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  • Author: James M Dorsey, Raffaello Pantucci, Bilveer Singh, Noor Huda Ismail
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The high-profile assassination of General Qassim Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (QF), on January 3 in Baghdad marked the lowest point in US-Iran relations in recent times. It triggered a new spell of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East with far-reaching consequences for South and Southeast Asia. Soleimani’s killing has also coincided with the potential rejuvenation of the Islamic State (IS), and ongoing anti-government protests in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon. Soleimani’s killing was bound to have reverberations beyond the Middle East. Muslim-majority states in South and Southeast Asia, where both Saudi Arabia and Iran have engaged in sectarian proxy wars by funding and influencing the Sunni and Shia segments of the population. While states in both regions have condemned Soleimani’s killing, they have stayed largely neutral to avoid getting sucked into rising geopolitical tensions. Against this backdrop, the March issue of the Counter Terrorists Trends and Analyses (CTTA) features three articles that explore different dimensions of Soleimani’s death and their geopolitical implications. In the first article, James M. Dorsey argues that as US-Iran tensions have eased in recent months, Iranian hardliners, emboldened by a sweeping mandate earned in recent domestic elections, remain committed to a well-honed strategy of escalating asymmetric warfare. According to the author, this raises the prospects for a full-scale war, with the United States also still pursuing a maximum pressure campaign on Iran that has to date, yet to produce tangible results. In the second article, Raffaello Pantucci reasons that despite a general consensus that the US-Iran rupture will ease pressure on transnational jihadist groups in the Middle East theatre, it remains unclear how Soleimani’s killing will shape their future behaviour. On the one hand, Iran-backed Shia militias are likely to step up their operations, which will exacerbate sectarian fault-lines in the region and feed into IS’ self-portrayal as the saviours of Sunnis. Conversely, pragmatism continues to define interactions between Tehran and Sunni jihadist groups such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, who appear happy to cooperate to ensure broader strategic goals. Next, Bilveer Singh examines the implications of Soleimani’s assassination for South and Southeast Asia. regions where both Iran and Saudi Arabia enjoy ideological influence among the Muslim-majority states. Sunni Malaysia and Indonesia have reservations about Tehran, but domestic political pressures are likely to endear Iran to them more than the US. The impact in South Asia could be more varied, mostly affecting Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iran through its Shia militant proxies can undermine US interests in Afghanistan. The QF has also recruited significant Shia militias in Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively for operations in Syria. Moreover, Pakistan has to walk a tight rope given Iran has an inside track to its significant Shia population. Besides cross and intra-regional assessments of Soleimani’s assassination within the broader US-Iran fissures, the threat landscapes in Indonesia and West Africa, both long-time hotbeds for terrorist activity in their respective regions, are also examined in this issue. Firstly, Noor Huda Ismail takes a closer look at pro-IS terrorist networks in Indonesia, a country that is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. By examining the background, tactics and modus operandi of local terrorist groups, both online and offline, and comparing their legacy with those of previous militant Islamist movements, the author believes important learning lessons can be drawn to help mitigate future security threats. Finally, Atta Barkindo analyses the jihadist threat in the Sahel region, where a landscape conducive to terrorist activities provides the fertile ground for IS and Al-Qaeda to grow by linking up with local militant networks. The tactical sophistication exhibited in terrorist attacks by Sahelian jihadist groups, particularly in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, testifies to a growing footprint of global jihadism. Sahel provides an arterial life-line through the region, by facilitating the movement of goods and people between the Mediterranean and West Africa, which has been enormously beneficial to terrorist groups involved in organised criminal enterprises. Moreover, desertification and environmental degradation have also created a conducive environment for criminal activities and terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Protests
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Lebanon, Southeast Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Marina Henke
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many countries serving in multilateral military coalitions are “paid” to do so, either in cash or in concessions relating to other international issues. An examination of hundreds of declassified archival sources as well as elite interviews relating to the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation in Afghanistan, the United Nations–African Union operation in Darfur, and the African Union operation in Somalia reveals that these payment practices follow a systematic pattern: pivotal states provide the means to cover such payments. These states reason that rewarding third parties to serve in multilateral coalitions holds important political benefits. Moreover, two distinct types of payment schemes exist: deployment subsidies and political side deals. Three types of states are most likely to receive such payments: (1) states that are inadequately resourced to deploy; (2) states that are perceived by the pivotal states as critical contributors to the coalition endeavor; and (3) opportunistic states that perceive a coalition deployment as an opportunity to negotiate a quid pro quo. These findings provide a novel perspective on what international burden sharing looks like in practice. Moreover, they raise important questions about the efficiency and effectiveness of such payment practices in multilateral military deployments.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Alliance
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Kuwait, Vietnam, Korea, Somalia
  • Author: Ches Thurber, Austin Bowman
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Ches Thurber is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. He was previously a research fellow at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism at the University of Chicago and at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His current book project, Strategies of Violence and Nonviolence in Revolutionary Movements, examines why political movements seeking to overthrow the state embrace strategies of either armed insurgency or civil resistance.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Non State Actors, Sectarianism, Social Movement, Conflict, Interview
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Graeme Wood, Eli Stiefel
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Graeme Wood is a correspondent for The Atlantic. He was the 2015 - 2016 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is a lecturer in political science at Yale University. He was formerly a contributing editor to The New Republic and books editor of Pacific Standard. He was a reporter at The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh in 1999, then lived and wrote in the Middle East from 2002 to 2006. He has received fellowships from the Social Sciences Research Council (2002-2003), the South Asian Journalists Association (2009), the East-West Center (2009-2010), and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide (2013-2014). He has appeared many times on television and radio (CNN, ABC, BBC, MSNBC, et al.), was the screenwriter of a Sundance Official Selection (2010, short film), and led a Nazi-hunting expedition to Paraguay for a History Channel special in 2009.
