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  • Author: Robert Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: U.S. Army Colonel Robert E. Hamilton is a Black Sea Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and is a professor in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College. He has served as a strategic war planner and country desk officer at U.S. Central Command, as the Chief of Regional Engage- ment for Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, and as the Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Georgia and as the Deputy Chief of the Security Assistance Office at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan. Colonel Hamilton was a U.S. Army War College fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, where he authored several articles on the war between Russia and Georgia and the security situation in the former Soviet Union. Colonel Hamilton holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Virginia. Colonel Robert Hamilton spoke with The Fletcher Security Review in early November 2017 at Fletcher’s Religion, Law and Diplomacy Conference. The following conversation is an excerpt from their extensive interview.
  • Topic: Security, Conflict, Syrian War, Identities, Interview
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: C. Nna-Emeka Okereke, Syed Huzaifah Bin Othman Alkaff, Abdul Basit
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The continuing terrorist attacks in the West and different parts of Asia and Africa underscore the resilience, adaptability and regenerative nature of the prevailing global terrorist threat. With these attacks, the contours of the post-IS threat environment are now becoming increasing clear. It entails four major issues: a decentralised threat landscape, the challenge of returning foreign fighters from Iraq and Syria, the emergence of new IS hotspots in the Philippines, Afghanistan and parts of Africa, and cyber radicalisation. This requires continued vigilance, collaborative responses and sharing of best practices between security institutions and intelligentsia. In the context of continuing terrorist threat, the massacre of over 500 civilians in Eastern Ghouta in Syria by the Bashar Al-Assad regime is concerning for several reasons. The brutal use of violence will continue to fuel jihadist recruitment, strengthen the extremist narrative and create space for IS-linked and other militant groups to survive. Whether it is Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan, the absence of conflict stabilisation has undermined counter-terrorism efforts in these war-torn territories. The imagery of civilian killings in Ghouta plays right into the hands of groups like Al-Qaeda and IS as these groups continue to be the by-products of anarchy and lawlessness in active conflict zones. Against this backdrop, the first article by Abdul Basit explores the urban footprint of pro-IS jihadists in South Asia. The author observes that the dissemination of IS ideology of Jihadi-Takfiri-Salafism has galvanised a new generation of South Asia jihadists, which is narrowly sectarian, brutally violent and tech savvy. This pro-IS generation of jihadists uses various social media platforms for propaganda dissemination, recruitment and operational planning. In recent months, they have moved from open-end to encrypted social media applications. This development coupled with their segregated cell-formations makes their detection challenging. In conclusion, the author suggests that in addition to robust social media monitoring capabilities and operational preparedness, various South Asia governments would also require robust counter-ideological responses to overcome and neutralise IS appeal in this generation of South Asia jihadists. Highlighting the threat from social media, Syed Huzaifah Bin Othman Alkaff examines the trajectory of online radicalisation of a young Filipino girl, whose quest to atone herself from a ‘sinful’ past life exposed her to IS-recruiters online. The recruiters encouraged her to undertake the so-called ‘hijra’, after which she emerged as the head of IS’ female wing in Marawi (Mindanao, Phillipines). Syed highlights the need for a proactive approach by the governments and mainstream Islamic scholars to impart correct interpretations of key Islamic concepts such as jihad, caliphate, hijra and takfir to Muslim youth. It is argued that these efforts will circumvent the exploitation of these concepts by violent-extremist groups. Departing from the discussion on Islamist terrorist groups, this issue carries an article by C. Nna-Emeka Okereke focusing on the dynamics of the current indigenous Anglophone (English-speaking population) crisis in Cameroon and the escalating violence between the community in the northwest and southwest and the government. The Anglophone community is resentful towards what is perceived to be their marginalisation and the erosion of their unique identity as a result of various government actions relating to issues such as the creation of a centralised state from a two-state federation, and status of the English language. A segment of the Anglophone community has resorted to violence to address its grievances, conducting arson attacks and bombings targeting schools, government and security personnel. The instability has resulted in the displacement of thousands of refugees into Nigeria and poses security challenges to the country as it goes into the Presidential elections, and to the entire Lake Chad Basin.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State, Political stability, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia, Middle East, East Asia, Philippines, North Africa, Syria, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Esra Cavusoglu
