New Battlefields/Old Laws

Critical Debates on Asymmetric Warfare

Author: William C. Banks

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231526563

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

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An internationally-recognized authority on constitutional law, national security law, and counterterrorism, William C. Banks believes changing patterns of global conflict are forcing a reexamination of the traditional laws of war. The Hague Rules, the customary laws of war, and the post-1949 law of armed conflict no longer account for nonstate groups waging prolonged campaigns of terrorism—or even more conventional insurgent attacks. Recognizing that many of today's conflicts are low-intensity, asymmetrical wars fought between disparate military forces, Banks's collection analyzes nonstate armed groups and irregular forces (such as terrorist and insurgent groups, paramilitaries, child soldiers, civilians participating in hostilities, and private military firms) and their challenge to international humanitarian law. Both he and his contributors believe gaps in the laws of war leave modern battlefields largely unregulated, and they fear state parties suffer without guidelines for responding to terrorists and their asymmetrical tactics, such as the targeting of civilians. These gaps also embolden weaker, nonstate combatants to exploit forbidden strategies and violate the laws of war. Attuned to the contested nature of post-9/11 security and policy, this collection juxtaposes diverse perspectives on existing laws and their application in contemporary conflict. It sets forth a legal definition of new wars, describes the status of new actors, charts the evolution of the twenty-first-century battlefield, and balances humanitarian priorities with military necessity. While the contributors contest each other, they ultimately reestablish the legitimacy of a long-standing legal corpus, and they rehumanize an environment in which the most vulnerable targets, civilian populations, are themselves becoming weapons against conventional power.
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Targeting Top Terrorists

Understanding Leadership Removal in Counterterrorism Strategy

Author: Bryan C. Price

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231547722

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 6553

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When President Barack Obama announced the assassination of Osama bin Laden, many Americans hoped the killing of al-Qaida’s leader would sound the death knell for the organization. Since 9/11, killing and capturing terrorist leaders has been a central element in U.S. counterterrorism strategy. This practice, known as leadership decapitation, is based on the logic that removing key figures will disrupt the organization and contribute to its ultimate failure. Yet many scholars have argued that targeted killings are ineffective or counterproductive, questioning whether taking out a terror network’s leaders causes more problems than it solves. In Targeting Top Terrorists, Bryan C. Price offers a rich, data-driven examination of leadership decapitation tactics, providing theoretical and empirical explanations of the conditions under which they can be successful. Analyzing hundreds of cases of leadership turnover from over two hundred terrorist groups, Price demonstrates that although the tactic may result in short-term negative side effects, the loss of top leaders significantly reduces terror groups’ life spans. He explains vital questions such as: What factors make some terrorist groups more vulnerable than others? Is it better to kill or capture terrorist leaders? How does leadership decapitation compare to other counterterrorism options? With compelling evidence based on an original dataset along with an in-depth case study of Hamas, Targeting Top Terrorists contributes to scholarship on terrorism and organizational theory and provides insights for policy makers and practitioners on some of the most pressing debates in the field.
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How the Gloves Came Off

Lawyers, Policy Makers, and Norms in the Debate on Torture

Author: Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231543255

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 4190

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The treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, Guantánamo Bay, and far-flung CIA "black sites" after the attacks of 9/11 included cruelty that defied legal and normative prohibitions in U.S. and international law. The antitorture stance of the United States was brushed aside. Since then, the guarantee of American civil liberties and due process for POWs and detainees has grown muddled, threatening the norms that sustain modern democracies. How the Gloves Came Off considers the legal and political arguments that led to this standoff between civility and chaos and their significant consequences for the strategic interests and standing of the United States. Unpacking the rhetoric surrounding the push for unitary executive action in wartime, How the Gloves Came Off traces the unmaking of the consensus against torture. It implicates U.S. military commanders, high-level government administrators, lawyers, and policy makers from both parties, exposing the ease with which powerful actors manipulated ambiguities to strip detainees of their humanity. By targeting the language and logic that made torture thinkable, this book shows how future decision makers can craft an effective counternarrative and set a new course for U.S. policy toward POWs and detainees. Whether leaders use their influence to reinforce a prohibition of cruelty to prisoners or continue to undermine long-standing international law will determine whether the United States retains a core component of its founding identity.
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Terrorism and Counterintelligence

How Terrorist Groups Elude Detection

Author: Blake W. Mobley

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231158769

Category: Political Science

Page: 340

View: 9193

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Discussing the challenges terrorist groups face as they multiply and plot international attacks, while at the same time providing a framework for decoding the strengths and weaknesses of their counter-intelligence, Blake W. Mobley offers an indispensable text for the intelligence, military, homeland security, and law enforcement fields.
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Webs of Corruption

