Disrupting, dismantling, and ultimately defeating al-Qaeda based and inspired terrorism is a declared policy of the U.S. Government. Three key strategic objectives have been identified for accomplishing this: attacking al-Qaeda’s terror network, undermining radicalization and recruitment, and hardening homeland defense. The present monograph proposes a distinct "jihad-realist" approach for undermining radicalization and recruitment to al-Qaeda. First, a brief discussion of six means for ending terrorist organizations is provided. Second, the premises of a jihad-realist approach are described. Third, a jihad-realist shari’a case against al-Qaeda’s terrorism is presented. In conclusion, key assertions are summarized, and several specific policy recommendations offered for national security personnel charged with formulating and executing counterterrorist messaging strategy.
The al-Qaeda Organization (AQO) and the Islamic State Organization (ISO) are transnational adversaries that conduct terrorism in the name of Sunni Islam. It is declared U.S. Government (USG) policy to degrade, defeat, and destroy them. The present book has been written to assist policymakers, military planners, strategists, and professional military educators whose mission demands a deep understanding of strategically-relevant differences between these two transnational terrorist entities. In it, one shall find a careful comparative analysis across three key strategically relevant dimensions: essential doctrine, beliefs, and worldview; strategic concept, including terrorist modus operandi; and specific implications and recommendations for current USG policy and strategy. Key questions that are addressed include: How is each terrorist entity related historically and doctrinally to the broader phenomenon of transnational Sunni “jihadism”? What is the exact nature of the ISO? How, if at all, does ISO differ in strategically relevant ways from AQO? What doctrinal differences essentially define these entities? How does each understand and operationalize strategy? What critical requirements and vulnerabilities characterize each entity? Finally, what implications, recommendations, and proposals are advanced that are of particular interest to USG strategists and professional military educators?
Prior to 1912, Libya was a province within the Ottoman Empire and subdivided into two regions (Tripolitania in the west and Cyrenaica in the east) reflecting a long-standing ethnic and geographic division in the country. Although not administered separately, the large region reaching south into the Sahara had a different ethnic make-up compared to the rest of the country and was more connected to sub-Saharan Africa than to the Mediterranean. Ottoman control in the south was limited to a few towns, which gave them some oversight of the trade routes; but by the start of the 20th century, Ottoman authority was notional rather than effective in this region.
This Strategic Studies Institute book provides a comprehensive research guide to radical Islamist English-language online magazines, eBooks, and assorted radical Islamist news magazines, reports, and pocketbooks published between April-May 2007 and November 2016, and generates strategic insights and policy response options.
Syria has become one of the most vexing and complex problems for U.S. strategic planners in recent times. Currently, the United States has about 2,000 troops in the northeastern part of the country whose primary mission has been to aid the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up primarily of Kurds and some Arab tribesmen, to fight ISIS. The near total defeat of ISIS in Syria, especially with the fall of its so-called caliphate capital in Raqqa in October 2017, might seem to suggest that the military mission is coming to an end and, therefore, the United States should pull out its troops. Indeed, President Donald Trump stated publicly in late March 2018, that he wanted these troops to come home “very soon.” However, since that time, the U.S. President has backtracked from this statement after receiving advice from several of his top military advisers, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, some foreign leaders like French President Emanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and influential members of Congress, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, all of whom have recommended that the President keep these troops in Syria.
This monograph examines the conflicts in the Middle East region between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the so-called proxy wars that are being fought between them, and discusses ways that the United States needs to maneuver carefully in this struggle to preserve its long-term interests in the area. Although Washington has political, economic, and strategic equities with Riyadh, it needs to think carefully about being perceived as engaging in sectarian strife that would alienate Shia allies in Iraq, show bias in its human rights policy, and anger millions of Iranian young people who want better relations with the United States.
This report analyzes the implications of Turkey's policies and the reactions of Turkey's neighbors in three discrete chapters. The authors focus their conclusions and options for U.S. policymakers on the effect of Turkish policies in Europe, the Middle East, and the former Soviet republics. The final chapter summarizes their conclusions with respect to the three regions and provides policy options for continuing U.S.-Turkish relations that are so important in the search for peace and stability in these regions.
Egypt is one of the more economically deprived countries in the world. Societal stress is a major challenge. Few believe that Egypt will escape the poverty that has for so long oppressed it. For all its challenges, Egypt is of strategic importance to the United States, because of its leadership position in the Arab world. It would be extremely difficult for Washington to safeguard its interests in the Middle East without support from Cairo. Recently, Egypt has been hit with an outbreak of religious strife that poses a threat to the rule of President Husni Mubarak. This study looks at the unrest, identifies the forces behind it, and prescribes steps that can be taken to alleviate the situation.
Ambassador Daniel H. Simpson addresses the question of U.S. interests in Africa and past, present, and future U.S. policy toward that continent of more than 50 countries and 800 million people on an analytic basis, followed by clear recommendations. His presentation of U.S. strategic interests in Africa permits clear analysis of the present and logical planning of future policy and actions. His message, in addition to being an introspective examination of U.S. policy, is forward-looking. He seeks to lay the basis for a long-term, sustainable U.S. policy toward Africa based on both solid economic and commercial concerns--Africa as a supplier and a market--and on the real cultural ties that link what is core to America and the people of the African continent.
This study argues that Hamas and Hizbollah, the two main religious groups fighting Israel, probably are more threatening to U.S. interests than is generally believed. It discusses the various openings that the groups were able to exploit to advance themselves, and particularly how they profited from errors on the Israelis' part. At the same time, the study contends, there has been a corresponding rise of religious radicalism in Israel. This means that on both sides of the struggle--Jewish as well as Arab-- extremism is gaining strength. It is going to be difficult, the study concludes, to avoid a decisive confrontation between the two forces.