South Asia

11 Items

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 Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the hotel in Mumbai, India, Nov. 29, 2008.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Pakistan's Nuclear Posture: Implications for South Asian Stability

| January 2010

"...[E]xtremist elements in Pakistan have a clear incentive to precipitate a crisis between India and Pakistan, so that Pakistan's nuclear assets become more exposed and vulnerable to theft. Terrorist organizations in the region with nuclear ambitions, such as al-Qaida, may find no easier route to obtaining fissile material or a fully functional nuclear weapon than to attack India, thereby triggering a crisis between India and Pakistan and forcing Pakistan to ready and disperse nuclear assets—with few, if any, negative controls—and then attempting to steal the nuclear material when it is being moved or in the field, where it is less secure than in peacetime locations."

A model of Pakistani made surface-to-surface missile Shaheen, capable of carrying nuclear warhead, is on display in Lahore, Saturday, May. 22, 1999.

AP Image

Testimony

Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Securing Pakistani Nuclear Weapons

| July 7, 2009

"The problem is not the quality of Pakistan's nuclear security efforts. The problem is that the standard for success is so unforgiving. In a world in which terrorists are actively seeking weapons of mass destruction, there can be no breakdown in security that enables terrorists to obtain a nuclear bomb."

Thomas Hegghammer, a joint ISP/RIIA research fellow, discusses the origins of global jihad at an ISP brownbag seminar.

Belfer Center

Policy Brief

The Origins of Global Jihad: Explaining the Arab Mobilization to 1980s Afghanistan

| January 22, 2009

The Arab involvement in Afghanistan was the result of two main factors: the entrepreneurship of the Palestinian preacher Abdallah Azzam, and the rise of a "soft pan-Islamism" promoted since the mid-1970s by non-violent international Islamic organizations such as the Muslim World League.

This policy memo is based on Thomas Hegghammer's ISP brownbag seminar presentation.

Traders from Pakistani Kashmir wave after crossing onto the Indian side of Kashmir's de facto border, the Line of Control (LoC), Oct. 9, 2008. A delegation of traders from Pakistani Kashmir arrived in Indian Kashmir to hold talks on cross-LoC trade.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Slow but Steady on Kashmir

| January 2009

Instead of special envoys and summits, the U.S. should adopt a "quiet diplomacy" approach that offers incentives to India and Pakistan for making tangible, if small, progress on the ground in Kashmir. The U.S. should offer to help fund sustained local policy initiatives in both Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir aimed at improving governance and encouraging economic exchange and the movement of people across the Line of Control. An initiative focused on local government and civil society lacks the drama of shuttle diplomacy and grand bargains, but can actually improve the daily lives of Kashmiris while giving them more say over their own governance.

Testimony

Pakistan's Political Unrest Prompts Questions About Nuclear Arsenal

| November 13, 2007

Matthew Bunn was a guest on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer discussing Pakistan's nuclear security.

Bunn said, in part: "I think there is a real, immediate danger, not because Pakistan's nuclear stockpiles are not well-guarded -- I think they are -- but there are huge threats in Pakistan. It is, after all, al-Qaida's world headquarters, and there are nuclear and military insiders with Islamic extremist sympathies and, in some cases, with a demonstrated record of selling sensitive nuclear technologies around the world, in the case of the A.Q. Khan black market nuclear network. So while there's a very focused nuclear security system in place, that system has to deal with very big threats."