Reports & Papers

76 Items

Report - International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence

Will ‘We Won’ Become ‘Mission Accomplished’? A US Withdrawal and The Scramble for Northeastern Syria

| Dec. 16, 2019

This report charts some of the major developments in northeastern Syria from the December 2018 withdrawal announcement up until the start of Operation Peace Spring on 9 October 2019. It describes and notes the significance of the bitter dispute between Ankara and Washington over a proposed "safe zone," analyses how the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have sought to navigate the crisis and gauges the strength of the so‑called Islamic State (IS) in Syria. Providing this context enables this report to selectively incorporate more limited analysis on the latest and most pertinent developments in northeastern Syria at the time of this writing.

(MENARA)

(MENARA)

Paper

The Implications of the Syrian War For New Regional Orders

| Sep. 12, 2018

This paper argues that the impact of the eight-year war in Syria will reverberate across the region for years to come, and explores, in particular, four noteworthy legacies. First, it examines the series of interventions in Syria by regional and foreign powers (including Russia, Turkey, Iran, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) that reconfigured the role of such powers across the region. Second, it reveals the emergence of two opposing alliances in the region, each comprising Arab states, regional Arab and non-Arab powers, global powers and local nonstate actors. These or similar alliances may well reappear in other Middle Eastern conflicts. Third, it analyses the striking number and variety of foreign forces that either directly fought in Syria or indirectly supported warring factions. Since 2012, these forces have included at least twenty states and major non-state players, alongside hundreds of smaller tribal, Islamist and secular rebel and pro-Assad groups. Finally, the paper suggests that the international community’s weak response to the untold war crimes on both sides, and its apparent de facto acceptance of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s incumbency, portend continuing regional authoritarian and violent political systems for the foreseeable future.

Salvadoran soldiers patrol the streets of San Salvador, El Salvador

AP

Discussion Paper - International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Take the Money and Run

| September 2017

How can the United States best assure its interests abroad when a partner state faces an insurgency? The question has vexed policymakers, military officers, and scholars throughout the Cold War and into the post–9/11 era. When the United States finds its military might turned against itself by insurgents, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, thoughts often turn to the small U.S.-supported counterinsurgency campaign in El Salvador from 1979 to 1992.

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Report - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

How Al-Qaeda Survived Drones, Uprisings, and the Islamic State: The Nature of the Current Threat

    Editor:
  • Aaron Y. Zelin
| June 2017

In this new Policy Focus, Washington Institute fellow Aaron Y. Zelin compiles case studies demonstrating how each part of al-Qaeda's network has evolved and survived the various challenges it has faced roughly since the Obama administration took office. Written by eminent scholars, practitioners, and government officials from the United States and abroad, the chapters are informed by a recent workshop in which the participants gave candid, off-the-record assessments of numerous key issues, including al-Qaeda's current strategic outlook, a close examination of its branch in Syria, its branches outside of Syria (AQAP, AQIM, al-Shabab, and AQIS), and its current financial situation.

Report Chapter - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Al-Shabab in Somalia: The Resilience of Al-Qaeda's East African Affiliate

| June 2017

This chapter examines the trajectory of Al-Shabab since 2011 and the factors behind its continued resilience in Somalia and East Africa including its expansion into Kenya and other neighboring countries and its responses to growing challenges from the Somali Federal Government, African Union Mission to Somalia forces, and Islamic State.

Jewish settler youth prepare barricades to block the entrance to a building in Amona, an unauthorized Israeli outpost in the West Bank, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.

(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Time to Decide and Act

    Author:
  • Dan Meridor
| January 5, 2017

Israel’s success in the face of extraordinary odds is undeniable, writes former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor. In security, prosperity, democratic rights, innovation, and education, it is an exemplar for the region. But staying the course that Israel has followed the last 50 years, Meridor warns, entails an existential threat to Israel, because it will lead to a one-state reality.

Meridor proposes a new Israeli policy that will change the present course. It will disable the “one state solution” and enhance a “two state solution,” reviving the credibility of Israel’s declared policy of reaching a reasonable solution and returning clarity and justice to the Zionist cause.

Refugee migrants queue as they board a ferry from Mytilene, Lesvos to Kavala, Northern Greece as they continue their journey through Europe. September 2015.

Getty Images/Malcolm Chapman

Paper

Who are the million migrants who entered Europe without a visa in 2015?

| April 2016

In 2015, more than a million migrants were smuggled to Greece and Italy, and a similar
number of asylum claims were lodged in Germany. Presenting an overview of available
statistics, MEI Associate Philippe Fargues addresses three questions: Is this a migrant or a refugee crisis? What triggered the crisis? And last, how can the crisis be resolved?

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Putin's Choice for Russia

    Author:
  • Stephen R. Covington
| August 2015

This paper was written by Stephen R. Covington, with a Foreword written by Kevin Ryan.

In Putin’s view, any solution short of changing the European security system—including full integration, separation by erecting new walls, freezing the status quo around Russia, or partnering with other countries to counter-balance the powers in the European system—only means Russia’s inevitable loss of great power status and the loss of his personal power at home.

Report - Middle East Initiative, Belfer Center

The Crisis of the Arab State

August 11, 2015

During the spring 2015 semester, Professor Michael C. Hudson assembled eight leading Middle East scholars under the auspices of the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to participate in a study group titled Rethinking the Arab State: the Collapse of Legitimacy in Arab Politics. Over the course of the semester these experts used a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to  analyze the crisis of legitimacy of the Arab state in the wake of the 2011 uprisings.

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Paper

Lebanon in the Syria Quagmire

| February 2015

Lebanon’s sectarian governance system has been over 150 years in the making. But the Syrian fire next door, which has taken an increasing sectarian nature, is likely to burn for a long time. With such dire prospects, what is the fate of Lebanon’s governance system? Will it lead the country inexorably towards civil strife?