Showing posts with label Counter Insurgency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Counter Insurgency. Show all posts

24 April 2018

Drones Level the Battlefield for Extremists

By Alexander Harper

In early 2016, I contributed to an Armament Research Services (ARES) report on the use of commercially available drones by non-state actors in contemporary conflicts, including in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine. We predicted that the use of commercial drones, which up until that point had been used for reconnaissance purposes predominantly, would soon be regularly weaponised. As recent events in Syria have shown, weaponised commercial drones are now a regular feature in a range of conflicts, notably involving non-state actors. Drone use by non-state actors in the Middle East is not a new phenomenon. Libyan rebels spent more than US$100,000 buying a drone in 2011 to aid their fight against forces loyal to Gaddafi. Hezbollah has been operating Iranian-built drones against Israel for years, but these have been predominantly military-grade models and thus fairly sophisticated.

23 April 2018

ISIS and the Continuing Threat of Islamist Jihad: The Need for the Centrality of PSYOP

By Kimbra L. Fishel

The National Security Strategy of the United States (NSS) calls for direct military action against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the disruption of terror plots, the destruction of terrorist safe havens and sources of finance, a shared responsibility with allies in confronting the threat and combating radicalization to counter ISIS ideology. The Trump Administration’s NSS accurately identifies the ISIS end goal as creation of the global Islamic caliphate and notes its totalitarian vision. This strategy further acknowledges the threat posed by ISIS will remain after its territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria. 

21 April 2018


John C. Hale

Operationalizing the Decisive Point: Operation OQAB “Eagle” – Combined and Unified Action “The fight against the guerrilla must be organized methodically and conducted with unremitting patience and resolution. Except for the rare exception, it will never achieve spectacular results, so dear to laurel seeking military leaders.” -- Roger Trinquier. Modern Warfare—a French View of Counterinsurgency. 1964.[i]  Trinquier accurately assessed that a deliberate and methodical process must be conducted, to defeat an insurgency that does not present a single decisive battle that turns the tide of war. The development of a methodical campaign plan for Counter-insurgency (COIN) requires planners to use a new method of thinking in the way they approach their mission. Campaign Design for COIN incorporates many non-traditional aspects to planning that many have practiced in the field yet have not be codified into doctrine until recently.

9 April 2018

China’s Campaign Against Uighur Diaspora Ramps Up


People hold placards and flags during a demonstration of France's exiled Uyghur community on July 4, 2010 in Paris. Mahmut, a Uighur living in a Scandinavian country, describes 2017 as the “saddest” year for his family. Born to secular Muslim parents, Mahmut, who asked to be identified by a pseudonym, says his family’s troubles began in late 2016 when the Chinese government pressured a cousin and his wife to return to China’s far western region of Xinjiang from Egypt.

ISIS 2.0 Is Really Just the Original ISIS

Nearly four months after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that the Islamic State had been militarily defeated, the group has rapidly transformed back into a terrorist network and shows no sign of ending its campaign of attacks across northern Iraq. “ISIS’s proto-state no longer exists. Their flag doesn’t fly over Iraqi territory,” says Fareed Yasseen, the Iraqi ambassador to the United States. “But that doesn’t mean they’ve disappeared. They are reverting to old tactics used by al Qaeda before 2014.”

8 April 2018

Taking All the Wrong Steps in Syria, Iraq, and the Fight Against Terrorism

By Anthony Cordesman

There is a case for limiting the U.S. role in Syria. The U.S. has no reason to provide aid to Assad in rebuilding his power in Syria, and no reason not to place the full burden on funding the Assad regime on Iran and Russia. That kind of pressure could be a key part of actually forming some kind of U.S. strategy for dealing with the large portions of Syria that now are back under the control of a failed dictator. A unilateral sudden U.S. military withdrawal from the other parts of Syria, however, is a very different story – as General Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. forces in the Central Region has made clear. A sudden withdrawal deprives us of diplomatic leverage, abandons the last vestiges of moderate Arab forces in Syria, and exposes the Kurdish forces that did much to defeat ISIS to defeat by Assad and Turkey. It will fundamentally undermine the already fading trust of our other Arab strategic partners, be seen as a major defeat of the U.S. by Russia and Iran, and as a further opening to intervention by an increasingly authoritarian Turkey in the Arab world.

Al Qaeda’s Struggling Campaign in Syria Past, Present, and Future

With President Donald Trump threatening to pull out of Syria, the Bashar al-Assad regime ramping up its military campaign against rebels, and the Islamic State in decline, al Qaeda has attempted to resurge and reposition itself at the center of global Salafi-jihadist activity. Syria has been perhaps its most important prize. For some, al Qaeda’s cunning and concerted efforts in Syria and other countries highlight the group’s resilience and indicate its potential to resurge and rejuvenate.

