Best Universities In The USA To Study Online Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our day-to-day routines. We have had to adapt. Amidst all the uncertainty, you may still want to get your Diploma, Bachelor’s, Masters or Ph.D., and you are as uncertain about most things as the world is. The Education sector has also had to adapt.

Online programs are the best option in our current situation to get the ball rolling as far as your education is concerned. 

You are probably wondering:

  • Will I still be marketable in the workforce with a degree or certificate attained online?
  • Is studying online more costly or cheaper than attending classes physically?
  • And most importantly, which are the best Universities to earn your certificate via an online program?

In previous years, studying through online programs has been considered an option for long-distance students and working people whose work and class schedules conflict. In our current situation, online programs are a necessity. 

  • Will I still be marketable in the workforce with a degree or certificate attained online?

A certificate earned online is as good as one obtained in class. You should, nevertheless, look out for whether or not the institution you attend online is accredited. However, with the many colleges across the country, it is wise to choose the best ones. 

Being in the best online colleges will give you an added advantage over people who studied online in just a college offering online programs. Online programs or online courses are the same as those done in classes. The difference is, online programs are more convenient and flexible. It could suit your particular lifestyle.

  • Is studying online more costly or cheaper than attending classes physically?

Variations in tuition fees depend on the particular online programs and the university. We have highlighted some of them respectively in the universities below. 

  • And most importantly, which are the best Universities in the USA to study online programs?

Strayer University

Strayer University is a private, learning institution established in 1892. Over the years, the university has enrolled over 50,000 students globally through its online programs. It has its headquarters in Washington DC, with 76 campuses located in 15 states. 

Strayer specializes in degree programs for working adults. Currently, they have an offer for spring classes starting April 5th in which students enrolling for a Bachelor’s program are getting a laptop pre-loaded with Microsoft software.

Strayer’s online programs are many. You have to head on to their website strayer.edu/online-degrees to go through the entire list. Popular fields include online programs featuring Bachelors in Business related programs, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, DevMountain courses, Digital Entrepreneurship, Health Sciences, Jack Welch programs, Joe Gibbs certificates, MBAs, Masters in Education, Masters in Health Service Administration, among others. 

All the online programs offered at Strayer University are accredited. Again, note that they have 50,000 students enrolled globally through the online programs. That is a testament to the excellent quality of their online programs. 

The tuition fee for the fall of 2019 was $1,480 per course for the Full and Part-Time degree programs and $1,480 for the Full and Part-Time Associates degrees. They may opt to update the fee structure, so stay updated on their official website strayer.edu/online-degrees.

Grand Canyon University 

GCU is a for-profit private, Christian University established in 1949. In 2018 they ranked, the largest Christian University based on enrollment. The university offers a variety of accredited online degree programs. 

They include Bachelors’ and Master’s online programs such as; Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Graphic Design, Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies, Master of Arts in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Master of Arts in Christian Leadership, Master of Arts in Communication, Master of Arts in Curriculum Instruction.

Grand Canyon University also offers online doctoral programs such as Doctor of Business Administration: Data Analytics, Doctor of Business Administration: Management, and Doctor of Business Administration: Marketing among many other Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral programs. 

All GCU online programs are fully accredited which helps in giving an edge when employers assess your papers. The university has also dedicated itself to providing online education with as good quality as traditional education. 

The requirements are a critical factor to GCU as they are to potential employers. Their online programs require the same credits as traditional programs. 

The tuition fees vary depending on the program of study. The range for all the online undergraduate programs is $395 to $470 per credit hour. Graduate classes range from $365 to $695. The rates apply to students interested in pursuing online degree programs or evening classes. 

University of Phoenix 

The University of Phoenix is a for-profit online college founded in 1976. The university has an open-enrollment admission policy meaning they accept all applicants with a high-school diploma, GED, or its equivalent as sufficient admission. UoPX is the largest recipient of federal GI Bill tuition benefits for military veterans. 

UoPX offers Bachelor’s, Doctoral, Competency-based programs, Associate’s Degree, Certificates, and Master’s online programs covering diverse fields like Business, Behavioral Sciences, Education, Healthcare, Technology, Criminal Justice, and Psychology.

All the online programs offered at the University of Phoenix are accredited. As stated above the requirements to apply for courses are a GED, High-school Diploma, or an equivalent. 

For Undergraduates and Associate’s Degrees, you pay $398 per credit as the tuition fees. For Master’s programs, you pay $698 per credit and for the Doctoral programs, you pay $810 tuition fees. The university has a platform on its website to apply for federal financial aid, military or veteran benefits, employer assistance, and other scholarships. For more information about the University of Phoenix online programs click on this link phoenix.edu.

American Public University System

American Public University System (APUS) is a private, also for-profit, online learning institution consisting of American Military University (AMU), American Public University (APU), and Hondros College of Nursing. The university was established in 1991 and is owned by American Public Education, Inc. a publicly traded private-sector corporation. 

The application process requires you to review APUS policies and declare your academic goal during your online application for admission. Remember they majorly focus on a particular niche of individuals. 

APUS’s most popular online programs include undergraduate programs in Intelligence Studies, Sports and Health Sciences, Homeland Security Cybersecurity, Information Technology, Criminal Justice, Emergency and Disaster Management, Nursing, Business Administration, and Management. The catalog explains their military branch. They also offer graduate programs in similar fields. Their curriculum has an emphasis on educating the nation’s military and public service communities.

