Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly. This is a war between a standing, professional army and an insurgency or resistance movement militias who have status of unlawful combatants. Asymmetric warfare can describe a conflict in which the resources of two belligerents differ in essence and, in the struggle and attempt to exploit each other's characteristic weaknesses; such struggles involve strategies and tactics of unconventional warfare, the weaker combatants attempting to use strategy to offset deficiencies in quantity or quality of their forces and equipment. Such strategies may not be militarized; this is in contrast to symmetric warfare, where two powers have comparable military power and resources and rely on tactics that are similar overall, differing only in details and execution. The term is frequently used to describe what is called "guerrilla warfare", "insurgency", "counterinsurgency", "rebellion", "terrorism", "counterterrorism" violent conflict between a formal military and an informal, less equipped and supported, undermanned but resilient and motivated opponent.
Asymmetric warfare is a form of irregular warfare. The popularity of the term dates from Andrew J. R. Mack's 1975 article "Why Big Nations Lose Small Wars" in World Politics, in which "asymmetric" referred to a significant disparity in power between opposing actors in a conflict. "Power", in this sense, is broadly understood to mean material power, such as a large army, sophisticated weapons, an advanced economy, so on. Mack's analysis was ignored in its day, but the end of the Cold War sparked renewed interest among academics. By the late 1990s, new research building on Mack's insights was beginning to mature, after 2004, the U. S. military began once again to consider the problems associated with asymmetric warfare. Discussion since 2004 has been complicated by the tendency of academic and military communities to use the term in different ways, by its close association with guerrilla warfare, terrorism, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism. Military authors tend to use the term "asymmetric" to refer to the indirect nature of the strategies many weak actors adopt, or to the nature of the adversary itself rather than to the correlation of forces.
Academic authors tend to focus on explaining two puzzles in asymmetric conflict. First, if "power" determines victory in conflict why would weaker actors decide to fight stronger actors? Key explanations include: Weaker actors may have secret weapons. Second, if "power", as conventionally understood, conduces to victory in war how is the victory of the "weak" over the "strong" explained? Key explanations include: Strategic interaction. Asymmetric conflicts include both interstate and civil wars, over the past two hundred years have been won by strong actors. Since 1950, weak actors have won a majority of all asymmetric conflicts. In most conventional warfare, the belligerents deploy forces of a similar type and the outcome can be predicted by the quantity of the opposing forces or by their quality, for example better command and control of their forces. There are times where this is not true because the composition or strategy of the forces makes it impossible for either side to close in battle with the other.
An example of this is the standoff between the continental land forces of the French Army and the maritime forces of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. In the words of Admiral Jervis during the campaigns of 1801, "I do not say, my Lords, that the French will not come. I say only they will not come by sea", a confrontation that Napoleon Bonaparte described as that between the elephant and the whale; the tactical success of asymmetric warfare is dependent on at least some of the following assumptions: One side can have a technological advantage which outweighs the numerical advantage of the enemy. Technological superiority is cancelled by more vulnerable infrastructure which can be targeted with devastating results. Destruction of multiple electric lines, roads or water supply systems in populated areas could have devastating effects on economy and morale, while the weaker side may not have these structures at all. Training and tactics as well as technology can prove decisive and allow a smaller force to overcome a much larger one.
For example, for several centuries the Greek hoplite's use of phalanx made them far superior to their enemies. The Battle of Thermopylae, which involved good use of terrain, is a well-known example. If the inferior power is in a position of self-defense; the classical historical examples of this doctrine may be found in the American Revolutionary War, movements in World War II, such as the French
Pesticides are substances that are meant to control pests, including weeds. The term pesticide includes all of the following: herbicide, insecticides nematicide, piscicide, rodenticide, insect repellent, animal repellent and fungicide; the most common of these are herbicides which account for 80% of all pesticide use. Most pesticides are intended to serve as plant protection products, which in general, protect plants from weeds, fungi, or insects. In general, a pesticide is a chemical or biological agent that deters, kills, or otherwise discourages pests. Target pests can include insects, plant pathogens, molluscs, mammals, fish and microbes that destroy property, cause nuisance, or spread disease, or are disease vectors. Along with these benefits, pesticides have drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other species; the Food and Agriculture Organization has defined pesticide as: any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, or controlling any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals, causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production, storage, transport, or marketing of food, agricultural commodities and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances that may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids, or other pests in or on their bodies.
