How Civil Society Can Help Prevent Violence and Extremism: And what the international community can do to support it. U.S. Institute of Peace. Leanne Erdberg, Bridget Moi. June 6, 2019
Congress charged the U.S. Institute of Peace with convening
the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States. Following the public launch of
the Task Force’s final report, four groups of experts came together to discuss
how to implement the report’s recommendations. This four-part series will
discuss the findings from these strategy sessions. Part one summarizes expert
discussion on how civil society actors are preventing violent extremism and
building resilience in their communities and practical ways the U.S. and other
international actors can more effectively interact with civil society to
bolster its role in prevention. [Note: contains copyrighted
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15 Years After 9/11, a Sharp Partisan Divide on Ability of Terrorists to Strike U.S. Pew Research Center. September 7, 2016.
As the 15th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, partisan differences over the ability of terrorists to launch a major attack on the United States are now as wide as at any point dating back to 2002. As the 15th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, partisan differences over the ability of terrorists to launch a major attack on the United States are now as wide as at any point dating back to 2002. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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After Liberation: Assessing Stabilization Efforts in Areas of Iraq Cleared of the Islamic State. Center for American Progress. Hardin Lang and Muath Al Wari. July 26, 2016.
Two years on, the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State, or IS, has achieved some important gains. This is particularly true in Iraq, where the liberation of Fallujah last month has focused attention on Mosul—the capital of the so-called caliphate. But military victory is only half the battle. As the Islamic State is pushed out of Iraqi cities and towns, the communities it ruled must be integrated back into Iraq. Nature abhors a vacuum; the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Counter ISIL should do more to support the Iraqi government in filling that vacuum. For its part, the Iraqi government itself must display a greater commitment to inclusive governance that reinforces its own legitimacy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Kathleen J. McInnis. April 13, 2016.
On September 10, 2014, President Obama announced the formation of a global coalition to “degrade and ultimately defeat” the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS or the Arabic acronym Da’esh). According to the U.S. State Department, there are currently 66 participants in the coalition. Each country is contributing to the coalition in a manner commensurate with its national interests and comparative advantage. The brief report offers several figures. The first is a map of the training and capacity building bases across Iraq, and key nations operating out of those bases as reported by United States Central Command and supplemented with open source reporting. The second is a table depicting participants in the military campaign, and what specifically each country is contributing in terms of military forces.
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The Kingdom and the Caliphate: Duel of the Islamic States. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Cole Bunzel. February 18, 2016.
Since late 2014 the Islamic State has declared war on Saudi Arabia and launched a series of terrorist attacks on Saudi soil intended to start an uprising. In a further attack on the Saudi kingdom, the self-declared caliphate has claimed to be the true representative of the severe form of Islam indigenous to Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism. These two very different versions of an Islamic state are at war over a shared religious heritage and territory. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Additional U.S. Ground Troops to Counter the Islamic the Islamic State? Five Questions. Cogressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Kathleen J. McInnis and Andrew Feickert. February 17, 2016.
Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) – the military campaign to counter the Islamic State (IS) – has three primary components: coordinated air strikes, training and equipping local security forces, and targeted special operations based out of northern Iraq. Perceived setbacks in OIR have led some observers to maintain that inserting significant numbers of additional U.S. and/or coalition ground forces is becoming necessary. Proposals include, but are not limited to, the introduction of additional ground forces to secure territory once it has been taken back from the Islamic State, and the introduction of additional trainers for local security forces. However, there are no clear-cut answers to determining the suitability, size, and mission profile of the ground elements of any military campaign; determining the disposition of military forces is in many ways as much an art as it is a science.
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Wanted: European Grand Strategy for War Against the Islamic State. YaleGlobal. Joergen Oerstroem Moeller. February 2, 2016.
Leaders of the Islamic State impose a rigid and fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, maintaining that the religion does not condone Western values of democracy, individual freedom, economic globalization or education. Moeller urges Europe to develop a grand strategy to combat extremism by recognizing how the long history of the Middle East influences political agendas, intensifying a laser focus on collecting intelligence, and praising Muslim leaders who insist that Islamic State actions contradict the religious faith. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Views of Government’s Handling of Terrorism Fall to Post-9/11 Low. Pew Research Center. December 15, 2015.
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., the public’s concerns about terrorism have surged and positive ratings of the government’s handling of terrorism have plummeted. But other attitudes relating to terrorism and security, as well as perceptions of whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence, have shown far less change. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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A War of Priorities in Syria. YaleGlobal. Chris Miller. December 3, 2015.
The international coalition targeting the Islamic State’s tenuous hold of communities in Syria and Iraq has divided interests that could prolong the war in Syria. “The war is driven by multiple, interlocking layers of conflict,” explains Chris Miller. The priorities vary and desire to maintain influence in the region runs high: The United States, France and Russia disagree about a role for the Assad regime; Turkey worries about Kurds demanding independence; and Shia and Sunni sects are at odds, both at the national level with the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia and among militias fighting on the ground. Mistrust lingers between the West and Russia since the latter invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in early 2014. A mixed bag of priorities overshadow the diplomacy required for bringing peace to the region. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Winning the War of Ideas. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Juan C. Zarate and Farah Pandith. November 16, 2015.
There is a broad consensus that the United States and the West are losing the messaging war against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and like-minded terrorists. According to the authors, the ideological fight is not just about terrorism. These are enemies of humanity—attempting to spread their ideology like a virus while reshaping borders, history, and identity. It’s time for a new coalition of global actors to take on and win this generational fight. This will require more than just creative messaging. It demands stopping the manifestations of the ideology itself. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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