  • Topic: Security, Non State Actors, Islamic State, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Pavlo Ignatiev
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: Iraqis very important for the world community because of its strategic position at the crossroads between the Persian Gulf, theMideteraneanSeaand theRed Seaalong with huge oil and mineral wealth. Moreover, Iraqi case illustrates all aspects of the US Middle Eastern policy since the end of the Cold War. The article analyses political and economic processes in Iraq after the demise of Saddam Hussain’s regime, evaluates the efficiency of post-war reconstruction of this Arab country in security and economic fields, singles out the reasons behind the civil war between Sunni and Shia followers, explains the paradox of semi-independent status of Iraqi Kurdistan as well as foreign policy of official Baghdad towards important neighbours – Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The rise of Islamic State of Iraq andLevantcapitalizing on sectarian devide and an attempt of Iraqi leadership to neutralize this threat also has become the part of analyzis.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Violent Extremism, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Baghdad, Saudi Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Kristin A. Wagner, Satgin Hamrah, Benjamen Franklen Gussen, Robert Mason, Robert Maguire, Adi Saleem Bharat, Lauren Fisher, Joseph Sadek, Dalia Ghanem-Yazbek, Serhat S. Çubukçuoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Our Spring 2016 volume encapsulates the dangerous developments in MENA over the course of the past year. While the international community hoped for a resolution to the five-year Syrian Civil War, the conflict has further divided the region into a sectarian split, pitting Shia Iran and the Sunni gulf states on opposing sides. Additionally, Russia’s brief military intervention, finally winding down as of March 2016, has further destabilized the country and significantly increased the flow of refugees into the heartland of Europe. With the November 2015 Paris attacks, the threat of the so-called Islamic State (Daesh) to the west was finally realized, calling into question ongoing efforts to counter violent extremism, as well as to resolve the Syrian Civil War. Meanwhile, Turkey’s increasing two-front war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Daesh has resulted in a series of deadly terrorist attacks throughout the country, putting further pressure on Turkish leadership to both find a solution to the Kurdish question and stem the refugee flow transiting northward from Syria. It is through this lens that the Spring 2016 edition has been crafted. With conflict and instability abound, we present first an exclusive interview with Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Salim al-Jabouri. On a more positive note, JMEPP also interviewed Tunisia’s Minister of Economic Infrastructure and Sustainable Development, Hedi Larbi, on Tunisia’s relative stability and success in its post-Jasmine Revolution transition. This year’s featured articles include Robert Mason’s assessment of the Saudi leadership and the perilous position it now finds itself in, both geopolitically and domestically; and Serhat S. Çubukçuoğlu’s eyes on Turkey’s natural gas ambitions as being linked to settling the Cypriot peace talks, as well as re-establishing partnerships with its regional neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean. Benjamen Franklen Gussen creates a new picture of a geographically reoriented Middle East, while Dylan MaGuire analyzes the no-fly zone option in Syria, with a look back to previous operations in Iraq and Libya. Focusing on gender, Dr. Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck looks at integration and inclusion of women in Algeria’s military, yet presents a critique on its superficiality. With an eye on Turkey’s destabilized southern border region, Joseph Sadek provides commentary on the political and geostrategic jostling between Turkey and its Kurdish population, as well as the complex relationships between Turkey, the PKK, and Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG) rebels. Turning to terrorism, Lauren Fisher presents an argument against the stovepipe methodology of countering violent extremism by exploring the complexities behind the topic. Finally, we conclude with a literature review by Adi Saleem Bharat on the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement as it pertains to academia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, Gender Issues, Peace Studies, Infrastructure, Armed Forces, Violent Extremism, Women, Radicalization, Islamic State, Political stability, Arab Spring, Humanitarian Intervention, Syrian War, Negotiation, Kurds, BDS
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Israel, Libya, Palestine, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Cyprus
  • Author: Alia Braley, Srdja Popovic
