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  • Author: Lina Khatib
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The self-proclaimed Islamic State is a hybrid jihadist group with a declared goal of establishing a “lasting and expanding” caliphate. Its strategy for survival and growth blends military, political, social, and economic components. Yet the U.S.-led international intervention against it has largely been limited to air strikes. The gaps in the international coalition’s approach as well as deep sectarian divisions in Iraq and the shifting strategies of the Syrian regime and its allies are allowing the Islamic State to continue to exist and expand.
  • Topic: Civil War, Islam, Terrorism, Insurgency, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Anthony H Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The events in Iraq over the last month have shown that any success in Iraq requires both the Iraqi government and the United States to go far beyond the war against ISIS, and makes any partisan debate over who lost Iraq as damaging to U.S. national interests as any other aspect of America’s drift toward partisan extremism. The war against ISIS is a critical U.S. national security interest. It not only threatens to create a major center of terrorism and extremism in a critical part of the Middle East, and one that could spread to threaten the flow of energy exports and the global economy, but could become a major center of international terrorism. It is important to understand, however, that ISIS is only one cause of instability in the region, and only one of the threats caused by spreading sectarian and ethnic violence.
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Jessica Lewis
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Anbar is not the only front in Iraq on which Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), now operating as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), is fighting in 2014. ISIS has also established a governorate in Diyala. Its spokesman has named the province the central front in the sectarian conflict he has urged. The security situation and sectarian tension in Diyala province are grave. ISIS has returned to fixed fighting positions within Muqdadiyah, Baqubah, and the Diyala River Valley. Shi'a militias are now active in these areas as well. Increasing instances of population displacement demonstrate the aggregate effect of targeted violence by both groups. It is important to estimate the effects of this displacement and the presence of armed groups within Diyala's major cities in order to understand how deteriorated security conditions in this province will interfere with Iraq's upcoming parliamentary elections. Furthermore, violence in Diyala has historically both driven and reflected inter-ethnic and inter-sectarian violence in other mixed areas of Iraq, including Baghdad. Diyala is therefore a significant bellwether for how quickly these types of violence will spread to other provinces.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Lori Plotkin Boghardt
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Washington should look for small changes in Kuwait and Qatar's political and security calculus that could provide opportunities to support counter-terrorist financing measures there. On April 30, the U.S. State Department noted that private donations from Persian Gulf countries were "a major source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups, particularly...in Syria," calling the problem one of the most important counterterrorism issues during the previous calendar year. Groups such as al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), previously known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, are believed to be frequent recipients of some of the hundreds of millions of dollars that wealthy citizens and others in the Gulf peninsula have been donating during the Syrian conflict.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia, Syria, Qatar
  • Author: Azeem Ibrahim
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Syrian civil war has allowed al-Qaeda to recover from its setbacks up to 2010. Its main affiliate in the region seems to be testing a new strategy of collaboration with other Salafist-Jihadist groups and a less brutal implementation of Sharia law in areas it controls. In combination, this might allow the Al Nusrah Front to carve out the sort of territorial control of a region (or state) that al-Qaeda has sought ever since its eviction from Afghanistan. On the other hand, Syria has also seen a civil war between two al-Qaeda inspired factions (Al Nusrah and the Iraq based Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIS]) and indicates there are limits to its ability to cooperate with other anti-Assad factions and gain popular appeal. The extent that the Syrian civil war offers the means for al-Qaeda to recover from its earlier defeats will determine whether the organization has a future, or if it will become simply an ideology and label adopted by various Islamist movements fighting their own separate struggles.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Charles C. Caris, Samuel Reynolds
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The Islamic State's June 2014 announcement of a “caliphate” is not empty rhetoric. In fact, the idea of the caliphate that rests within a controlled territory is a core part of ISIS's political vision. The ISIS grand strategy to realize this vision involves first establishing control of terrain through military conquest and then reinforcing this control through governance. This grand strategy proceeds in phases that have been laid out by ISIS itself in its publications, and elaborates a vision that it hopes will attract both fighters and citizens to its nascent state. The declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, however, raises the question: can ISIS govern?
