal implication is that we are now talking of being a country at war, with al-Qaida recruiting among us our potential enemies. In other words, France has to come to terms with the fact that its own values, its own political system, and its own people have been shot execution style in the name of the jihad by our own children.

Explain the extent to which Muslims are disenfranchised and discriminated against in France.

Laitin: Our book documents that Muslims, just for being Muslims, face rather significant discrimination in the French labor market. We sent out CVs to employers, comparing two identically qualified applicants, one named Khadija Diouf and the other Marie Diouf. Both were from Senegalese backgrounds but were French citizens and well educated. Marie received a significantly larger number of “call backs.” From a survey, we know that controlling for race, for gender, and for education, Muslims from one of the two Senegalese language communities we study have much lower household income than matched Christians. We connect this finding to that of the discrimination in the labor market. In our book, we search for the reasons that sustain discrimination against Muslims in France. Here we find that the rooted French population prefers not to have Muslims in their midst, and not to have a lot of Muslims in their midst. Tokens are O.K.

Meanwhile, Muslims exhibit norms concerning gender and concerning public displays of religious devotion that are threatening to the norms of the rooted French. We therefore see a joint responsibility of both the French and the immigrant Muslim communities in sustaining what we call a “discriminatory equilibrium”.

Can these shootings be attributed to those inherent tensions?

Laitin: There is no evidence that this discriminatory equilibrium is in any way responsible for the horrendous criminal behavior exhibited in the offices of Charlie Hebdo. There is a viral cult that is attractive to a small minority of young Muslims inducing them to behavior that is inhuman. The sources of this cult are manifold, but it would be outrageous to attribute it to the difficulties that Muslims face in fully integrating into France.

How will the shootings affect the standing of right-leaning political parties that have been gaining traction?

Crombez: I think the shootings in Paris will provide a further boost to the electoral prospects of France's extreme-right, anti-immigrant party, the National Front. Opinion polls in recent months already showed that it could emerge as France's largest political party at the departmental elections in March – as far as vote share is concerned – and that the Front's candidate for the Presidency in 2017 is likely to make it into, but lose, the second round run-off with the candidate of the moderate right, as was the case in 2002. The shootings will only have improved the Front's chances. Even if the election results are consistent with the polls taken prior to the shootings, and the Front doesn't do even better than the polls predicted, the dramatic results are likely to be attributed to the shootings.

And the long-term political fallout?

Crombez: The effects will reverberate throughout Europe. But as time passes and the shootings become but a distant memory, the effects will disappear. I would draw a parallel here with what happened after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan in 2011. In the following months Green parties did very well in elections in Europe at various levels, but after a year or so that effect seems to have dissipated. I would expect this to be the case with the shootings also, except if there are more such incidents to follow.



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From MIT University Press Abstract: 
"Uranium from Africa has long been a major source of fuel for nuclear power and atomic weapons, including the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In 2003, after the infamous “yellow cake from Niger,” Africa suddenly became notorious as a source of uranium, a component of nuclear weapons. But did that admit Niger, or any of Africa’s other uranium-producing countries, to the select society of nuclear states? Does uranium itself count as a nuclear thing? In this book, Gabrielle Hecht lucidly probes the question of what it means for something--a state, an object, an industry, a workplace--to be “nuclear.” 
Hecht shows that questions about being nuclear--a state that she calls “nuclearity”--lie at the heart of today’s global nuclear order and the relationships between “developing nations” (often former colonies) and “nuclear powers” (often former colonizers). Hecht enters African nuclear worlds, focusing on miners and the occupational hazard of radiation exposure. Could a mine be a nuclear workplace if (as in some South African mines) its radiation levels went undetected and unmeasured? With this book, Hecht is the first to put Africa in the nuclear world, and the nuclear world in Africa. By doing so, she remakes our understanding of the nuclear age."
Source: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/being-nuclear

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Gabrielle Hecht
Richard Rhodes
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In this op-ed, CISAC's Richard Rhodes argues that public health, a discipline that organizes science-based systems of surveillance and prevention, has been primarily responsible for controlling the effects of infectious disease. A similar campaign around public safety could help end the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons. Such a push would help create unity in common security and a fundamental transformation in relationships between nations, Rhodes argues.

Today, at the other end of the long trek down the glacier of the Cold War, the nuclear threat has seemingly calved off and fallen into the sea. In 2007, the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project found that 12 countries rated the growing gap between rich and poor as the greatest danger to the world. HIV/AIDS led the list (or tied) in 16 countries, religious and ethnic hatred in another 12. Pollution was identified as the greatest menace in 19 countries, while substantial majorities in 25 countries thought global warming was a "very serious" problem. Only nine countries considered the spread of nuclear weapons to be the greatest danger to the world.