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Attacking terrorism at its root, through slow and incremental cultural change, will pay off in the end, but this process is a difficult sell to those facing IS now. Such a long-term view neither benefits the people struggling to survive each day under IS’s murderous and authoritarian reign, nor does it equip the international security community concerned about IS’s immediate threat to regional stability. There is another solution. If what is needed is a relatively rapid rearrangement of social conditions that would cut off IS’s critical sources of power, then there may be no better route than collective nonviolent action undertaken by Iraqi and Syrian civilians. Collective nonviolent movements have been shown to be more effective than violent movements, even against highly violent or authoritarian opponents. Such a movement might take a page from IS’s own book, and tap into the same sources of power that have been indispensible to its success. After all, IS did not attract an army of nearly 30,000 fighters and capture a cumulative swathe of land larger than the United Kingdom merely because it had weapons. IS has flourished by successfully filling at least two critical power vacuums within Iraqi and Syrian society. It has seized upon a powerful narrative during a time of turbulence and confusion, and it has delivered necessary human services in places where the state has proved incompetent. However, a nonviolent collective movement of Syrian and Iraqi citizens could fill these power vacuums much more convincingly than IS, and in so doing, cripple IS’s power in the short term and impede the growth of new terrorist movements in the long term...
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Authoritarianism, Islamic State, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Harlan Ullman
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Harlan Ullman, a distinguished Fletcher School alumnus, sat down with the Fletcher Security Review recently to discuss the past, present, and future of U.S. and global security, as well as his most recent book, A Handful of Bullets: How the Murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Still Menaces the Peace. He is Chairman of the Killowen Group, which advises leaders in business and government; Chairman of CNIGuard Ltd and CNIGuard Inc. which are infrastructure protection firms; Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council and Business Executives for National Security, both in Washington, D.C.; on the Advisory Board for the Supreme Allied Commander Europe; and Director Emeritus of the Wall Street Fund, one of the nation’s first mutual funds. A former naval officer with 150 combat operations and missions in Vietnam in patrol boats and other commands at sea, he was principal author of the ’Shock and Awe’ doctrine, which was released in 1996. With seven books and thousands of articles and columns to his credit, he was made UPI’s Arnaud de Borchgrave distinguished columnist earlier this year.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War, History, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Emily Knowles, Karolina MacLachlan
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Corruption, instability, and conflict tend to go hand in hand. Twelve of the fifteen lowest-ranking countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index are currently experiencing violent insurgencies, extremist activity, or other signs of deep-seated instability. [1] Systemic, embedded corruption is a thread that runs through such seemingly disparate events as the outbreak of the Arab Spring, the conflict in Ukraine, the failure of the Malian army in 2012, the growth of Boko Haram in Nigeria, and the retreat of the Iraqi security forces in the face of ISIS. However, the effects of corruption are not limited to exacerbating the risk of conflict; corruption also makes it more difficult for states to respond to threats and for international institutions and other actors to offer effective assistance.[2] Assistance to fragile and failing states tends to include two types of engagement: international peacekeeping and/or stabilization operations and defense capacity building (i.e. assistance to the recipient states’ security forces). But without anticipating and mitigating the risks that corruption poses, the international community risks the intent of security assistance being subverted, the assistance wasted, and the success rate of stabilization operations being severely impaired. In particular, misappropriation of funds, vanishing resources, and a reliance on malign power-brokers can irreparably damage the operational success of a mission. This article is based on the research investigating the international community’s approach (or lack thereof) to tackling corruption in Afghanistan carried out by Transparency International UK’s global Defence and Security Programme (TI-DSP) and based on over 75 interviews with civilian and military officials. This work is supported by insights from TI-DSP’s long-term engagement in the Building Integrity training for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.[3] In the resulting report, we argue that corruption has had a significant impact on ISAF mission success and that the international community’s reaction to corrupt practices was too little, too late. We point to three main ways in which corruption and uncontrolled money flows can diminish the effectiveness of the mission and offer a planning and risk assessment framework as the first step toward addressing corruption risks on operations...
