Showing posts with label Important Papers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Important Papers. Show all posts

5 November 2017

BEYOND THE CALIPHATE: FOREIGN FIGHTERS AND THE THREAT OF RETURNEES


As the so-called Islamic State (IS) loses territorial control of its caliphate, there is little doubt that the group or something similar will survive the worldwide campaign against it. As long as the conditions that allowed the group to exist in the first place remain, IS or something like it will survive. The threat will mutate…






18 August 2017

A Short History of Biological Warfare: From Pre-History to the 21st Century

Download 


This monograph examines the history of biological warfare and related weapons development programs. The three sections of the paper focus on 1) the period between prehistory and 1900, highlighting how resort to biological warfare in this era was rare; 2) the years from 1900 through 1945, which saw the emergence of state biological weapons programs, the most significant use of such weapons and initial international efforts to control them; and 3) biological weapon development during the Cold War and uses of biological agents by state and non-state actors up to the present day.

2 August 2017

The Quiet Decade: In the Aftermath of the Second Lebanon War, 2006-2016


This collection of essays focuses on the Lebanon War, which broke out on 12 July 2006, and its impact on Israel and Lebanon. Some of the topics covered include 1) changes in the strategic environment in Lebanon and the Middle East prior to 2006; 2) Israel's strategic approach to the war; 3) the perception of the conflict in the US; 4) the lessons the Israel Defense Forces learned from the war; 5) media discourse about the war in Israel between 2006 and 2016; 6) the political environment in Lebanon over the last decade; 7) what another Israeli war against Lebanon could look like, and more.

9 July 2017

Big Data: A Twenty-First Century Arms Race


We are living in a world awash in data. Accelerated interconnectivity, driven by the proliferation of internet-connected devices, has led to an explosion of data—big data. A race is now underway to develop new technologies and implement innovative methods that can handle the volume, variety, velocity, and veracity of big data and apply it smartly to provide decisive advantage and help solve major challenges facing companies and governments.

For policy makers in government, big data and associated technologies like machine-learning and artificial Intelligence, have the potential to drastically improve their decision-making capabilities. How governments use big data may be a key factor in improved economic performance and national security. This publication looks at how big data can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of government and business, while minimizing modern risks. Five authors explore big data across three cross-cutting issues: security, finance, and law.

Chapter 1

In Chapter 1, “The Conflict Between Protecting Privacy and Securing Nations,” Els de Busser, a senior lecturer and senior researcher at The Hague University’s Centre of Expertise Cyber Security, explains the conflicts between the data privacy and protection laws that apply to law enforcement and intelligence agencies versus those that apply to commercial entities in the private sector. The increasing localization of privacy laws has placed strain on cross-border data flows, both for law enforcement and for economic monitors. Exacerbating the problem is the different legal approaches taken in Europe and the United States, with the former tending to adopt more holistic legal frameworks, while the latter adopts more sector-specific frameworks.

8 July 2017

Ideology in the Afghan Taliban: A new AAN report

Anand Gopal and Alex Strick van Linschoten
The full report can be downloaded here.

Kherqa-ye Sharif (the shrine of the Holy Cloak) in Kandahar. The cloak belonged to the Prophet Muhammad and was displayed to a crowd by Mullah Omar when he was declared amir ul-mumenin in the spring of 1996.

The Taleban’s ideology has transformed over the past two decades. While the movement once typified a ‘traditionalist’ Islam – that is, it sought to articulate and defend a particular concept of Islam found in southern Pashtun villages – it is now, in its insurgency phase, closer to forms of political Islam espoused in the Arab world. This does not mean that the Taleban are less conservative or authoritarian, rather that the objects of their repression and the way they frame their mission have shifted in important ways. In a major new report, AAN guest authors Anand Gopal and Alex Strick van Linschoten examine the changes as well as the continuity in the Taleban’s ideology from the 1980s to the present day. The report is the product of years of interviews, fieldwork in Afghanistan, as well as their time working with the Taliban Sources Projectarchive, a significant collection of documents relating to the Taleban movement.

18 June 2017

Parameters - Spring 2017 - Now Online

BEYOND THE CALIPHATE: ISLAMIC STATE ACTIVITY – INSPIRED OR LINKED – OUTSIDE OF THE GROUP’S DEFINED WILAYAT


This project documents and identifies activity linked to and inspired by the Islamic State outside of the territory it claims as part of its physical Caliphate. In doing so, the project seeks to provide insights into how the influence, operational reach, and capabilities of the Islamic State are changing in certain locales over time.