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: James Andrew Lewis
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Americans are reluctant to accept terrorism is part of their daily lives, but attacks have been planned or attempted against American targets (usually airliners or urban areas) almost every year since 9/11. Europe faces even greater risk, given the thousands of EU citizens who will return hardened and radicalized from fighting in Syria and Iraq.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Europe, Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The question of Sunni Arab participation in Iraq's political order that has plagued the transition since its inception is as acute and explosive as ever. Quickly marginalised by an ethno-sectarian apportionment that confined them to minority status in a system dominated by Shiites and Kurds, most community members first shunned the new dispensation then fought it. Having gradually turned from insurgency to tentative political involvement, their wager produced only nominal representation, while reinforcing feelings of injustice and discrimination. Today, with frustration at a boil, unprecedented Sunni-Shiite polarisation in the region and deadly car bombings surging across the country since the start of Ramadan in July, a revived sectarian civil war is a serious risk. To avoid it, the government should negotiate local ceasefires with Sunni officials, find ways to more fairly integrate Sunni Arabs in the political process and cooperate with local actors to build an effective security regime along the Syrian border.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Political Economy, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • 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: Ahmed Ali, Kimberly Kagan, Jessica Lewis
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Escalating violence in Iraq crossed a new and very dangerous threshold this week. Al Qaeda in Iraq launched a concentrated wave of car-bomb and other attacks specifically against civilian Shi'a targets in and around Baghdad. Shi'a militias are mobilizing and have begun a round of sectarian killings facilitated by false checkpoints, a technique characteristic of the 2006-2007 period. Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki has taken a number of steps to demonstrate that he remains in control of the situation. The expansion of Shi'a militia activity, however, is likely to persuade many Iraqis that he is either not in control or is actively abetting the killings. The re-mobilization of Shi'a militias in Iraq coincides with the formal announcement by Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah of his organization's active military participation in the Syrian civil war. Al Qaeda in Iraq's sectarian mass-murder attacks coincide with the announcement by AQI's affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra, that attacking Hezbollah is that group's primary target henceforth. The stage appears to be set not merely for the collapse of the Iraqi state into the kind of vicious sectarian killing and sectarian cleansing that nearly destroyed it in 2006 and 2007, but also for the expansion of that sectarian warfare throughout both Mesopotamia and the Levant.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Jessica Lewis
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) announced "The Soldiers' Harvest," a new campaign on July 29, 2013, immediately after the Abu Ghraib prison attack. AQI then declared that event the conclusion of the "Breaking the Walls" campaign, which apparently achieved its goals: to stoke sectarian violence by targeting Shi'a communities; and to reconstitute the veteran AQI fighting force by breaking former members out of Iraq's prisons. ISW has assessed that AQI has reconstituted as a professional military force. It is therefore crucial to examine the first 60 days of the new "Soldiers' Harvest" campaign for indications of what AQI means to accomplish this year. Initial indications suggest that AQI will seek to establish control of key terrain in Iraq while targeting any Sunnis who work for the government. The campaign name, "The Soldiers' Harvest," refers in particular to the intimidation and displacement of the Iraqi Security Forces, especially through the destruction of their homes.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Marina Ottaway, Danial Kaysi
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Within days of the official ceremonies marking the end of the U.S. mission in Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki moved to indict Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi on terrorism charges and sought to remove Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq from his position, triggering a major political crisis that fully revealed Iraq as an unstable, undemocratic country governed by raw competition for power and barely affected by institutional arrangements. Large-scale violence immediately flared up again, with a series of terrorist attacks against mostly Shi'i targets reminiscent of the worst days of 2006.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, War, Fragile/Failed State, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Austin Long
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: War is fundamentally a clash of organizations. Organizations provide the vital mechanisms that mobilize and convert resources into combat power as well as applying that combat power against the enemy. This is true not only of conventional militaries, but also of insurgent and terrorist groups. Organizational capacity is thus a crucial determinant of success in conflict. Stephen Biddle, for example, attributes heavy causal weight for success in modern conventional military conflict to the relative capacity of military organizations to employ a set of techniques he terms “the modern system.” Philip Selznick argues that organization is equally crucial for success in political combat, where subversion of other organizations is as important as brute force.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • 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: Stephen Wicken
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: On Sunday, Iraqs Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi was sentenced to death by hanging after he and his son-in-law were convicted of organizing the murders of a security official and a lawyer. All told, Hashemi is subject to more than 150 charges of terrorism based upon allegations that he used death squads to target his political opponents. The verdict carries distressing implications for short-term domestic security in Iraq and for diplomatic relations with neighboring Turkey, where Hashemi currently resides and has been based since his trial began. While some observers view the case against Hashemi in purely sectarian terms, the targeting of a Sunni politician in a Shiite-led state, the sentence in fact highlights the pernicious nature of personal rivalries within Iraqi politics. Further, it demonstrates the politicization of the Iraqi judicial system under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has commandeered Iraq's legal institutions in order to consolidate power around his inner circle.