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Peacekeeping, Arab Spring, Conflict, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Middle East, Nigeria, Mali
  • Author: Ian M. Ralby
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: On 16 September 2007, the accountability of private armed contractors became a global concern. A team of armed guards from the US company Blackwater Worldwide, operating on a US State Department contract, opened fire that day in Baghdad’s Nisor Square, killing seventeen Iraqi civilians and injuring an additional twenty. It took more than seven years before four of the individuals responsible were ultimately convicted of either first degree murder or voluntary manslaughter by a jury in a U.S. Federal District Court. A fifth member of the Blackwater team had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter.[1] The initial lack of consequences and the slow speed of justice provided the watchful world with strong evidence that armed contractors operate in a zone of legal twilight, devoid of accountability. ​ The rise of private armed contracting was one of the most distinctive operational developments of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, famously stated: “Our corporate goal is to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did to the postal service.”[2] Throughout both conflicts, the hiring policies of several Western governments, particularly those of the United States, helped Blackwater and numerous other companies move toward that goal. By December 2008, for example, 69% of the United States’ total force in Afghanistan was comprised of private contractors, roughly 15% of which were armed.[3] While there are no reliable statistics on the size of the global private armed security industry, there is little doubt that it has grown and contracted with the surge and decline of Western engagement in armed conflict. New conflicts on the horizon, however, suggest the possibility of a resurgence of the industry, reigniting concerns about accountability. The proliferation of private armed security companies has coincided with a proliferation of initiatives aimed at developing accountability for the industry. Numerous codes, standards, mechanisms and proposals – developed by governments, international organizations, civil society groups, private companies, trade associations, individuals, academics and multi-stakeholder bodies – have sought to address different issues surrounding armed contractors. Most of them, however, have been developed in response to incidents that already occurred. This reactive approach to accountability, while useful for addressing past problems, may leave the industry exposed to future problems. In other words, a code, standard or mechanism set up to prevent another Nisor Square incident may be very effective in doing so, but may fail to prevent a different and even more worrying incident in the future. This article begins with a brief overview of the most credible accountability initiatives, suggesting that the resulting collection forms a patchwork, rather than a framework for governing the conduct of armed contractors. The analysis then focuses on the process of selecting contractors, with a particular emphasis on the US Government. While cost has been a key factor in determining selection, the various initiatives discussed have made it possible for accountability and quality to be added as essential metrics. Ultimately, however, the failure of the accountability initiatives to remain current, much less forward-looking, means that the objective determinants of ‘accountability and quality’ may not be fit for purpose as the US and other Western powers begin to engage the services of armed contractors for assistance in new conflicts...
  • Topic: Security, War, Governance, Military Affairs, Regulation, Accountability
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Meg Guliford, Thomas McCarthy, Alison Russell, Michael M. Tsai, Po-Chang Huang, Feng-tai Hwang, Ian Easton, Matthew Testerman, Nikolas Ott, Anthony Gilgis, Todd Diamond, Michael Wackenreuter, Sebastian Bruns, Andrew Mark Spencer, Wendy A. Wayman, Charles Cleveland
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The theme of this special edition is “Emerging Domains of Security.” Coupled with previously unpublished work developed under a prior “Winning Without War” theme, the articles therein honor Professor Martel’s diverse, yet forward-leaning, research interests. This edition maintains the journal’s four traditional sections of policy, history, interviews, and current affairs. Our authors include established academics and practitioners as well as two Fletcher students, Nikolas Ott and Michael Wackenreuter. Each of the articles analyzes critical issues in the study and practice of international security, and our authors make salient arguments about an array of security-related issues. The articles are borne out of countless hours of work by FSR’s dedicated editorial staff. I deeply appreciate the time and effort they devoted to the publication of this volume. They are full-time graduate students who masterfully balanced a host of responsibilities.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Intelligence, International Cooperation, International Law, History, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism, Cybersecurity, Navy, Conflict, Space, Interview, Army, Baath Party, Norms
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Taiwan, Germany, Asia-Pacific, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Michael Wackenreuter
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: On March 12, 2003, a week before the invasion of Iraq, a Principals Committee meeting of the National Security Council was held at the White House to formally decide the fate of the Iraqi Army.[1] The participants, having all received extensive briefings on the subject prior to meeting, voted unanimously and with little discussion that after disbanding the Republican Guard, the “regular soldiers” of the Iraqi Army would be called “back to duty.”[2] In spite of this decision, on May 23, 2003, L. Paul Bremer III—President Bush’s “special envoy” in Iraq—announced Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 2, “Dissolution of Entities.” Among the relevant entities to be dissolved by the decree was the Iraqi Army.[3] In an interview with the journalist Robert Draper at the end of his presidency, President Bush commented on this apparent dissonance when he remarked, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.” When asked further of his reaction when he found out about the decree, Bush replied, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’”[4] Having endured significant criticism over CPA Order No. 2, Mr. Bremer was quick to defend himself, providing letters to The New York Times to and from the president “in order to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.”[5] Such a puzzling exchange over such an important topic serves to illustrate a larger point. That is, despite its centrality to America’s involvement in Iraq, from the emergence of the insurgency onward to its current conflict with ISIS, it still remains unclear how and why the decision to disband the Iraqi Army was made. In this paper, I demonstrate that the impetus for CPA Order No. 2 came from the prominent Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi, and was carried out under the authority of Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney by a small group of Chalabi’s supporters in the Office of the Vice President and the Pentagon. I do so first by establishing the lengths to which those in the vice president’s office, in concert with like-minded officials at the Defense Department, were willing to go in order to support Chalabi, who favored disbanding the army. Secondly, I identify the striking similarities between the events surrounding the order and other instances involving the vice president that involved a bypass of the normal interagency policy-making process...