The response was very different among nuclear and national security experts when Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar surveyed PDF them in 2005. This group of 85 experts judged that the possibility of a WMD attack against a city or other target somewhere in the world is real and increasing over time. The median estimate of the risk of a nuclear attack somewhere in the world by 2010 was 10 percent. The risk of an attack by 2015 doubled to 20 percent median. There was strong, though not universal, agreement that a nuclear attack is more likely to be carried out by a terrorist organization than by a government. The group was split 45 to 55 percent on whether terrorists were more likely to obtain an intact working nuclear weapon or manufacture one after obtaining weapon-grade nuclear material.

"The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is not just a security problem," Lugar wrote in the report's introduction. "It is the economic dilemma and the moral challenge of the current age. On September 11, 2001, the world witnessed the destructive potential of international terrorism. But the September 11 attacks do not come close to approximating the destruction that would be unleashed by a nuclear weapon. Weapons of mass destruction have made it possible for a small nation, or even a sub-national group, to kill as many innocent people in a day as national armies killed in months of fighting during World War II.

"The bottom line is this," Lugar concluded: "For the foreseeable future, the United States and other nations will face an existential threat from the intersection of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction."

It's paradoxical that a diminished threat of a superpower nuclear exchange should somehow have resulted in a world where the danger of at least a single nuclear explosion in a major city has increased (and that city is as likely, or likelier, to be Moscow as it is to be Washington or New York). We tend to think that a terrorist nuclear attack would lead us to drive for the elimination of nuclear weapons. I think the opposite case is at least equally likely: A terrorist nuclear attack would almost certainly be followed by a retaliatory nuclear strike on whatever country we believed to be sheltering the perpetrators. That response would surely initiate a new round of nuclear armament and rearmament in the name of deterrence, however illogical. Think of how much 9/11 frightened us; think of how desperate our leaders were to prevent any further such attacks; think of the fact that we invaded and occupied a country, Iraq, that had nothing to do with those attacks in the name of sending a message.

Richard Butler, the former chairman of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and the last chairman of UNSCOM, often makes the point that the problem with nuclear weapons is nuclear weapons. People don't always understand what he means. He means that it is the weapons themselves that are the problem, not the values of the entities that control them. U.S. nuclear weapons are just as potentially dangerous to the world as, say, North Korean nuclear weapons. More, I would say, since we have greater numbers of them and have not hesitated to brandish them--even to use them--when we thought it in our interest to do so.

That the problem with nuclear weapons is nuclear weapons may seem counterintuitive, but two centuries ago governments began to think that way about disease, with untold benefits to humanity as a result. Epidemic disease had been conceived in normative terms, as an act of God for which states bore no responsibility. The change that came when disease began to be conceived as a phenomenon of nature without a metaphysical superstructure, a public health problem, a problem for government and a measure of government's success, was revolutionary. More lives were saved, and spared, with public health measures in the twentieth century in the United States alone than were lost throughout the world in all of the twentieth century's wars.

As my Scottish friend Gil Elliot wrote in his seminal book Twentieth Century Book of the Dead, "[These lives] are not saved by accident or goodwill. Human life is daily deliberately protected from nature by accepted practices of hygiene and medical care, by the control of living conditions and the guidance of human relationships. Mortality statistics are constantly examined to see if the causes of death reveal any areas needing special attention. Because of the success of these practices, the area of public death has, in advanced societies, been taken over by man-made death--once an insignificant or 'merged' part of the spectrum, now almost the whole.

"When politicians, in tones of grave wonder, characterize our age as one of vast effort in saving human life, and enormous vigor in destroying it, they seem to feel they are indicating some mysterious paradox of the human spirit. There is no paradox and no mystery. The difference is that one area of public death has been tackled and secured by the forces of reason; the other has not. The pioneers of public health did not change nature, or men, but adjusted the active relationship of men to certain aspects of nature so that the relationship became one of watchful and healthy respect. In doing so they had to contend with and struggle against the suspicious opposition of those who believed that to interfere with nature was sinful, and even that disease and plague were the result of something sinful in the nature of man himself."

Elliot goes on to compare what he calls "public death," meaning biological death, death from disease, to man-made death: "[I do not wish] to claim mystical authority for the comparison I have made between two kinds of public death--that which results from disease and that which we call man-made. The irreducible virtue of the analogy is that the problem of man-made death, like that of disease, can be tackled only by reason. It contains the same elements as the problem of disease--the need to locate the sources of the pest, to devise preventive measures, and to maintain systematic vigilance in their execution. But it is a much wider problem, and for obvious reasons cannot be dealt with by scientific methods to the same extent as can disease."