Their tuition fees vary but the average rates are $285 or $250 with a military grant per credit for undergraduate courses and $370 without the military grant, $250 with a military grant per credit for Master’s programs. For more information on the tuition fees structure and doctoral tuition fees visit https://www.apus.edu/tuition/index

The University of St. Thomas 

The University of St. Thomas is a private, Catholic university located in ST. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The institution was founded in 1885. They offer high-quality education in various fields. Annually, the University of St. Thomas enrolls 6,100 undergraduate students who are referred to as “Tommies”. 

Their online program focuses on participation. Thus students in online programs are included in live discussions, watching thought-provoking videos, listening to speakers, and collaborating with classmates. Online programs offered include undergraduate programs in Business, Catholic Studies, Education, Engineering, Law, and Social Work. 

Qualification varies for different programs and you can click on this link to get more information on the respective online program you may be interested in, https://www.stthomas.edu/academics/online-learning/.

Their tuition fees are averaged as $ 1,433 per credit for Undergraduate programs, $23,637 per term for Undergraduate banded rates for 12-18 credits. For more info on tuition fees hit this link https://www.stthomas.edu/businessoffice/resources/tuition2122/

Honorable Mention: Penn Foster College.

Penn Foster College is a private, for-profit college whose headquarters are in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1890 as International Correspondence schools and is now a 100% online college. 

Penn Foster’s online programs are all asynchronous meaning you can start them any time. Penn Foster is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).  Undergrad, Associates Degrees, and Undergraduate certificates offered are from the following fields; Automotive, Creative Design, Education, Engineering, Technology, Legal Studies, Trade, Health Services, and they also have high-school programs to get your GED. 

They accept international students.

Their tuition fees vary with the respective courses. They do have offers such as the $2 a day offer. For more info on their tuition fee structure, you can check out their website https://www.pennfoster.edu/college

Studying online gives you the flexibility to still work or do other things while earning your certificate. Online programs are the future of learning. You can earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or and even your Doctorate from the institution of your choice and suit your schedules without having to break bank traveling. 

Culture and Symbols at Ford Motors

Organizational symbols can convey powerful meanings that represent underlying values, philosophies, meanings, and expectations within a company. They influence awareness of an organization’s expectations and, as such, captures meanings that integrate cognition, behavior, and emotion into shared codes. Symbols influence behavior through eliciting organizational values and norms, therefore, undergirds corporate culture. Notably, symbols are integral to organizational life as they shape employees’ active construction of behavior, sense, and knowledge. This paper explores the corporate culture of Ford Motors, as conveyed by symbols to identify strengths and weaknesses from a cultural perspective.

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Organizational Culture and the Symbols

Company Logo

            One of the most distinctive symbols in Ford’s offices is the company’s logo. A flattened oval figure designed in several shades of blue and white colors with the name “Ford” inscribed in the middle represents Ford Motors’ logo. The embedded name in the middle of the logo is the famous stylish Henry Ford’s signature. The blue color symbolizes strength and excellence, while the white color depicts purity and nobility (“Ford Logo Meaning”, 2020). The logo is incorporated in almost all items that employees interact with on a daily basis, including pens, mugs, journals, et cetera. According to Ravasi (2016), a logo is a symbol of a company’s identity.

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The strength and excellence component (blue color) in Ford’s logo serves as a constant reminder to the employees that they must strive for excellence and remain strong even in the face of challenges and adversity. The nobility and purity aspects of the logo (white color) can be interpreted to urge employees to uphold emotional intelligence (“Ford Logo Meaning”, 2020). Concerning Ford’s organizational culture, the logo relates to two components incorporated in the company’s corporate culture guideline dubbed “Our Truths” (“Our Culture”, 2020). Firstly, the emphasis on strength and excellence relates to how Ford urges its employees to play to win, and its famous slogan ‘built ford tough.’ Secondly, the nobility and purity part relates to the company emphasizing that employees always do the right thing and live as a family (‘One Ford’), whereby members can rely on, care, and respect each other.

Office Outlook

 The second symbol is the company’s working spaces. After Jim Hackett was named Ford’s CEO in May 2017, he announced his plans to transform the company. The first order of business was to change the office working spaces’ outlook. For instance, in the Detroit campus have collaborative work areas as well as support areas such as gyms and cafeterias (“Hackett sought to ‘push the edges’ of automaker’s office design”, 2018). The team spaces are a symbol of Ford’s corporate culture. Ford has always strived to remain innovative as it understands that in the automotive industry, a company must be undergirded by innovation to stay ahead of the competition. In “Our Truths” under the truth named “Be Curious” Ford insists that the company approaches the world with a sense of interest and wonder (“Our Culture”, 2020). The open spaces also encourage teamwork and collaboration among the employees. The open spaces influences employees’ awareness regarding the expectation to remain creative and innovative.

            The recreational spaces, including gyms and cafeterias, can be interpreted to symbolize Ford values its employees. In “Our Truths,” Ford states that it puts people first as it is driven by purpose. Whether employees, customers, or partners, the needs and wants of people are Ford’s primary priority (“Our Culture”, 2020). Such efforts by an organization make employees feel appreciated and valued, thereby serving as motivators. The recreational spaces also allow employees to form meaningful relations, integral to team works and collaborations. Therefore, the recreational areas symbolize a culture of team work and collaboration and a place where employees are valued.

