Decoding Al Qaeda s Strategy

Author: Michael W. S. Ryan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231533276
Format: PDF, Docs
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By consulting the work of well-known and obscure al-Qaeda theoreticians, Michael W. S. Ryan finds jihadist terrorism strategy has more in common with the principles of Maoist guerrilla warfare than mainstream Islam. Encouraging strategists and researchers to devote greater attention to jihadi ideas rather than jihadist military operations, Ryan builds an effective framework for analyzing al-Qaeda's plans against America and constructs a compelling counternarrative to the West's supposed "war on Islam." Ryan examines the Salafist roots of al-Qaeda ideology and the contributions of its most famous founders, Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a political-military context. He also reads the Arabic-language works of lesser known theoreticians who have played an instrumental role in framing al-Qaeda's so-called war of the oppressed. These authors readily cite the guerrilla strategies of Mao, Che Guevara, and the mastermind of the Vietnam War, General Giap. They also incorporate the arguments of American theorists writing on "fourth-generation warfare." Through these texts, readers experience events as insiders see them, and by concentrating on the activities and pronouncements of al-Qaeda's thought leaders, especially in Yemen, they discern the direct link between al-Qaeda's tactics and trends in anti-U.S. terrorism. Ryan shows al-Qaeda's political-military strategy to be a revolutionary and largely secular departure from the classic Muslim conception of jihad, adding invaluable dimensions to the operational, psychological, and informational strategies already deployed by America's military in the region.

Terrorism and Counterintelligence

Author: Blake W. Mobley
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231158769
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Discussing the challenges terrorist groups face as they multiply and plot international attacks, while at the same time providing a framework for decoding the strengths and weaknesses of their counter-intelligence, Blake W. Mobley offers an indispensable text for the intelligence, military, homeland security, and law enforcement fields.

The Al Qaeda Franchise

Author: Barak Mendelsohn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190205601
Format: PDF, Docs
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The al-Qaeda Franchise asks why al-Qaeda adopted a branching-out strategy, introducing seven franchises spread over the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. After all, transnational terrorist organizations can expand through other organizational strategies. Forming franchises was not an inevitable outgrowth of al-Qaeda's ideology or its U.S.-focused strategy. The efforts to create local franchises have also undermined one of al-Qaeda's primary achievements: the creation of a transnational entity based on religious, not national, affiliation. The book argues that al-Qaeda's branching out strategy was not a sign of strength, but instead a response to its decline in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Franchising reflected an escalation of al-Qaeda's commitments in response to earlier strategic mistakes, leaders' hubris, and its diminished capabilities. Although the introduction of new branches helped al-Qaeda create a frightening image far beyond its actual capabilities, ultimately this strategy neither increased the al-Qaeda threat, nor enhanced the organization's political objectives. In fact, the rise of ISIS from an al-Qaeda branch to the dominant actor in the jihadi camp demonstrates how expansion actually incurred heavy costs for al-Qaeda. The al-Qaeda Franchise goes beyond explaining the adoption of a branching out strategy, also exploring particular expansion choices. Through nine case studies, it analyzes why al-Qaeda formed branches in some arenas but not others, and why its expansion in some locations, such as Yemen, took the form of in-house franchising (with branches run by al-Qaeda's own fighters), while other locations, such as Iraq and Somalia, involved merging with groups already operating in the target arena. It ends with an assessment of al-Qaeda's future in light of the turmoil in the Middle East, the ascendance of ISIS, and US foreign policy.

The Undergraduate Research Handbook

Author: Gina Wisker
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
ISBN: 0230364969
Format: PDF, Docs
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This practical, research-informed text will provide students across all disciplines with models, tasks and activities to enable them to plan, action, write and present quality research. It will help develop ideas, creative thinking and systematic research practices to enable students to produce high quality dissertations and reports.

The Al Qaeda Doctrine

Author: Donald Holbrook
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1623566673
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Ever since it was first established, the senior leadership of Al-Qaeda has sought to communicate its core values, rationalizations, and principles to the world. Altogether, these statements convey Al-Qaeda's doctrine and the beliefs for which the leadership claims to be fighting. This volume in the New Directions in Terrorism Studies series analyzes over 250 statements made by the organization's two key leaders, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Usama Bin Ladin, over the last two decades. It provides an in-depth and systematic analysis of these communications, showing which key issues emphasized by the two leaders evolved over time and highlighting their core principles. It explore Al-Qaeda's problem diagnosis, the solutions offered by its two leaders, their escalating --although often contradictory-- approach towards violence, and their chosen communication strategy for different types of audiences. The book shows how Al-Qaeda's leadership began to develop an increasingly critical approach towards Islam in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and discusses tensions that may undermine the resilience of its doctrine. This unique evidence-based analysis of Al-Qaeda will attract academics specializing in terrorism and counterterrorism as well as the policy community.