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf in 1971, started a new era in the region with new political order and new security map. Iran and Saudi Arabia emerged as the guardians of the status quo to be filling the power vacuum left by the British in behalf of the West. Britain adopted a new post-imperial role in the region along with new post-colonial foreign policy in the post-withdrawal context. British policy towards the regional security is analysed in this article with central focus on the shift emerged in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution in the British policy. After 1979, Iran, no longer a Western ally, has been defined as the major internal threat for the regional security following the major external threat of the Soviet expansion in the British foreign policy. This paper argues that the shift in the British policy came along with a sectarianist approach towards the region. The sectarianization emerged with the securitization of the Gulf based on “Iran threat” within the determinants of the Anglo-American alliance on the regional security. The sectarianist discourse adopted by the British foreign policy was employed as an effective tool of the securitization of the Gulf that was deepened during the regional conflicts, the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Ed Erickson, Christian H. Heller, T. J. Linzy, Mallory Needleman, Michael Auten, Anthony N. Celso, Keith D. Dickson, Jamie Shea, Ivan Falasca, Steven A. Yeadon, Joshua Tallis, Ian Klaus
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Advanced Military Studies
  • Institution: Marine Corps University Press, National Defense University
  • Abstract: There are a variety of reasons to study geopolitical rivalries, and analysts, officers, and politicians are rediscovering such reasons amid the tensions of the last several years. The best reason to study geopolitical rivalries is the simplest: our need to better understand how power works globally. Power not only recurs in human and state affairs but it is also at their very core. Today’s new lexicon—superpower, hyperpower, and great power—is only another reminder of the reality of the various ways that power manifests itself. Power protects and preserves, but a polity without it may be lost within mere decades. Keith D. Dickson’s article in this issue of MCU Journal, “The Challenge of the Sole Superpower in the Postmodern World Order,” illuminates how fuzzy some readers may be in their understanding of this problem; his article on postmodernism calls us to the labor of understanding and reasoning through the hard realities. Ed Erickson’s survey of modern power is replete with cases in which a grand state simply fell, as from a pedestal in a crash upon a stone floor. Modern Japan, always richly talented, rose suddenly as a world actor in the late nineteenth century, but the Japanese Empire fell much more quickly in the mid-twentieth century. A state’s power—or lack thereof—is an unforgiving reality. This issue of MCU Journal, with its focus on rivalries and competition between states, is refreshingly broad in its selection of factors—from competing for or generating power. Dr. Erickson recalls that Alfred Thayer Mahan settled on six conditions for sea power, all still vital. Other authors writing for this issue emphasize, by turns, sea power (Steven Yeadon, Joshua Tallis, and Ian Klaus); cyberpower (Jamie Shea); alliances (T. J. Linzy and Ivan Falasca); information (Dickson); and proxies (Michael Auten, Anthony N. Celso, and others).
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Islam, Terrorism, War, History, Power Politics, Military Affairs, European Union, Seapower, Cities, Ottoman Empire, Hybrid Warfare , Cyberspace, Soviet Union, Safavid Empire
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Lithuania, Georgia, North Africa, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Victoria Rodríguez Prieto
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: “The Global Strategy Foreign Policy and Security of the European Union” has triggered significant measures in comparison with previous framework, which was elaborated in 2003 and updated in 2008 by then High Representative J. Solana. Those measures aim to promote more security in response to all vulnerabilities which tests stability, especially in European neighbourhood. Likewise, new European response should be understood in the framework of Lisbon Treaty´s innovations. The latter have let European Union (EU) provide with a more ambitious action in tune with external context. Regarding European neighbourhood, changes in Southern but also Eastern regions remains as main concern. While this is true that major challenges are in the southern area due to civil war in Syria, failed-state Libya, presence of Daesh and other extremist groups in the area. Meanwhile, to the East, context has undergone in the last few years owing to the Ukrainian crisis but also the Belarus dictatorship headed by V. Lukashenko, high levels of corruption in Moldova, recent political and social riots in Armenia, non-changes in Azerbaijan or the increase violence in Nagorno-Karabakh region. New strategy seeks to address these challenges through measures based on a great reinforcement of European normative dimension. Concerning neighbouring states, principle of pragmatism and resilience are the most relevant. All this strengthens by principle of differentiation, co-ownership and more flexibility embedded in the recent revised ENP, which facilitates their implementation. Our main purpose lies in analyzing innovations’ global strategy with regard to the Eastern neighbouring states whose relations with EU are within the so-called Eastern Partnership. This article argues that, to a certain extent, those have a certain impact on Eastern Partnership. However, significant results will become more visible in the mid-long term.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, European Union, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Middle East
  • Author: Ches Thurber, Austin Bowman
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Ches Thurber is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. He was previously a research fellow at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism at the University of Chicago and at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His current book project, Strategies of Violence and Nonviolence in Revolutionary Movements, examines why political movements seeking to overthrow the state embrace strategies of either armed insurgency or civil resistance.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Non State Actors, Sectarianism, Social Movement, Conflict, Interview
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rand Quinn