  • Topic: Democratization, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Sam Wyer
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Since the withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Iraq in December 2011, the rate and lethality of attacks against civilian targets have steadily risen. Most notably, there have been seven major attack waves, defined here as a series of simultaneous and coordinated attacks that target at least 10 cities within one day. The attacks targeted a combination of security posts, government facilities, and Shi'ite shrines and neighborhoods. The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), an umbrella organization formed in 2006 for many Sunni insurgency groups including al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has claimed credit for a large majority of these attacks.3 This summer has seen a further alarming development with the announcement of ISI's "Destroying the Walls" campaign.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Clint Watts
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The attacks of September 11, 2001 spawned a decade of al Qaeda inspired radicalization of disaffected Middle Eastern and North African youth and a handful of young Western men. Ten years later, foreign fighters to Afghanistan, Iraq and other jihadi battlefields appear to be declining while in contrast analysts have pointed to an uptick in United States (U.S.) based “homegrown extremism” - terrorism advocated or committed by U.S. residents or citizens.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Martin Harrow
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Video-recorded decapitations have an enormous impact, they are cheap and easy, and they allow the terrorists to exploit the potential of the Internet. With these advantages, the tactic would have been expected to quickly spread across the globe as a favored tactic. Yet, years after its invention in 2002, this has not happened. This paper using evolutionary theory finds that video-recorded decapitations have not caught on for locally specific reasons: in the West because the tactic is less accessible than one might expect; in Iraq because of the unwillingness to be associated with Zarqawi, and in the Afghan context, it has not spread because it is mainly relevant for mobilizing resources from abroad, which is not a priority for the Taliban. These are however situational variables, and just as suicide bombings took years to spread, there may be campaigns of video-recorded decapitations as conditions change.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iraq, Middle East, Taliban
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the coming months, the US must reshape its strategy and force posture relative to Iraq and the Gulf States. It must take account of its withdrawal of most of its forces from Iraq, and whether or not it can give real meaning to the US­Iraqi Strategic Framework Agreement. It must deal with steadily increasing strategic competition with Iran, it must restructure its post-­Iraq War posture in the Southern Gulf and Turkey, and define new goals for strategic partnerships with the Gulf states and its advisory and arms sales activity. It must decide how to best contain Iran, and to work with regional friends and allies in doing so. In the process, it must also reshape its strategy for dealing with key states like Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Yemen.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: Ellie B. Hearne, Nur Laiq
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Counterterrorism has, in the last ten years, come to the fore of international relations, and remains in the news almost daily. This is due in large part to the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, which in turn have also prompted something of a backlash against such military or “hard” approaches to countering terrorism. Partly in response, states and civil society have sought out softer, often preventive, measures to deal with violent extremism, many of which have been deemed more successful than military approaches and less likely to foment a new generation of violent extremists. However, problems remain.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Shantanu Chakrabarti
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, University of Calcutta
  • Abstract: On 18th July 2010, in one of the deadliest single terrorist strikes in Iraq this year, nearly forty three persons were killed and many were left seriously injured. The prime target of the latest terror strike were the members of the so called 'Sunni Awakening' Movement, consisting of motley groups of Sunni tribesmen of Iraq who have been recruited and used by the US army and the Iraqi administration as vigilante groups to target the insurgency groups and Al Qaeda operatives within the country since 2006. Similar Shiite vigilante groups have also been propped up in Iraq primarily to target Shiite insurgency groups like the Al Mahdi. Though such terror strikes in conflict ridden Iraq and Afghanistan have almost become incidents of everyday occurrence, the recent attack signifies another ominous trend- the American efforts to extend their version of a privatized counterinsurgency war, oblivious to the associated dangers and long term implications in areas where such strategy is being implemented.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Bryan Groves
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: The lead up to the Iraq War and its conduct has highlighted significant differences in traditional perspectives, capabilities, and methods. While terrorism has been America's central fixation since 9/11, Europe still sees terrorism as one of several important threats today, with proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, failed states, regional conflicts, and organized crime among other top tier threats. The U.S. possesses a comparative advantage in intelligence gathering and kinetic strike cabability. This military strength has enabled the U.S. to favor it as its top tool in waging its global war on terrorism (GWOT). On the other hand, Europe's tendency toward employment of troops for nation-building and peacekeeping missions is in line with its strengths and its preferences. Europe countries also favour an extensive consensus building period of diplomatic maneuvering to establish a widely accepted multilateral response to threats, America under the current administration, however, has insisted on remaining.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Brian Fishman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Al-Qa`ida in Iraq (AQI) is a shadow of its former self, primarily because broad sectors of Iraq's Sunni population rejected it after more than three years of active and tacit cooperation. Anger over AQI's brutal radicalism infused the Sunni backlash against jihadists, but AQI also made two fundamental strategic overreaches that exacerbated its alienation from Sunnis in Iraq. First, it incited a sectarian backlash from Iraqi Shi'a without the means to defend Iraq's Sunnis from the onslaught it provoked. Second, AQI created a formal political entity, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), to dominate Iraq after a U.S. withdrawal without adequate support from Iraq's Sunni population.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Hassan Mneimneh