The term includes substances intended for use as a plant growth regulator, desiccant, or agent for thinning fruit or preventing the premature fall of fruit. Used as substances applied to crops either before or after harvest to protect the commodity from deterioration during storage and transport. Pesticides can be classified by target organism, chemical structure, physical state. Biopesticides include biochemical pesticides. Plant-derived pesticides, or "botanicals", have been developing quickly; these include the pyrethroids, nicotinoids, a fourth group that includes strychnine and scilliroside. Many pesticides can be grouped into chemical families. Prominent insecticide families include organochlorines and carbamates. Organochlorine hydrocarbons could be separated into dichlorodiphenylethanes, cyclodiene compounds, other related compounds, they operate by disrupting the sodium/potassium balance of the nerve fiber, forcing the nerve to transmit continuously. Their toxicities vary but they have been phased out because of their persistence and potential to bioaccumulate.
Organophosphate and carbamates replaced organochlorines. Both operate through inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, allowing acetylcholine to transfer nerve impulses indefinitely and causing a variety of symptoms such as weakness or paralysis. Organophosphates are quite toxic to vertebrates and have in some cases been replaced by less toxic carbamates. Thiocarbamate and dithiocarbamates are subclasses of carbamates. Prominent families of herbicides include phenoxy and benzoic acid herbicides, triazines and Chloroacetanilides. Phenoxy compounds tend to selectively kill broad-leaf weeds rather than grasses; the phenoxy and benzoic acid herbicides function similar to plant growth hormones, grow cells without normal cell division, crushing the plant's nutrient transport system. Triazines interfere with photosynthesis. Many used pesticides are not included in these families, including glyphosate; the application of pest control agents is carried out by dispersing the chemical in a solvent-surfactant system to give a homogeneous preparation.
A virus lethality study performed in 1977 demonstrated that a particular pesticide did not increase the lethality of the virus, however combinations which included some surfactants and the solvent showed that pretreatment with them markedly increased the viral lethality in the test mice. Pesticides can be classified based upon their biological mechanism application method. Most pesticides work by poisoning pests. A systemic pesticide moves inside a plant following absorption by the plant. With insecticides and most fungicides, this movement is upward and outward. Increased efficiency may be a result. Systemic insecticides, which poison pollen and nectar in the flowers, may kill bees and other needed pollinators. In 2010, the development of a new class of fungicides called; these work by taking advantage of natural defense chemicals released by plants called phytoalexins, which fungi detoxify using enzymes. The paldoxins inhibit the fungi's detoxification enzymes, they are believed to be greener.
Since before 2000 BC, humans have utilized pesticides to protect their crops. The first known pesticide was elemental sulfur dusting used in ancient Sumer about 4,500 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia; the Rig Veda, about 4,000 years old, mentions the use of poisonous plants for pest control. By the 15th century, toxic chemicals such as arsenic and lead were being applied to crops to kill pests. In the 17th century, nicotine sulfate was extracted from tobacco leaves for use as an insecticide; the 19th century saw the introduction of two more natural pesticides, derived fr
Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is greater near the equator, the result of the warm climate and high primary productivity. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, is richest in the tropics; these tropical forest ecosystems cover less than 10 percent of earth's surface, contain about 90 percent of the world's species. Marine biodiversity is highest along coasts in the Western Pacific, where sea surface temperature is highest, in the mid-latitudinal band in all oceans. There are latitudinal gradients in species diversity. Biodiversity tends to cluster in hotspots, has been increasing through time, but will be to slow in the future. Rapid environmental changes cause mass extinctions. More than 99.9 percent of all species that lived on Earth, amounting to over five billion species, are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth's current species range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described.
More in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth with only one-thousandth of one percent described. The total amount of related DNA base pairs on Earth is estimated at 5.0 x 1037 and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC. In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all organisms living on Earth; the age of the Earth is about 4.54 billion years. The earliest undisputed evidence of life on Earth dates at least from 3.5 billion years ago, during the Eoarchean Era after a geological crust started to solidify following the earlier molten Hadean Eon. There are microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia. Other early physical evidence of a biogenic substance is graphite in 3.7 billion-year-old meta-sedimentary rocks discovered in Western Greenland. More in 2015, "remains of biotic life" were found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia.
