Blood Year

The Unraveling of Western Counterterrorism

Author: David Kilcullen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190600543

Category: Islam and state

Page: 312

View: 7020

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2014 has the potential to go down as a crucial year in modern world history. A resurgent and bellicose Russia took over Crimea and fueled a civil war in Eastern Ukraine. Post-Saddam Iraq, in many respects a creature of the United States because of the war that began in 2003, lost a third of its territory to an army of hyper-violent millennialists. The peace process in Israel seemed to completely collapse. Finally, after coalescing in Syria as a territorial entity, the Islamic State swept into northern Iraq and through northeastern Syria, attracting legions of recruits from Europe and the Middle East. In short, the post-Cold War security order that the US had constructed after 1991 seemed to be coming apart at the seams. David Kilcullen was one of the architects of America's strategy in the late phases of the second Gulf War, and also spent time in Afghanistan and other hotspots. In Blood Year, he provides a wide-angle view of the current situation in the Middle East and analyzes how America and the West ended up in such dire circumstances. Whereas in 2008 it appeared that the U.S. might pull a modest stalemate from the jaws of defeat in Iraq, six years later the situation had reversed. After America pulled out of Iraq completely in 2011, the Shi'ite president cut Sunnis out of the power structure and allowed Iranian influence to grow. And from the debris of Assad's Syria arose an extremist Sunni organization even more radical than Al Qaeda. Unlike Al Qaeda, ISIS was intent on establishing its own state, and within a remarkably short time they did. Interestingly, Kilcullen highlights how embittered former Iraqi Ba'athist military officers were key contributors to ISIS's military successes. Kilcullen lays much of the blame on Bush's initial decision to invade Iraq (which had negative secondary effects in Afghanistan), but also takes Obama to task for simply withdrawing and adopting a "leading from behind" strategy. As events have proven, Kilcullen contends, withdrawal was a fundamentally misguided plan. The U.S. had uncorked the genie, and it had a responsibility to at least attempt to keep it under control. Instead, the U.S. is at a point where administration officials state that the losses of Ramadi and Palmyra are manageable setbacks. Kilcullen argues that the U.S. needs to re-engage in the region, whether it wants to or not, because it is largely responsible for the situation that is now unfolding. Blood Year is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding not only why the region that the U.S. invaded a dozen years ago has collapsed into utter chaos, but also what it can do to alleviate the grim situation.
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The Palgrave Handbook of Artistic and Cultural Responses to War since 1914

The British Isles, the United States and Australasia

Author: Martin Kerby,Margaret Baguley,Janet McDonald

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319969862

Category: History

Page: 582

View: 6951

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This handbook explores a diverse range of artistic and cultural responses to modern conflict, from Mons in the First World War to Kabul in the twenty-first century. With over thirty chapters from an international range of contributors, ranging from the UK to the US and Australia, and working across history, art, literature, and media, it offers a significant interdisciplinary contribution to the study of modern war, and our artistic and cultural responses to it. The handbook is divided into three parts. The first part explores how communities and individuals responded to loss and grief by using art and culture to assimilate the experience as an act of survival and resilience. The second part explores how conflict exerts a powerful influence on the expression and formation of both individual, group, racial, cultural and national identities and the role played by art, literature, and education in this process. The third part moves beyond the actual experience of conflict and its connection with issues of identity to explore how individuals and society have made use of art and culture to commemorate the war. In this way, it offers a unique breadth of vision and perspective, to explore how conflicts have been both represented and remembered since the early twentieth century.
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The Oxford Handbook of U.S. National Security

Author: Derek S. Reveron,Nikolas K. Gvosdev,John A. Cloud

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190680024

Category: Political Science

Page: 512

View: 398

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National security is pervasive in government and society, but there is little scholarly attention devoted to understanding the context, institutions, and processes the U.S. government uses to promote the general welfare. The Oxford Handbook of U.S. National Security aims to fill this gap. Coming from academia and the national security community, its contributors analyze key institutions and processes that promote the peace and prosperity of the United States and, by extension, its allies and other partners. By examining contemporary challenges to U.S. national security, contributors consider ways to advance national interests. The United States is entering uncharted waters. The assumptions and verities of the Washington consensus and the early post-Cold War have broken down. After 15 years of war and the inability of two presidents to set a new long-term U.S. foreign policy approach in place, the uncertainties of the Trump administration symbolize the questioning of assumptions that is now going on as Americans work to re-define their place in the world. This handbook serves as a "how to" guide for students and practitioners to understand the key issues and roadblocks confronting those working to improve national security. The first section establishes the scope of national security highlighting the important debates to bridge the practitioner and scholarly approaches to national security. The second section outlines the major national security actors in the U.S. government, describes the legislative authorities and appropriations available to each institution, and considers the organizational essence of each actor to explain behavior during policy discussions. It also examines the tools of national security such as diplomacy, arms control, and economic statecraft. The third section focuses on underlying strategic approaches to national security addressing deterrence, nuclear and cyber issues, and multilateral approaches to foreign policy. The final section surveys the landscape of contemporary national security challenges. This is a critical resource for anyone trying to understand the complex mechanisms and institutions that govern U.S. national security.
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Quarterly Essay 58 Blood Year

Terror and the Islamic State

Author: David Kilcullen

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781459686175

Category:

Page: 260

View: 7584

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Last year was a 'blood year' in the Middle East - massacres and beheadings, fallen cities, collapsed and collapsing states, the unravelling of a decade of Western strategy. We saw the rise of ISIS, the splintering of government in Iraq, and foreign fighters - many from Europe, Australia and Africa - flowing into Syria at a rate ten times that during the height of the Iraq War. What went wrong? In Blood Year, David Kilcullen calls on twenty - five years' experience to answer that question. This is a vivid, urgent account of the War on Terror by someone who helped shape its strategy, as well as witnessing its evolution on the ground. Kilcullen looks to strategy and history to make sense of the crisis. What are the roots and causes of the global jihad movement? What is ISIS? What threats does it pose to Australia? What does its rise say about the effectiveness of the War on Terror since 9/11, and what does a coherent strategy look like after a disastrous year? 'As things stand in mid - 2015, Western countries ... face a larger, more unified, capable, experienced and savage enemy, in a less stable, more fragmented region. It isn't just ISIS - al - Qaeda has emerged from its eclipse and is back in the game in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Syria and Yemen. We're dealing with not one, but two global terrorist organisations, each with its own regional branches, plus a vastly larger radicalised population at home and a massive flow of foreign fighters.' - David Kilcullen, Blood Year.
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