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: September 11, 2001, marked the coming to the fore of the “jihadist international,” a loosely connected movement of militant and terrorist groups worldwide with a common ideology and increasingly shared tactics and methods. While such groups still have limited recruitment potential eight years on, they have inflicted substantial physical damage and have forced free societies to take costly precautionary measures. Perhaps most alarming, the global jihadist movement has continued simultaneously to feed off of and perpetuate the growing radicalization that Muslim culture has endured over the last few decades.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: William D. Anderson, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: With the United States currently engaged in difficult and taxing counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, renewed emphasis has been focused upon the country's cap abilities and priorities vis - à - vis this type of warfare. Within the military, the Air Force has been especially and increasingly criticized for being too enamored with a Cold - War era conventionally minded force structure and for not shifting aggressively to meet the threats of COIN - style conflicts that many predict will be pervasive throughout the Global War on Terror.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Deborah Isser, Peter Van der Auweraert
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Iraq has experienced several waves of mass displacement over the last forty years that have left complex land and property crises in their wake. As security has improved and some of the nearly five million displaced Iraqis have begun to come home, resolution of these issues are at the fore of sustainable return.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Migration, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Middle East is broken. The structures and power balances put in place in the late 1970s and amended after the end of the Cold War are no longer. These structures and balances included a number of key elements. Israel was at peace with Egypt and Jordan and in an informal truce with Syria—hence the Arab–Israeli conflict was no longer pursued by any major contiguous state opponents of Israel. A weakened Palestinian movement had been chased out of Lebanon in 1982 and co-opted in the Oslo Accords of 1993. Syria's role in the region was recognized and its influence in Lebanon legitimized—indeed, after 1990, it was promoted to suzerainty. Iraq was bolstered in the 1980s by the United States as a buffer and counterbalance to revolutionary Iran, and later, throughout the 1990s, it was preserved but contained. Saudi Arabia helped manage the finances of this scheme and helped maintain Arab consensus when possible. And the United States saw out the end of Soviet influence in the region, secured a military foothold in the Gulf, and gained in political influence: first as a broker of Israeli–Egyptian peace in the late 1970s, then as the architect of a pro-Iraqi containment policy against revolutionary Iran in the 1980s, as the leader of an Arab and international coalition to liberate Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion in the early 1990s, and as the patron of another major peace initiative launched in the Madrid peace conference.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Linda J. Skitka, Peter Liberman
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: In January 2002 national survey data, we find a strong relationship between Americans' desire to avenge 9/11 and their bellicosity toward Iraq, even after controlling for the perceived terrorist threat, left right ideology, and approval of U.S. political leaders. This effect could have been due to suspicions of Iraqi complicity in 9/11 stemming from prior enemy images of Iraq, or to the effects of anger and desires for revenge on out-group antipathy, displaced blame, and optimistic assessment of war risks. We test the out group antipathy hypothesis and find evidence that anti-Arab and anti-Muslim antipathy partially mediated vengefulness's effect on bellicosity. Vengeance, in turn, was boosted by retributiveness (proxied by rightwing authoritarianism) and patriotism. While perceptions of the Iraqi threat probably assumed greater importance over the course of the following year, additional survey data shows that even as war approached, most supporters acknowledged it would satisfy a desire for revenge.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Christopher M. Schnaubelt
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: What a difference 30,000 additional troops and a new strategy make. A few years ago, Afghanistan was commonly viewed as the model of a successful intervention while many politicians, military analysts, and pundits believed that the war in Iraq was being irretrievably lost. Yet today— although conditions still have a long way to go before normalcy has been achieved—the progress in Iraq following “the surge” directed by President Bush in January 2007 is widely recognized. All the indicators of violence: attacks against Iraqi infrastructure and government organizations; small arms, mortar and rocket attacks, and casualties among Iraqi civilians, Iraqi Security Forces, and Coalition Forces have sharply declined since July 2007. The situation has gone from being generally perceived as on the brink of disaster to being a success story (albeit belated and costly).
