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

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

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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.” 

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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.

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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

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19 May 2017

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

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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. 

27 April 2017

MAKING SENSE OF RUSSIAN HYBRID WARFARE: A BRIEF ASSESSMENT OF THE RUSSO–UKRAINIAN WAR

Maj. Amos C. Fox, Maj. Andrew J. Rossow

Russian warfare in the 21st century has ushered in a new paradigm—one in which states are in perpetual conflict with one another in a manner that best operates in the shadows. This model, known to Americans and most Westerners as hybrid warfare, is known to Russians as New Generation Warfare. Hybrid warfare, much like any nation’s or polity’s way of warfare, is

explicitly linked to the country from which it derives its power.


In the case of Russia, the hybrid warfare model seeks to operate along a spectrum of conflict that has covert action and overt combat as its bookends, with partisan warfare as the glue that binds the two ends together. This model seeks to capitalize on the weaknesses associated with nascent technology and therefore acts aggressively in new domains of war—such as cyber—while continuing to find innovative ways to conduct effective information warfare.

However, what is often lost in the discussion of the technological innovation of Russian hybrid warfare is that a conventional line of effort resides just below the surface. The Donbas campaign of the Russo–Ukrainian War (2014–present) highlights this idea. The Donbas campaign showcases innovations in Russian land warfare through the actions of Russian land forces—working in conjunction with separatist land forces—throughout the campaign. Most notably, these innovations include the development of the battalion tactical group (BTG)—a formation that possesses the firepower to punch at the operational level of war—coupled with a reconnaissance-strike model not seen on contemporary battlefields. Furthermore, the BTG and reconnaissance-strike model work in tandem to create siege warfare opportunities for the Russian and separatist forces, allowing them to generate high levels of destruction while operating beneath the notice of the international community.

22 April 2017

CTC Sentinel 10 (4)

Author 

Michael Knights, Alexander Mello, Paul Cruichshank, Assaf Moghadam, Aaron Y Zelin, Sean Yom, Katrina Sammour, (Editor: Paul Cruickshank) 


This edition of the CTC Sentinel looks at 1) the Islamic State’s continued efforts to defend Mosul; 2) the tactical, cost-benefit relationship between Iran and al-Qa`ida; 3) the latter group’s first successful international attack since 9/11, which targeted the el-Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia; and 4) the social and political dimensions of youth radicalization in Jordan. The journal also includes an interview with attorney Bernard Kleinman, who has defended high-profile individuals in terrorism cases, including Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Anas al-Libi.

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17 April 2017

CTC Sentinel | Volume 10, Issue 3 (March 2017)

Published by Combating Terrorism Center

COVER STORY OVERVIEW

In our feature article, Seamus Hughes and Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens focus on the threat to the United States from the Islamic State’s “virtual entrepreneurs” who have been using social media and encryption applications to recruit and correspond with sympathizers in the West, encouraging and directing them to engage in terrorist activity. They find that since 2014, contact with a virtual entrepreneur has been a feature of eight terrorist plots in the United States, involving 13 individuals.

In our other cover article, Ahmet Yayla, the former police counterterrorism chief in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa near the Syrian border, outlines how investigations into the New Year’s Eve Reina nightclub attack in Istanbul have made clear the “immense scale of the Islamic State threat to Turkey.” While the attack, remotely steered by Islamic State operatives in Raqqa, was the work of a single gunman, a 50-strong network in Istanbul with access to at least half a million dollars provided logistical support. With the Islamic State declaring all-out war on Turkey, Turkish counterterrorism capacity severely weakened by recent purges, as many as 2,000 Islamic State fighters already on Turkish soil, and the possibility that Islamic State fighters will flood into Turkey as the caliphate crumbles, Yayla warns of severe implications for international security.

8 April 2017

Confronting Pakistan’s Support For Terrorism: Don’t Designate, Calibrate

 Stephen Tankel

As emotionally gratifying as it might be, designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism would be a mistake. But unilateral and multilateral mechanisms could be used to try to coerce Pakistan to undertake tactical shifts on militancy that might have strategic effects over time.  Download 

6 April 2017

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES OF THE MILITARY SERVICES


WITNESSES

Lieutenant General Mark A. Brilakis 
Deputy Commandant, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, United States Marine Corps

Vice Admiral Robert P. Burke 
Chief of Naval Personnel, United States Navy

Major General Jason Evans 
Director, Military Personnel Management, United States Army

Lieutenant General Gina M. Grosso 
Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, United States Air Force

Mr. Anthony M. Kurta 
Performing the Duties of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Office of the Secretary of Defense

115th Congress