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Global Islamism Monitor - No. 2
Bulletins - March 30, 2015
 

The Islamic state's social media offensive;
Boko Haram vs. Democracy;
Kazakhstan's foreign fighter problem...;
...and a threat of terror in Tajikistan;
Islamist factions unite in Syria

 

 
When The Laws Of War Kill
Articles - March 17, 2015
 

The laws of war are intended to limit conflict and minimize casualties. But what happens when terrorists use these same laws to expand conflict and kill more people? 

 
Morocco's Counterterrorism Moment
Articles - March 11, 2015
 

The summit on countering violent extremism convened by the Obama administration last month was a lavish affair, full of pomp and circumstance and awash in foreign dignitaries. But substantive strategies for combatting radical ideologies, particularly those of Islamist groups, were far less in evidence. 

 
Nuclear Musings
Articles - March 10, 2015
 

From today's diary entry of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: 

Ah, the Americans. When it comes to our nuclear weapons program, they leave us with only good choices! 

On the one hand, I can drag out the talks beyond this month's latest deadline because the desperate Americans certainly will agree to keep talking. That's how we went from the six-month interim deal in November 2013, through a deadline in July 2014, and then through another deadline in November 2014. 

 
Watch Africa in fight against ISIL
Articles - February 26, 2015
 

MARRAKESH, Morocco — It's a truism of broadcast media that "If it bleeds, it leads." The field of counterterrorism functions much the same way, which is why in recent months the Islamic State terrorist group have become the overwhelming focus of Western law enforcement and intelligence. Yet an equally significant security challenge is incubating in Africa, where local conditions have sown the seeds for the next stage of global terror.

 


 
Obama's religious blindness aids Islamic State
Articles - February 19, 2015
 

Attempts to avoid touching on religious dimension of the struggle has led to several recent high-profile administration gaffes. President Obama strangely tried to deflect the issue at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5 by mentioning the Crusades as an example of Christian excess. Unfortunately, that example is also a key jihadist talking point.

 
Iran's Nuclear Weapons Fatwa Is a Myth
Articles - February 18, 2015
 

President Barack Obama said a nuclear deal with Iran is possible if Tehran truly considers nuclear weapons un-Islamic. But is this true? And does it matter?

 
The Only Thing Scarier Than Iran's Nukes
Articles - February 12, 2015
 

Denying Iran nuclear-weapons capability is not only a means of limiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is also part of a broader ideological struggle that Tehran is taking much more seriously than is the United States.

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 331
Bulletins - February 9, 2015
 

Death sentence for 183 Brotherhood members;
South Sudan peace agreement;
Iraqis and Kurds aim to free Mosul;
Egyptian court ban Hamas;
Hezbollah ready for war with Israel

 

 

 
South Asia Security Monitor - No. 356
Bulletins - January 30, 2015
 

ISIS expands in South Asia;
New Afghan cabinet in jeopardy;
Clashes in Nepal over new constitution;
Unrest, extremism in Bangladesh

 

 

 
A Challenge To Modernity
Articles - January 13, 2015
 

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Socialist," German pastor Martin Niemoller famously observed about his nation's intellectuals during the Nazi rise to power. "Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me." 

 
Congress Should Act Against The Islamic State Group
Articles - January 6, 2015
 

One of the first orders of business for the new Congress may be to consider a resolution authorizing the use of force resolution in Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led combined joint mission against the Islamic State group. Such a move would be long overdue. 

 
Troubling Signs From Tehran
Articles - December 10, 2014
 

Secretary of State John Kerry is confident that an agreement on Iran's nuclear program can be concluded in three to four months, or sooner. But maybe it will be later - or maybe not at all. 

 
Desperate And Dumb
Articles - November 11, 2014
 

Last month, President Barack Obama reportedly wrote a private letter to Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seeking to tie the fight against the Islamic State group to the ongoing negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. The White House purportedly sought to pressure Iran into reaching an agreement by the November 24 diplomatic deadline by hinting that failing to do so would affect American efforts against the Islamic State group. 