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Despite a profound global impact over the first half of the twentieth century, polio is largely an afterthought throughout the developed world. Vaccines engineered in the late 1950s paved the way for a precipitous drop in global disease burden with the onset of the World Health Organization-led (WHO) Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) starting in 1988. Recent indicators of the program’s success include a declaration of eradication in India[1] and a teeteringly low infection rate in Nigeria;[2] two of the disease’s last bastions. This progress, however, has been notably stifled by the steady persistence of a wild poliovirus reservoir centered in northern Pakistan along the Afghanistan-Pakistan (Af-Pak) border. Throughout significant portions of recorded history this region’s volatility has been well-documented, including a currently sustained network for the training of terrorist fighters dating back to the period of the 1979 Afghan-Soviet War.[3] These networks serve to both attract fledgling radical jihadist recruits and supply fighters globally, markedly providing many of the transnational fighters taking part in the Syrian Civil War. Their movement in and out of the Af-Pak region has provided a major disease vector for poliovirus. The location of a terrorist network transit hub in by far the world’s largest remaining reservoir of wild poliovirus poses a major challenge for policymakers. Due to several factors, including a decline in healthcare infrastructure throughout the western world, the situation presents a legitimate epidemiological threat. However, the issue is more importantly an exemplar of the morphing nature of multidimensional threats, which are likely to become more prevalent in an era of globalization, failed states, and an inability to effectively address social issues amidst the threat of kinetic warfare...
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Health, Terrorism, World Health Organization, Infectious Diseases, Borders
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Asia, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Graeme Wood, Eli Stiefel
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Graeme Wood is a correspondent for The Atlantic. He was the 2015 - 2016 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is a lecturer in political science at Yale University. He was formerly a contributing editor to The New Republic and books editor of Pacific Standard. He was a reporter at The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh in 1999, then lived and wrote in the Middle East from 2002 to 2006. He has received fellowships from the Social Sciences Research Council (2002-2003), the South Asian Journalists Association (2009), the East-West Center (2009-2010), and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide (2013-2014). He has appeared many times on television and radio (CNN, ABC, BBC, MSNBC, et al.), was the screenwriter of a Sundance Official Selection (2010, short film), and led a Nazi-hunting expedition to Paraguay for a History Channel special in 2009.
  • Topic: Security, Non State Actors, Islamic State, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: A. Frolov
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: LAST SPRING, an event in the Arab world shocked everyone. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, the capital of Qatar, their ally. One of the smallest members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) was accused of supporting “anyone threat- ening the security and stability of the GCC whether as groups or individ- uals – via direct security work or through political influence ... and hos- tile media.” On June 5, 2017, the KSA, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt officially dis- continued diplomatic relations and all types of communication with Qatar. Later, they were joined by the Maldives, Mauritius and Mauretania. Jordan and Djibouti lowered the level of their diplomatic representations in Doha. Several African countries – Senegal, Niger and Chad – recalled their ambassadors. Kuwait and Oman, both GCC mem- bers, stayed away from the action. Later, the three initiators handed Doha a list of 13 demands to end a major Gulf crisis, insisting that Qatar should shut down the Al Jazeera network, close a Turkish military base and scale down ties with Iran. They gave Qatar 10 days to comply with the demands and agree to annu- al audits in the following 10 years.1 Qatar rejected this ultimatum as inter- ference in its sovereignty. Possible repercussions notwithstanding, what happened to Qatar can be described as a manifestation of the deeply rooted social and political changes in the Arab East caused by the color revolutions unfolding amid globalization, informatization, democratization, gradual destruction of the traditional values of Eastern societies, and the frantic efforts to find adequate answers to these challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Melanie Carina Schmoll
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Security and resources are closely linked together. To broaden the category of security from strictly military and defense issues to include energy and resource security is not a new idea. Ultimately, “security is what actors make it.“ This definition of securityis a wide ranging one and includes political and military aspects as well as societies and their developments including many actors and different levels and sectors – so called `units`. This wide definition is also useful for analysing the Levant region, which is currently undergoing a period of transformation. On the one hand, developments since 2010 have applied increasing pressure on the actors of the so called sub-Regional Security Complex (RSC) Levant. On the other hand, new development can be observed in the level of interdependence in the substitution of natural resources like water, gas and oil. Internal transformation of the region has occurred and will lead to a transition of the region. The impact on security dynamics with regard to energy and resources will have consequences for the entire Levant and beyond.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Mediterranean, Levant