  • Topic: NATO, Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Patrick Gaughen
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Even as U.S. operations to co-opt large elements of the Sunni insurgency and target irreconciliable al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters resulted in lower levels of violence during the summer, U.S. forces have simultaneously pursued rogue elements of Muqtada as-Sadr's Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM). These operations, often in collaboration with Iraqi Security Forces friendly to Sadr's main Shi'a rival, the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq (ISCI), took place within the broader context of a violent struggle between ISCI and the Sadrist Trend for supremacy within the Shi'a community, the lucrative income from control of the Shi'a shrines, and control of southern oil fields. This struggle has increasingly centered on the city of Diwaniyah, located in southern Iraq, approximately halfway between the capital of Baghdad and the southern port city of Basrah.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Syria
  • Author: Eric Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Coalition operations have significantly degraded the Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) network over the last year, particularly in central Iraq. One of the main successes was the dismantling of AQI's vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) network. As the VBIED network was rolled up, AQI shifted to conducting more suicide bombings. A major component of the suicide bombing network was located in the Baqubah-Khan Bani Saad corridor in Diyala province, which lies northeast of Baghdad. In January and February Coalition and Iraqi forces set about dismantling this network. This backgrounder details AQI's shift to suicide bombings and the operations to dismantle the Diyala suicide bombing network. A number of conclusions are draw about how AQI continues to operate throughout Iraq, the increasing capacity of the Iraqi army, and the relationship between kinetic and non-kinetic aspects of counterinsurgency.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Kimberly Kagan, Marisa Cochrane, Eric Hamilton, Farook Ahmed, Andrea So, Wesley Morgan
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Operations by Coalition and Iraqi Forces throughout 2007 have transformed the security situation in Iraq. Violence decreased dramatically in the second half of 2007. The number of enemy attacks in Iraq, the number of attacks against Iraqi civilians, and the number of murders in Baghdad, dropped to levels last seen in early 2006. The mission shift to an aggressive counterinsurgency strategy, with an emphasis on population security, which occurred in January 2007, solidified these gains more quickly than many had predicted. Unexpected developments, like the emergence of Awakening movements and the unilateral Sadrist ceasefire, further helped to accelerate the ground level improvements in security. By late 2007, Al-Qaeda in Iraq had been defeated in Anbar, and its network and safe havens in Baghdad and the belts were largely disrupted. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been steadily pushed north, into isolated pockets, often far from population centers. Coalition Forces have also aggressively targeted Shi'a militia extremists and Iranian-backed Special Groups, with encouraging results.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Eric Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: In the last year Coalition and Iraqi Forces and local Iraqi citizens made significant progress fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI was cleared from former areas of operation like Anbar and Baghdad and the organization became fragmented with its freedom of movement and ability to conduct operations reduced. Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-Iraq) recently released a series of maps illustrating these developments. These maps are presented and explained in this Backgrounder.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • 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: Richard E. Hartwig
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: After the events of 9/11/01, the United States rallied around President George W. Bush. An administration that was initially weak and semi-legiti-mate came to directly control the executive and legislative branches of government and gradually strengthen its influence over the judiciary. Bush and the Republican majority in Congress attained hegemony domestically as well as internationally. Having acquired the power to ignore the rules, they often proceeded to do so. A semi-idealistic “winning is everything” approach to foreign policy led the United States into a quagmire in Iraq. An unempirical “winning is everything” approach to domestic policy, which often distorts the rules (law, science, and standard economics) and ignores the “referees” (the GAO, the CBO, the IMF), has created potentially disastrous medium and long-term problems for the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: James Russell
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Like the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War of 1967, the U.S. invasion of Iraq is fundamentally reordering regional politics and security in ways that will be felt for a generation, if not longer.1 The Pandora's Box opened by the United States in Iraq adds a new level of unwelcome complexity to an already strained regional fabric. Threats to regional security stem from global, interstate, and intrastate sources. The complicated, multidimensional, and interrelated natures of these threats suggest that the United States must reassess strategy and policy if it is to protect and further its regional interests. The objective of this monograph is threefold: (1) deconstruct the threats to regional security and stability in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion; (2) determine whether U.S. strategy is tailored to the threat environment; and (3) suggest steps that can be taken to bring strategy and the environment into closer alignment.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Sheila Miyoshi Jager
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The wide-spread recognition of the need for cultural knowledge in counterinsurgency has been noted and actively promoted recently by the Department of Defense (DoD). General David H. Petraeus, commanding general of the Multi-National Force Iraq (MNF-I), has been at the vanguard of these efforts. As the commander of the 101st Airborne Division in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, he later took responsibility for governing Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. Relying on his experiences in Mosul, General Petraeus is currently in charge of a major new counterinsurgency effort in Iraq.