 
Call It a War and Win It
Articles - September 16, 2014
 

Last week, President Barack Obama pledged to destroy the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS or ISIL). It is worth asking what that means, and whether the United States can actually do it.

 
Iran Won't Slow Down On Ballistic Missiles
Articles - July 18, 2014
 

With time for nuclear diplomacy between Iran and the P5+1 nations (the U.S., UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) running out, and with the White House scrambling to cobble together some sort of deal with Tehran, it's perhaps not surprising that Pentagon's latest annual assessment of Iran's military capabilities has so far garnered little attention, either within the Washington Beltway or outside it. 

 
A Stalled War On Terror Finance
Articles - July 15, 2014
 

Only two weeks after the attacks of September 11th, President George W. Bush addressed the media in the White House Rose Garden and declared "war" on terrorism financing. "Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations," he told reporters.[1] "Today, we are asking the world to stop payment." A few weeks later, the Treasury Department—the agency that would become the weapon of choice of the White House in this new economic conflict—boasted in a press release, "The same talent pool and expertise that brought down Al Capone will now be dedicated to investigating Usama bin Laden and his terrorist network."[2] 

 
A Moment Of Truth For Mahmoud Abbas
Articles - July 1, 2014
 

Sometimes, tragedies can provide moments of clarity. The brutal deaths of teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel – whose bodies were discovered on Monday half-buried in an open field north of the city of Hebron – represent more than just a national disaster for the state of Israel. They are also an inflection point for Palestinian governance, as well as a litmus test for the true prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

 
What Peace Process?
Articles - July 1, 2014
 

As the parents of three Israeli teens live their worst nightmare, their sons the latest victims of terror, the drama can now follow a well-worn path of Palestinian triumphalism, Israeli revenge and global moral blindness. It is but another teaching moment - lest anyone still needs one - about why Israeli-Palestinian peace will not come soon and why the basic assumptions behind the "peace process" are so off-base. 

 
The Once And Future Threat: Al-Qaeda Is Hardly Dead
Articles - June 19, 2014
 

Is al-Qaeda really on the run? Since the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Obama administration has actively promoted the narrative that it has gained the upper hand in its struggle with the world’s most dangerous terrorist group.

 
The Islamist Canaries In The Bruneian Mine Shaft
Articles - May 13, 2014
 

Human rights and liberal values are under threat in a small, little-known country most people would be hard-pressed to find on a map. Brunei Darussalam, following the radical vision of Usama bin Laden and his followers, became an Islamic state under strict Sharia law this past week, with punishments of death by stoning for adulterers and severing of limbs for thieves. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have yet to focus on the challenges posed by radical Islamic regimes, much less tackle them effectively.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 146
Bulletins - April 3, 2014
 

The IRGC versus Rouhani;
Iran's ties with Hamas: Back on track
Iran's oil export surge;
Fear and loathing in Sana'a;
A tug-of-war over investment in Iran

 
South Asia Security Monitor - No. 338
Bulletins - February 19, 2014
 

U.S. freezes Haqqani assets;
Launch dates set for INS Arihant, AGNI-5;
Taliban 15 demands for peace talks;
Pakistan invests in JF-17

 
End the Terror of Ivory Trade
Articles - January 25, 2014
 

Transnational criminal syndicates, terrorist organizations and Islamic extremists are increasingly turning to wildlife trafficking to bankroll their operations. Specifically, elephant and rhinoceros ivory accounts for an increasing share of the budget of Somali militant groups and al-Qaeda affiliates. So far, the White House and international agencies have failed to effectively address this emerging threat.

 
Russia Is Losing Against Radical Islam
Articles - January 8, 2014
 

Last month was a bloody one in Russia. On December 29th and 30th, two suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd killed a combined total of 34 people and injured many more. In the process, they shone a rare spotlight on the true state of Russia's counterterrorism policy.

 
World Almanac of Islamism: 2014
Books - January 2014
 

The American Foreign Policy Council’s World Almanac of Islamismis a comprehensive resource designed to track the rise or decline of radical Islam on a national, regional and global level. This database focuses on the nature of the contemporary Islamist threat around the world, and on the current activities of radical Islamist movements worldwide.