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, History, Army, Baath Party, Iraq War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jane Kinninmont
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Syria's civil war is exacerbating tension between Iraqi factions
  • Topic: Security, Government, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Kirk Talbott, John Waugh, Douglas Batson
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Burma wavers on the cusp of a transition from conflict, plunder, and risk towards peace and a more open, stable society. A half-century of armed warfare, largely financed by the rapid exploitation of high-value natural resources, may be coming to an end in mainland Southeast Asia's largest nation. The use and extraction of environmental assets will continue, however, to determine Burma's political and economic future. Unfortunately, natural resources too often play a perverse role in preventing needed reforms in countries emerging from protracted conflict. In an era of fiscal constraint, "sequestration," and a decade of Iraq and Afghanistan nation-building fatigue, how can the U.S. best aid Burma's transformation? The on-the-ground situations in Burma, namely, ethnic conflicts, land grabs, internally displaced persons, each undergirded by a deep distrust of the central government, are as varied as they are fluid. U.S. foreign policy issues regarding the nation also known as Myanmar, beginning with that nation's toponym,2 are so complex as to defy the Interagency and Tactical Conflict Assessment Frameworks, respectively vaunted by U.S. government civilian agencies and military services.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma
  • Author: Benjamin S. Lambeth
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Assessing major combat experiences to help rectify errors made in the planning and conduct of operations has enjoyed a long and well-established tradition in the fields of military history and security studies. In particular, since Operation Desert Storm against Saddam Hussein's Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces in 1991, the pursuit of "lessons learned" from major combat has been a virtual cottage industry within the defense establishments of the United States and its principal allies around the world.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Israel
  • Author: Tonderai W. Chikuhwa
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: One may say that there is no clearer mirror on the soul of who we are than the reflection of how we treat our children. The horrors that are being visited on children in more than thirty conflicts around the world today are a shadow over our collective conscience. The most conservative estimates suggest that in the past decade more than two million children have been killed in armed conflict. Three times that number have been seriously injured or permanently disabled. Millions of others have been forced to witness and even partake in terrible acts of violence. Hundreds of thousands of children continue to be exploited as child soldiers, and tens of thousands of girls are being subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence. Abductions of children are a more common and widespread enterprise than ever before. And, since 2003, over fourteen million children have been forcibly displaced within and outside their home countries, and between 8,000 and 10,000 children are killed or maimed every year as a result of landmines.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, India
  • Author: Ali Omidi
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Security is the main concern or raison d'être of any state. The Islamic republic of Iran and the west have had common geopolitical concerns, with some convergence in Afghanistan. The first security priority of the U.S. in particular and Europe in general after the September 11 events has been coping with terrorism in its heartland, i.e. Afghanistan. This paper, after a short review of Iran's historical relations with Afghanistan as well as its geopolitical importance for Tehran, examines Iran's main security concerns stemming from Afghanistan and the consequent Iranian narration of those threats in the post-9/11 era. The article argues that Iranian policy and even ideals for Afghanistan's long-term security is similar to the Iraqi model: outright withdrawal of foreign troops and national self-reliance on security issues. Therefore, Iran welcomes NATO's drawback from Afghanistan in 2014 and implicitly cooperates with the west in Afghanistan for viable and indigenous security.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Nigel Biggar
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: It is uncontroversial that the invasion and occupation of Iraq involved the following errors: the misinterpretation of intelligence; the underestimation of the number of troops requisite for law and order; the disbanding of the Iraqi army; and indiscriminate debaathification of the civil service. The first error was one of imagination rather than virtue; the others were caused by 'callousness', impatience, and consequent imprudence. These vices were partly responsible for massive civilian casualties, which many wrongly assume to teach the fundamentally erroneous character of the invasion. Nonetheless, we should beware such moral flaws in tomorrow's policy-makers and renounce the managerial mentality that fosters them. Another lesson is that, in so far as nation-rebuilding requires substantial and long-term commitments, it must command the support of the nation-builder's domestic electorate; and to do that, it must be able to justify itself in terms of the national interest. From this we should not infer the further lesson that morality's reach into foreign policy is limited, since, according to Thomist ethics, the pursuit of the national interest can itself be moral. Finally, one lesson that we should not learn from Iraq is never again to violate the letter of international law and intervene militarily in a sovereign state without Security Council authorization. The law's authority can be undermined as much by the UN's failure to enforce it, as by states taking it into their own hands. It is seriously problematic that the current international legal system denies the right of individual states to use military force unilaterally except in self-defence, while reserving the enforcement of international law to a body, whose capacity to act is hamstrung by the right of veto. Given this situation, military intervention without Security Council authorization could be morally justified on certain conditions.