According to one of the researchers, "If life arose quickly on Earth.. it could be common in the universe."Since life began on Earth, five major mass extinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in biodiversity. The Phanerozoic eon marked a rapid growth in biodiversity via the Cambrian explosion—a period during which the majority of multicellular phyla first appeared; the next 400 million years included repeated, massive biodiversity losses classified as mass extinction events. In the Carboniferous, rainforest collapse led to a great loss of animal life; the Permian–Triassic extinction event, 251 million years ago, was the worst. The most recent, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, occurred 65 million years ago and has attracted more attention than others because it resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs; the period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing biodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity. Named the Holocene extinction, the reduction is caused by human impacts habitat destruction.
Conversely, biodiversity positively impacts human health in a number of ways, although a few negative effects are studied. The United Nations designated 2011–2020 as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. 1916 - The term biological diversity was used first by J. Arthur Harris in "The Variable Desert," Scientific American, JSTOR 6182: "The bare statement that the region contains a flora rich in genera and species and of diverse geographic origin or affinity is inadequate as a description of its real biological diversity." 1975 - The term natural diversity was introduced 1980 - Thomas Lovejoy introduced the term biological diversity to the scientific community in a book.. It became used. 1985 -The contracted form biodiversity was coined by W. G. Rosen 1985 - The term "biodiversity" appears in the article, "A New Plan to Conserve the Earth's Biota" by Laura Tangley. 1988 - The term biodiversity first appeared in a publication. The present - the term has achieved widespread use. "Biodiversity" is most used to replace the more defined and long established terms, species diversity and species richness.
Biologists most define biodiversity as the "totality of genes and ecosystems of a region". An advantage of this definition is that it seems to describe most circumstances and presents a unified view of the traditional types of biological variety identified: taxonomic diversity ecological diversity morphological diversity functional diversity This multilevel construct is consistent with Datman and Lovejoy. An explicit definition consistent with this interpretation was first given in a paper by Bruce A. Wilcox commissioned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources for the 1982 World National Parks Conference. Wilcox's definition was "Biological diversity is the variety of life forms...at all levels of biologi
Humans are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina. Together with chimpanzees and orangutans, they are part of the family Hominidae. A terrestrial animal, humans are characterized by their erect bipedal locomotion. Early hominins—particularly the australopithecines, whose brains and anatomy are in many ways more similar to ancestral non-human apes—are less referred to as "human" than hominins of the genus Homo. Several of these hominins used fire, occupied much of Eurasia, gave rise to anatomically modern Homo sapiens in Africa about 315,000 years ago. Humans began to exhibit evidence of behavioral modernity around 50,000 years ago, in several waves of migration, they ventured out of Africa and populated most of the world; the spread of the large and increasing population of humans has profoundly affected much of the biosphere and millions of species worldwide. Advantages that explain this evolutionary success include a larger brain with a well-developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes, which enable advanced abstract reasoning, problem solving and culture through social learning.
Humans use tools better than any other animal. Humans uniquely use such systems of symbolic communication as language and art to express themselves and exchange ideas, organize themselves into purposeful groups. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. Social interactions between humans have established an wide variety of values, social norms, rituals, which together undergird human society. Curiosity and the human desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena have motivated humanity's development of science, mythology, religion and numerous other fields of knowledge. Though most of human existence has been sustained by hunting and gathering in band societies many human societies transitioned to sedentary agriculture some 10,000 years ago, domesticating plants and animals, thus enabling the growth of civilization; these human societies subsequently expanded, establishing various forms of government and culture around the world, unifying people within regions to form states and empires.
The rapid advancement of scientific and medical understanding in the 19th and 20th centuries permitted the development of fuel-driven technologies and increased lifespans, causing the human population to rise exponentially. The global human population was estimated to be near 7.7 billion in 2015. In common usage, the word "human" refers to the only extant species of the genus Homo—anatomically and behaviorally modern Homo sapiens. In scientific terms, the meanings of "hominid" and "hominin" have changed during the recent decades with advances in the discovery and study of the fossil ancestors of modern humans; the clear boundary between humans and apes has blurred, resulting in now acknowledging the hominids as encompassing multiple species, Homo and close relatives since the split from chimpanzees as the only hominins. There is a distinction between anatomically modern humans and Archaic Homo sapiens, the earliest fossil members of the species; the English adjective human is a Middle English loanword from Old French humain from Latin hūmānus, the adjective form of homō "man."