Slogans

Lastly, slogans mostly put up on the company’s walls serve as important symbols of Ford’s corporate culture. Ford uses two slogans; (1) “Go Further” and (2) “Built Ford Tough” (“Our Culture”, 2020). Regarding the former, it sends the message that Ford employees must always strive to improve. “Go Further” is a reminder that one should never be comfortable with the status quo but should strive to achieve something better. It can also be translated to mean a desire for excellence as one can only excel by pushing the limits. The slogan represents Ford’s culture of always striving to be the best and striving for excellence. In relation to employees, it symbolizes a culture of always seeking to improve knowledge and skills as well as improving in terms of productivity and quality of work.

The second slogan, “Built Ford Tough,” symbolizes Ford’s fighting spirit. It conveys the message that Ford’s employees accept challenges and tackle them with confidence, courage, and optimism. In “Our Truths,” Ford confesses that as an organization, it embraces disruption as an opportunity to evolve and become something better (“Our Culture”, 2020). The slogan, therefore, symbolizes a culture of never giving up or in and a shared belief that in the face of challenges and adversity Ford will continue thriving. Thus, it suggests a strong winning mentality firmly established in Ford’s corporate culture.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Organization from a Cultural Perspective

Strengths

            The above-discussed organizational symbols point out several strengths associated with Ford’s corporate culture. Firstly, the culture gives Ford an identity as communicated by its logo. Secondly, the symbols exhibit that Ford’s corporate culture clearly conveys the company’s core values. Thirdly, as demonstrated by the symbols, the corporate culture of Ford has the power to transform employees. The culture emphasizes on continuous improvements and having a growth mindset. Fourthly, the culture is strong enough to retain the best talents as it incorporates both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. For instance, it emphasizes treating employees as valued members of the Ford family and investing in providing a conducive working environment such as the 2017 office renovations. Fifthly, the culture is well established to transform the employees into a team and promote corporate citizenship. This is evident in the core values that the culture emphasizes, such as respect, care, and satisfying other employees’ needs.

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Weaknesses

            On the downside, as deciphered from its organizational symbols, Ford’s corporate culture does not appear strong enough to attract the best talents from the job market. As this evaluation has demonstrated, Ford’s symbols are mostly confined within the offices and working spaces, so they only influence the behavior of those within the premises. According to Ravasi (2016), a robust corporate culture capable of attracting the best talents from the job market needs to have a powerful external impact.

Recommendations

From the strengths and weaknesses analysis, it is evident that Ford’s organizational culture’s strengths outweigh the weakness. Thus, Ford should retain its current organizational corporate culture. However, there is an urgent need for the company to address the above-identified weakness. One way to do this is by building a great employer brand on social media. In today’s world, social media has established itself as a powerful medium in the corporate world that corporations can utilize to attract new talents. Therefore, Ford needs to strategically display symbols that hint to it being a great employer on its social media platforms.

How Communication Flows in a Department in My Current Organization

Companies with strong cultures have a strong flow of communication that moves in every direction. The four types of communication flows are

  • Downward: communication flows from top management down to employees.
  • Upward: communication flows from employees up to management.
  • Lateral: communication flows between employees at the same level.
  • Diagonal: communication flows across different work areas or organizational levels.

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How Communication Flows in a Department in my Organization

Communication flow in my department follows can be described using downward and lateral communication flow. This communication form is used because the company has adopted a hierarchical organization structure, where orders and instruction run from the top management down-ward to the department managers, to the supervisors, and then to workers. Sometimes, department managers can decide to make a follow-up by directly communicating with workers, especially when there is a significant issue. Downward communication helps eliminate tensions and ensure a clear explanation of the department procedures and policies (Kwateng, Osei & Abban, 2014).

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It also aids in providing departmental procedures, individual evaluation and expectations, and training. This form of communication helps create a procedural work culture where workers wait for the guidance of those in authority. The department also uses lateral communication to enhance communication among workers of equal level. This mostly focuses on the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and solving work-related issues. It also ensures proper division and management of tasks within the department.  This form of communication is also used during informal conversations and structured meetings. This form of communication is likely to promote collaborative or cooperative culture in an organization, especially among workers at the same work level. It enhances problems in solving good personal relations in a department (Kwateng, Osei & Abban, 2014).

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Lateral communication also makes it possible for workers in a department to gain collective bargain when speaking against the unwanted practice of unwanted working conditions. The collaborative culture created by lateral communication makes it possible for the department workers to work as a team even when advocating for improved working conditions.

Top Three Trends in National Security Sector

Top Three Trends in the National Security Sector

The National Security Sector is arguably one of the most important industries in the United States. It is, therefore, no wonder that changes and the introduction of new trends is archetypally witnessed here owing to an abrupt increase in the number of challenges facing the country. Code 928110 of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) currently identifies cyber-security, space defense, and big data analytics as noteworthy trends within the sector which may eventually present numerous implications.

