Guns for Bosnia

Here’s a story we need to keep an eye on. When the Dayton Peace Accords halted war in 1995, a destroyed Bosnia was divided into two parts: an ethnic Serb enclave called Republika Srpska and a Bosnian-Croat federation next door. Not everyone loved the arrangement, but it was the best way to reach a much-needed peace. In March of this year, a shipment of 2,500 automatic rifles is scheduled to arrive in Republika Srpska. Bad news?


Republika Srpska says it needs the weapons to fight terrorists. Reports say Russians will be training officers in how to use them. Local authorities deny that, but there is certainly a close relationship between Republika Srpska and Moscow. Local Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik has met with Vladimir Putin half a dozen times in less that four years. He has also cultivated ties with a sanctioned Russian paramilitary motorcycle gang called the Night Wolves.

Why might Russia be interested in Republika Srpska? Moscow is unhappy that the neighboring country of Montenegro joined NATO last June, and surely wants to prevent Bosnia from doing the same. One way to keep Bosnia off balance is to raise the temperature among Serb separatists in Republika Srpska.

Your Friday author can personally attest that Bosnia is a beautiful but politically fragile country with a troubled history that’s very much alive. The conflict that cost so many lives there in the 1990s was not so much ended as frozen. The entry of more weapons into Republika Srpska, at a time when Bosnia is struggling with the highest youth unemployment rate of in the world, could melt that stability fast. There’s a real risk of renewed violence here.

Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to child online protection. First and foremost, as a technology company, it has a responsibility to create software, devices and services that have safety features built in from the outset. Last week, in furtherance of those commitments, Microsoft shared a grooming detection technique, code name "Project Artemis," by which online predators attempting to lure children for sexual purposes can be detected, addressed and reported. Developed in collaboration with The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik and Thorn, this technique builds off Microsoft patented technology and will be made freely available to qualified online service companies that offer a chat function.

Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

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Ian Bremmer breaks down the current situation as China rapidly expands its technology sector and carves its own path globally in cyberspace. He discusses the history of the economic relationship between the two nations, and the geopolitical consequences of the decoupling. While Huawei and the current legal action against its CFO Meng Wanzhou are the biggest tech flashpoints between the U.S. and China at the moment, that is just the tip of a very large iceberg that some analysts believe is a new Cold War.

Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia for twenty years, but he has a problem: his current presidential term ends in 2024, and the constitution prevents him from running for re-election then.

As a result, the question of what he'll do in 2024 has been on the minds of Russia's oligarchs, spooks, bureaucrats, and a lot of ordinary folks, as well. After all, over the past two decades, Putin has made himself, for better and for worse, the indispensable arbiter, boss, and glue of Russia's sprawling and corrupted system of government. As the current speaker of Russia's legislature once said, "Without Putin, there is no Russia." Not as we currently know it, no.

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