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  • Author: Rohan Gunaratna
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The year 2013 has been the most violent since the beginning of the contemporary wave of terrorism. Although Al Qaeda's core has decreased in size, the group has become even more influential. With its extraordinary presence on the web, Al Qaeda is guiding its associates to fight back. With the western drawdown from Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban-led terrorist sanctuary will likely be reconstituted once again, threatening global stability and security.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Middle East, Canada, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nelly Lahoud, Muhammad al-`Ubaydi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: ON FEBRUARY 2, 2014, al-Qa`ida released a statement declaring that "it has no connection" with the "group" called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The statement further highlighted that al-Qa`ida was not responsible for founding the ISIL and was not privy to the deliberations that led to its establishment. That is why, the statement continued, "The ISIL is not a branch of al-Qa`ida, the latter is not bound by organizational ties to it and is not responsible for the ISIL's actions."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Linda Janků, Petr Suchý
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: The article deals with deterrence of terrorism. The aim is to assess validity of a proposition that it is possible to deter terrorist groups, but there are some specifics in comparison to the deterrence of states. First, we determine deterrence threats which can be applied in relation to terrorist groups and discuss possible restraints of their application in practice. This is followed by an analysis of whether deterrence can be applied against all types of terrorist groups without distinction, where we develop a model of classification of terrorist groups according to the goals which they pursue. So far, the topic of deterrence of terrorism has not been discussed in detail in the Czech academic texts. This article thus seeks to fill this lacuna and highlight the benefits of applying deterrence strategy to the terrorist groups.
  • Topic: NATO, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, France, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Cohen, Micah Zenko
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Last August, the Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney performed what has become a quadrennial rite of passage in American presidential politics: he delivered a speech to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His message was rooted in another grand American tradition: hyping foreign threats to the United States. It is “wishful thinking,” Romney declared, “that the world is becoming a safer place. The opposite is true. Consider simply the jihadists, a near-nuclear Iran, a turbulent Middle East, an unstable Pakistan, a delusional North Korea, an assertive Russia, and an emerging global power called China. No, the world is not becoming safer.” Not long after, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta echoed Romney's statement. In a lecture last October, Panetta warned of threats arising “from terrorism to nuclear proliferation; from rogue states to cyber attacks; from revolutions in the Middle East, to economic crisis in Europe, to the rise of new powers such as China and India. All of these changes represent security, geopolitical, economic, and demographic shifts in the international order that make the world more unpredictable, more volatile and, yes, more dangerous.” General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concurred in a recent speech, arguing that “the number and kinds of threats we face have increased significantly.” And U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reinforced the point by claiming that America resides today in a “very complex, dangerous world.”
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Middle East, India
  • Author: Shadi Hamid
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: For decades, U.S. policy toward the Middle East has been paralyzed by "the Islamist dilemma" -- how can the United States promote democracy in the region without risking bringing Islamists to power? Now, it seems, the United States no longer has a choice. Popular revolutions have swept U.S.-backed authoritarian regimes from power in Tunisia and Egypt and put Libya's on notice. If truly democratic governments form in their wake, they are likely to include significant representation of mainstream Islamist groups. Like it or not, the United States will have to learn to live with political Islam. Washington tends to question whether Islamists' religious commitments can coexist with respect for democracy, pluralism, and women's rights. But what the United States really fears are the kinds of foreign policies such groups might pursue. Unlike the Middle East's pro-Western autocracies, Islamists have a distinctive, albeit vague, conception of an Arab world that is confident, independent, and willing to project influence beyond its borders. There is no question that democracy will make the region more unpredictable and some governments there less amenable to U.S. security interests. At their core, however, mainstream Islamist organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan and al Nahda in Tunisia, have strong pragmatic tendencies. When their survival has required it, they have proved willing to compromise their ideology and make di⁄cult choices. To guide the new, rapidly evolving Middle East in a favorable direction, the United States should play to these instincts by entering into a strategic dialogue with the region's Islamist groups and parties. Through engagement, the United States can encourage these Islamists to respect key Western interests, including advancing the Arab-Israeli peace process, countering Iran, and combating terrorism. It will be better to develop such ties with opposition groups now, while the United States still has leverage, rather than later, after they are already in power.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Valerie M. Hudson, Bradley Thayer
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Theoretical insights from evolutionary psychology and biology can help academics and policymakers better understand both deep and proximate causes of Islamic suicide terrorism. The life sciences can contribute explanations that probe the influence of the following forces on the phenomenon of Islamic suicide terrorism: high levels of gender differentiation, the prevalence of polygyny, and the obstruction of marriage markets delaying marriage for young adult men in the modern Middle East. The influence of these forces has been left virtually unexplored in the social sciences, despite their presumptive application in this case. Life science explanations should be integrated with more conventional social science explanations, which include international anarchy, U.S. hegemony and presence in the Middle East, and culturally molded discourse sanctioning suicide terrorism in the Islamic context. Such a consilient approach, melding the explanatory power of the social and life sciences, offers greater insight into the causal context of Islamic fundamentalist suicide terrorism, the motivation of suicide terrorists, and effective approaches to subvert this form of terrorism.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: John J. Le Beau