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Cyber Defense

            The cyberspace is currently regarded as one of the most important areas of focus in the United States. This has prompted numerous efforts by experts and state agencies to keep it secure and free from the influence of adversaries. The rapidly transformative nature of this domain now calls for vigilance among users to ensure that they do not fall victim to unknown vulnerabilities which may occasion irreparable harm (Dillow, 2017). This is particularly so for the military since cyber-attacks are top in the list of immediate potential threats to nuclear submarines and satellites thus posing a security challenge. Furthermore, claims of blatant cyber intrusion by hackers with links to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation (RF) has further amplified calls for immediate action by the federal government to boost cyber defense in the United States (Hernandez, 2015). Hackers have even gone as far as targeting the US Office of Personnel Management with the aim of compromising the nation’s operational capability this impacting its position as a world leader (Office of Press Secretary, 2016).  The precarious presence of security clearance data also calls for an immediate improvement in cyber defense to mitigate any vulnerability which may emerge during periods of crisis in the future. The ultimate aim is to develop a revamped contingency protocol to serve the United States against state-sanctioned cyber terrorists seeking to compromise national security while waging a cyber-proxy war. This will also solidify the importance of cyber security to the United States hence the relevance of the modernization fund to equip the military with the appropriate knowledge.

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Space Defense

            The United States has long regarded space defense as a major aspect of its national security policy. This interest can be traced back to the Cold War era when the Soviet space program made history by being the first nation to launch a human being into space in the person of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in early 1961. The United States was immediately alarmed by this new development especially since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) had successfully tested its R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile and the subsequent introduction of the first satellite. These developments later lay the foundation for space defense as a new domain of the famed United States Air Force (USAF) and the subsequent formation of the United States Space Force (USSF). The main objective of this particular space defense program is to first gain a considerable measure of control over this domain and protect satellites from malicious attacks orchestrated by adversaries. Space satellites such as Minotaur, Delta II, and Falcon 9 Full Thrust play a critical role in relaying important military correspondence, triangulation, and surveillance. Given the current contested state of space as unchartered territory, the United States has moved to reassert its dominance. The military currently partners with private companies such as SpaceX to improve its capabilities and actively working towards the realization of its space defense objectives. This has proven economical for the federal government, especially since the only focus now is on improving existing technology rather than having to develop it altogether (Bennet, 2017). Additionally, such efforts also go a long way in protecting the United States from cyber-attacks capable of crippling its military capabilities.

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Big Data Analytics

            Over the course the past decade, big data emerged as one of the most noticeable hallmarks of technological innovation. This has now evolved into a growing need for the introduction of machine-learning algorithms to improve overall efficiency. Big data analytics has also been an existential force behind developments made by Google and Intel in the quest of realizing their dream of applying artificial intelligence (AI) across the board in the next decade. These particular algorithms have been instrumental to national security owing to their ability to triangulate terrorists and messages shared in private chat rooms. The near real-time (NRT) aspect of big data has been hailed for its accuracy and the primary reason why security experts now look to it to solve some of the challenges being faced currently. Through the meticulous application of analytical tools, experts are able to evaluate a treasure trove of data which may ultimately serve an important role in national defense.

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Additionally, data analytics now harnessed using a predictive framework to track the online activity of suspicious individuals with links to illegal outfits and terrorist organizations. Homeland security agents will then evaluate the information gathered to gauge the level of threat identified using semantic patterning and triangulation based on the data provided (Lozda, 2014). It is for this very reason that investors now regard big data analytics as one of the most influential trends yet with numerous benefits for those who may choose to implement it.  Nevertheless, data analytics is still plagued by detractor’s criticisms of the manner in which it threatens privacy and confidentially in society.

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The Rise of Big Data Analytics

            The gathering of relevant data as a precondition for national security still remains a priority for most nation-states globally. This practice has prevailed over the past seven decades and was epitomized by the Allies’ single action of breaking the code for the “Enigma” machine. Although the Allies were faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, fabled Bletchley Park mathematician and code-breaker Allan Turing was able to prevail and ultimately ending Nazi dominance in the European theatre of war (Lycett, 2015). Intelligence gathering has since morphed into a significant part of the military particularly in the United States and the primary reason why big data analytics has been embraced across the board.  Although it may seem innovative, big data analytics has always been a common feature of the digital age. It is, now more than ever, regarded as one of the most important elements of national security in contemporary times given the nature of emerging challenges present. This has prompted the United States to focus keenly on cyber security and space exploration as exemplified in the recent formation of the United States Space Force (USSF).  Thus, cyber-security, space defense, and big data analytics have emerged as new developments in the field and with far-reaching consequences for the nation.  The following is an in-depth assessment of the aforementioned trends and concerns raised over the prevalence of big data analytics and loss of confidentiality.

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 Emerging issue in Big Data Analytics

            The intelligence community in the United States displays an indefatigable attitude to keeping the nation safe from both internal and external threats. After the tragic outcome of the September 11th terrorist attack, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has changed tact and now seeks to prevent such acts from being committed on American soil and its insular territories. Mitigation is now the primary mode of operation with the ultimate aim of preventing attacks and minimizing their impact by acting in time to reduce their impact. Big data analytics has, therefore, played an important role in the gathering and interpretation of information for intelligence purposes.

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            Yet, big data analytics is dogged by privacy concerns in the United States. The full application of big data analytics is now linked to numerous violations and on the basic rights and liberties of citizens across the country making it a source of anxiety for many. The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) had initially intended to create a workable framework to review the demeanor of American citizens and flag suspicious activity (Howard, 2013). This was viewed as a novel development which would now allow law enforcement agents to pinpoint and identify persons of interest in order to avert unforeseen circumstances. It was through this strategy that the United States sought to introduce its counterterrorism plan seeking to attain success by any necessary. Preventing potential terrorist attacks soon took precedence in the eyes of law enforcement as a feasible perspective to adopt when seeking to safeguard the general population. However, this approach is now regarded as a double-edged sword exposing citizens to possible negative impacts. The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)’s framework now overrides the Federal Privacy Act of 1974 giving it the power to investigate individuals even if it meant violating their constitutional rights (Chi, 2017). Recently, it has emerged that law enforcement agencies rarely apply predictive analysis and could possibly be conducting random evaluations of individuals based on their data. This change in tact now means that a considerable population of America is subject to covert probes which may be in direct violation of their civil liberties. Big data analytics, therefore, present a slippery slope in the United States’ quest of protecting its citizens (Mariani & Loubert, 2015).  Instead, the federal government should strive to establish a workable framework that creates a healthy balance between civil liberties and national security. Government policies on national security should also reflect public protection as key in instilling public confidence.