With Us and Against Us

Author: Stephen Tankel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023154734X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Counterterrorism requires working with partners that both help and hinder U.S. interests. Consider the United States’ post-9/11 partnership with Pakistan—on one hand, the country provided key counterterrorism cooperation in the War on Terror; at the same time, it remained a state sponsor of terrorism that supported multiple militant organizations, some of which had American blood on their hands. Nonetheless, cooperation with otherwise ‘unfriendly’ states is often unavoidable. With Us and Against Us examines how counterterrorism partnerships after 9/11 critically differ both from the ones that existed beforehand and from traditional alliances. Tankel posits that countries form effective alliances against a terror group when each party to the alliance perceives and prioritizes the threat posed by the group in the same way and does not view the group as vital to advancing its national interests. Focusing on U.S. partnerships with Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen against al-Qaeda, ISIS and other jihadist organizations, Tankel analyzes what the U.S. can expect from its counterterrorism partners depending on the country’s set of incentives, threat perceptions, and larger security paradigm. In mapping these partnerships, Tankel argues that although the end of the Cold War and then 9/11 transformed the U.S. security paradigm, the security paradigms of many partner nations in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia did not change nearly as dramatically. This concept should serve a lodestar when assessing the cooperation partners provide, as well as how these relationships might evolve as future terrorist threats emerge.

The Violent Image

Author: Neville Bolt
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231800886
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Fast-moving, self-perpetuating images of violence have radically changed the nature of insurgency in modern times, and the global media trafficking in these images have fundamentally transformed the act and speed of the exchange among populations. First satellite TV, then laptops and the Internet, and now cellphones and social media, new technologies have revolutionized the act of communication and have collapsed the impediments of time and distance. Rebels who hope to overthrow states and revolutionaries who aim to establish transnational, ideological communities have only to utilize these dynamic technologies to advance their goals. Yet trial and error has also taught a key lesson: in a visual world, the pull of the violent image is more powerful and resonant than the draw of the carefully-crafted word. Neville Bolt dives headfirst into the innovative strategies of today's revolutionaries and their fascinating appropriation of the nineteenth-century practice of "propaganda of the deed," or the political act of violence. No longer is the terrorist act simply a means to push governments to overreact, therefore shredding their legitimacy and credibility. The deed has instead become an efficient tool to initiate a campaign of shock and awe, exposing and exploiting the grievances that underlie communities' fragile ties. Images of 9/11, 7/7, Abu Ghraib, and "collateral damage" are the contemporary weapons of choice. The Violent Image explores the emotional and psychological components of this visual "moment of shock," or the binding of emotive pictures to messages causing popular uprisings. From terrorist groups such as the Fenians and the Taliban to the architects of the ongoing Arab Spring, this study follows insurgents and their manipulation of violent imagery to build narratives and bring social change. Taking advantage of the "war of ideas," new revolutionaries generate surges of support that spread virally through global networks, often so quickly that states are unable to respond in time and kind. This book ultimately asks whether the world has reached a point in which insurgents and populations are driving images and ideas so rapidly that we are already in the grip of a new era of revolutionary politics.

Nexus of Global Jihad

Author: Assaf Moghadam
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231538154
Format: PDF, Docs
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Leading jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State dominate through cooperation in the form of knowledge sharing, resource sharing, joint training exercises, and operational collaboration. They build alliances and lesser partnerships with other formal and informal terrorist actors to recruit foreign fighters and spread their message worldwide, raising the aggregate threat level for their declared enemies. Whether they consist of friends or foes, whether they are connected locally or online, these networks create a wellspring of support for jihadist organizations that may fluctuate in strength or change in character but never runs dry. Nexus of Global Jihad identifies types of terrorist actors, the nature of their partnerships, and the environments in which they prosper to explain global jihadist terrorism's ongoing success and resilience. Nexus of Global Jihad brings to light an emerging style of "networked cooperation" that works alongside interorganizational terrorist cooperation to establish bonds of varying depth and endurance. Case studies use recently declassified materials to illuminate al-Qaeda's dealings from Iran to the Arabian Peninsula and the informal actors that power the Sharia4 movement. The book proposes policies that increase intelligence gathering on informal terrorist actors, constrain enabling environments, and disrupt terrorist networks according to different types of cooperation. It is a vital text for strategists and scholars struggling to understand a growing spectrum of terrorist groups working together more effectively than ever before.

Triadic Coercion

Author: Wendy Pearlman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231548540
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In the post–Cold War era, states increasingly find themselves in conflicts with nonstate actors. Finding it difficult to fight these opponents directly, many governments instead target states that harbor or aid nonstate actors, using threats and punishment to coerce host states into stopping those groups. Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili investigate this strategy, which they term triadic coercion. They explain why states pursue triadic coercion, evaluate the conditions under which it succeeds, and demonstrate their arguments across seventy years of Israeli history. This rich analysis of the Arab-Israeli conflict, supplemented with insights from India and Turkey, yields surprising findings. Traditional discussions of interstate conflict assume that the greater a state’s power compared to its opponent, the more successful its coercion. Turning that logic on its head, Pearlman and Atzili show that this strategy can be more effective against a strong host state than a weak one because host regimes need internal cohesion and institutional capacity to move against nonstate actors. If triadic coercion is thus likely to fail against weak regimes, why do states nevertheless employ it against them? Pearlman and Atzili’s investigation of Israeli decision-making points to the role of strategic culture. A state’s system of beliefs, values, and institutionalized practices can encourage coercion as a necessary response, even when that policy is prone to backfire. A significant contribution to scholarship on deterrence, asymmetric conflict, and strategic culture, Triadic Coercion illuminates an evolving feature of the international security landscape and interrogates assumptions that distort strategic thinking.