To advance the cause of public health it was necessary to depoliticize disease, to remove it from the realm of value and install it in the realm of fact. Today we have advanced to the point where international cooperation toward the prevention, control, and even elimination of disease is possible among nations that hardly cooperate with each other in any other way. No one any longer considers disease a political issue, except to the extent that its control measures a nation's quality of life, and only modern primitives consider it a judgment of God.

In 1999, for the first time in human history, infectious diseases no longer ranked first among causes of death worldwide. Public health, a discipline which organizes science-based systems of surveillance and prevention, was primarily responsible for that millennial change in human mortality. One-half of all the increases in life expectancy in recorded history occurred within the twentieth century. Most of the worldwide increase was accomplished in the first half of the century, and it was almost entirely the result of public health measures directed to primary prevention. Better nutrition, sewage treatment, water purification, the pasteurization of milk, and the immunization of children extended human life--not surgeons cutting or doctors dispensing pills.

Public health is medicine's greatest success story and a powerful model for a parallel discipline, which I propose to call public safety.

Where nuclear weapons--the largest-scale instruments of man-made death--are concerned, the elements of that discipline of public safety have already begun to assemble themselves: materials control and accounting, cooperative threat reduction, security guarantees, agreements and treaties, surveillance and inspection, sanctions, forceful disarming if all else fails.

Reducing and finally eliminating the world's increasingly vestigial nuclear arsenals may be delayed by extremists of the right or the left, as progress was stalled during the George W. Bush administration by rigid Manichaean ideologues who imagined that there might be good nuclear powers and evil nuclear powers and sought to disarm only those they considered evil. Nuclear weapons operate beyond good and evil. They destroy without discrimination or mercy: Whether one lives or dies in their operation is entirely a question of distance from ground zero. In Elliot's eloquent words, they create nations of the dead, and collectively have the capacity to create a world of the dead. But as Niels Bohr, the great Danish physicist and philosopher, was the first to realize, the complement of that utter destructiveness must then be unity in common security, just as it was with smallpox, a fundamental transformation in relationships between nations, nondiscrimination in unity not on the dark side but by the light of day.

Violence originates in vulnerability brutalized: It is vulnerability's corruption, but also its revenge. "Perhaps everything terrible," the poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote, "is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us." As we extend our commitment to common security, as we work to master man-made death, we will need to recognize that terrible helplessness and relieve it--in others, but also in ourselves.

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Sumit Ganguly
Paul Kapur
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CISAC's Paul Kapur and Sumit Ganguly of Indiana University discuss the importance of probing the sources of the violence in Mumbai, and consider the attacks' implications for regional security in South Asia.

Security officials and cleanup crews are now combing through the carnage in Mumbai, following last week’s terrorist attacks in the city. As the citizens of this vast metropolis seek to restore some semblance of normalcy to their lives, it is important to probe the sources of the violence in Mumbai, and consider the attacks’ implications for regional security in South Asia.

How and why did the Mumbai attacks occur? Information at this stage is still incomplete. Nonetheless, a few points seem clear.

There is considerable evidence that Pakistan-based entities were behind the Mumbai attacks. The sole surviving terrorist is Pakistani. He claims that the attackers trained with the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for months inside Pakistan prior to launching their assault. And Indian officials have determined that the terrorists took a boat from Karachi to the Mumbai coast, leaving behind cell phones that had been used to call Pakistan.

None of this directly implicates the Pakistani government in the Mumbai attacks. It does, however, suggest that Pakistan bears some measure of responsibility for recent events; the Pakistani government is either unable or unwilling to prevent its territory from being used to launch terrorist attacks against India.

In fact, Pakistan has a long history of supporting anti-Indian militancy. For example, during the 1980s, the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) began to provide training, arms, and financial and logistical support to insurgent groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. This transformed what had been a mostly spontaneous, local uprising into a low-intensity Indo-Pakistani war. Despite repeated Indian diplomatic entreaties and military threats, Pakistan has never fully ended its support for such groups.

These outside links notwithstanding, the complexity and organization of the Mumbai attacks suggest that they also employed local Indian support. Thus, even if the operation originated in Pakistan, the terrorists may well have had the assistance of disaffected Indian Muslims.

Since independence, many Muslims have thrived in India, availing themselves of educational opportunities, achieving high levels of prosperity, and blending into the country’s vast, pluralistic society. On a day-to-day basis they have faced little religious discrimination.

Less affluent segments of the Muslim community, however, have not been so fortunate. They have long endured discrimination in aspects of everyday life ranging from employment to housing opportunities. Past generations acquiesced in these humiliations. Today’s lower middle class Muslims, however, are better educated and more politically aware than their predecessors, and thus less prone simply to accept their fate.

Against this social backdrop, two incidents have helped to spur a process of Islamist radicalization within India. The first was a spate of anti-Muslim riots that swept across much of northern and western India after Hindu zealots destroyed the Babri Mosque in 1992. Hundreds of Muslims died at the hands of Hindu mobs while the police looked on. The second episode was a 2002 pogrom in the state of Gujarat that occurred after Hindu pilgrims died in a train fire allegedly set by Muslim miscreants. Few, if any, individuals involved these incidents have been prosecuted. Not surprisingly, these two episodes helped to radicalize a small but significant minority of Indian Muslims.

The Indian government has failed to devise a set of policies to address these social roots of Islamist zealotry. In addition, many of India’s state-level police forces have not mustered the requisite intelligence, forensic and prosecutorial tools necessary to suppress the resulting violence. Instead they have resorted to the random arrests of young Muslims, employed tainted evidence, and abused draconian anti-terrorist laws. Such actions have only worsened the situation, making it easier for foreign militants to recruit domestic sympathizers inside India.

What are the Mumbai attacks’ implications for South Asian security? The Manmohan Singh government has sought to avoid confrontation with Pakistan in the wake of several recent terror attacks with potential Pakistani links. Instead, it has preferred to maintain regional stability in hopes of achieving continued economic growth. The Mumbai attacks, however, undercut this rationale for restraint; by attacking international targets in India’s financial hub, they threaten to inflict significant harm on the Indian economy. Also, considerable domestic political pressure for strong anti-Pakistani action is likely to emerge, both from the opposition Bharatia Janata Party (BJP), which has long accused the government of being soft of Pakistan, and from ordinary voters outraged by the attacks.

In 2001, a failed assault on the Indian parliament by Pakistan-backed militants managed to kill only five people and was over in the space of a morning. In response, India mobilized roughly 500,000 forces along the Indo-Pakistani border, triggering a major militarized crisis with Pakistan. The Mumbai attacks killed and wounded hundreds, and lasted for nearly three days. Given the scale of the violence, as well as the economic and domestic political factors discussed above, the Indian government will be hard-pressed to avoid a reaction similar to 2001 – particularly if the evidence from Mumbai continues to point toward Pakistan. Given that both India and Pakistan possess nuclear weapons, the stakes in any ensuing confrontation will be enormous. Nuclear weapons will give both sides strong incentives to behave at least somewhat cautiously, in order to prevent a crisis from escalating too far. But they will also leave less room for error, making the costs of miscalculation potentially catastrophic.

Will a serious Indo-Pakistani crisis emerge from the Mumbai attacks, or will the Indian government manage to continue its policy of restraint, even in the face of such a brazen provocation? The pieces would appear to be in place for a serious regional confrontation. But only the coming days will tell for sure.

Sumit Ganguly is the director of research at the Center on American and Global Security at Indiana University, Bloomington, and an adjunct senior fellow at the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles.

Paul Kapur is an associate professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and an affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

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Herbert Abrams
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Herbert L. Abrams, CISAC member-in-residence and Stanford professor of radiology, emeritus, looks at the issue of a presidential candidate's age and its effect on decision-making.

In the 1996 presidential election, the age of Sen. Robert Dole, who at 73 was the oldest man ever to run for the office, was a substantive issue. Although he was thought to be in good general health, his right kidney had been removed, his remaining left kidney had stones, his electrocardiograms in 1980 and 1981 were abnormal, he had pre-cancerous colonic polyps removed in 1985, and he had undergone a radical prostatectomy for cancer in 1991.

He had smoked for many years and had a family history of heart disease, aneurysm, emphysema and cancer. In 2004, which would have been the last year of a second term if he had won, he had hip replacement surgery followed by a brain hemorrhage.

After the election, Richard Brody, a political scientist at Stanford, and I, in an extensive study of the media coverage at the time (published in 1998 in the Political Science Quarterly,) found that allusions to Dole's age were common, but with only occasional comments on its potential consequences. The impact of aging and ill health on the cognitive capacities essential for an effective presidency was poorly conveyed to the American public.

Hence, more than 60 percent of respondents to surveys were not concerned about Dole's age. Among those for whom age was an important consideration, four times as many voters believed that Dole's age would hamper him as president. That group of the electorate was far more likely to vote for Clinton.

The issue of age is with us once more with Senator John McCain's run for the office. James Reston, the great New York Times journalist of the last century, believed that younger presidents might be more resistant to the stresses of the job. "It is not responsible in this violent age to pick candidates for the presidency from men in their 60s," he wrote.

How would he have reacted to a president who would be 72 at his inauguration and 80 years old in the last year of a second term? The question is a fair one because McCain, if elected, would be the oldest person to be inaugurated in our history. While the Constitution endorsed age discrimination by setting 35 years as the youngest age of a president, it established no upper age limit, perhaps because life expectancy was so much shorter in 1787 than in 2008. When we choose presidents 65 or older, we must grapple with the possibility that they may be unable to fulfill the 208-week-long contractual obligation implicit in their candidacy.

Dominating the illnesses that affect the elderly are heart disease, stroke, cancer, infection, hip fractures, the complications of major surgery and dementia. Heart attacks are frequently accompanied by anxiety, depression, impaired concentration and problems with sleep. Following a stroke, depression, anxiety and emotional lability characterize many patients. A major sequel of surgery is confusion severe enough to impede one's ability to think clearly. The many drugs that the elderly use have significant side effects and may produce cognitive changes.

Dole and McCain supporters may respond, "Why worry about it when the institutional constraints guard us from irrational behavior in the White House?" Because the inherent risks are too great. As Sen. McCain said in a recent interview, "I understand that my age would be a factor at any time."

The term "cognition" refers to the interaction of mental processes that produce human thought. Under its rubric come such faculties as concentration, attention, inventiveness, intuition, memory, foresight, abstract and logical thought. All are applicable to meaningful decision-making, and many are essential when time is short and tensions high. The elderly are more sluggish at processing and retrieving information from short- and long-term memory. There is a 60 percent slowing in the rate of memory search between the ages of 20 and 50 years.

To be sure, both the health problems and the memory changes are unevenly distributed among the population. But why take a chance? Why push the odds and run for the most demanding job in the western hemisphere at an age when illness abounds, memory suffers and energy flags? This is the period when the elderly need their afternoon nap and the absent-minded become more so.

Clearly, some great leaders have functioned well beyond the age of 70. But the presidency is a position that is uniquely and awesomely demanding, extending well beyond thoughtful, meditative policy decisions. It includes many large and pressing operational components, interacting with the White House staff, the cabinet, the Congress, the media, the public, the international community and many elements within the political party system. It is a stressful, power-packed, exhausting job, requiring stamina and energy during long days, weeks and months. It may involve rapid responses to emergencies and crises, with decisions based on a level of accelerated information retrieval and processing that elderly presidents may lack.

Those for whom Dole's age was important and who voted for Clinton in 1996 understood the increased likelihood of illness: in comparison to men aged 45 to 54 years, those aged 75 to 84 years are 34 times more likely to die of stroke, 17 times more likely to die of heart disease, and 12 times more likely to die of malignancy. Nineteen percent of those between 75 and 84 years and almost half over 85 are affected with Alzheimer's disease. While older Americans might have thought that an older person such as Dole would best represent their interests, they were also profoundly aware of their own fragility as they moved along in their seventies.

The media have an obligation to the public. If age affects the quality and duration of a president's performance, as it does, the national interest is best served by making certain that the public is well informed. Thus far, attention to McCain's age has focused on the importance of his choice for vice president. By this time, the media should have demanded and obtained the most recent medical data from McCain.

Dole made public his medical record in detail when he ran. McCain did so in 1999, but has not released the results of a recent comprehensive examination. The voters deserve no less from him, from Clinton, and from Obama. Certainly McCain will want his physicians to inform the voters on the status of his malignant melanomas, diagnosed on four occasions, one more serious than the others.

The Congress also has an obligation. An upper limit on the age of candidates could be achieved by passing a Congressional resolution. This would represent a powerful deterrent to seniors who wish to run and to politicians who would like to nominate them, while leaving the Constitution intact. Madison and Hamilton, who understood the wisdom of a lower limit 200 years ago (when emergency decisions were rarely required) would appreciate the deference to the radically different, complex, interconnected world that we live in today.

An upper limit of 60 to 65 would recognize that the presidency is too demanding - physically, intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally - to place the burden on the shoulders of a senior citizen.

Herbert L. Abrams is a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and a member-in-residence of the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation. He is the author of "The President Has Been Shot: Disability, Confusion and the 25th Amendment" (1992, WW Norton Inc.) and has written about presidential disability and its impact on decision-making.

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