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Conclusion           

Governments across the globe are tasked with guaranteeing their citizens of national security. Thus, the application of novel strategies aims to introduce a workable framework to guarantee public wellbeing. Cyber defense, space defense, and data analytics have emerged as top trends within the national security sector. However, the latter poses a string of privacy-related issues which infringe upon civil liberties. Addressing these concerns is, thus, key as a prerequisite to national security while building public confidence in the said initiative.

President Obama had the Authority to Execute Operation Geronimo

Almost ten years after the killing of Osama bin Laden, Operation Geronimo still raises concerns regarding its legality. Firstly, there is the concern about if the operation violated Pakistan’s sovereignty per international law. The second concern involves the permissibility of targeted killing – that is, whether ‘kill’ as a default option was lawful. Lastly, if burying bin Laden at sea violated the Geneva Conventions regarding burial procedures for an enemy killed in war. The concerns impel the question if President Obama had the authority to order Operation Geronimo. The answer to this question is, yes, he had the legal authority to order the operation. This paper will elucidate that the president did not infringe on Pakistan’s sovereignty, kill as a default option was permissible, and he did not violate the Geneva Conventions.

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Pakistan’s Sovereignty

            The concern regarding the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty stems from the fact that the US did inform the Pakistani government about the operation. Notably, international law forbids a country from using force on another’s soil without its consent if the two countries are not at war (Fleury, 2019). However, it is worth noting that President Obama had enough justification the decision. According to Mantoan (2017), the Obama administration had reasons to believe that the Pakistani intelligence service might have sanctioned bin Laden’s presence in the country. If these fears were real, then asking for Pakistan’s help in the matter would have enabled bin Laden’s escape. As such, the unilateral military incursion used in Operation Geronimo was lawful as there exists an exception to sovereignty, particularly in cases where a government is unwilling to suppress a threat to another country arising from its soil. Even though Pakistan did not state that it was reluctant to aid in the operation, the fear of a “tip-off” sufficed as unwillingness to aid (Jabko & Luhman, 2019). Being a notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden posed a significant threat to the world. Therefore, by not seeking consent to use force in Pakistan, President Obama acted within his authority since there was evidence that the Pakistani government was unwilling to suppress bin Laden.

“Kill” as a Default Option

            The second concern regarding “kill” as the default option results from the fact that the law of war requires accepting the enemy’s surrender, which is in conformity with international human rights law regarding unalienable rights. When bin Laden was killed, he was unarmed but did not offer to surrender. According to Mantoan (2017), the SEAL team reported that bin Laden was not armed, but neither was he surrendering. However, even though he was not armed, several militants in the compound were firing at the SEAL team. Military rules of engagement delineating when, where, how, and against whom a soldier can use force justifies the SEAL team’s action. Montoan (2017) explains that when the enemy is armed or exhibiting resistance, then soldiers are authorized to use military force. In Operation Geronimo, even though bin Laden was not resisting, his militants were fighting, and, as such, the SEAL team could not risk trying taking him alive in as it would put them in danger. Crane (2011) illuminates that decision was arrived at after considering all possible alternative. The most viable option was to eliminate the threat. Thus, “kill” as a default option was justifiable.

Burial Procedure per the Geneva Conventions

            The third and last concern involves if President Obama violated the Geneva Conventions by ordering bin Laden to be buried at sea. The concern stems from the argument that being a Muslim leader, bin Laden deserved to be buried in a shrine per the Islam religion. Islamist shrine entails swift interment in soil, facing the holy Mecca and marked grave. However, Islamic writings also permit burial at sea, specifically during voyages. Besides, the US took the initiative to ask Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden’s home, if they wanted his remains for burial. Saudi Arabia declined the offer, which renders the burial permissible (Mantoan, 2017). Hence, by authorizing bin Laden to be buried at sea, the President Obama did not violate the Geneva Conventions.

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Conclusion

To sum up, as demonstrated, President Obama did not violate Pakistan’s sovereignty when he ordered the Operation Geronimo without asking for consent from the Pakistani’s government as there was fear of a “tip-off.” He also did violate international human rights by ordering “kill” as a default option since it was the most viable option. Moreover, by burying bin Laden remains at sea, he did not infringe the Geneva Conventions because Islamic writings permit burial at sea and, besides, the US request by the US to Saudi Arabia asking them to bury the remains of bin Laden was declined. Bottom line, President Obama had the legal authority to order Operation Geronimo.