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Stuart Griffin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have had profound effects on both the British and US militaries. Among the most important is the way in which they have challenged traditional assumptions about the character of unconventional conflict and the role of the military within comprehensive strategies for encouraging sustainable peace. In the UK, the most important doctrinal response has been JDP 3-40 Security and Stabilisation: the military contribution. Security and Stabilisation is an ambitious attempt to synthesize elements of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, peace support and state-building within a single doctrine that reflects the lessons learned from recent British operational experience. This article examines the purpose, impact and potential value of this important innovation in British doctrine. To do so, the article explores the genesis of Stabilization; analyses its impact upon extant British doctrine for counterinsurgency and peace support; discusses its relationship with the most important related US doctrines, FM 3-24: the counterinsurgency field manual and FM 3-07: the stability operations field manual; and debates the function of doctrine more broadly. It concludes by summarizing the primary challenges Security and Stabilisation must overcome if it is to make a serious contribution to the theory and practice of such complex interventions.
  • Topic: Security, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, United Kingdom
  • Author: Jon Western, Joshua S. Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No sooner had NATO launched its first air strike in Libya than the mission was thrown into controversy -- and with it, the more general notion of humanitarian intervention. Days after the UN Security Council authorized international forces to protect civilians and establish a no-fly zone, NATO seemed to go beyond its mandate as several of its members explicitly demanded that Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi step down. It soon became clear that the fighting would last longer than expected. Foreign policy realists and other critics likened the Libyan operation to the disastrous engagements of the early 1990s in Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia, arguing that humanitarian intervention is the wrong way to respond to intrastate violence and civil war, especially following the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq. To some extent, widespread skepticism is understandable: past failures have been more newsworthy than successes, and foreign interventions inevitably face steep challenges. Yet such skepticism is unwarranted. Despite the early setbacks in Libya, NATO's success in protecting civilians and helping rebel forces remove a corrupt leader there has become more the rule of humanitarian intervention than the exception. As Libya and the international community prepare for the post-Qaddafi transition, it is important to examine the big picture of humanitarian intervention -- and the big picture is decidedly positive. Over the last 20 years, the international community has grown increasingly adept at using military force to stop or prevent mass atrocities. Humanitarian intervention has also benefited from the evolution of international norms about violence, especially the emergence of “the responsibility to protect,” which holds that the international community has a special set of responsibilities to protect civilians -- by force, if necessary -- from war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide when national governments fail to do so. The doctrine has become integrated into a growing tool kit of conflict management strategies that includes today's more robust peacekeeping operations and increasingly effective international criminal justice mechanisms. Collectively, these strategies have helped foster an era of declining armed conflict, with wars occurring less frequently and producing far fewer civilian casualties than in previous periods.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Libya, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Wilhelm M. Vosse
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Until the Japanese government's decision to participate in the so-called war on terror by first sending maritime self-defense force (SDF) ships to refueling missions in the Indian Ocean in 2001, and then by dispatching ground self-defense force troops to Southern Iraq, the overall view of Japanese security policy had been that it was constrained by article 9 as well as strong public support for perhaps pacifist attitudes. However, these developments and, so it seemed, fundamental changes in Japanese security posture after 9/11 have been taken as evidence that either antimilitarism was vanning, or that the Japanese government, particularly under Prime Minister Koizumi, had been successful in convincing the Japanese public that it was the time for a fundamental shift in Japan's security policy (Green, 2001; Hughes, 2009; Samuels, 2007). This book challenges this assumption and tries to prove that public opinion is not only stable, but also rational, and that it does continue to constrain Japanese government security policy decisions.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, Iraq, India
  • Author: Robert M. Gates
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the decades to come, the most lethal threats to the United States' safety and security -- a city poisoned or reduced to rubble by a terrorist attack -- are likely to emanate from states that cannot adequately govern themselves or secure their own territory. Dealing with such fractured or failing states is, in many ways, the main security challenge of our time.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Mert Bilgin