The word's use as a noun dates to the 16th century. The native English term man can refer to the species as well as to human males, or individuals of either sex; the species binomial "Homo sapiens" was coined by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae. The generic name "Homo" is a learned 18th-century derivation from Latin homō "man," "earthly being"; the species-name "sapiens" means "wise" or "sapient". Note that the Latin word homo refers to humans of either gender, that "sapiens" is the singular form; the genus Homo evolved and diverged from other hominins in Africa, after the human clade split from the chimpanzee lineage of the hominids branch of the primates. Modern humans, defined as the species Homo sapiens or to the single extant subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, proceeded to colonize all the continents and larger islands, arriving in Eurasia 125,000–60,000 years ago, Australia around 40,000 years ago, the Americas around 15,000 years ago, remote islands such as Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand between the years 300 and 1280.
The closest living relatives of humans are gorillas. With the sequencing of the human and chimpanzee genomes, current estimates of similarity between human and chimpanzee DNA sequences range between 95% and 99%. By using the technique called a molecular clock which estimates the time required for the number of divergent mutations to accumulate between two lineages, the approximate date for the split between lineages can be calculated; the gibbons and orangutans were the first groups to split from the line leading to the h
Genetically modified organism
A genetically modified organism is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. The exact definition of a genetically modified organism and what constitutes genetic engineering varies, with the most common being an organism altered in a way that "does not occur by mating and/or natural recombination". A wide variety of organisms have been genetically modified, from animals to plants and microorganisms. Genes have been transferred within the same species, across species and across kingdoms. New genes can be introduced. Creating a genetically modified organism is a multi-step process. Genetic engineers must isolate the gene they wish to insert into the host organism and combine it with other genetic elements, including a promoter and terminator region and a selectable marker. A number of techniques are available for inserting the isolated gene into the host genome. Recent advancements using genome editing techniques, notably CRISPR, have made the production of GMO's much simpler.
Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen made the first genetically modified organism in 1973, a bacteria resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin. The first genetically modified animal, a mouse, was created in 1974 by Rudolf Jaenisch, the first plant was produced in 1983. In 1994 the Flavr Savr tomato was released, the first commercialized genetically modified food; the first genetically modified animal to be commercialized was the GloFish and the first genetically modified animal to be approved for food use was the AquAdvantage salmon in 2015. Bacteria are the easiest organisms to engineer and have been used for research, food production, industrial protein purification and art. There is potential to use them for purposes or as medicine. Fungi have been engineered with much the same goals. Viruses play an important role as vectors for inserting genetic information into other organisms; this use is relevant to human gene therapy. There are proposals to remove the virulent genes from viruses to create vaccines.
Plants have been engineered for scientific research, to create new colors in plants, deliver vaccines and to create enhanced crops. Genetically modified crops are publicly the most controversial GMOs; the majority are engineered for insect resistance. Golden rice has been engineered with three genes. Other prospects for GM crops are as bioreactors for the production of biopharmaceuticals, biofuels or medicines. Animals are much harder to transform and the vast majority are still at the research stage. Mammals are the best model organisms for humans, making ones genetically engineered to resemble serious human diseases important to the discovery and development of treatments. Human proteins expressed in mammals are more to be similar to their natural counterparts than those expressed in plants or microorganisms. Livestock are modified with the intention of improving economically important traits such as growth-rate, quality of meat, milk composition, disease resistance and survival. Genetically modified fish are used as pets and as a food source.
Genetic engineering has been proposed as a way to control mosquitos, a vector for many deadly diseases. Although human gene therapy is still new, it has been used to treat genetic disorders such as severe combined immunodeficiency, Leber's congenital amaurosis. Many objections have been raised over the development of GMO's their commercialization. Many of these involve GM crops and whether food produced from them is safe and what impact growing them will have on the environment. Other concerns are the objectivity and rigor of regulatory authorities, contamination of non-genetically modified food, control of the food supply, patenting of life and the use of intellectual property rights. Although there is a scientific consensus that available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, GM food safety is a leading issue with critics. Gene flow, impact on non-target organisms and escape are the major environmental concerns. Countries have adopted regulatory measures to deal with these concerns.