Harms of Imprisonment With Reference to Australian ‘Prison Estate’

The Australian “prison estate” is archetypally represented in imprisonment as the foremost type of punishment espoused by the criminal justice system. However, imprisonment has been routinely been criticized as a counterproductive alternative which ultimately presents numerous harms a wide array of players. Imprisonment without a clear foundational practice to guide the correction of offender’s demeanour is counterproductive and likely to account for a high recidivism rate in the country. A lowered age of responsibility as outlined in the Victorian criminal justice system now accounts for the disproportionate population of interned juveniles with almost two-thirds of this population consisting of individuals with pending sentences

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            Imprisonment within is a taxing venture which occasions a great deal of economic harm to the nation. The increase in the number of offenders across the territory often linked to lowering of the age of responsibility to the age of 10 years and an exponential increase in illicit drug offences has created unexpected increase the number of individuals housed in such facilities. It is now estimated that A$ 14 billion is spent annually to guarantee the provision of correctional service and a worrying statistic especially in these uncertain times (Committee for Economic Development of Australia 2019). With an overall incarceration rate of 336 per every 100,000 individuals in the adult population, at a cost of $222 daily for incarceration, prisons are not economically and bound to introduce an added social cost in the near future.    

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The overall increase in the number of individuals incarcerated in Australia has also shed light on the adverse impact of imprisonment on prisoner’s physical and mental health.  In the past decade, an increase in the spate of prosecutable offences in Australia has translated into an abrupt influx in the prison population. This is further exacerbated by the fact that a sizeable majority of incarcerated individuals hail from low socioeconomic background and with a higher rate of substance abuse issues (Levy et al. 2017). Imprisonment, therefore, predisposes them to health complications, chronic diseases, and mental health problems associated with lower socioeconomic groups.

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Restorative Justice Conferencing is a ‘soft option’ with Limited Value in the Criminal Justice System

Restorative Justice Conferencing is an invaluable addition with a great deal of benefits to the criminal justice system in Victoria. As a comparatively ambitious undertaking, restorative justice is implemented as a direct response to key fundamentals identified by victims and society at large. Restorative justice introduces a fresh approach starkly different to traditional justice process such as imprisonment in espousing the need to address victim’s expectations while transforming reprobates (Larsen 2014). Additionally, it also presents an exclusive opportunity for the victim and offender to meet albeit in a controlled environment with the aim of discussing the offence in questions and its accompanying effects on both parties. Cumulative gains resulting from full implementation of restorative justice to the criminal justice system also include its direct impact on recidivism rare.

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Australia currently grapples with a 46.4% recidivism rate which represents an existential treat to the Department of Correctional Services (Sentencing Advisory Council 2015). At the core of restorative justice is its focus on the “process” rather than outcomes during the implementation phase. Offenders are given an opportunity to acknowledge wrongdoing and, therefore, less likely to reoffend on account of the complete shift in perspective occasioned by Restorative Justice Conferencing. Druz (2016) opines that restorative justice processes create a sense of satisfaction in contending parties since mediation programs present a degree of fairness. This particularly allows victims to develop suitable coping strategies and ultimately end up being contented while avoiding feelings of contempt for the offenders in question. 

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Restorative Justice Conferencing makes it possible for both parties to also transform their perspective the problems being addressed before regarding it as a foundation for the development and implementation of productive solutions in the future. Moreover, victims are empowered through the opportunity to come face to face with offenders, restoring their self of confidence and safety.  Restorative justice is now a common feature in many domestic and family violence; addressing deficiencies within the Victorian criminal justice system while fostering empathy.

Why Operational Police Officers Should Reflect Demographic Diversity of the Communities in Which they Work

Diversity in law enforcement has recently been hailed for bolstering officer’s ability to communicate effectively with members of the public. Over the past decade, this has become an issue of great significance to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as an equal opportunity establishment (Australian Federal Police 2016). A diverse police force, therefore improves the establishment’s working knowledge of subtle body and conversational cues which would otherwise have been missed by a homogenous unit.

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Another primary reason why operational police officers should reflect the demographic diversity of the communities in which they work is to first enable them gain a respectable level of grasp of communities within a given locality; allowing them to adequately prepare for interactions during routine patrols. Furthermore, it is a reflection of law enforcement’s commitment to diversity rather than simply serving as an embodiment of compliance with applicable government legislations. A relevant example is the inclusion of Torres Strait Islanders in the Malunggang policed as a direct consequence of conscription efforts by the Malunggang Indigenous Officers Network (Australian Government Transparency Portal 2019).

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Demographic diversity within the operational police members is also crucial as a working framework for future liaisons with international law enforcement partners such as the United States and Britain. It is noteworthy to acknowledge that diversity in this particular context alludes not only to ethnic and racial backgrounds, but also encompasses age, gender, and sexual orientation. For instance, the Women’s Network and Gay and Lesbian Officer Network bear essential working frameworks in the Australia and strive to implement international standards of inclusion into the force. Members are accorded a unique opportunity to adopt workable strategies and leadership strategies to aid them when operating in diverse communities.’

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Furthermore, diversity and inclusion within law enforcement is one of the most effective strategies to apply when seeking to gain public trust and particularly crucial before the implementation of community policing endeavours. The presence of operational police members from a given community enhances trust in law enforcement agencies since they serve as a representation of diversity within the community. Allowing the community to see police officers who look like them elevates the level of confidence particularly in communities which typically meet operational police members only during moments of crisis.

