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Chaos, The Legacy of Daesh: Observations after Brussels

Chaos, The Legacy of Daesh: Observations after Brussels

Constructions of Terrorism

Though the 22 March 2016 bombings in Brussels, Belgium captured the attention of Western Europe and the United States, Daesh (the Islamic State, ISIS/ISIL) has been responsible for killing scores recently in Turkey and hundreds in Baghdad.  These recent terror attacks against relatively soft targets challenges a developing consensus...

05 Apr 2016

Is the Idea of “The West” still Relevant in Modern International Politics?

Is the Idea of “The West” still Relevant in Modern International Politics?

Foreign Policy & International Relations

The term “the West” is widely used in the media and discussions on contemporary political issues: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Eastern Europe or Syria, for instance, are seen as challenging “the West” as well as inviting some form of “western” political or strategic response. The term has...

21 Mar 2016

Elections in Iran: Should We Wait for Changes?

Elections in Iran: Should We Wait for Changes?

Foreign Policy & International Relations

The important day      On February 26, 2016, elections in the Majlis and Assembly of Experts were held in Iran. Their outcomes are expected to play a significant role in determining the future of the Islamic republic for the next several. On the one hand, the results of the...

21 Mar 2016

Why is Terrorism Terrifying?

Why is Terrorism Terrifying?

Constructions of Terrorism

In spite of hundreds of billions of dollars spent globally on counter-terrorism measures, and the extremely low incidence of terrorism in most of the world, people (according to surveys of U.S. residents) are still terrorized by remote and unlikely threats and believe countering terrorism ought to be a priority...

03 Mar 2016

Supporting Women in Science and Technology

Supporting Women in Science and Technology

Education

The role of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields is regionally and internationally a rising issue. On 11 February 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrated the first annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Its objective was to recognize...

03 Mar 2016

The Usefulness of the “Civilian” vs. “Military” Targeting Distinction in Defining Terrorism

The Usefulness of the “Civilian” vs. “Military” Targeting Distinction in Defining Terrorism

Constructions of Terrorism

In the longstanding debate about how best to define terrorism, some distinguish terrorism from other forms of political violence based on the targets of the violence. That is, a terrorist attack targets civilians, and not military personnel. Does this targeting distinction provide a sound basis for defining terrorism? There...

24 Feb 2016

New Economic/Security Challenges Force Gulf States Strategy Rethink

New Economic/Security Challenges Force Gulf States Strategy Rethink

Global Economy

The Gulf states have entered a period of unprecedented uncertainty when the three key pillars underpinning the region’s stability and development appear less dependable than in the past. To overcome these multiple challenges the GCC will need to re-examine the bases of its domestic, regional and global policies. Since...

24 Feb 2016

Education as a Security Imperative in Post-Conflict Development

Education as a Security Imperative in Post-Conflict Development

Children & Young People

Reports of armed conflicts around the world have become a familiar headline on the television, in the newspapers and online. Much of the reporting includes the impact that violence and war has on children, often containing graphic images of children in horrendous circumstances. For example, images of child soldiers...

17 Feb 2016

Daesh/Islamic State in Paris and San Bernardino: Will fighting extreme ideas reduce extremist violence?

Daesh/Islamic State in Paris and San Bernardino: Will fighting extreme ideas reduce extremist violence?

Constructions of Terrorism

How should we understand the role of Daesh/IS in the November 2015 Paris attacks and the December 2015 San Bernardino attack?  What should the West do now?  In this post I argue that Daesh/IS was responsible for the Paris attacks but not for the San Bernardino attack, and that...

09 Feb 2016

Youth as Partners in Peace and Security: United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250

Youth as Partners in Peace and Security: United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250

Children & Young People

On December 9, 2015 the United Nations Security Council adopted unanimously the first ever resolution on youth, peace and security focusing on the crucial role of young men and women in peacebuilding and their positive contributions to post-conflict reconciliation, and countering violent extremism (CVE). As with similar resolutions in...

09 Feb 2016

Daesh/IS Armored Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (AVBIEDs): Insurgent Use and Terrorism Potentials

Daesh/IS Armored Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (AVBIEDs): Insurgent Use and Terrorism Potentials

Terrorism Futures Series

© January 2016 This essay in the TRENDS terrorism futures series focuses on advanced threats related to vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). It provides a threat typology of these devices with their evolution into the armored (AVBIED) variant that has now been fielded by Daesh/IS in both Iraq...

02 Feb 2016

Economic Diversification in the Gulf in 2016

Economic Diversification in the Gulf in 2016

Global Economy

Economic planning and the outlook for the Gulf region has been in the spotlight in recent weeks.  The most recent highlight is the possibility that Saudi Arabia might sell off some shares in Saudi Aramco, which has generated many column inches in the world’s financial press.  What lies behind...

25 Jan 2016