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper hypothesizes that analyzing the geo-economic and energy security characteristics of gas supplies to Europe may help in understanding the features of regional and international relations with regard to selected countries. The paper highlights the significance of natural gas in the New Energy Order, and points to the importance of supply security for the EU. It looks at Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Algeria as suppliers and Turkey as a transit country in an emerging gas corridor to Europe. It examines supply-side opportunities, which promote new fields of international cooperation based on gas trade, and addresses certain restraints that may reduce the likelihood of further regional cooperation. Economic and geographic factors create new opportunities for regional trade and international relations. This geoeconomic aspect, however, takes place with international security issues varying from case to case.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Egypt
  • Author: Edward Burke
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: The militarization of aid in conflict zones is now a reality and is likely to increase exponentially in the future. Stability operations are critical to the success of any viable counterinsurgency strategy. Yet in much of Afghanistan and Iraq, civilian officials working alone have proven incapable of successfully distributing and monitoring stabilization funds or implementing associated operations; thus, they have required close cooperation with the military. Many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries have not adequately addressed deficiencies in models of civil-military cooperation, with severe repercussions for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and some government development agencies complain that the delivery of aid by the military can exacerbate the targeting of civilian aid workers. Highlighting the failure of civilian agencies to cooperate effectively with the military may provide temporary vindication to skeptics within the NGO community, but such criticism does not solve the critical dilemma of how to deliver reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to the most violent parts of Afghanistan and Iraq or other nonpermissive environments.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Jeremy Pressman
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The administration of President George W. Bush was deeply involved in the Middle East, but its efforts did not advance U.S. national security. In the realms of counterterrorism, democracy promotion, and nonconventional proliferation, the Bush administration failed to achieve its objectives. Although the United States did not suffer a second direct attack after September 11, 2001, the terrorism situation worsened as many other countries came under attack and a new generation of terrorists trained in Iraq. Large regional powers such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia did not become more democratic, with no new leaders subject to popular mandate. The model used in Iraq of democratization by military force is risky, costly, and not replicable. Bush's policy exacerbated the problem of nuclear proliferation, expending tremendous resources on a nonexistent program in Iraq while bolstering Iran's geopolitical position. The administration failed because it relied too heavily on military force and too little on diplomacy, disregarded empiricism, and did not address long-standing policy contradictions. The case of the Bush administration makes clear that material power does not automatically translate into international influence.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Shannon O'Neil
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- Hysteria over bloodshed in Mexico clouds the real challenge: the rising violence is a product of democratization -- and the only real solution is to continue strengthening Mexican democracy.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Mexico
  • Author: Taha Ozhan, Ozhan Ete
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Kurdish question in Turkey has a long history which was viewed within the framework of nation building, integration and underdevelopment until it was perceived as a security issue with the emergence of the PKK in the 1980s. During the 1990s, dominated by the security perspective, the scope of the question was reduced to terrorist acts alone under a state of emergency rule. A number of changes transformed the nature of question, such as the Kurdish political movement since the 1990s, forced migration, the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999 and the emergence of autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq. A permanent settlement of the Kurdish question must be based on developing new and alternative strategies vis-a-vis existing policies. In this context, a comprehensive package of measures should include not only security measures, but more importantly democratic reforms and economic investments.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Robert G Patman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The US national security state was fashioned at the beginning of the Cold War to contain the global threat of the rival superpower, the Soviet Union. However, this security framework did not wither away with the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the USSR. The events of September 11 starkly exposed the limitations of a state-centric approach to international security in a globalizing world. But the Bush administration falsely assumed that the traumatic events of 9/11 came out of a clear blue sky, and that a rejuvenated national security state would eventually overwhelm the 'new' threat of terrorism. The dangers of persisting in this direction were shown by the US-led invasion of Iraq. Far from closing the gap between the US approach to security and the operation environment of a post-Cold War world, Bush's war on terror undermined the international reputation of the US and presented the American taxpayer with a huge and probably unsustainable burden. All this highlighted the need for a more multilateral direction in US security policy in the post-Bush era. Such an approach would not only correspond better to the realities of today's interconnected world, but also serve as a buffer against the extension of the power of government that had been witnessed in America during the Bush years.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Soviet Union
  • Author: Mario E Carranza