Aging Workforce, Current Global Trend That Might Impact General Motors

General Motor is an automotive company that focuses on designing, manufacturing, and selling cars and automotive parts. The company’s success is highly based on human resources skills, knowledge, creativity, and innovativeness. One of the company’s main competitive advantage is based on having great talents, with a high level of experience in automotive design and production. The company thus values its workforce, especially the old individuals with more years of experience and deep knowledge in automotive manufacturing. This means one of the current trends that are likely to impact the company negatively is the aging workforce. General Motor Company has a huge number of old workers who will need to retire shortly. The company has a huge number of aging workforce from the baby boomers generation across all departments.  This means the company is likely to experience a “bow wave” as baby boomers started retiring in huge numbers (Shea, 2015).

This is likely to impact the company operation if the group would leave without ensuring effective knowledge transfer to the younger workforce. The aging workforce is likely to be a serious issue in a situation where the majority of the aging workforce is working in a sensitive department such as product designs, research and development, and product manufacturing. These among other working stations require individual knowledge, skills, expertise, and experience, which play a significant role in determining overall product quality and performance efficiency. The aging workforce in all other departments has also mastered the art of solving problems and working effectively for better results. This means that the company is likely to lose essential talents and knowledge if proper knowledge transfer is not enhanced before their retirement.

HR Strategies to Address Aging Workforce

To address the aging workforce threat, the company needs to create an effective knowledge transfer strategy from the aging workforce to the younger workforce. To make this strategy a reality the HR department will need to carry out the following action plan:

  • The company should develop a talent development system that enhances mentoring of the young workers from each department by the older workers
  • The company should assess the knowledge and skills levels of the younger generation to determine the knowledge gap between what one possesses and what is needed for effective operation in their area of operation.
  • A mentorship program should be developed based on individual protégé/protegee knowledge deficiency
  • The company should also develop a succession plan where the younger junior workers are slowly introduced to a higher working position which they will occupy after the older workers retire.
  • A rotation program can be established in each department to ensure younger workers acquire all-round knowledge required to ensure effective operations in the department.
  • The company should also have online training programs where senior experienced workers can explain essential operation procedures, tips, and knowledge in videos. This can be referred to in the future even in their absence
  • The company should also establish a workers retention program to reduce turnover among younger worker force trained on product knowledge and secretes that enhance the company’s competitive advantage.

The above-identified steps will be used to protect the company from suffering from unbearable knowledge and skill loss after all baby boomers retire from the company. The main intention of these steps is to ensure that the company has managed to transfer and retain knowledge from the aged and more experienced workforce to the younger workforce. The younger workforce is anticipated to take care of the company operation fully after the retirement of the baby boomers. It will be necessary to ensure that the remaining workforce can maintain the level of operational efficiency, and accuracy, and continue producing automotive products with the same or even higher quality as the experienced workforce (Ulrich, Younger, Brockbank & Ulrich, 2012). This can only be achieved by ensuring that the younger workforce has all operational knowledge and secrets learned by the aging workforce during their many years of operation in the company. The company should thus take advantage of their remaining time in the company to facilitate knowledge transfer through mentorship. To ensure the sustainability of knowledge transfer in the company, the company should establish a talent development system in the company. This system should ensure a constant preparation of junior workers to take over from their senior workers at all levels of operation. By so doing, the company will never experience operational or leadership shock when any of its employees leave the company abruptly or even after retirement (Kats et al., 2010).

Impact of Emerging Economies on International Trade

Over the past two decades, globalization has served as a hallmark of contemporary development and hailed for an increase in the number of emerging economies particularly in Eastern Europe, India, and China. They now compete closely with global giants such as the United States, Germany, Britain, and Japan making them one of the most remarkable developments in recent times. Although the exponential increase in the number is generally regarded as a progressive development, many fail to comprehensively review the full impact of emerging economies on international trade. One of the least explored subjects is the increased standing of emerging economies in Eastern Europe and the South East Asia region as a direct consequence of a relative increase in investments and their role in mainstream global production.  The consensus amongst pundits is that this trend is likely to continue into the near future and bound to prove beneficial to select emerging economies. China and India, as two of the largest emerging economies, have particularly enjoyed cumulative growth within the past decade and are steadily working towards regaining their dominance in international trade. Half of the total global production is done by China which is why most developing nations regard it as an imminent threat to their longstanding positions (Klasen, 2020). On the other hand, Russia has emerged as an economic powerhouse in Eastern Europe after weathering the so-called “transition recession” experienced in the early 1990s. This paper will, therefore, identify the main consequences of the presence of emerging economies on international trade and on top high-income economies.

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Creating new commercial opportunities

The emergence of new economies has been hailed as a novel development capable of addressing age-old global inequalities attributed to the dominance of Western countries in international trade. Their prominence within this particular sphere is responsible for occasioning favorable competition between them and transnational corporations from traditional leaders in the field. Emerging economies first address concerns that such entities only seek to increase profits while paying little to no attention to concerns voiced by the resident population. This is typically the case in low-income countries known for implementing low environmental standards in a bid to attract transnational corporations for business. The emergence of new entrants such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC economies) now provides new opportunities for development as first highlighted by the World Trade Organization.

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 One of the most prominent impacts of emerging economies on international trade is leveling of the playing field, which then creates a unique opportunity to make cumulative gains and ultimately reduce paucity. China, for instance, has recorded an improvement in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from $ 949, 19 in 2000 to $ 44 in 2013 (Jain, 2017, p. 57). The participation of emerging economies in international trade, thus, creates access to loftier markets, allowing many to proceed without any hindrance while focusing steadily on expansion. Additionally, countries such as China and India have now become an essential part of international supply chains which subsequently creates a wide range of opportunities its local populations by playing the outsource function. This is further bolstered by technology flow internationally which has been credited for introducing new service jobs for individuals well-versed in nascent innovations. Improved access to capital flow also elevates the net foreign direct investment while serving as an active participant in preventing the “brain drain” phenomenon which had previously left many developing countries with limited skilled labor.

