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  • Author: Peter W. Rodman
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The theme of this conference is especially important. Iraq and Afghanistan, important as they are, do not exhaust the strategic landscape. There is a global strategic environment, which presents many challenges in many different regions of the world that bear close attention in their own right. In fact, that global environment forms the context in which we should be thinking about Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the reasons it is so important how well we do in Iraq and Afghanistan is its impact on American credibility—a precious commodity that will affect our success in these other theaters.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: W. Andrew Terrill
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Kuwait military relationship has been of considerable value to both countries since at least 1990. This alliance was formed in the aftermath of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's brutal invasion of Kuwait and the U.S. decision to free Kuwait with military force in 1991. Saddam's later defeat and removal from power in 2003 eliminated an important rationale for the alliance, but a close look at current strategic realities in the Gulf suggests that Kuwait remains an important U.S. ally. It is also an ally that faces a number of serious national security concerns in the turbulent post-Saddam era, some of which will require both Kuwaitis and Americans to rethink and revise previous security approaches, particularly to meet the shared goals of reducing terrorism and regional instability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Kuwait, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Media Tenor International
  • Abstract: Coverage on the Middle East continues to be very prominent in many countries, particularly the United States, where close to 80% of all its international coverage is devoted to the region. In German television, other European countries together received the same volumes as the Middle East. This is a very high ratio, considering that German troops are only involved in Afghanistan, and not in other Arab countries. Coverage on the Middle East is considerably subdued in South African television when compared to other measured countries, perhaps because events in Europe received considerably more attention. German television committed the largest share of its coverage to international news (44%), followed by the United States and Britain (37%), while Arab television dedicated 29% of its coverage to the international arena. The lowest share of international focus was in South African television news (24%).
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, War, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Kimberly Kagan
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: General David Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq, and Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq, launched a coordinated offensive operation on June 15, 2007 to clear al Qaeda strongholds outside of Baghdad. The arrival of the fifth Army "surge" brigade, the Marine Expeditionary Unit, and the combat aviation brigade enabled GEN Petraeus and LTG Odierno to begin this major offensive, named "Operation Phantom Thunder." Three different U.S. Division Headquarters in different provinces are participating in Phantom Thunder. Multi-National Division-North (Diyala); Multi-National Division-Center (North Babil and Baghdad); and Multi-National Division-West (Anbar). In addition to reinforcing these areas with new troops, LTG Odierno and his division commanders have repositioned some brigades and battalions that were already operating in and around Baghdad.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Strategy, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Will Waddell
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: What began in Anbar as a local movement of tribes is developing into a national phenomenon. In Baqouba, the erstwhile capital of al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq, between 40 and 60 al Qaeda operatives sought on August 15 to attack the southern Buhriz neighborhood of that city. As the first wave of attackers entered they were met with withering fire from a group of concerned citizens, calling themselves the 'Baqouba Guardians.' These volunteer fighters killed seven in that first clash, including two suicide bombers interdicted before they could reach their intended targets. A call for Coalition gunship support broke up the next attack even as it prepared for action. At the end of the fight some 21 al Qaeda terrorists were dead.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Will Waddell
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: They call themselves Farsan Al Rafidayn, the Knights of the Two Rivers. And in Ameriya, a formerly wealthy district of western Baghdad, they have turned on al Qaeda, routing with the help of the coalition, approximately 90% of the terrorist operatives.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Patrick Gaughen
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Gen. Ray Odierno, the commander of Multi-National Corps - Iraq, has argued that even as security improves in Baghdad, neighborhoods on the fault lines between the Shia and Sunni communities will be among the "last to settle." The neighborhood of Saydiyah, located in southwestern Baghdad, is such a place. Over the last year, it has become one of the principal battlegrounds for the territorial war between Shia militias and Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in Baghdad. Located in the western end of the Rashid Security District, Saydiyah was formerly a mixed neighborhood, with a Sunni majority. Prior to the invasion in 2003, many officials in Saddam's government lived in the area, and following the outbreak of the war, it became a stronghold for the Sunni insurgency. Although Al-Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent factions initially cooperated in Saydiyah, it appears that Al-Qaeda slowly pushed out the other Sunni groups, while simultaneously intensifying violence against the Shia residents of the neighborhood. The reaction from Shia militias and Shia-dominated government security forces led to extraordinary violence during the summer of 2007. US forces have sponsored an Awakening group in the Sunni community to protect them from Shia predation and remove the need for Al-Qaeda's protection services. They have also worked to sponsor sectarian reconciliation through local notables and tribal elements, but it appears that these efforts have not yielded the kinds of success witnessed further to the south in Mahmudiyah, or the Abu Disheer - Hawr Rajab area.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns is the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the Department of State's third ranking official. Prior to his current assignment, Ambassador Burns was the United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. As Ambassador to NATO, he headed the combined State-Defense Department U.S. Mission to NATO at a time when the Alliance committed to new missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war against terrorism, and accepted seven new members.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Kurt M. Campbell, Willow Darsie
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously bemoaned the challenges of measuring success in a long twilight struggle with Islamic fundamentalists. There are the “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” that confront the United States in the most unfamiliar set of foreign policy challenges in the country's history. In addition to the difficulties of establishing “metrics” – as Rumsfeld would put it – in our war on terror, there is also the intrinsically related and perhaps more vexing question of how the global ideological virus of Islamic fundamentalism is morphing and evolving. An influential and well-funded cohort of radicalized Islamists, seizing upon an unyielding interpretation of religious text (a kind of Koranic original intent), has been at war with the West for nearly a generation, and the pace of operations globally is accelerating. According to recently released U.S. government reports, there has been a sharp surge in the number of global terrorist attacks in recent years, a tally substantially comprised of incidents initiated by Islamist instigators. Taken in its totality with all its many manifestations, the jihadist challenge stretches from the Taliban strongholds in the rugged Afghan mountains and the dense jungle hideouts of the Philippines, to the ornate mosques of Saudi Arabia, from a quiet neighborhood in Leeds, England to, just possibly, a place near you.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: The Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), or Iraqi Higher Criminal Court, previously known as the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST), announced Nov. 5, 2006, that it was sentencing former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein Al-Majeed to death by hanging. The verdict comes in the first prosecution Saddam has faced before the tribunal, for the 1982 mass killing of villagers in the Shia town of Dujayl and related atrocities. Bringing Saddam and his henchmen to justice has posed unique challenges to an Iraq that seeks to make a former totalitarian dictatorship subject to rule of law, and in the process respect rule of law by providing fair trials. Unclear is the extent to which efforts to establish an historical record of atrocities, and undertake national healing, would be thwarted by executing Saddam before he can be tried for additional incidents. Of added significance are concerns raised by some voices that the death penalty itself is immoral and inconsistent with rule of law.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East