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  • Author: Christopher Boucek
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of a wave of deadly terrorist attacks that began in 2003, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a wide-ranging counterterrorism campaign. Central to Saudi counterterrorism efforts has been the use of unconventional “soft” measures designed to combat the intellectual and ideological justifications for violent extremism. The primary objective of this strategy is to engage and combat an ideology that the Saudi government asserts is based on corrupted and deviant interpretations of Islam. The impetus for this soft approach came in large part from the recognition that violent extremism cannot be combated through tradition security measures alone. This Saudi strategy is composed of three interconnected programs aimed at prevention, rehabilitation, and postrelease care (PRAC). Although only in operation for the past four years, the Saudi strategy—especially the rehabilitation and counter-radicalization programs—has generated very positive and very intriguing results. To date, recidivist and rearrest rates are extremely low, at approximately 1 to 2 percent. Similar programs designed to demobilize violent extremists and their supporters are increasing in popularity, with a number of countries adopting comparable counter-radicalization programs. Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all established rehabilitation and engagement programs, as has the U.S. military through Task Force 134 in Iraq. As such, the importance of understanding the Saudi strategy, and counter-radicalization broadly, is increasing in relevance in the fight against violent radical Islamist extremism
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Counter-terrorism, Radicalization
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The basis of nuclear doctrine during the Cold War was deterrence. Nuclear powers were deterred from attacking each other by the fear of retaliation. Today, much of the concern over possible nuclear attack comes in the context of rogue states and terrorism. And since only states are known to possess nuclear weapons, an important question is how to deter them from letting terrorists acquire a device, whether through an authorized transfer or a security breach. Michael A. Levi analyzes this aspect of deterrence in the post–Cold War world, as well as what to do if deterrence breaks down. He suggests how to discourage states from giving weapons or nuclear materials to terrorists and how to encourage states to bolster security against any accidental transfer. The report also discusses the role of nuclear attribution—the science of identifying the origin of nuclear materials—in deterring transfers, an essential link in assigning responsibility to governments for transfers of nuclear materials.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Clark Kent Ervin
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Sooner or later, somewhere or other, another natural disaster will strike America, be it a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake, or a flood. Sooner or later, somewhere or other, terrorists will attempt to strike America again. Indeed, many experts believe that the threat of another attack is rising. 1 Al Qaeda is resurgent, having reconstituted itself along the Afghan-Pakistan border. 2 And, recent history shows that terrorists are especially prone to strike during the transition from one administration to another or early in the term of a new government. Adding to our vulnerability, the nation is now bogged down in two wars and groaning under mounting debt, while our economy is sinking from the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
  • Topic: Security, Natural Disasters, Financial Crisis, Al Qaeda
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States of America
  • Author: Carsten Bocksette
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies is a leading transatlantic defense educational and security studies institution. It is bilaterally supported by the U.S. and German governments and dedicated to the creation of a more stable security environment by advancing democratic defense institutions and relationships; promoting active, peaceful engagement; and enhancing enduring partnerships among the nations of North America, Europe and Eurasia.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Terrorism, Biosecurity, Counter-terrorism