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Insurgency and counterinsurgency as types of warfare are currently subject to considerable attention due to the nature of the high-profile struggles underway in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is prudent to note that neither insurgency nor the strategy and tactics required to combat it represent new phenomena. A large body of experience and literature from the twentieth century and earlier exists that addresses both sides of the insurgent struggle. Some characteristics of insurgencies are largely immutable, since insurgency is ultimately a form of warfare that is adopted when a combatant has limited resources and limited choices for how to fight against a more powerful adversary. Today as in the past, these characteristics include employment of small-unit attacks, ambushes, assassinations, propaganda activity, and the development of covert infrastructure. Nevertheless, the primary insurgencies active in the twenty-first century are marked by important differences from earlier struggles, particularly in the areas of motivation and inspiration. Rather than being quintessentially political and interested in local or national grievances, many contemporary insurgencies are at their core linked to a particular interpretation of Islam. Thus, these insurgencies represent a war of religion, not of politics, economics, or ethnicity. Islamist insurgencies are likely to be uncompromising and averse to negotiation, absolutist and pan-national in their goals, and willing to justify the mass slaughter of non-combatants who do not share their religious vision.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Gül M. Kurtoglu-Eskisar
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Romanian Journal of Political Science
  • Institution: Romanian Academic Society
  • Abstract: Almost a decade before the end of the 20th century, most parts of Eastern Europe were still under the communist rule and, with a few exceptions, the Middle East was checker squared with varying degrees of authoritarianism. Almost a decade into the 21st century and many East European countries are now regarded as democracies. The Middle East, however, continues to be dominated by authoritarian regimes. This study outlines some of the factors that can help to explain this contrasting outcome in a comparative framework.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Juan Jose Escobar Stemmann
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: Manifestations of Islamic activism are abundant in Jordan. Traditional allies of the monarchy, the Muslim Brotherhood has participated in politics when the regime has opted for political openness. However, their moderation in domestic politics has been accompanied by a growing radicalisation with respect to foreign policy issues. In addition, Jordan has been a leading centre for Salafi intellectual output for decades. The emergence of a Jihadi current in the 1990s led to the creation of the first armed groups and Jihadi ideas have found favour with certain sectors of society in the country. Military intervention in Iraq and, in particular, the figure of Abu Musaf Al Zarqawi have resulted in Jordan becoming a favourite Al Qaeda target.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Peter van der Veer
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The Clash Within is a lengthy account of the rise of the Hindu right and of anti-Muslim violence in contemporary India. There is little in the book that strikes the specialist as new or original, since the events and arguments it deals with are well known and extensively dealt with in the existing literature, but the author wants to address a wider audience. Nussbaum argues that her contribution is as that of a loudspeaker, since she feels that Indian developments are wrongly ignored in the United States and Europe. In her view, the reason for this neglect is ''the way in which terrorism and the war on Iraq have distracted Americans from events and issues of fundamental significance'' (p. 1). This is not self-evident, since one might plausibly contend that Iraq and the Middle East (including Israel) rightly attract more attention and are of more fundamental significance for American foreign policy than Hindu-Muslim antagonism in India. How-ever, Nussbaum's argument is not located at the level of geopolitics, but at the level of national political systems. She argues that the problem of how religious nationalism affects the largest democracy in the world is instructive for all democracies. From a philosopher one might expect a theoretical argument about democracy, nationalism, and religion to frame what we can learn from the Indian case, but Nussbaum's book surprisingly offers more journalism than theory.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, India, Israel
  • Author: Juan Carlos Hidalgo
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For most of this decade, Latin America has been neglected by the developed world. At least that is a recurring grievance from leaders and specialists in the region. The attention of rich countries has switched to terrorism in the Middle East and poverty in Africa, while pressing needs and conflicts remain unattended in Latin America.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Latin America
  • Author: Javier Jordán, Fernando M. Mañas
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: Las fuerzas de Estados Unidos se encuentran empeñadas en dos teatros bélicos que son escenario de insurgencia y contrainsurgencia: Afganistán e Irak. En ellos los insurgentes combaten, en la mayor parte de los casos, mediante tácticas que evitan el enfrentamiento directo y que, además de asegurar un goteo continuo de bajas norteamericanas y europeas, prolongan el conflicto y les permiten vislumbrar un horizonte de victoria a través de la obstinación. En semejante contexto los artefactos explosivos improvisados VEDs, acrónimo de Improvised Explosive Device) se han convertido en una de las principales armas de los insurgentes. Prueba de ello es que los ataques con IEDs son responsables de gran parte de las muertes sufridas por las fuerzas internacionales desplegadas en Afganistán e Irak. Este paper ofrece un análisis introductorio sobre las características básicas de los IEDs, las principales contramedidas, y las consecuencias estratégicas y políticas de su empleo.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Asia