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

29 April 2017


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


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)


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.





17 April 2017

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

Published by Combating Terrorism Center


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



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

3 April 2017

CTC Sentinel 10 (3)


This edition of the CTC Sentinel looks at 1) the threat posed by the so-called Islamic States’ (IS) virtual entrepreneurs, who use social media and other tools to link up with radicalized individuals in the West; 2) what the 1 January 2017 attack on the Reina nightclub tells us about the threat IS poses to Turkey; 3) the role German foreign fighters are playing in Syria and Iraq; 4) the changing nature of jihadism in Australia, particularly since IS called for spontaneous attacks against the West; and 5) the wealth the Taliban and other groups are accruing from illegal mining in Afghanistan.

1 April 2017

China´s Growing Maritime Role in the South and East China Seas

Yusuke Saito 

This report speculates on the probable state of Chinese maritime power in the year 2030. Given Beijing’s current plans and policies, which mandate hegemonic control of the South and East China Seas, the text's author suggests that the US and Japan may need to make ‘drastic’ adjustments to their mid- and long-term visions for the region. The latter could involve, for example, the US shifting to a sea control strategy, establishing stronger operational ties between Japan and Australia, adapting Taiwan’s maritime presence, and more.

29 March 2017

Critical Assumptions and American Grand Strategy

Hal Brands, Peter Feaver, William Inboden, Paul D. Miller 

Every grand strategy rests on a set of critical assumptions about how the world works. Today, the assumptions underpinning American grand strategy are becoming more contested and uncertain than at any time in a generation. 

This report examines America's grand strategy in the post-Cold War era, it explores the global and regional assumptions that are now coming under strain, and it offers suggestions for how U.S. planners can best adapt to a more competitive and uncertain world.

Download full “Critical Assumptions and American Grand Strategy” report.

23 March 2017

Peace Education in Pakistan

This report measures the relative success of nine peace education initiatives in Pakistan. More specifically, the text grapples with six questions. 1) What types of interventions were most effective and in what contexts? 2) Were the implemented programs contextually relevant? 3) How was the quality of each initiative ensured? 4) What kinds of content and teaching formats worked best and where? 5) What differences and similarities exist between peace education programs and the curricula implemented in mainstream schools and madrassas? And 6) what lessons can those working in the peacebuilding field draw from the case studies selected here?

Sri Lanka Suffers from China´s Indian Ocean Strategy

This bulletin looks at the impact of China’s investments in Sri Lanka, which include assorted loans and the sale of the port in Hambantota to a Chinese firm. The bulletin’s author ultimately concludes that the investments aren’t boosting the local economy because the money isn’t staying in the country, which is a familiar way of doing business on Beijing’s part. In fact, it’s possible that Sri Lanka will have to be bailed out because of its crushing Chinese-owned debt. The author further argues that India must recalibrate its security strategy towards other South Asian countries if it hopes to respond effectively to China’s activities in the Indian Ocean.

22 March 2017

Military Spending For a New Strategic Reality: 2016 Roundtable Series Summary and Analysis

This text focuses on the impact America’s military budget could have on the country’s allies and partners. The text specifically focuses on 1) the difficulties of striking the right balance between force modernization and investing in new technologies, particularly in a fiscally constrained environment; 2) the global next-steps in arms control and nuclear weapons modernization; 3) the role the Trump administration will most likely assume in the world; and 4) what the international community should do to counter the propaganda-based warfare now being conducted in different parts of the world.

Strengthening the Asian Development Bank in 21st Century Asia

This report speculates on how the Asian Development Bank (ADB) can remain an influential actor in Asia. More specifically, the text’s authors 1) highlight how financial norms and practices have evolved in the region over the last 50 years; 2) review the ADB’s design and functions; 3) explore the economic challenges that are relevant to the Bank’s mission, and how it is trying to adapt to them; and 4) conclude that the ADB must maintain its neutrality in a geopolitically fraught environment, but not at the expense of giving more influence to its regional members.

20 March 2017

Pakistan: Stoking the Fire in Karachi

Facts are facts – ethnic, political and sectarian rivalries; jihadist groups; criminality and heavy-handed security policies are turning Pakistan's biggest city into a pressure cooker that's about to explode. According to this report, feuding politicians will have to set their conflicts aside or Karachi's law-and-order crisis may indeed reach the bursting point.

17 March 2017

After ISIS: U.S. Political-Military Strategy in the Global War on Terror

Sooner or later, and probably within the next few months, the United States and its coalition partners will defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militarily, by collapsing its control of key areas in Iraq and Syria. That operational victory, however, will not necessarily prevent remnants of ISIS from reforming at a later date, nor will it bring a larger strategic triumph in the global war on terror. As long as large parts of the greater Middle East remain founts of ideological extremism, the United States will continue to confront a dangerous challenge from jihadist terrorism.

In this report, Hal Brands and Peter Feaver assess America's strategic options after ISIS by examining four politico-military strategies for counter-terrorism. They conclude that an enhanced version of the approach that the Obama administration took to defeating ISIS represents the best strategy for waging a dangerous conflict that is likely to endure for many years.

Download full “After ISIS: U.S. Political-Military Strategy in the Global War on Terror” report.

1 March 2017

Combating Terrorism Center’s Sentinel - February 2017 Issue Now Online

In an extensive interview, General John W. Nicholson, commander of Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, stresses the importance of preventing the country from again becoming a platform for international terrorism, noting counterterrorism operations have almost halved the fighting strength of the Islamic State’s local affiliate. He also outlines the ongoing effort to empower Afghan efforts against the Taliban, saying: “They’re at a bit of a stalemate. The government holds about two-thirds of the population. The enemy holds a solid 8 to 10 percent. … We think [if] we get to about 80 percent or more, we start to reach a tipping point where the insurgency becomes more irrelevant.”

Our cover story by Georg Heil focuses on the deadly truck attack this past December in Berlin by Anis Amri, a Tunisian extremist suspected of links to Islamic State operatives in Libya. Investigations have made clear the danger posed by the radical network he belonged to in northwestern Germany led by an Iraqi preacher named Abu Walaa. It is believed to have recruited dozens to travel to join the Islamic State, communicated extensively with Islamic State operatives in Syria and Iraq, and encouraged attacks on German soil. Heil argues the high level of interconnectedness between these radicals in Germany and the Islamic State has potentially grave implications for European security.

24 February 2017

Local Conflict, Local Peacekeeping

This report examines how local conflicts undermine the mandates and effectiveness of UN peacekeeping missions. To help deal with the problem, the text’s authors 1) provide a framework which prioritizes the conflicts peacekeepers should address; 2) describe the ‘whole-of-mission’ approach UN missions should adopt in managing local struggles; and 3) recommend ways to strengthen the capacities and mandates of UN missions.

Author   Aditi Gorur, Madeline Vellturo 

Publisher  Stimson Center

21 February 2017

2017 Global Forecast

Global Forecast is an annual collection of essays by CSIS experts focused on the critical issues facing the U.S. and the world in the year ahead. 

John J. Hamre 

Michael J. Green 

A conversation with Heather A. Conley, Matthew P. Goodman, and Scott Miller 

Olga Oliker 

A conversation with Christopher K. Johnson, Victor Cha, and Amy Searight 

Andrew Shearer