Articles

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Trump Salute

Le Point

Magazine Article - Le Point

Burns : « Il renie soixante-dix and de diplomatie » (Burns: "He rejects seventy years of diplomacy")

| Feb. 02, 2017

In an interview with Amin Arefi of French magazine Le Point, Ambassador (ret.) Nicholas Burns reflects on the first ten days of the Trump administration and the trajectory of American foreign policy going forward. Burns explains the fundamental differences between Donald Trump and George W. Bush, and the  worrying implications of Trump's indifference towards the US-backed system of alliances that has upheld the liberal world order for the past seven decades.   

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Journal Article - Global Discourse

The struggle for the Islamic supremacy

| January 2017

In the 5 years following the Arab Uprisings, it is apparent that the Middle East and Islamic world are undergoing a profound sociopolitical reconfiguration. The rise of armed resistance groups and the clash of nationalisms between secular and religious movements have only served to undermine regional stability and deepened the fragmentation of the social cohesion. As a consequence, many Arab countries are immersed in a process of counterrevolution and experience deep cleavages. A number of these have been categorized as sectarian in nature, between Sunni and Shi’a, yet this article seeks to show that the term requires broader intellectual development to understand contemporary events. To this end, it engages with the term by looking at the rise of Islamist groups and their evolution across the twentieth century, to stress that socioeconomic contexts are also important in shaping the emergence of groups that are described as sectarian in nature. From this position, we are better placed to understand the fluid nature of domestic and geopolitical change across the Middle East and Islamic world.

In this undated file photo, militants of the Islamic State group hold up their weapons and wave its flags on their vehicles in a convoy on a road leading to Iraq, in Raqqa, Syria.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Understanding the Islamic State—A Review Essay

| Spring 2016

Policymakers’ lack of understanding of the Islamic State has led to flawed assessments of the threat the group poses and how best to fight it. Daniel Byman reviews several recent books that offer new insights regarding the Islamic State and discusses the group’s ideology and strategy, as well as U.S. and allied counterterrorism efforts.

Chechen fighters wait for the gunfire to ease in downtown Grozny Tuesday, August 20, 1996.

Peter Dejong/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Blood Revenge and Violent Mobilization: Evidence from the Chechen Wars

    Authors:
  • Emil Aslan Souleimanov
  • Huseyn Aliyev
| Fall 2015

Blood revenge is a crucial yet understudied contributor to many insurgencies and civil wars. Interviews with participants in and witnesses to the First and Second Chechen Wars reveal how a desire to avenge dead or injured relatives drove many Chechens to join insurgent groups.

Sub-Saharan migrants climb over a metallic fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Friday, March 28, 2014.

Santi Palacios/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Barriers to Entry: Who Builds Fortified Boundaries and Why

    Authors:
  • Ron E. Hassner
  • Jason Wittenberg
| Summer 2015

Contrary to conventional wisdom, states do not typically construct fortified boundaries in response to border disputes or to prevent terrorism. Instead, most build such boundaries for economic reasons, to keep out unwanted migrants from poorer states. Further, Muslim states are more likely to both build and be the targets of fortified boundaries.

In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area 18 km south of Mogadishu, Somalia.

Farah Abdi Warsameh/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Bazaar: Business Interests and Islamist Power in Civil War Somalia

| Winter 2014/15

The support of the local business community helped to make Islamists’ a powerful force in the Somali civil war. The Islamists gained business support not because of shared religious affiliation, but because they ran a more stable and less costly protection racket than did other belligerents.

Darfur rebels are seen in their northern desert stronghold of Bir Maza in Sudan, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007.

Alfred De Montesquiou/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Why Factions Switch Sides in Civil Wars: Rivalry, Patronage, and Realignment in Sudan

| Fall 2014

Why do armed groups switch sides in civil wars? In weak states with few obstacles to switching sides, groups defect for material gain or to acquire military support in local struggles. Such shifts have implications for how long civil wars will endure, how they will end, and the prospects for state building.

This frame grab taken from an August 5, 2007 video message carrying the logo of al-Qaida's production house as-Sahab and provided by IntelCenter, a U.S. government contractor monitoring al-Qaida messaging, purports to show Ayman Zawahri.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Delegitimizing al-Qaida: Defeating an 'Army Whose Men Love Death'

    Authors:
  • Jerry Mark Long
  • Alex S. Wilner
| Summer 2014

Al-Qaida has established a metanarrative that enables it to recruit militants and supporters. The United States and its allies can challenge its ability to do so by delegitimizing the ideological motivations that inform that metanarrative.