Access the updated 2014 Almanac online http://almanac.afpc.org/ or order a hard copy from Amazon.com.

 

 
The Day the Music Died?
Articles - November 25, 2013
 

The deal hammered out over the weekend between the P5+1 powers and Iran in Geneva should have come as a surprise to no one. The White House’s dogged pursuit of some sort of diplomatic breakthrough with Iran, whatever the political and international-security cost, meant that an agreement — no matter how bad — was in the offing, unless the Iranians themselves decided it wasn’t in their interest.

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 303
Bulletins - November 18, 2013
 

Brotherhood banned and fleeing Egypt;
Al qaeda influence spreads in Syria, peace talks delayed;
Brotherhood leader arrested in Egypt

 
Chemical Belly of the Syrian Beast
Articles - October 22, 2013
 

With civil war raging, Syria, a state sponsor of terror, has attacked its own people with chemical weapons and attempted to skirt international sanctions. The United States, the EU, Russia and the UN must identify the full extent of the threat and eliminate Syria's chemical weapons capacity

 
Implosion: The End of Russia and What It Means for America
Books - September 2013
 

Today, Putin’s Russia is fast approaching a social and political crisis—one that promises to be every bit as profound as the fall of the USSR. Author Ilan Berman tackles the crisis that has Russia on the fast track to ruin, and the grave danger Russian collapse poses to America’s security, in his new book, Implosion.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 138
Bulletins - September 17, 2013
 

Iran's economic crisis deepens...;
...as regime readies nuclear bargaining chip;
A helping hand from Moscow

 
The Fight Against Al-Qaida Is Far From Over
Articles - September 11, 2013
 

Whatever happened to the war on terror? Unless you've been paying close attention, you could be forgiven for thinking that America's struggle against radical Islam is largely a thing of the past.

 
Iran's New President Won't Compromise
Articles - June 27, 2013
 

History, it is said, doesn't repeat itself, but occasionally it does rhyme. So it is with Western policy toward Iran, which is on the verge of returning to the costly rhythm of the past.

 
Despite Sanctions, Iran's Money Flow Continues
Articles - June 25, 2013
 

The United States and Europe are failing to use a tool already in their possession that would deliver a knockout blow to Iran's nuclear program. It isn't a new piece of computer malware or a bomb. The group that would accomplish the mission isn't the Pentagon or the European Union—it's the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift.

 
Iran's Rigged Election
Articles - June 24, 2013
 

Iranians closed the page on the tumultuous eight-year tenure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when they went to the polls on June 14 to pick a new president. In a national election marked by tremendous fervor and massive turnout (some 75 percent of Iran’s roughly 50 million eligible voters are estimated to have participated), the victor was Hasan Rowhani, a soft-spoken cleric widely billed as a “moderate” among Iran’s field of presidential contenders.

 
Iran: Much More Than Nukes
Articles - June 13, 2013
 

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey's acknowledgment this week that Iran "is a threat to U.S. national security in many ways," and not just in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, is both welcome and timely.

In highlighting Iran's nuclear pursuit, U.S. policymakers and pundits have cast insufficient light on Tehran's other activities in the region and beyond that dog U.S. security interests and make its potential nuclear capacity so frightening.

 
Iran On Our Back Porch
Articles - June 5, 2013
 

Last week, Argentine state prosecutor Alberto Nisman dropped a bombshell when he issued his long-awaited indictment in the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israel Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires. The 502-page report pins the blame for the attack -- which killed 85 and wounded hundreds more in what experts call Latin America's 9/11 -- squarely on the Islamic Republic of Iran. In doing so, it provides a timely reminder that Iran's radical regime is active in the Western Hemisphere and that its presence here is far broader than is commonly understood.

