Search

Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: With the world focused on the nuclear crisis in Iran, it is tempting to think that addressing this case, North Korea, and the problem of nuclear terrorism is all that matters and is what matters most. Perhaps, but if states become more willing to use their nuclear weapons to achieve military advantage, the problem of proliferation will become much more unwieldy. In this case, U.S. security will be hostage not just to North Korea, Iran, or terrorists, but to nuclear proliferation more generally, diplomatic miscalculations, and wars between a much larger number of possible players. This, in a nutshell, is the premise of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future, which explores what nuclear futures we may face over the next 3 decades and how we currently think about this future. Will nuclear weapons spread in the next 20 years to more nations than just North Korea and possibly Iran? How great will the consequences be? What can be done?
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Robert M. Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The waterways of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) are among the most important in the world. They facilitate the export of large volumes of oil and natural gas from the region, while also bridging traders in the Eastern and Western worlds through the Red Sea and Suez Canal. While political tensions in the region have at times played out in these waterways since the mid-20th century, their vulnerability has been exasperated in recent years by the failure of bordering governments to promote internal stability, the lack of adequate maritime security capabilities of nearby states, and the potential naval threats posed by the government of Iran.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, International Security, Military Strategy, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Marisa Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Hezbollah's deepening involvement in Syria is one of the most important factors of the conflict in 2013 and 2014. Since the beginning of 2013, Hezbollah fighters have operated openly and in significant numbers across the border alongside their Syrian and Iraqi counterparts. They have enabled the regime to regain control of rebel-held areas in central Syria and have improved the effectiveness of pro-regime forces. The impact of Hezbollah's involvement in Syria has been felt not just on the battlefield, where the regime now has momentum in many areas, but also in Lebanon where growing sectarian tensions have undermined security and stability.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The controversial Hariri trial will unfold amid growing sectarian violence in Lebanon, the seemingly interminable war in Syria, and a longstanding political stalemate regarding Hezbollah's role in government.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Terrorism, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although Tehran worries about internal threats from Salafi jihadists, it may well cooperate with such groups if they attack Western interests.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iran, North America
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Bahraini government will need to distinguish better between protestors and terrorists if it wants Washington and other foreign partners to believe its claims of Iranian support for local militants. On May 5, in what has become an increasingly typical event in Bahrain, several individuals threw Molotov cocktails at a police post in a Shiite village, damaging storefronts but causing no casualties. Such incidents have intensified over the past few months in villages surrounding the capital, Manama -- in March, three police officers were killed by a bombing in al-Daih; last month, an explosion wounded another officer in the same village; days later, a police car was firebombed in Hamad Town.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Violence, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Middle East, Bahrain
  • Author: Phillip Smyth
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Afghan Shiite militants have been fighting on the Assad regime's side for some time, and the scope and strategic purpose of Iran's involvement is becoming increasingly clear.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Sam Khazai, Daniel Dewit
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The last active US combat forces left Iraq in August 2010, marking the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the beginning of Operation New Dawn. Some 49,000 advisory troops, four advisor assistance brigades, and a limited number of special operations forces (SOF) remained to train, advise, and assist Iraq's security forces after that date, including the military, intelligence, and police. Until the end, these US troops continued to serve a number of other important security functions: carrying out kinetic operations against Iranian-backed and other militant groups; providing training to the ISF; taking part in joint patrols along the borders of the Kurdish provinces and helping integrate ISF and Kurdish forces; and acting as a deterrent to Iraq's neighbors–in particular Iran.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Hilde Eliassen Restad
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: James Madison famously stated in 1793: “War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.” By this, Madison meant that, when confronted with a grave threat to national security, the instinct of a state is to concentrate power at the very top. This can lead – and has led – to abuse of power. For instance, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 resulted in the forcible internment of Japanese Americans (two thirds of whom were U.S. citizens), an episode widely seen as regrettable later, after history had removed Americans from the anxiety of war. But by no means do we have to look as far back as to World War II. We can note Cold War incidents such as the Iran-Contra scandal (1985–87), when the Reagan administration took it upon itself to bypass Congress – and specific laws – in order to support the controversial Nicaraguan Contras with money acquired by selling arms to Iran.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Huma Yusuf