An Old Marine’s First Ten Thoughts on Combat

By Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, USMC (ret) 

Pray before every battle, pray during the battle, and pray after the battle. I never prayed harder or more earnestly than I did in combat nor did I find anything more comforting. Fear is the same every time you come under enemy fire. You may become accustomed to the responses you make, but not the gut-wrenching feeling. You can conquer fear in the sense that you are able to function effectively, however, it will always be with you. There are two extremes in a unit’s first fight—“trigger happiness” and over caution. If the first fight is at night the problem is even greater. This is something you simply need to be aware of and to educate your Marines about to reduce the negative impact. Generally, the problem is self-correcting in subsequent engagements. 

6 April 2018

Countering Illicit Funding of Terrorism: A Congressional Approach

Criminal and terrorist networks are exploiting today’s innovative technologies for their own gain, posing a direct threat to U.S. security and global stability. Illicit terrorist financing, including through bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, are now being used to fund terrorist groups and circumvent U.S. sanctions. ISIS and rogue nation-states like North Korea, and regional powers like Iran and Russia, sanctioned for their role in conflicts, may also look to illicit financing in order to exploit the international financial system.

The Counterterrorism Yearbook 2018

By Sofia Patel

Three key factors defined the terrorist threat landscape in 2017: the international coalition’s military dismantling of Islamic State’s (IS) caliphate, and their return to a nebulous insurgency structure; increased IS activity in South East Asia catalysed by the battle for Marawi; and the potential resurgence of al-Qaeda. These developments have in turn shaped the evolution of international counterterrorism (CT) agendas at local, regional and international levels. The challenges include the prospect of returning foreign fighters, the sustained threat of lone actor attacks, and the capacity of ‘virtual attack planners’. There’s no single way to address these issues and different regions/countries have developed their own policy and operational responses that reflect local socio-political developments. In addition, factors such as proximity to conflict, porous borders, low-levels of governance and corrupt state regimes have a tangible impact on how CT policy and practice is implemented.

5 April 2018

The Birth And Spread Of Urban Naxals

by Jaideep Mazumdar
Source Link

Some educational institutions in Kolkata and other cities in the country have become breeding grounds for urban Naxalism.Many students get led on to the path of extreme left in these universities.Silently and stealthily, below the radar of intelligence and security agencies, an army of urban Naxals is being bred in the toxic environs of some reputable institutions of higher learning in Kolkata and some other cities of the country over the past few decades. Many of them have taken up jobs and migrated to other parts of India where they form veritable sleeper cells, awaiting the “revolution” and indulging in or facilitating various types of insidious, anti-India activities.

The primary breeding ground of these ultra-left radicals who believe in a violent overthrow of the Indian state, ‘annihilation’ of all those they consider ‘class enemies’, and imposition of a harsh and regressive communist dictatorship is the Jadavpur University (JU) and, to a lesser extent, Presidency University (PU). A group of teachers who hold radical leftist views in these two reputable universities has been incubating and sheltering these urban Naxals, and preparing them for the revolution to come.

Though these urban Naxals have been operating under the radar for many years now, their existence came to light with the destruction of a bust of Syama Prasad Mukerjee in Kolkata early last month. A hitherto unknown group of left-wing terrorists called “Radicals” was behind the vandalism. Subsequent police investigations have revealed that the roots and tentacles of these left-wing terrorists run deep, wide, and strong. They have built up a spider-like web through many cities and towns of the country, including the National Capital Region (NCR). Some teachers, alumni, and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and some colleges affiliated to Delhi University (DU) form an important part of this red terror network.

Counterterrorism Yearbook 2018

By Isaac Kfir, Sofia Patel and Micah Batt

The Counter Terrorism Yearbook is ASPI’s annual flagship publication curated by the Counter Terrorism Policy Centre, now in its second year of publication. It is a comprehensive resource for academics and policymakers to build on their knowledge of counterterrorism developments in countries and regions around world. Each chapter in the Yearbook is written by internationally renowned subject matter and regional experts, who provide their insight and commentary on counterterrorism policy, legislation, operations and strategy for a specific country/region, concerning the year in review, and looking at challenges for the year ahead.


by Vanda Felbab

The kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls from Dapchi last month is the latest event to cast doubt on the Nigerian government’s claims that Boko Haram has been technically defeated. Unfortunately, the attack should have come as no surprise. Since 2015, the jihadist group has lost significant territorial control and no longer holds major cities. But as I saw during my fieldwork in Nigeria in January, the jihadist threat is far from gone, and counterinsurgency policies continue to be troubled and troubling.