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Stephen D. Sklenka
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the interrelationship among national interests, stated ends, means to achieve those ends, and the strategies required to tie all of them together into a cohesive and effective vision for the commitment of U.S. forces. The introduction addresses the current U.S. debate regarding proposed actions in the Iraq War and postulates that the lack of true strategic discussion, particularly by our national leadership who instead prefer to focus on far less appropriate discussions such as tactics and techniques, inhibits the development of a comprehensive and effective overarching vision and ultimately is to blame for the setbacks that the U.S.-led coalition has experienced in Iraq. This lack of strategic foresight, however, is not surprising and has become endemic to American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. The fact that so much of U.S. post-Cold War foreign policy involves interventions merely exacerbates the difficulties a lack of strategic foresight engenders. The U.S. inability—or unwillingness—to connect strategic ends and appropriate means to accomplish clearly defined goals has occurred so often over the past 15 years that one could make a credible argument that it has become a disturbing and pervasive characteristic of the modern American way of war.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • 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
  • Author: Carl Conetta
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: The sympathy and support for the United States that surged worldwide in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks began to ebb as soon as US bombs began falling on Afghanistan. Supportive sentiments continued to recede through 2004, driven increasingly by the Iraq war and eventually settling at levels unseen since the early 1980s. The trend has temporarily reversed in some places at some times, either in response to hopeful news from Iraq (such as the December 2004 elections) or in reaction to local events (the November 2005 terrorist bombing in Jordan). Also, there are national exceptions to the trend (Israel) and partial exceptions (India). On balance, however, the United States today finds world opinion substantially at odds with its foreign policy and its leadership on most particulars.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Israel, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nearly four years after 9/11 , hardly a day passes without the "war on terrorism" making headlines, with Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia and now London holding centre stage. But away from the spot light, a quiet, dirty conflict is being waged in Somalia: in the rubble-strewn streets of the ruined capital of this state without a government, Mogadishu, al-Qaeda operatives, jihadi extremists, Ethiopian security services and Western-backed counter-terrorism networks are engaged in a shadowy and complex contest waged by intimidation, abduction and assassination. The U.S. has had some success but now risks evoking a backlash. Ultimately a successful counter-terrorism strategy requires more attention to helping Somalia with the twin tasks of reconciliation and state building.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Indonesia, Middle East, London, Somalia
  • Author: Karlyn H. Bowman
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Polls should not be used to make policy whether the issue is sending troops into battle or shoring up Social Security. They are too crude for that purpose. That said, policy makers need to be aware of what the public is thinking. That is what this collection is designed to do. We are very grateful for the cooperation the pollsters have given us in making the collection possible. The document is a work in progress. We began putting it together in late September 2001, and we have updated it almost every week, adding new sections as new issues have arisen. With 14 national pollsters in the field on a regular basis, the polling environment has become very competitive. The different ways that pollsters approach a topic and the responses they receive are often useful in understanding what Americans are thinking.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: George Perkovich, Joseph Cirincione, Jessica T. Mathews, Alexis Orton
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: If history is any guide, the war and subsequent occupation and reconstruction of Iraq will shape U.S. relations with the Arab world—and perhaps with the whole Muslim world—for decades, just as prior military occupations altered U.S. relations with Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. What happens in Iraq is also likely to profoundly affect whether and with what degree of effort and success states choose to work together to constrain the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The war and its aftermath will affect U.S. foreign relations, influence U.S. policies regarding future armed interventions, and alter the international struggle against terrorism. It is a massive understatement, then, to say that a great deal is at stake, on the ground in Iraq, around the world, and in the lessons for the future that will be drawn here at home.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Arabia, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Iraq war, Washington and Damascus have been locked in a dialogue of the deaf. U.S. policy has been reduced to a series of demands and threats. Syrian policy, with President Bashar still struggling to formulate and implement a coherent strategy, has been mainly wait-and-see – offering a few concessions and hoping to weather the storm while refusing to relinquish what it sees as trump cards (support for Hizbollah and radical Palestinian groups) so long as the conflict with Israel continues. Despite the current deadlock, however, the current regional situation presents an opportunity for an intensive, U.S.-led diplomatic effort to revive the Israeli-Syrian peace process and thereby achieve significant changes in Syrian policy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Israel, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Michaela C. Hertkorn