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Pakistan is experiencing a sharp resurgence in sectarian violence. Most frequently, such violence involves clashes between members of the two main sects of Islam – Sunnis and Shias – but violent incidents between the Barelvi and Deobandi sub-sects of Sunni Islam are also on the rise. The heightened frequency and brutality of Sunni-Shia clashes threaten national security – Pakistan's is the second-largest Shia population in the world after Iran – as well as bilateral relations with Iran and the regional power dynamic vis-à-vis Saudi Arabian influence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Joseph Holliday
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The rebels will have to rely on external lines of supply to replenish their arms and ammunition if they are to continue eroding the regime's control. The emergence of al-Qaeda-linked terrorist cells working against the regime poses risks to the United States and a challenge to those calling for material support of the armed opposition. As the militias continue to face overwhelming regime firepower the likelihood of their radicalization may increase. Moreover, the indigenous rebels may turn to al-Qaeda for high-end weaponry and spectacular tactics as the regime's escalation leaves the rebels with no proportionate response, as occurred in Iraq in 2005-2006. Developing relations with armed opposition leaders and recognizing specific rebel organizations may help to deter this dangerous trend. It is imperative that the United States distinguish between the expatriate political opposition and the armed opposition against the Assad regime on the ground in Syria. American objectives in Syria are to hasten the fall of the Assad regime; to contain the regional spillover generated by the ongoing conflict; and to gain influence over the state and armed forces that emerge in Assad's wake. Therefore, the United States must consider developing relations with critical elements of Syria's armed opposition movement in order to achieve shared objectives, and to manage the consequences should the Assad regime fall or the conflict protract.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Germany, Syria
  • Author: Sam Wyer
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: This report examines the political, religious, and military resurgence of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) in Iraq since the withdrawal of U.S. Forces, identifying the group's key actors, their present disposition and strategy, and their regional expansion. AAH is an Iranian-backed Shi'a militant group that split from Moqtada al-Sadr's Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) in 2006. Since that time, AAH has conducted thousands of lethal explosively formed penetrator (EFP) attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces, targeted kidnappings of Westerners, rocket and mortar attacks on the U.S. Embassy, the murder of American soldiers, and the assassination of Iraqi officials.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Gregory L. Schulte
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has a great interest in the success of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), given the important role it can play in reducing the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Stalled investigations of Iran and Syria have put the credibility of the IAEA at stake. The agency detected neither Iran’s hidden uranium enrichment facility near Qom nor the reactor being constructed by Syria near al Kibar. These examples underscore the importance of strengthening the agency’s verification capability, by both increasing its authority and sharing more information. The IAEA can also help shape the global growth of nuclear power, ensuring the highest levels of safety and security, while discouraging the spread of sensitive technologies that can be misused to build nuclear weapons. The IAEA Board of Governors’ recent decision to establish a nuclear fuel bank in Russia is a step in the right direction. Success requires a new “Spirit of Vienna”—a willingness of delegates to work toward consensus on even difficult topics—surrounding the agency’s important role in nonproliferation. It also requires a conscious effort by the new Director General to remove the politics from IAEA business and return the agency to its technical mandate.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Syria, Vienna
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis, Martha Brill Olcott, Dmitri V. Trenin, Frédéric Grare, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Christopher Boucek, Gilles Dorronsoro, Karim Sadjadpour, Michael D. Swaine, Aroop Mukharji, Haroun Mir, Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Tiffany Ng
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Obama administration has made some decisive changes to the Afghan policy it inherited. Most significantly, in its first year it committed to a 250 percent increase in the American force on the ground (adding 51,000 troops to the 34,000 in Afghanistan when Mr. Obama took office) and lobbied hard to secure increases in non–U.S. coalition forces. It matched this large increase in force with a major reduction in the goal: from raising a democratic state in Afghanistan to the creation of a state strong enough to prevent a takeover by the Taliban, al–Qaeda, or any other radical Islamic group; and to “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat” al–Qaeda (which, of course, is not achievable in Afghanistan or Afghanistan and Pakistan alone). The third pillar of the policy was and is a greater emphasis on the need for a regional approach, a belief the Bush administration moved toward in its closing days.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Religion, Terrorism, Reform
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, India
  • Author: Niall Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: We are living through a paradox-or so it seems. Since September 11, 2001, according to a number of neo-conservative commentators, America has been fighting World War III (or IV, if you like to give the Cold War a number). For more than six years, these commentators have repeatedly drawn parallels between the "War on Terror" that is said to have begun in September 2001 and World War II. Immediately after 9/11, Al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups were branded "Islamofascists". Their attack on the World Trade Center was said to be our generation's Pearl Harbor. In addition to coveting weapons of mass destruction and covertly sponsoring terrorism, Saddam Hussein was denounced as an Arab Hitler. The fall of Baghdad was supposed to be like the liberation of Paris. Anyone who opposed the policy of pre-emption was an appeaser. And so on.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics, Terrorism, War, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: America, Iran