To provide a nuanced analysis of the group’s operational activity, the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) has created a database that categorizes different indicators of such activity (see methodology overview here for details). The temporal starting point for the data collection is June 2014, when the group’s Caliphate was officially created. Since that point in time, CTC researchers have collected open-source data regarding the Islamic State’s operational activity in select locations outside of the physical territory claimed by the group.

As collection and analysis continues, the CTC plans to release a number of short country and regional reports that leverage the data CTC has collected. All releases will be available on this page.

17 June 2017

India’s ‘Look East’ – ‘Act East’ Policy: Hedging as a Foreign Policy Tool

Download PDF (0.84 Mb)
Olli Ruohomaki

Against the backdrop of an evolving strategic context in the Asia-Pacific region, competition is mounting between India and China in the realms of both security and trade. While the US’s relative influence in the region is declining and China is rapidly ascending as an increasingly assertive regional power, India is seeking to redefine its geostrategic posture.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Look East’ – ‘Act East’ policy confirms a shift away from India’s traditional focus on creating spheres of influence in its immediate neighbourhood.

India’s Eastward focus seeks to establish external security and trade-related cooperation with third countries through the formation of so-called strategic partnerships, in an effort to balance a rising China. Examples of these increasingly important bilateral ties include partnership agreements with ASEAN, Australia, South Korea and, no less importantly, Japan.

At the same time, India’s policy can be seen as part of a hedging strategy, as it also entails engagement and cooperation mechanisms with China. India has been engaging China economically, and a partnership with the latter can be put into action in terms of enhancing connectivity, which is the enduring purpose of India’s ‘Look East’ – ‘Act East’ agenda.

16 June 2017

MUSTAFA DOSSA, ABU SALEM CONVICTED IN 93' SERIAL BLASTS CASE


Key mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai blasts case Mustafa Dossa and extradited gangster Abu Salem were today convicted by a special TADA court here.

While Dossa was convicted on charges of conspiracy and murder under various sections of the IPC besides offences under the TADA Act, the Arms Act and the Explosives Act, Salem was found guilty of transporting weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai ahead of the blasts.

He had also handed over to actor Sanjay Dutt-- who was an accused in the case for illegally possessing weapons-- AK 56 rifles, 250 rounds and some hand grenades at his residence on January 16, 1993. Two days later on January 18, 1993 Salem and two others went to Dutt's house and got back two rifles and some rounds.

Earlier, the court had dropped certain charges against Salem in 2013 after the investigating agency --CBI-- moved a plea, saying those charges were against the extradition treaty between India and Portugal.

THE BACKGROUND TO THE FIRST EVER VISIT TO ISRAEL BY AN INDIAN PRIME MINISTER

by Efraim Inbar

Efraim Inbar, Founding Director of Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, explains that “The two nations share a common threat: the radical offshoots of Islam in the greater Middle East.” 

Free Download: PDF

Promoting U.S.-Indian Defense Cooperation: Opportunities and Obstacles

Authored by Dr. Richard Weitz.

The U.S.-Indian security relationship has markedly improved since the Cold War with increased cooperation in a range of areas. The two countries have established stronger military, economic, and political ties based on mutual interests in combating terrorism, promoting democracy, preventing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation, and addressing China’s rise. Their bilateral defense engagements now include a range of dialogues, exercises, educational exchanges, and joint training opportunities. The partnership benefits both countries, enabling them to realize their core security goals. Yet, U.S. and Indian national security leaders must take new steps to ensure that the relationship realizes its potential.

Download Format: PDF

If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists?

Margarita Mayo

The research is clear: when we choose humble, unassuming people as our leaders, the world around us becomes a better place.

Humble leaders improve the performance of a company in the long run because they create more collaborative environments. They have a balanced view of themselves – both their virtues and shortcomings – and a strong appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, while being open to new ideas and feedback. These “unsung heroes” help their believers to build their self-esteem, go beyond their expectations, and create a community that channels individual efforts into an organized group that works for the good of the collective.

For example, one study examined 105 small-to-medium-sized companies in the computer software and hardware industry in the United Studies. The findings revealed that when a humble CEO is at the helm of a firm, its top management team is more likely to collaborate and share information, making the most of the firm’s talent.

15 June 2017

Today, truth comes at a cost.

FP Premium subscribers receive: 
Unlimited content on foreignpolicy.com 
FP Mobile App — See the latest story and launch it right from your today screen, share stories to Twitter, Facebook, and other apps, star a story to read it later, and more… 
Exclusive never before available access to the FP Print Archive — Search and browse 47 years of award-winning FP content. 
FP Insights — Your window to the world, FP Insights surfaces the important topics and people at any given moment or over time, from thousands of sources from around the world… adding even more value to FP’s great coverage of global affairs. 
Foreign Policy Magazine – Both the print & digital replica editions, delivered to your mailbox & inbox… 

All yours for about a quarter a day!