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This paper examines the economics-security nexus in US policy toward South America, and the implications for South America of the 'securitization' of US foreign economic policy during the Bush administration. There has always been a tight linkage between the US foreign economic and security agendas but the real issue is the degree of 'tightness' at a given point in time. After the Alliance for Progress lost its way the United States tended to pursue its economic and security interests in South America in separate tracks, even if preventing Soviet intrusions in the region remained in the background. Yet after the collapse of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations in 2004 a US strategy of 'divide and conquer' through bilateral trade deals has been accompanied by a 'securitization' discourse and there are some indications that it may 'securitize' as a new threat the social movements and neopopulist regimes that oppose neoliberal economic policies. The paper discusses the limits of the securitization thesis. The conclusion examines the future of US-South American relations and argues that the United States needs to renew its commitment to genuine multilateralism and re-engage the region to establish an effective and lasting partnership for dealing with common economic and security challenges in the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, South America
  • Author: Charles A. Duelfer
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: IN LIGHT of the costly tragedy in Iraq, some have commented that inspections would have been an alternative to war. They were not. It was not that simple. Moreover, even with the most intrusive and extensive inspection system ever implemented, we still did not know the extent of Iraq's WMD capacity. Arms inspections are no substitute for war or political compromise, or good independent intelligence. Too often, too many have expected too much from such mechanisms. Inspections are not a goal in themselves. As the urgency and perils of North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs continue to escalate unchecked, attention repeatedly turns to inspections as the remedy of all ills. Yet, the invasiveness of the Iraq inspections was unique. We will never again be able to cajole another country to the extent we did Baghdad. And still we see the limits that even these intrusive inspections had. But, there are untold lessons to be learned from this bizarre case. More than anything else it goes to show that, in spite of their failings, inspections have a purpose and can be wielded to gain information and to deter WMD programs.
  • Topic: Security, Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, North Korea
  • Author: C.D. Van Aller
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The war in Iraq continues to divide the Western democracies, nations once optimistic that the post-Cold War environment might lead to a more secure world. Even if solutions proved difficult to achieve, many hoped that these societies would share common viewpoints on threats to peace. Yet there have been contrasting security perspectives that have been highlighted by the conflict in Iraq, such as that of former European Union High Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, who stated in 2003 that “Europe is not at war.” One of the main cleavages is between Europe and the United States generally, with the former considering that the U.S. has increasingly been too dedicated to the unilateral use of force, views held by both elites and the general public in Europe. Even before the Bush Administration, Samuel Huntington de-scribed U.S. foreign policy as one of “world unilateralism,” with a single-minded devotion to its own interests while minimizing those of other countries. Since the Iraq war, Harold Pinter has stated, the U.S. “has become a fully-fledged, award-winning, gold-plated monster. It has effectively declared war on the world....” Many people in Western Europe have some sympathy with this view, if not its hyperbolic quality, and the war in Iraq appears to have amplified long-held convictions about the world's sole remaining superpower.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe
  • Author: Simon Serfaty
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Germans have developed a new mindset, especially about military force, and they are offended, not swayed, by attempts to play on their nation's guilt for World War II. How badly Bush and Blair blundered in misunderstanding this new Germany is described by Serfaty in this excerpt from his new book, Architects of Delusion.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Aysegul Kibaroglu
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The Euphrates-Tigris region has faced significant political changes since the late 1990s. These changes can be attributed to improvements in bilateral relations, mainly in the security domain, between two of its major riparians, Turkey and Syria. In the meantime, another major riparian, Iraq, has lived through devastating war and occupation, which has had implications for regional water issues. These changes have brought new actors, involved or interested in the hydropolitics of the two-river basin, to the region.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Charles Cogan
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The level of damage from the March 2003 imbroglio in the UN Security Council remains to be thoroughly assessed, particularly in view of the continuing violence in Iraq. In a sense, this crisis was a heaven-sent opportunity for France to stand for a principle and at the same time maintain its reputation of being able to face up to the United States, in this case threatening the use of a powerful diplomatic tool at its disposal, the veto in the UN Security Council. The crisis that landed in the Security Council represented a unique way for France to assert its "difference" from the United States, which it had been seeking to do, with varying degrees of success, since de Gaulle's time. The French could hardly be expected to pass up such an opportunity, especially since, as they saw it, the issue was crystal clear from the point of view of logic: The United States had failed to make the case for invading Iraq that had any contemporaneity to it-Resolution 687 was twelve years old. The question of "Why now?" had not been satisfactorily answered.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, France