Trafficking and Terrorism in Central Asia

Author: Mariya Omelicheva,Lawrence Markowitz

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231547919

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 7765

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Counterterrorism experts and policy makers have warned of the peril posed by the links between violent extremism and organized crime, especially the relationship between drug trafficking and terrorism funding. Yet Central Asia, the site of extensive opium trafficking, sees low levels of terrorist violence. Webs of Corruption is an innovative study demonstrating that terrorist and criminal activity intersect more narrowly than is widely believed—and that the state plays the pivotal role in shaping those interconnections. Mariya Y. Omelicheva and Lawrence P. Markowitz analyze the linkages between the drug trade and terrorism financing in Central Asia, finding that state security services shape the nexus of trafficking and terrorism. While organized crime and terrorism do intersect in parts of the region, profit-driven criminal organizations and politically motivated violent groups come together based on the nature of state involvement. Governments in high-trafficking regions are drawn into illicit economies and forge relationships with a range of nonstate violent actors, such as insurgents, erstwhile regime opponents, and transnational groups. Omelicheva and Markowitz contend that these relationships can mitigate terrorism—by redirecting these actors toward other forms of violence. Offering a groundbreaking combination of quantitative, qualitative, and geographic information systems methods to map trafficking/terrorism connections on the ground, Webs of Corruption provides a meticulously researched, counterintuitive perspective on a potent regional security problem.
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Global Alert

The Rationality of Modern Islamist Terrorism and the Challenge to the Liberal Democratic World

Author: Boaz Ganor

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023153891X

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 1537

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Many associate terrorism with irrational behavior and believe only lunatics could perpetuate such horrific acts. Global Alert debunks this myth by anatomizing the rationale behind modern terrorism. It draws a distinct picture of its root and instrumental causes and plots the different stages of a terrorist attack, from indoctrination and recruitment to planning, preparation, and launch. Global Alert also exposes the measured exploitation of democratic institutions by terrorists to further their goals. Despite its strong capabilities and extensive resources, the modern liberal-democratic state is nevertheless subject to the rules of war, which partially restrict the state's ability to operate and maneuver. Boaz Ganor shows how terrorist organizations exploit these values to paralyze or neutralize the states they oppose. In outlining this new "hybrid" terrorist organization and its activity in both the military–terrorist arena and the political–welfare arena, Ganor advances an international doctrine for governing military operations between state and nonstate actors as part of a new type of armed conflict termed "multidimensional warfare."
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Counterinsurgency in Crisis

Britain and the Challenges of Modern Warfare

Author: David H. Ucko,Robert Egnell

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231535414

Category: Political Science

Page: 248

View: 1925

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Long considered the masters of counterinsurgency, the British military encountered significant problems in Iraq and Afghanistan when confronted with insurgent violence. In their effort to apply the principles and doctrines of past campaigns, they failed to prevent Basra and Helmand from descending into lawlessness, criminality, and violence. By juxtaposing the deterioration of these situations against Britain's celebrated legacy of counterinsurgency, this investigation identifies both the contributions and limitations of traditional tactics in such settings, exposing a disconcerting gap between ambitions and resources, intent and commitment. Building upon this detailed account of the Basra and Helmand campaigns, this volume conducts an unprecedented assessment of British military institutional adaptation in response to operations gone awry. In calling attention to the enduring effectiveness of insurgent methods and the threat posed by undergoverned spaces, David H. Ucko and Robert Egnell underscore the need for military organizations to meet the irregular challenges of future wars in new ways.
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Mission Revolution

The U.S. Military and Stability Operations

Author: Jennifer Morrison Taw

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231526822

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 8479

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Defined as operations other than war, stability operations can include peacekeeping activities, population control, and counternarcotics efforts, and for the entire history of the United States military, they have been considered a dangerous distraction if not an outright drain on combat resources. Yet in 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense reversed its stance on these practices, a dramatic shift in the mission of the armed forces and their role in foreign and domestic affairs. With the elevation of stability operations, the job of the American armed forces is no longer just to win battles but to create a controlled, nonviolent space for political negotiations and accord. Yet rather than produce revolutionary outcomes, stability operations have resulted in a large-scale mission creep with harmful practical and strategic consequences. Jennifer Morrison Taw examines the military's sudden embrace of stability operations and its implications for American foreign policy and war. Through a detailed examination of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, changes in U.S. military doctrine, adaptations in force preparation, and the political dynamics behind this new stance, Taw connects the preference for stability operations to the far-reaching, overly ambitious American preoccupation with managing international stability. She also shows how domestic politics have reduced civilian agencies' capabilities while fostering an unhealthy overreliance on the military. Introducing new concepts such as securitized instability and institutional privileging, Taw builds a framework for understanding and analyzing the expansion of the American armed forces' responsibilities in an ever-changing security landscape.
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