19 May 2017

Perspectives on Terrorism, Volume 11, Issue 2 (2017)

Download 
The contributions in this issue of Perspective on Terrorism focus on 1) the shifting content and style of two prominent extremist magazines (Dabiq and Rumiyah); 2) managing non-state threats, specifically by relying on cumulative deterrence-by-denial; 3) tracking radical opinions in US Muslim polls; 4) gauging the ambiguous effect of population size on the prevalence of terrorism; and 5) reviewing the pioneering, Saudi Arabian-based online counter-radicalization campaign known as ‘Sakinah’.

8 May 2017

Afghanistan: The Future of the National Unity Government


This report investigates the troubled efforts by the National Unity Government (NUG) to secure political stability in Afghanistan. The country’s problems include 1) the NUG itself, which is beset with internal disagreements and discord; 2) a host of stubborn political and constitutional tensions; and 3) knife-edged political partisanship.

Cybersecurity Challenges in the Middle East


This text examines the cyber stability challenges now facing the Middle East, specifically in four areas – economics; cybercrime; education and the internet gender gap; and cyber terrorism and nuclear security threats. In light of the deficiencies that exist in each of these areas, the paper’s author ultimately calls for additional cyber-legislation, better ICT education, and strengthened defenses against cyber-based threats.

7 May 2017

Rolling Back the Islamic State

by Seth G. Jones, James Dobbins

What are the Islamic State's ideology and objectives? 

What possible strategies and primary instruments of power should the United States and its allies employ against it? 

What specific steps should be taken to defeat and prevent the reemergence of the Islamic State in the countries where it controls territory and population, such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and Nigeria? 

What other steps should be taken around the globe to counter the Islamic State's capacity to recruit fighters, raise funds, orchestrate a propaganda campaign, and inspire and direct attacks? 

The Islamic State is a byproduct of the 2003 American intervention in Iraq and the subsequent American departure in 2011. At its peak in late 2014, the group held more than 100,000 square kilometers of territory with a population of nearly 12 million, mostly in Iraq and Syria. Beginning in 2015, the Islamic State began to lose territory as it faced increasingly effective resistance. Still, the Islamic State continues to conduct and inspire attacks around the world. This report assesses the threat the Islamic State poses to the United States and examines four possible strategies to counter the group: disengagement, containment, rollback "light" (with a reliance on local forces backed by U.S. special operations forces, Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence assets, and airpower), and rollback "heavy" (adding the employment of American conventional forces in ground combat). The authors conclude that the United States should pursue a light rollback strategy. They also recommend additional steps, such as rebalancing counterterrorism efforts to address grievances, loosening restrictions on U.S. military operations, increasing U.S. military posture in Africa, and tightening restrictions in the Islamic State's internet access.

29 April 2017

SRI LANKA SUFFERS FROM CHINA’S INDIAN OCEAN STRATEGY

by Shiyana Gunasekara


Shiyana Gunasekara, former Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka, explains that “This should be of particular concern to India, since China has used the Colombo South Container Terminal to dock submarines, as opposed to the Sri Lanka Port Authority’s mooring designated for military vessels." 

28 April 2017

USIP’s Work on the ISIS Threat


As a U.S.-led international coalition helps local forces recapture most of the territory once seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the two countries face underlying conflicts and sectarian tensions that continue to fuel cycles of violence and extremism. At the same time, as many as 31,000 foreign fighters—from 86 countries on five continents—have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS and other extremist organizations, and some are heading home. Meanwhile, ISIS has gained a foothold in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere. Cementing military gains and curbing extremist violence requires long-term stabilization based on political settlements, social reconciliation, and improved governance. 
USIP's Work 

The U.S. Institute of Peace has operated on the ground in Iraq since 2003 and in Afghanistan since 2002, as well as in Libya, Nigeria, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. As a small, agile institution, USIP works with local leaders and the U.S. government, including the military, to stabilize areas devastated by ISIS, end cycles of revenge, and address the root causes of radicalization, including corrupt and abusive governance. USIP has had impact in: 

Sustaining the Peace. USIP and its local partners provide advice and training to strengthen the ability of community and national leaders to resolve their own conflicts without violence. 
In Iraq, teams of mediators have facilitated, with cooperation from officials in Baghdad, starting in 2007 during an earlier insurgency in Mahmoudiyah, and more recently in Bartella, Tikrit, Yathrib, and Hawija. A 2015 agreement in Tikrit allowed more than 300,000 people to return to their homes, and the mediation methods developed are being applied elsewhere, including near Mosul.