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: A declaration on NATO transformation of October 6, 2002 stated the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) needed to be “capable of taking action whenever the security of its members was threatened, upon the basis of the United Nations Charter. By making it clear that there is no safe haven for those who would threaten our societies or for those who would harbor such people” the deterrent element of Alliance strategy was strengthened. The North Atlantic Council should decide actions on a case-by-case basis. Where NATO as a whole was not engaged, allies willing to take action should be able to make use of NATO assets, procedures and practices. The declaration stressed high priority goals essential to the full range of Alliance missions including the defense against terrorism. This new initiative was to be based on firm national commitments with specific target dates. National commitments should be made transparent for parliamentary monitoring and oversight. Priority should be given to projects maximizing multi-nationality, and which had the potential to become common NATO assets. NATO and European Union capabilities initiatives needed to be mutually reinforced and thoroughly harmonized through permanent co-ordination mechanisms and procedures in a spirit of openness. NATO should redouble its efforts to reduce the fragmentation of defense procurement efforts through the pooling of military capabilities, co-operative acquisition of equipment and common funding. It should reduce to a minimum the obstacles for the sharing of technology. The alliance had to be able to act wherever NATO' s interests were threatened, creating coalitions under NATO' s own mandate, as well as contributing to mission-based coalitions, concerning both, old and new threats. NATO General Secretary, Lord Robertson referred to the experience NATO had with post-conflict stabilization, as in Kosovo and Macedonia. On October 8, 2002 Robertson declared, an enormous number of security issues on the Euro-Atlantic agenda required the greatest possible communication and coordination among Europeans and North Americans. The November 2002 Prague Summit would be a transforming event for the Alliance. It covered a wide range from terrorism, NATO' s military command arrangements and headquarters structure, to a further development of Partnership. The most visible issues referred to enlargement and improvements to NATO' s military capabilities. The question of capabilities concerned the member countries of NATO and of the European Union (EU). Because each nation had only one set of forces, it was necessary to make the best use possible of the scarce resources, avoiding duplication and overlaps. The message was very clear: the European Capabilities Action Plan and NATO' s Prague Capabilities Commitment needed to be coherent. Work in full transparency on capabilities issues was imperative, if EUNATO impasse was to be avoided or ended.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Kosovo, Germany, United Nations, Macedonia
  • 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
  • Author: Karlyn H. Bowman
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Polls should not be used to make policy whether the issue is sending troops into battle or shoring up Social Security. They are too crude for that purpose. That said, policy makers need to be aware of what the public is thinking. That is what this collection is designed to do. We are very grateful for the cooperation the pollsters have given us in making this collection possible. The document is a work in progress. We began putting it together in late September 2001, and we have updated it weekly, adding new sections as new issues have arisen. With 14 national pollsters in the field on a regular basis, the polling environment has become very competitive. The different ways that pollsters approach a topic and the responses they receive are often useful in understanding what Americans are thinking.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Palestine
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Currently, the United States relies on conventional bunker-busting bombs—such as the GBU-28, which was used in both Afghanistan and Iraq—to destroy hardened, underground targets. Legislation is pending in Congress that would provide funding for research—but not engineering or development—for low-yield, earth-penetrating nuclear weapons for targets that cannot be destroyed by conventional bunker busters.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The massive car bomb in Najaf on 29 August 2003, which took the lives of over 90 Iraqis, including the prominent cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, has put renewed focus on the fate of the country's Shiites. The attack comes in the wake of the attempted killing of other prominent clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Saed Al-Tabatab'i al-Hakim, al-Hakim's uncle. Although it is too soon to assign blame, it is not too soon to assess potential consequences: a heightened sense of insecurity; anger, directed both at the former regime and at the current occupiers; intensified intra-Shiite rivalry; and a growing risk of sectarian conflict as militias loyal to different groups vie for control.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The horrific bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003 has focused renewed attention on the question of who, if anyone, is capable of governing Iraq in the current highly volatile environment and, in particular, on what ought to be the respective roles, during the occupation period, of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the Interim Governing Council and the United Nations. This report proposes a new distribution of authority between the three - potentially acceptable to the United States, the wider international community and the majority of Iraqis - which would enable Iraq's transitional problems, including the critical issue of security, to be much more effectively addressed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda M. Gerber
