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About The Central Asia Counterterrorism Project
Articles - July 1, 2006
 

Nearly five years after September 11, it is fair to say that the U.S. government remains challenged by how to combat the ideology of radical Islamists. In some ways, this is not surprising. The West now faces a challenge in an area - religious controversy - which the modern state prefers to leave to individual discretion, and in which it is not accustomed to contend. Moreover, the struggle is taking place within a largely unfamiliar religion, in an area in which the West is, at best, tone-deaf. Nevertheless, this new “war of ideas” must be joined and won if the United States is to address what have become grave threats to its security.  

 
Iran Strategy Brief No. 1: Understanding Ahmadinejad
Policy Papers - June 1, 2006
 

Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Before his meteoric rise to power in the summer of 2005, Iran’s ultra-conservative president was a relative political unknown. Since taking office in August 2005, however, the 50-year-old Ahmadinejad has done much to demonstrate his radical credentials. He has ratcheted up the Islamic Republic’s hostile rhetoric toward Israel and the United States. His government has systematically rolled back domestic freedoms and deepened its control over Iranian society. And, under his direction, the Islamic Republic has accelerated its very public march toward an atomic capability.

 
Tehran Rising: Iran's Challenge to the United States
Books - September 2005
 

Today, Iran constitutes the single greatest challenge to the United States and the War on Terror. In the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, Iranian policymakers are busy cobbling together alliances intended to marginalize the United States and its Coalition allies. Iran remains the world's most active sponsor of terrorism, fueling the activities of Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and insurgents in Iraq. And, through its nuclear advances, Iran is gaining the capability to catastrophically alter the geopolitical balance of power far beyond its immediate neighborhood.

As evidence of this threat mounts, one thing remains crystal clear to Ilan Berman: "Washington is woefully unprepared to deal with this mounting peril." Berman's approach is hard-hitting, provocative and unflinchingly critical. Yet he takes the exploration of Iran's menace one step further, providing what has been missing so far in the foreign policy discourse regarding Iran -- practical policy prescriptions designed to contain Iran's strategic ambitions.

 
Al-Qaeda Versus Democracy
Articles - September 1, 2005
 

This spring, practically unnoticed by the mainstream media, the battle lines were formally drawn in the “war of ideas.” President George W. Bush used his January 2005 inaugural address to deliver an unapologetic tribute to freedom and the premises that undergird Western liberalism: liberty, the individual, and self-government.In response, Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama Bin Laden’s chief lieutenant in Iraq, released an audiotape of his own. In it, he denounced the very principles President Bush has pledged to promote.This frank exchange should serve as a useful primer for all of those who believe that the War on Terror is at its core a struggle against global privation, or a cross-cultural misunderstanding that can be settled by a search for common ground. Quite the opposite is true. We are engaged in an ideological conflict that resists compromise.

 
Islam, Islamism and the West: The Divide Between Ideological Islam and Liberal Democracy
Books - March 2005
 

The vast majority of Muslims word-wide are peaceable, law-abiding and hospitable people. Nevertheless, the West's reaction to atrocities such as 9/11 and 7/7, and the lack of a coherent understanding of our adversaries, is threatening relations with all Muslims. In Islam, Islamism and the West, British experts Baroness Caroline Cox and Dr. John Marks offer an exploration of the ideological roots of militant Islamism, and outline the challenge that it poses for Western societies at large.

 
Tehran Rising
Articles - June 1, 2002
 

This spring, amid growing preparations in Washington for a campaign against Iraq, the American intelligence community dropped a major bombshell. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on emerging threats to U.S. security, Admiral Thomas Wilson, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, revealed that “Iran’s navy is the most capable in the region and, even with the presence of Western forces, can probably stem the flow of oil from the Gulf for brief periods by employing a layered force of KILO submarines, missile patrol boats, naval mines, and sea and shore-based anti-ship cruise missiles.” Wilson’s warning underscores a remarkable fact: Iran is back. After years of international isolation and economic decline, Tehran is rapidly reemerging as a major regional player.