South Asia

20 Items

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How the Next Nuclear Arms Race Will Be Different from the Last One

| 2019

All the world's nuclear-armed states (except for North Korea) have begun modernizing and upgrading their arsenals, leading many observers to predict that the world is entering a new nuclear arms race. While that outcome is not yet inevitable, it is likely, and if it happens, the new nuclear arms race will be different and more dangerous than the one we remember. More nuclear-armed countries in total, and three competing great powers rather than two, will make the competition more complex. Meanwhile, new non-nuclear weapon technologies — such as ballistic missile defense, anti-satellite weapons, and precision-strike missile technology — will make nuclear deterrence relationships that were once somewhat stable less so.

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.

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Attacking the Leader, Missing the Mark: Why Terrorist Groups Survive Decapitation Strikes

    Author:
  • Jenna Jordan
| Spring 2014

Many academics and policymakers argue that the removal of leaders is an effective strategy in combating terrorism. Leadership decapitation is not always successful, however. A theory of organizational resilience explains why some terrorist organizations survive decapitation. Application of this theoretical model to the case of al-Qaida reveals that the deaths of Osama bin Laden and other high level al-Qaida operatives are unlikely to cause significant organizational decline.

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.

Mujahedeen rebels, holy warriors, are shown as they rest high in the mountains in the Kunar province area in Afghanistan in May 1980.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Foreign Fighter Phenomenon: Islam and Transnational Militancy

| February 2011

"...[F]oreign fighter mobilizations empower transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, because war volunteering is the principal stepping-stone for individual involvement in more extreme forms of militancy. For example, when Muslims in the West radicalize, they usually do not plot attacks in their home countries right away, but travel to a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan first. A majority of al-Qaida operatives began their militant careers as war volunteers, and most transnational jihadi groups today are by-products of foreign fighter mobilizations."

An unidentified Mujahideen rebel stands on guard on high ground over looking the rocky mountainous while on patrol in the area of Kunar Province near the Pakistan border, Feb., 1980, Afghanistan.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad

| Winter 2010/11

Why has transnational war volunteering increased so dramatically in the Muslim world since 1980? Standard explanations, which emphasize U.S.-Saudi support for the 1980s Afghan mujahideen, the growth of Islamism, or the spread of Wahhabism are insufficient. The increase in transnational war volunteering is better explained as the product of a pan-Islamic identity movement that grew strong in the 1970s Arab world from elite competition among exiled Islamists in international Islamic organizations and Muslim regimes.

A supporter of Pakistan Muslim League-N party arranges an oil lamp at the model of Chaghi Mountain, the site of Pakistan’s nuclear test, in connection with the celebrations of its 10th anniversary, May 27, 2008 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Daedalus

The Minimum Deterrent & Beyond

| Fall 2009

"...[A] primary goal in the next decades must be to remove this risk of near global self-destruction by drastically reducing nuclear forces to a level where this outcome is not possible, but where a deterrent value is preserved — in other words, to a level of minimum deterrence. This conception was widely discussed in the early years of the nuclear era, but it drowned in the Cold War flood of weaponry. No matter how remote the risk of civilization collapse may seem now — despite its being so vivid only a few decades ago — the elimination of this risk, for this century and centuries to come, must be a primary driver for radical reductions in nuclear weapons."

Afghan police officers and villagers stand near a destroyed vehicle which was used by a suicide bomber in Chaparhar district of Ningarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Jan. 17, 2009.

AP Photo

Journal Article - CTC Sentinel

Shifting Trends in Suicide Attacks

| January 2009

"By far, the most dramatic trend related to the location of suicide attacks is the gradual shift of incidents from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Between July 2007 and June 2008, the last one-year period for which data on suicide attacks are available, 58.2% of suicide attacks struck Iraq, and 36.6% struck Afghanistan and Pakistan. This compares to a much wider gap between suicide attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan in the preceding year (July 2006 to June 2007), when 69.3% of attacks took place in Iraq, and 25.1% in Afghanistan and Pakistan...."

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, left, shakes hands with his Armenian counterpart, Edward Nalbandian, prior to their press conference, in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 16, 2008.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Viewpoints

The Geopolitical Factor in Iran's Foreign Policy

| January 29, 2009

"Revolutions either expand to export their ideologies or preserve themselves from the outside world. The 1979 Islamic revolution of Iran is no exception. A careful reading of Iran's actions in the region shows how and why Iran has shifted its policies to meet the latter aim. Since the revolution, Iran's leaders have faced the challenge of balancing their ideological (idealism) and geopolitical (pragmatism) approaches to foreign policy. Gradually, the Iranian leadership has come to focus on the geopolitical factor in the conduct of foreign policy; today, ideology one factor among many other sources of Iran's power, and serves the aim of preserving Iran's national security and interests...."