  • Author: Marisa Cochrane Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: While al-Qaeda in Iraq remains the primary threat in northern Iraq, violence by Special Groups—Shi'a extremist elements funded, trained, and armed by Iran—remains a key challenge to stability and security in central and southern Iraq. Despite reports in late 2007 that Iranian sponsorship of Special Groups had declined, the trend in Special Groups activity in January and February 2008 suggests otherwise. In a recent briefing, Admiral Gregory Smith, the Deputy Spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq, explicitly stated, “The Special Groups' activity has not decreased in recent months. They continue to be probably the most violent of the extremist groups that we're seeing from Shi'a sects. [The] intent of Iran in supporting the training and financing we believe continues.” Other officials from both the Departments of State and Defense have also cited an increase in Special Groups activity since the beginning of 2008.The use of highly-lethal explosively-formed penetrators (EFP), a hallmark of Iranian-backed groups, has risen since the start of 2008.Indeed, the month of January saw twelve EFP attacks, which was the highest monthly total of such attacks in over a year. This meant that, on average, from early January to early February, there was an EFP attack every three days.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Strategy, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Marisa Cochrane Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: It is widely speculated in the media that the relationship between the Shi'a government of Iran and the Sunni insurgent group, al-Qaeda in Iraq, is a hostile one, primarily because of the sectarian differences between the two. However, there is clear evidence of Iranian support for another Sunni group, the Taliban in Afghanistan. Therefore, it is worth investigating the potential links between al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Iranian regime, particularly the Iranian Revolutionary Guard-Quds Force (IRGCQF). The dossier below contains articles, press releases, and Defense Department briefings from the last year that consider the nature of this relationship. While it may not present a definitive explanation of the connection between these groups, it does suggest possible links exist between the groups and the sectarian grounds for dismissing the relationship are likely too simplistic. The most relevant passages have been highlighted in yellow.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Taliban
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Sam Brownback was born in Kansas on September 12, 1956. He studied Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University, where he was elected student body president, and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Kansas. He was chosen as the youngest Secretary of Agriculture in Kansas state history in 1986. He also served for one year as a White House Fellow in the Office of the US Trade Representative. Brownback was elected to the US Congress in 1994, representing the Second District of Kansas. He was elected to a full six-year term in 1998 and was re-elected to a second six-year term in November 2004. Brownback is the chairman of the Helsinki Commission. He also chairs the Values Action Team, co-chairs the Senate Cancer Coalition, and is a member of both the Army and Air Force Caucuses. This interview was conducted following the Asia Society Luncheon program with Senator Sam Brownback on May 8, 2006. You have taken an active interest in the situation in Darfur, Sudan, North Korea and in the Middle East, to name only a few. Can you briefly outline what you think are the most pressing foreign policy issues confronting the United States at this time? It's probably the lead ones now: Iran. If you're just looking at straight foreign policy issues, I think, with Iran being the lead sponsor of terrorism around the world and with US foreign policy just being formulated at this point in time. It's tied in intimately with the global war on terrorism, which has been, for us to date, a sequential war. It's been Afghanistan, then Iraq and now you're seeing really the focus step up on Iran. That's probably, if you're looking at the most pressing issues, I think that's it for us today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nawaf Obaid
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Both Saudi Arabia's security situation, and the Saudi security apparatus, are undergoing major changes. Saudi Arabia no longer faces a major threat from Iraq, but must deal with the growing risk that Iran will become a nuclear power. This confronts Saudi Arabia with hard strategic choices as to whether to ignore Iran's efforts to proliferate, seek US military assistance in deterring Iran and possibly in some form of missile defense, or to acquire more modern missiles and its own weapons of mass destruction.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Wilfried Buchta
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: The intention of this paper is to give an overview of the internal structure of the security sector of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), one of the few states in the Islamic world in which in general the security sector is submitted to the control of the civilian leadership. This paper will not deal with the issues of WMD, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran's open and covert support for militant Islamic groups abroad, the system's fight against exiled militant opposition groups or Tehran's policy towards Iraq prior to and after the US invasion, although some aspects of the security sectors' tasks are connected to these issues. Instead the paper will focus on the relationship between civilian leadership and the influential heads of the different branches of the security sector, a relationship which is extremely complex and often defies explanation. Therefore it is vital to offer some explanatory remarks on the overall political structure of the system and its main features.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel