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  • Author: Rick "Ozzie" Nelson, Ben Bodurian
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Five events during the fall of 2009 thrust concerns over “homegrown” terrorism—or extremist violence perpetrated by U.S. legal residents and citizens —into public view: September 19: Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan citizen and U.S. legal resident, was arrested on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Zazi later admitted to traveling to Pakistan to receive explosives and weapons training and to planning an attack in the United States. October 27: Federal authorities charged U.S. citizen David Coleman Headley with planning to attack a Danish newspaper. In December, revelations surfaced that Headley may have conspired with operatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terrorist group, in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. November 5: Major Nidal Malik Hasan, U.S. Army, allegedly killed 13 and wounded 30 at Fort Hood Army Base, outside Killeen, Texas. Early reports revealed that Hasan had previously communicated with a radical Yemeni cleric connected to al Qaeda. November 23: Federal officials unsealed indictments against eight people charged in connection with the alleged recruitment of approximately two dozen Somali Americans to fight with an insurgent group in Somalia. December 9: Five young Northern Virginia men were arrested in Sargodha, Pakistan. U.S. and Pakistani authorities claim that the group traveled there to fight alongside Taliban militants in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, America, Somalia, Virginia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Taliban-led insurgency has the momentum...but additional effective counterinsurgency forces and operations will challenge them in select districts and provinces.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, War, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Taliban
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Recent reporting by the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A) and the Department of Defense provides added insight into how the course of the fighting tracks with the development of Afghan security forces. The metrics in this analysis are not a substitute for reading the detailed Department of Defense reporting on Afghan force development available in the publications section of DoD's web site at defenselink.gov, or the new NTM-A report, "Year in Review, November 2009 to November 2010." They do show, however, that there is now a far more credible prospect that Afghan forces will be ready for transition in 2014, and capable of largely assuming responsibility for security operations. The one critical caveat is that these efforts must continue to be properly funded, and that NATO has not yet obtained anything like the quantity and quality of trainers and partners it needs to win. These metrics make it clear that this is a the highest single priority for added military contributions from NATO countries, and that current assets meet less that 40% of the requirement needed by mid-2011.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Sergey Markedonov
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As Kyrgyzstan plunges into crisis and the threat of a second Afghanistan in Central Asia looms large, the situation in the "Big Caucasus" seems less pressing and thus overshadowed. The worst scenarios predicted by analysts and politicians for the period of the 2008 August war have not been realized. The Russian attempt to "replace the regime" of Mikhail Saakashvili or apply the Georgian pattern in Ukraine, expected by many in the West, has not taken place. Neither have the attempts from the West (the United States, NATO, and others) to "nudge Georgia into a rematch," which were expected in Moscow. Nonetheless, the Caucasus region remains one of the most vulnerable spaces in Eurasia. In the Caucasus, the first precedent of a revision of borders between the former Soviet republics was established. For the first time in Eurasia, and particularly in the Caucasus, partially recognized states have emerged. While their independence is denied by the United Nations, it is recognized by the Russian Federation, a permanent member of the UN Security Council. After the "hot August" of 2008, Moscow demonstrated its willingness to play the role of a revisionist state for the first time since 1991. Russia defines the "Big Caucasus" as the sphere of its vital interests and priorities and consequently pretends to be a key stakeholder for the whole region.
  • Topic: NATO, Islam, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Central Asia, Eurasia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Moscow, United Nations