Small Wars Journal

terrorism

Israel, America's Presidential Election and the Law of Armed Conflict SWJED Sun, 11/03/2019 - 10:39am
Already, back in 2014, US Senator Bernie Sanders fancied himself an informed scholar on the complex laws of war. Then as now, however, the Senator's seat-of-the-pants judgments concerning Israeli counterterrorism were evidently contrived and woefully incorrect. Whether wittingly or unwittingly, this recurrent American presidential aspirant, by accusing Israel of using "disproportionate force" against Palestinians, still ignores the (1) critical regional context of Israel's self-defense responses to terrorism, and (2) the authentic legal meaning of "proportionality."

Targeting Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Pertinent Issues of Law and Strategy

The US targeted killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on 26 October 2019 raises both tactical and legal questions. Although it is by no means certain that such "decapitation" tactics can tangibly diminish Jihadist terrorist threats to the United States, there is little reason to doubt their permissibility under pertinent international law. In the final analysis, such permissibility derives from our world's still-decentralized legal structure.

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Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Hawala’s Damage to the Afghan Economy

Killing terrorists is not all about kinetic strikes, area clearances, and pinpoint raids. Terrorist organizations must be pressured in every aspect of their organization’s lifeblood. Attacking their coffers, often referred to as “counter-threat financing,” or CTF, is a key aspect of hurting terrorists from growing future capabilities and preventing future high-profile attacks.

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Incomparable Attractions of Immortality in World Politics: Jihadist Terror and Countervailing Policies of "Mind" SWJED Sun, 09/22/2019 - 1:55pm
Though generally unseen, the most compelling form of power on earth is power over death. Always. Today, after an American president declared "victory" over one especially notorious organization with aggressive claims to such ultimate power, Jihadist doctrine is anything but in retreat. On the contrary, ISIS is in the verifiable midst of a substantial "comeback" or group "resurrection."

Terrorism and Technology: The Front End

Despite the fact that there is a robust conversation regarding “terrorism and technology,” that discussion is – as near as we can tell – uniformly about the back end, that is to say exclusively addressing the dissemination of what terrorists have already produced. We have found virtually nothing in the popular press and nothing at all in the academic literature about the technology involved in the production of the materials that are being distributed.

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Assessment of U.S. Strategic Goals Through Peacekeeping Operations in the 1982 Lebanon Intervention SWJED Fri, 08/09/2019 - 11:51am
The United States’ intervention in the Lebanese Civil War was a peacekeeping operation defined by long term strategic goals centered around increasing American hegemony in the region. The United States sought to leverage its position as a peacekeeper against Israeli and Syrian advances. However, significant overreach and unplanned events would play a substantial role in limiting the extent of American success in Lebanon.
What If Iran Brings Energy War Here with Hezbollah Attack on U.S. Oil and Gas? SWJED Sun, 07/21/2019 - 7:32pm
Iran, via the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah, retains the capacity to stage terrorist attacks worldwide. That includes inside the United States. Planning for such attacks is ongoing and detailed as illustrated by the cases of Ali Kourani and Samer el-Debek, two Hezbollah operatives tasked with collecting information on U.S. targets in preparation for terrorist attacks and arrested by U.S. authorities in 2017.