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  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: The Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), or Iraqi Higher Criminal Court, previously known as the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST), announced Nov. 5, 2006, that it was sentencing former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein Al-Majeed to death by hanging. The verdict comes in the first prosecution Saddam has faced before the tribunal, for the 1982 mass killing of villagers in the Shia town of Dujayl and related atrocities. Bringing Saddam and his henchmen to justice has posed unique challenges to an Iraq that seeks to make a former totalitarian dictatorship subject to rule of law, and in the process respect rule of law by providing fair trials. Unclear is the extent to which efforts to establish an historical record of atrocities, and undertake national healing, would be thwarted by executing Saddam before he can be tried for additional incidents. Of added significance are concerns raised by some voices that the death penalty itself is immoral and inconsistent with rule of law.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Francis Rheinheimer
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: In the months ahead, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) will deploy thousands more troops to Afghanistan as part of its ongoing mission to “support the Government of Afghanistan in providing and maintaining a secure environment in order to facilitate the re-building of Afghanistan.” Troop levels are expected to rise from about 8,000 in January to 17,000 by the end of October. The expansion, known as Stage III, will be responsible for maintaining security in the troubled southern provinces, where most violent attacks against foreign and domestic forces have taken place. NATO's commander, U.S. Gen. James L. Jones said ISAF could total as many as 25,000 troops eventually. British, Dutch and Canadian forces will be leading the effort to bring peace to Afghanistan through both civilian and military methods. Troops will be engaged in peacekeeping, reconstruction and, in all likelihood, open conflict – an effort Jones called “NATO's most ambitious operation.” Despite a lack of popular support for the missions in all three of the main troop-contributing countries, international leaders have pledged to safeguard Afghanistan from both internal and external forces that would otherwise lead the country into chaos.
  • Topic: NATO, Human Welfare, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Francis Rheinheimer
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: A senior U.S. State Department official said on April 3 that more violence was expected in the coming months. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher reaffirmed the opinion of some U.S. military leaders that the warmer months and the increased presence of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops would signal a stepped up effort by insurgents to disrupt peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts. Boucher also cited the battle against narcotics traffickers as cause for increased fighting.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Francis Rheinheimer
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: It has become a truism that any attempt to define or quantify terrorism is informed by political trends, and thus subject to fluctuations based not on hard facts but on political fashion. Yet the State Department's now defunct annual publication, Patterns of Global Terrorism, was the closest approximation of any government effort to provide information in an objective and consistent manner. As a successor to Patterns, the report produced by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) – called A Chronology of Significant International Terrorism for 2004--effectively ends over 20 years of analytical consistency in the U.S. government's terrorism accounting practices.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Francis Rheinheimer
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Three Afghan guards and a French Special Forces officer were killed when insurgents attacked a post in Kandahar on March 4. The same day, a roadside bomb exploded when a government vehicle drove by, killing a local intelligence chief and three of his bodyguards. The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Francis Rheinheimer
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Four U.S. soldiers were killed on Feb. 13 when their vehicle hit a bomb in central Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. It was the deadliest single-day loss of American troops since September, when five died in a helicopter crash.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Francis Rheinheimer
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Four U.S. soldiers were killed on Feb. 13 when their vehicle hit a bomb in central Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. It was the deadliest single-day loss of American troops since September, when five died in a helicopter crash. On Feb. 19, the Pentagon announced that 215 U.S. soldiers had been killed since the conflict began in late 2001. Of those, 129 were killed by hostile action. On Feb. 23, a man driving a truck filled with explosives was shot and killed by coalition forces after the material failed to explode. He managed to throw one grenade but no soldiers were hurt.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Joseph Button
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: On Nov. 30, suspected Taliban militants ambushed a U.S.-led convoy in Helmand province. U.S. warplanes and troops responding to the attack killed two militants. On Dec. 4, two U.S. Chinook helicopters facing enemy fire made emergency landings. The first landed harshly north of Kandahar, injuring five U.S. soldiers. The second aircraft made a came down at a forward base in Uruzgan province, injuring an Afghan soldier.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Joseph Button
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: U.S. led coalition forces killed 12 militants and arrested nine others in a raid in Zabul province on Sept. 5. Coalition forces did not suffer any casualties. U.S. military officials said the militants used their hideout location to stage attacks before the upcoming Sept. 18 elections. In a remote area of Kandahar province, U.S. and Afghan forces killed 13 Taliban fighters and captured more than a dozen more on Sept. 5. The U.S.-led assault targeted Taliban rebels suspected of the murder of Abduallah Kalid, a candidate for the upcoming elections.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Taliban
  • Author: Benjamin Goldsmith
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, the task of wiping out radical Islamist groups and their support networks gained a new urgency for the United States. U.S. attention landed squarely on Afghanistan and Central Asia, the home base of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and several other radical Islamic groups. The war in Afghanistan created the need for large number of U.S. troops in the region and a base from which to operate, while the newly proclaimed “War on Terror” created a strategic interest in maintaining this presence to suppress further Islamic radicalism.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia