Aerial Surveillance & Reconnaissance: From Early Spy Balloons to Unmanned Drones

The past century has witnessed countless developments in technology. Perhaps the most relevant of these technologies, especially according to recent U.S. media assertions, is the development of unmanned drones. The U.S. military has employed the most up-to-date technology, in comparison with the rest of the world, in many recent campaigns, but the advent of the drone has fundamentally changed the way in which the U.S. military operates and has drastically altered the future of modern warfare.

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A Post-Assad Syria: What it means for the Kurds

The Kurds are a people of 40 million who have been denied a country of their own. Following Syrian Independence in 1946, the resulting rise of Arab nationalism led to a restriction on Kurdish rights and cultural expression. The Kurdish nation has long suffered under discriminatory acts by regimes in Syria, and Bashar al-Assad’s regime is no exception. If the occupied Kurdish nation is to ever receive full autonomy in the future, argues author Juvan Bonni, unity is the most fundamental aspect.

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From Cape Town to Cairo: Rhodes' Failed Explanation

It was once said that “the sun never sets on the British Empire,” a vast domain that stretched from East Asia, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The rationale for imperialism has been heavily debated, but Cecil Rhodes’s view of the supremacy of Anglo-Saxon race as justification for colonialism stands out as one of British history’s most contested and reviled claims. The legacy of the British in South Africa, in addition to the rest of the world, is treated with mixed feelings, but Rhodes’s extreme perspective is rejected by historians and imperialists alike.

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The Revolution Will not be Televised: Youth, Gender and Islam in Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran is often portrayed as a traditional nation that is stuck in the past. Yet, life for Iranian youth is much more complex than such simplified claims would suggest. Indeed, Iranian history contains countless examples of the ups and downs of modernization, including some in the very near past. With the Iranian government feeling the backlash of Islamic conservatives demanding a return to traditionalism, questions about the relationship between Islam and gender weigh heavily on the minds of many youths.

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The Sunni­-Shia Conflict in Iraq: A Cultural Perspective

The Republic of Iraq has been a fixation for U.S. media for over a decade. However, many people are unaware of the country’s complex internal relations, especially those between Iraq’s Sunni and Shia populations. Tensions between these two groups have existed throughout history and have worsened in recent years, especially after Saddam Hussein’s regime. As sectarian conflicts escalate and the country’s disunity deepens, will a greater understanding of the reasons for these conflicts provide hope for future peace?

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Failed Aid: What went wrong with Structural Adjustment in Africa

The World Bank strives to reduce global poverty in developing countries. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, the World Bank issued Structural Adjustment Programs to many African countries, intending to provide their governments with macroeconomic support via comprehensive aid packages. Despite the World Bank’s good intentions, the failure of SAPs has had detrimental effects on many African countries, effects that have exposed fundamental flaws in the way the World Bank operates.

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Economic Shock and Vulnerability in Cuba in the 1990s

In the minds of many Americans, Cuba is a country stuck in the past, a relic of the age of Soviet communism that disappeared as the result of the triumph of capitalism. After the fall of the USSR in 1989, communism, as a force, dissipated around the globe, leaving nations like Cuba in a precarious position. Facing economic downfall, the Cuban government had to make a variety of critical decisions regarding the health of their economy, decisions whose legacy is still visible today.

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