The Diplomacy Cable 12/14/2015

With the invention of the telegraph cables in the 19th century, international consulates and embassies began sending shorter encrypted telegrams using Morse Code. While the messages are now sent electronically, the moniker “cable” stuck and the term is still in use today for shorter, encrypted diplomatic messages.

President of the United States, Barack Obama, spoke Monday at the Pentagon, the main command hub of the US military, about threats from the Islamic State. The US is hitting so-called Islamic State (IS) harder than ever, said the US President, according to the BBC. Around 9,000 air strikes have been launched at ISIS targets, and the US President claims that ISIS has lost 40% of their Iraqi territory. The President has spoken multiple times trying to reassure the US people that ISIS is being beaten back, as he watches his support levels dwindle.

Saudi Arabia announces 34-state Islamic military alliance against terrorism, according to NBC News and Reuters. This should temper calls from many Westerners for the Middle East to do more to combat “their” terrorism problem. The announcement cited “a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organizations whatever their sect and name which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorize the innocent.” ISIS has attacked multiple Shi’ite Muslim mosques in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international health non-governmental organization, has accused the United Nations of a ‘shocking’ lack of action over murder and rape in South Sudan, The Guardian. The accusation of “complete and utter failure” to act has been levied after South Sudanese citizens have been subjected to murder, rape and abduction for many months, according to MSF. This is not the first time that the UN has been accused of sex crimes, or the allowance of, in many different peacekeeping zones. It has been a major point of contention for Ban Ki-moon’s tenure.

Global spending on weapons of war by the top 100 arms-manufacturing countries have decreased 1.5%, amounting to $401 billion, according to a report released Monday, says a report by Al-Jazeera. The United States’ arms manufactures top the list with 54 percent of the world’s arms sales revenue.

The Irish Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, has said the Paris agreement on global climate change represented a, “truly multilateral response to one of the largest challenges facing humanity,” writes the Irish Times. The COP21 talks brought about an agreement on climate change that was signed by 195 countries. Irish Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said it signaled the beginning of the end for the fossil fuel era.

Election coverage time!

At least 17 women have been elected to public office in Saudi Arabia. In a move that helps to elevate the rights of women in the heavily Islamic country, 979 women candidates and 130,637 women voters registered to participate in the election, according to Saudi election officials, writes CNN. While this is good news, critics have said restrictions made it hard on women who wanted to run for office and vote. Voters will fill half of the seats in Saudi Arabia and the King selects the other half, according to the U.S. State Department.

Dylan Ashdown is a second year graduate student at Seton Hall, where he is a part of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations and College of Communication and the Arts. He is pursuing dual master’s degrees in Diplomacy and International Relations and Strategic Communications. He received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Central Missouri.

Follow Dylan Ashdown on Twitter at @AshdownDylan and send any requests for stories there

Follow the Journal of Diplomacy on Twitter at @JournalofDiplo

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