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  • Author: Robert Sedgwick
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: A brief overview and timeline examining the origins and trajectory of the little known terror group that was initially shunned and finally disowned by al-Qaeda as it developed into the world's most feared militant Muslim organization.
  • Topic: Islam, Post Colonialism, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency, ISIS, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Mark E. Clark
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: CIAO: There has been considerable discussion lately among analysts of U.S. foreign policy on the insurgency in Iraq. Although you have not dealt with the local insurgents or foreign fighters operating in Iraq, previously you managed to observe up close the preparations made by Serbian nationalist groups in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and by Yugoslav military, security services, and Serbian nationalist paramilitary groups in the Kosovo-Metohija province of Serbia for long-term insurgencies against the U.S. and NATO. Using that expertise, and your knowledge of events in Iraq, could you share some thoughts on the insurgency in Iraq?
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Middle East, Arabia, Kosovo, Serbia
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: Neoconservative supporters of President Bush are supposedly fond of the notion that, while Baghdad is for "men," "real men" go to Tehran. But are there larger implications of this notion beyond the swagger implied? What is the link between the war in Iraq and future US policy toward Iran? Is the war in Iraq perceived in neoconservative -- or "Vulcan" -- circles as a mere stepping stone to a confrontation with Iran? Where do Iraq and Iran fit into the larger historical framework of US interests in the Persian Gulf?
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Tehran
  • Author: Mark Edmond Clark
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: In 1999, I visited Belgrade one month before the start of Operation ALLIED FORCE as a guest of the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hear the perspectives of key officials on the possibility of a conflict between Yugoslavia and NATO. I heard a singular perspective that NATO would not use force and threats to do so were used only to get the regime of Slobodan Milosevic to respond to diplomatic efforts by the US and EU. There was simply a refusal to recognize that the threat of attack from NATO was real.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Sean Costigan, Adam Mausner, Siheun Song
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: One year into the occupation of Iraq the United States and its Coalition partners remain in discussions over the country's fate. The deliberations have generally focused on the involvement of the United Nations, the schedule for handing over sovereignty to a democratic Iraqi government, and ultimately what the Iraqi government should resemble. The terms of the debate have regularly been sidelined by unforeseen events, including the recent rebellion in Fallujah, Shiite opposition in the south, grandstanding by local politicians, demagoguery, defection of Iraqi police and security forces and the wavering of Coalition partners, to name but a few. While progress is clearly being made in some areas, there are numerous signs that Iraq may not be ready for the June 30 transition of power. The top U.S. administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, has suggested that by June 30 Iraqi security forces simply will not be up to the task of defending against insurgents. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is more optimistic and remains committed to the June 30 deadline.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, United Nations
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan, M. James Wilkinson
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council has, in the words of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “come to a fork in the road . . . (that) may be a moment no less decisive than 1945.”i The US Administration precipitated the crisis when, unable to secure Council approval for using armed force against Iraq, it fashioned its own “coalition of the willing” and drove Saddam Hussein from power. The events surrounding the US action and its aftermath have spawned a vigorous debate over President Bush's policies and whether the Security Council in its present -- or any other -- form can play a serious role henceforth in the quest to ensure international peace and security.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mark Edmond Clark
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: In your estimation, what would it take to get organized crime in Southeastern Europe under control? Mark Clark: A successful fight against organized crime typically would require the successful change of culture in the society in which it exists. Organized crime groups maintain their control by creating and maintaining an environment of fear within the societies that they operate. Practically as a prerequisite, they must possess the capacity to kill and commit other acts of extreme violence against friend and foe alike. To that extent, history would show that few in any society have had the strength to stand up against them. However, organized crime also survives often because the society in which it exists, accepts it. In the Balkans, peoples of the different ethnic groups have typically lived in rural communities, based on agrarian economies, and for the most part have been isolated and provincial, with little interest in making dramatic transformations regarding the place of organized crime. In the cosmopolitan cities and areas of almost each state, organized crime has also developed real influence. Perhaps a cause for that might be the successive migrations to the cities and towns, thereby assuring that there would always be segments of the population that accepted organized crime and would welcome the goods and services criminal groups could provide.
  • Topic: Security, Government, International Law
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ehsan Ahrari
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The lone superpower has become the sole recipient of world criticism as well as praise and envy. According to a recent survey issued by the Pew Research Center, “Images of the United States have been tarnished in all types of nations: among longtime NATO allies, in developing countries, in Eastern Europe, and, most dramatically in Muslim societies.” That is the price of excellence. If others cannot be as good as you, the least they can do is admire and emulate you. The United States is criticized, and even hated in some regions, but the overriding variable is the global feeling of envy toward it. The survey underscores that the leadership of the superpower is an established phenomenon, at least for now, while its negative image continues to linger.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Michaela C. Hertkorn
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: “There is the perception that, while France is a complicated country, but not posing a problem, Germany is not a complicated case, but can pose a problem.” ”America and Germany will never drift apart. We have never been closer. Any tensions are simply due to 'Reibungsverluste durch Nähe'. It is a relationship of grown up kids with their parents.
  • Topic: NATO, International Organization
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Richard W. Bulliet, Fawaz A. Gerges
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: For several months prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, a videotape calling Muslims to a holy war against forces described as Crusaders and Jews circulated underground in the Arab world. Produced on behalf of Osama bin Laden and prominently featuring his image, words, and ideas, the tape is designed to recruit young Arab men to journey to Afghanistan and train for a war in defense of Islam.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Government, International Cooperation, International Law, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Middle East, Arabia