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Transforming the configuration of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Prior to the emergence of the BRIC economies, the international trade was dominated by world powers hell-bent on spreading their influence through multinational corporations. This allowed them to make a great deal of FDIs in target companies, guaranteeing control over developing nation-states. Cognizance of this little-known known and rarely explored subject has now led many emerging countries to transform their configuration of FDI to regain control over their countries. An effective strategy employed by such nations such as India and China now involves the acquisition of local assets to reduce the influence of advanced economies on international trade through multinational corporations as their proxies. India, in particular, has been keen on bidding for local assets eyed by global economies such as the United States and Britain improve its share of inward foreign direct investment.  China has also been keen on implementing a similar approach. In fact, it records one of the highest foreign direct investments amongst contemporaries with similar GDPs. This new development is responsible for a spike in transaction volumes with an overall increase in shares, from 18.9% in 2000 to an impressive 34.1 % in 2003 (“Assessing the trade-related sources of productivity growth in emerging economies,” 2013). A transformation in the FDI has, therefore, led to an increase in the value of acquisitions and a critical base for expansion abroad.

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What to expect in the next 20-50 years

Emerging economies have successfully managed to improve their demand for raw material which is currently linked to the rapid expansion of commodity markets witnessed globally.  This has created stiff competition with high-income Western countries and Japan especially owing to the recent move by contenders to enhance their manufacturing potential (Dorozyzski & Marszałek, 2017). The said raw materials are acquired through an overall increase in imports as one of the most effective frameworks to apply when targeting growth.  This strategy has been beneficial to China and likely to become popular among emerging economies in the next 20-30 years. Additionally, this drive towards increasing the importation of raw materials and improving production capabilities is likely to increase global non-renewable energy consumption and may influence climate change. Additionally, an increased focus on manufacturing by emerging economies will increase the consumption of metals such as steel, aluminum, and zinc which will ultimately play a central role in closing the resource per capita gap currently witnessed in international trade.  It is highly likely that emerging nations will continue with their rapid growth streak and further increase their demand for the aforementioned raw materials as they continue to experience growth.

Conclusion           

Emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China represent a relatively recent phenomenon which may have far-reaching implications for international trade. Their neck to neck competition with traditional global giants such as the United States, Germany, Britain, and Japan is bound to create new commercial opportunities and ultimately transform the pattern of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The international market should, thus, expect an increased demand for raw materials, production potential, and closing of the resource per capita gap in relation to high-income countries.

Being Over-involved in Dealing with International Ills or Allowing Evil to Run Free

What’s worse for the US—being over-involved in dealing with international ills or allowing evil to run free?

After World War II, the US established a system of international institutions and alliances to provide a framework for advancing its political freedom and economic openness. This initiative is founded on the understanding that the country’s security and prosperity are dependent on economic and political well-being abroad. However, in recent years, the value of America’s global involvement is under question as a considerable number of Americans believe that their well-being has become overly threatened by the engagements rather than being enhanced. Whereas the concerns are genuine, it is vital to note that the US is better when being involved in tackling international ills rather than allowing evil to run free.

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It is comforting for Americans to think that they can wall themselves off from the ailments of the world. However, as Chafe and Chafe (2014), phrases it ‘illness is contagious,’ and if unchecked, it eventually spreads to the unwanted area. Today’s world is overly interconnected, such that illnesses happening in other countries eventually spread to impact the US adversely if they remain unaddressed. If illness happening in other countries is allowed to fester and spread, sooner or later. It will come to harm the US. This is evident in the terrorist attacks that have targeted the United States, such as the September 11, 2001 attack (Brooks & Wohlforth, 2016). The attack helped the US understand why it needs to heighten its involvement in dealing with international ills.

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In today’s world, detachment and isolation only attract threats since they are not preordained. The US has an obligation to defend international peace. Besides, today’s global interconnectedness means that whatever is happening in other countries directly or indirectly affects the US as a result of the ripple effect (Brooks & Wohlforth, 2016). The recent coronavirus pandemic is a perfect example of how issues happening in other countries, if not addressed, can spread to adversely affect the United States. Similarly, if other illnesses such as violence are ignored, it is bound to spread and destabilize global peace (Chafe & Chafe, 2014). Moreover, globalization has ensured that the global economy is significantly connected. For instance, war and other illnesses happening in other countries threaten the US economy via the foreign market exchange. The great depressions of 1930 and 2008 are good examples of how the world economy is connected (Brooks & Wohlforth, 2016). Therefore, the US must continue its involvement in international issues.

In conclusion, the US owes it to its citizens and the world to defend humanity’s vital interests. It is also its responsibility to ensure that Americans remain safe from any threats. The federal government can only focus on internal issues, but this will leave the country exposed to external threats. It is, therefore, important that the US continue investing in fighting international ills. Ignoring the ills will not pose a threat to the US but also threatens the peace of humanity across the globe. However, it is also crucial that the country maintain a precise balance between being overly involved in international illnesses as it might present it as a bully. Nonetheless, if it must choose between being overly-invested in dealing with international ills or allowing evil to run free, the better option is the former as it ensures global peace and helps the nation defend its vital interests.