31 March 2018

How (Not) to Fight Proxy Wars

C. Anthony Pfaff Patrick Granfield

Iran’s proxies are running roughshod over America’s allies and interests in the Middle East. Hezbollah is dictating the terms of Lebanese politics and preparing for war with Israel. In Yemen, Houthis indiscriminately launch missiles into Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, in areas of Iraq that Iranian-backed militias have liberated from the Islamic State, hundreds of men and boys have disappeared; scores of others have been executed.

30 March 2018

Saffron Scare: al-Qaeda‘s Propaganda War in India

By: Animesh Roul

Of late, al-Qaeda’s South Asia branch has been proactive and forceful in its campaign against India and its neighbors. A “code of conduct,” released by the group in June 2017, signaled an expanded geographical scope by including Afghanistan and Myanmar into its supposed domain of influence and operation, adding to its core focus on India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has since sought to augment this with a series of videos released at the end of last year that purport to depict anti-Muslim policies and atrocities committed by Hindu right wing groups, as well as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The films all employ the phrase “saffron terror,” an allusion to violent Hindu nationalism.

29 March 2018

Andhra Pradesh: Collapsing Movement

Deepak Kumar Nayak 

A woman cadre of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), identified as Irothu Sundaramma aka Sadhana, carrying a reward of INR one million on her head, surrendered before the Superintendent of Police (SP), C.M. Trivikrama Varma, in Srikakulam District on March 17, 2018. Sadhana was involved in a number of Maoist-linked offenses, including an attack at National Aluminium Company (NALCO) Company at Damanjodi in the Koraput District of Odisha on April 12, 2009, in which 11 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel were killed.

26 March 2018

Counterterrorism Measures and Civil Society

To combat the global threat of terrorism, countries have passed and implemented numerous laws that inadvertently or intentionally diminished the space for civil society. States conflate terrorism with broader issues of national security, which is then used as a convenient justification to stifle dissent, including civil society actors that aim to hold governments accountable. As the global terror landscape becomes more complex and dire, attacks on the rights to the freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly only increase. This report analyzes the impact of counterterrorism efforts on civic space, examines its manifestations in various socioeconomic and political contexts, and explores various approaches to disentangle and reconcile security and civil society. It features case studies on Australia, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Hungary, and India.

20 March 2018

The global impacts of a terrorist nuclear attack: What would happen? What should we do?

Irma ArguelloEmiliano J. Buis

As seen by recent events such as the bombing in Manchester, UK, terrorism can occur anywhere, at any time. So far, the terrorist incidents have been relatively low-tech – such as improvised explosive devices detonating inside pressure cookers, trucks driving down crowded sidewalks, or bombs exploding in backpacks containing metal bolts and screws. But what if terrorists were to build a dirty bomb that contained radioactive materials instead of bits of metal shrapnel, and set it off in a major city? Or, worse, what if they managed to build a fully functioning nuclear weapon, cart it to the downtown of a city, and then detonate it – even a small, rudimentary one that was much smaller than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima? What would the social, economic, and political impacts of the successful terrorist use of a nuclear weapon look like? What planning has the international community done for such an event? 

18 March 2018

More than 200 nabbed in Malaysia on suspicion of recruiting terrorists via social media

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - Malaysia has arrested a total of 249 local and foreign individuals suspected of recruiting members for terrorism through social media so far, Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat said on Tuesday (March 13).  Datuk Masir said 240 of them carried out their modus operandi through Facebook, eight through Twitter and another one through Instagram. “The arrests were made as a result of police intelligence and monitoring by the Counter Messaging Centre,” he told Parliament during a sitting on Tuesday. Mr Masir was responding to a question from a Barisan Nasional lawmaker on the government’s efforts to curb the spread of terrorism on social media.

14 March 2018

China’s Domestic Security Spending: An Analysis of Available Data

By: Adrian Zenz

On February 1, 2018, China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) revealed a stunning 92.8 percent increase in its domestic security spending: from 30.05 billion RMB in 2016 to 57.95 billion RMB in 2017 (Xinjiang Net, 3 February). Within a decade, this figure has increased nearly ten-fold, up from 5.45 billion RMB in 2007. This most recent increase is arguably a direct result of the extreme securitization measures implemented by the region’s Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who unleashed unprecedented police recruitment and police station construction drives (China Brief, 14 March 2017; China Brief, 21 September 2017). However, what is the context of these seemingly staggering figures? How does Xinjiang’s domestic security spending compare to per capita counts in other provinces, to China’s national average, or to other nations? Do XUAR spending increases reflect the built-up of a massive police state, or are they merely reflective of a necessary process of catching up, since China in general and its west in particular featured an under-resourced security apparatus in the early 2000s (China Policy Institute Analysis, February 14 2018)?