There are differences in the regulation for the release of GMOs between countries, with some of the most marked differences occurring between the US and Europe. One of the key issues concerning regulators is whether GM food should be labeled and the status of gene edited organisms. What constitutes a genetically modified organism is not always clear and can vary widely. At its broadest it can include anything. Taking a less broad view it can encompass every organism that has had its genes altered by humans, which would include all crops and livestock. In 1993 the Encyclopedia Britannica defined genetic engineering as "any of a wide range of techniques... among them artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, sperm banks and gene manipulation." The European Union included a broad definition in early reviews mentioning GMOs being produced by "selective breeding and other means of artificial selection." They excluded traditional breeding, in vitro fertilization, induction of polyploidy and cell fusion techniques that do not use recombinant nucleic acids or a genetically modified organism in the process.
A narrower definition provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization and the European Commission says that the organisms must be altered in a way that does "not occur by mating and/or natur
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an intergovernmental organization, concerned with the regulation of international trade between nations. The WTO commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, signed by 124 nations on 15 April 1994, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which commenced in 1948, it is the largest international economic organization in the world. The WTO deals with regulation of trade in goods and intellectual property between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants' adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments; the WTO prohibits discrimination between trading partners, but provides exceptions for environmental protection, national security, other important goals. Trade-related disputes are resolved by independent judges at the WTO through a dispute resolution process; the WTO's current Director-General is Roberto Azevêdo, who leads a staff of over 600 people in Geneva, Switzerland.
A trade facilitation agreement, part of the Bali Package of decisions, was agreed by all members on 7 December 2013, the first comprehensive agreement in the organization's history. On 23 January 2017, the amendment to the WTO Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement marks the first time since the organization opened in 1995 that WTO accords have been amended, this change should secure for developing countries a legal pathway to access affordable remedies under WTO rules. Studies show that the WTO boosted trade, that barriers to trade would be higher in the absence of the WTO; the WTO has influenced the text of trade agreements, as "nearly all recent reference the WTO explicitly dozens of times across multiple chapters... in many of these same PTAs we find that substantial portions of treaty language—sometime the majority of a chapter—is copied verbatim from a WTO agreement." The WTO's predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, was established by a multilateral treaty of 23 countries in 1947 after World War II in the wake of other new multilateral institutions dedicated to international economic cooperation—such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
A comparable international institution for trade, named the International Trade Organization never started as the U. S. and other signatories did not ratify the establishment treaty, so GATT became a de facto international organization. Seven rounds of negotiations occurred under GATT; the first real GATT trade rounds concentrated on further reducing tariffs. The Kennedy Round in the mid-sixties brought about a GATT anti-dumping Agreement and a section on development; the Tokyo Round during the seventies represented the first major attempt to tackle trade barriers that do not take the form of tariffs, to improve the system, adopting a series of agreements on non-tariff barriers, which in some cases interpreted existing GATT rules, in others broke new ground. Because not all GATT members accepted these plurilateral agreements, they were informally called "codes". Several of these codes were amended in the Uruguay Round and turned into multilateral commitments accepted by all WTO members. Only four remained plurilateral, but in 1997 WTO members agreed to terminate the bovine meat and dairy agreements, leaving only two.
Despite attempts in the mid-1950s and 1960s to establish some form of institutional mechanism for international trade, the GATT continued to operate for half a century as a semi-institutionalized multilateral treaty regime on a provisional basis. Well before GATT's 40th anniversary, its members concluded that the GATT system was straining to adapt to a new globalizing world economy. In response to the problems identified in the 1982 Ministerial Declaration, the eighth GATT round—known as the Uruguay Round—was launched in September 1986, in Punta del Este, Uruguay, it was the biggest negotiating mandate on trade agreed: the talks aimed to extend the trading system into several new areas, notably trade in services and intellectual property, to reform trade in the sensitive sectors of agriculture and textiles. The Final Act concluding the Uruguay Round and establishing the WTO regime was signed 15 April 1994, during the ministerial meeting at Marrakesh and hence is known as the Marrakesh Agreement.
The GATT still exists as the WTO's umbrella treaty for trade in goods, updated as a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations. GATT 1994 is not however the only binding agreement included via the Final Act at Marrakesh; the agreements fall into six main parts: the Agreement Establishing the WTO the Multilateral Agreements on Trade in Goods the General Agreement on Trade in Services the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights dispute settlement reviews of governments' trade policiesIn terms of the WTO's principle relating to tariff "ceiling-binding", the Uruguay Round has been successful in increasing binding commitments by both developed and developing countries, as may be seen in the percentages of tariffs bound before and after the 1986–1994