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The United States, the United Kingdom, and other nations claim that Iraq poses an imminent threat to international security because it has weapons of mass destruction and operational connections to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell asserted in his presentation to the Security Council on 5 February that Iraq has made no effort to disarm and is concealing efforts to redevelop weapons of mass destruction. Powell restated old allegations that the United States had made prior to the 8 November passage of Resolution 1441. He presented new intelligence about Iraqi efforts to conceal its weapons capabilities, and he reiterated previous information about the likely existence of chemical and biological agents from the 1990s, but he did not prove that there is a grave new threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Nor did he show a link between Iraq and September 11, or an operational connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda M. Gerber, Karl Shelly
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The U.S. and other governments contend that the United Nations disarmament process in Iraq is not working, but an objective analysis shows that significant steps toward compliance have occurred. This report lists Iraqi efforts to cooperate with UN inspections while also identifying areas of inadequate compliance. The report also reviews the compliance mandates of Security Council Resolution 1441, notes whether Iraq has complied, and assesses Iraq's overall level of compliance.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: William D. Hartung
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The Bush administration's war on terrorism and its proposed military intervention in Iraq have sparked the steepest increases in military and security spending in two decades. Since September 11, 2001, the federal government has approved over $110 billion in increased military spending and military aid. Spending on national defense is slated to reach $399 billion in the Fiscal Year 2004 budget, and to rise to over $500 billion annually by the end of this decade. These vast sums do not include the costs of the ongoing war in Afghanistan or a war with Iraq. Steven Kosiak of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments estimates that only 5 to 10 percent of the Fiscal Year 2003 Pentagon budget is being set aside for anti-terror activities and homeland security.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Peter Van Ness, Hugh White, Stuart Harris, Amin Saikal, Peter C. Gration
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: What curious path has brought us to this point? Just over a year ago, terrorists from the amorphous transnational Al Qaeda network killed thousands of Americans and other nationals by flying planes into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington, and a field in Pennsylvania. Today, the United States is preparing to launch a war against the state of Iraq, emphasising the grave and imminent danger posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, but animated also by a long-standing goal of 'regime change'. What explains this 'statising' of the so-called 'war against terrorism'? What risks does it pose for regional and world order?
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the June 2000 summit meeting and meetings between high level U.S. and North Korean officials on the one hand, and economic turmoil and continued food shortages on the other, we believe North Korea remains committed to maintaining strong military forces. These forces continue to be deployed close to the border with South Korea in an offensively oriented posture, and North Korea's NBC and missile programs likely remain key components of its overall security strategy. The most likely large- scale regional war scenario over the near term, which would involve the United States, would be on the Korean peninsula. In recent years, North Korea has continued to pose a complex security challenge to the United States and its allies. Prior to the 1994 Agreed Framework, North Korea is believed to have produced and diverted sufficient plutonium for at least one, and possibly two, nuclear weapons. In addition, although North Korea froze the production of plutonium in 1994, there are concerns that North Korea is continuing with some elements of a nuclear weapons program. North Korea also possesses stockpiles of chemical weapons, which could be used in the event of renewed hostilities on the peninsula. Research and development into biological agents and toxins suggest North Korea may have a biological weapons capability. North Korea has hundreds of ballistic missiles available for use against targets on the peninsula, some of which are capable of reaching tar-gets in Japan. Its missile capabilities are increasing at a steady pace, and it has progressed to producing medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs). North Korea also has continued development of even longer-range missiles that would be able to threaten areas well beyond the region, including portions of the continental United States. As a result of U.S. diplomatic efforts, however, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has maintained a moratorium on launches of long-range missiles for over one year.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Korea
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Middle East is the scene of an ongoing process of proliferation. Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, and Syria all have significant capabilities to deliver weapons of mass destruction Israel, and Syria has made considerable progress in acquiring weapons of mass destruction since the mid-1970s. Syria has never shown a serious interest in nuclear weapons, although it did seek to buy two small research reactors from the PRC in 1992, including a 24-megawatt reactor, and purchased a small 30-kilowatt research reactor from the PRC in 1991. It allowed inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency for the first time in February 1992. Syria does, however, deploy sheltered missiles, armed with chemical warheads, as a means of both countering Israel's nuclear forces and maintaining its rivalry with Iraq. As the attached article Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Mustafa Tlas shows, Syria has a major interest in biological warfare, and the fact his article first appeared in public in an Iranian journal may not entirely be a coincidence.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Libya, Syria, Egypt