 
Boston Bombing's Russian Roots
Articles - May 14, 2013
 

Ever since last month’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, speculation has abounded as to what led the perpetrators — suspected to be ethnic Chechens 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar — to carry out the most significant act of terrorism on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. By all accounts, both were largely homegrown radicals who received inspiration, and perhaps even dangerous instruction, from jihadist elements in the United States and abroad. The roots of the Tsarnaevs’ militancy can be traced back at least in part to Russia’s own troubled “war on terrorism” — a struggle that Moscow, more than two decades after the Soviet collapse, is in real danger of losing.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 133
Bulletins - April 26, 2013
 

Flashpoint: Iran's Azeris;
Economic uncertainty, and food insecurity, in Iran;
Number of Presidential hopefuls continues to grow

 
Overlooked Middle East Crises
Articles - April 23, 2013
 

These days, American policy toward the Middle East tends to be dominated by two regional crises.

The first is the long-running showdown with Iran over its nuclear program. Despite mounting Western financial pressure, the Islamic republic shows no signs of changing course. To the contrary, Iran’s leaders have defiantly tightened their fiscal belts and redoubled their efforts to cross the nuclear Rubicon. Meanwhile, negotiations between Tehran and the West have concluded predictably, without any tangible progress on bringing the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions to heel.

 
What Are The Roots Of Tsarnaev's Murder Spree?
Articles - April 21, 2013
 

The apprehension of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ends a five day reign of terror in the Boston area. Taking him alive allows authorities the opportunity to find answers to critical questions surrounding the deadly April 15 Boston marathon bombing. Most important of this is, why did Dzhokhar and his brother Tamarlan allegedly do it?

 
The Dangers Of Neglecting Central Asia
Articles - April 16, 2013
 

Secretary of State John Kerry made news recently by referring to the venue of the latest nuclear talks with Iran as the fictional country of "Kyrzakhstan." That off-the-cuff comment was a telling indicator of the general lack of concern for Central Asia that prevails in official Washington.

 
Shift Tactics In Iran Negotiations
Articles - February 28, 2013
 

Suddenly, it's springtime for diplomacy with Iran once again. After a year that saw a dramatic escalation of economic pressure against the Islamic Republic, the Obama administration and its allies are now once again talking to Tehran. Yesterday, negotiations concluded in Almaty, Kazakhstan on the latest round of multilateral diplomacy aimed at bringing Iran's nuclear ambitions to heel. Additional talks are now set for April, to be held once again in Kazakhstan.

 
Does Iran Already Have The Bomb?
Articles - February 27, 2013
 

During Secretary of State John Kerry's listening tour of the Middle East, one troubling regional issue might go unspoken: the possibility that Iran already has nuclear weapons capability.

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 279
Bulletins - February 26, 2013
 
 
Cutting The Iran-China Connection
Articles - February 14, 2013
 

Just what will it take to bring Iran’s nuclear ambitions to heel? The past year has seen a dramatic expansion of economic pressure against the Iranian regime by the United States and Europe, all with a single-minded purpose: to ratchet up the costs to Iran of its stubborn atomic endeavor.

 
Rogue Nations Shrug Off Obama's Threats
Articles - February 13, 2013
 

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged that "America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons."

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 131
Bulletins - February 6, 2013
 


Iran adapts to western sanctions...:
...or does it?;
With an eye towards election, a new order of battle

 
Iran Electoral Power Play Shows How Fragile Regime Actually Is
Articles - February 5, 2013
 

Iran's presidential election may still be some four months away, but the political machinations have already begun. Last week, Iran's Council of Guardians, the powerful governmental oversight body tasked with interpreting the country's constitution, passed a new law imposing additional curbs on the electoral process within the Islamic Republic—and adding a new layer of bureaucracy to its already-convoluted political process.

 
Assessing Iran's Asia Pivot
Articles - January 30, 2013
 

A significant shift is underway in U.S. defense posture. Over the past year, the Obama administration has carried out a public pivot in strategic focus toward the Asia Pacific theater. The reorientation has been driven in large part by concerns over China’s “peaceful” (or not so peaceful) rise to regional prominence—and by an effort to exploit the opportunities that have been created by it. Widespread regional unease over China’s growing footprint among Asian countries has paved the way for stronger relationships between Asia and the United States, as well as a growing willingness to partner with Washington on matters of regional security and politics.