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  • Author: Heidi Reisinger
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 31 December 2014, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, the largest military mission of NATO, will be history. In line with the political decision taken at NATO's Lisbon Summit in 2010, ISAF troops will be leaving. With them will go all their equipment: a range of items, from weapon systems and armored vehicles to chairs, kitchens and fitness centers used by more than 100,000 troops and approximately the same amount of civilian personnel. This is a gigantic project. If one thought getting into Afghanistan was difficult, getting out is a lot harder. It represents the biggest multi-national military logistical challenge in modern history. Millions of tons of material have to be de-militarized, dismantled, handed over, sold, scrapped, recycled, donated to the Afghans and/or third nations, or transferred home. More than 125,000 containers and 80,000 military vehicles have to be disposed of or brought back home to NATO nations and NATO partner countries. If the containers and the vehicles were placed one after the other, end to end, they would form a line as long as the distance from Berlin to Paris.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Paris, Asia, Berlin
  • Author: Guillaume Lasconjarias
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In a January 2012 publication, the NATO Military Committee revised its Framework Policy on Reserves: "As many nations increasingly make use of professional soldiers in their Regular Forces, whilst simultaneously reducing them in size, the need for Reservists will be even greater." This reflects a position shared across NATO, where most member states recognize the need for volunteer-part-time Defense Forces able to deliver significant capability when needed. In a challenging security environment, whilst the Regular Forces are largely reduced and professionalized Reserve Forces act as a pool to support, reinforce, enhance and improve their regular counterparts. They provide a surge of personnel that can be drawn upon.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Franklin S. Reeder, Karen S. Evans, Julie M. Anderson, Meghan M. Wareham
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The National Academy of Public Administration
  • Abstract: In the past ten years, Federal agencies have worked to improve the security of information and information systems. Despite the guidance of experts and millions of taxpayer dollars, Federal information systems remain critically vulnerable to breaches and cyber-attacks. As government agencies fail to implement needed improvements to information security management, they continue to spend scarce resources on measures that do little to address the most significant cyber threats.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Reform
  • Author: Ahmed Ali
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: On April 20th, Iraq will hold its third provincial elections since 2005. There are 447 open seats nationwide, and competition for them is fierce. Previous elections illustrate that winning provincial seats can reverberate on the national level. A simple majority of seats offers the parties an opportunity to control the senior provincial posts, including the governorship and chairmanship of the councils. Control of these positions provides space for maneuvering to achieve national level objectives.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regime Change, Governance
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Ahmed Ali, Kimberly Kagan, Jessica Lewis
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Escalating violence in Iraq crossed a new and very dangerous threshold this week. Al Qaeda in Iraq launched a concentrated wave of car-bomb and other attacks specifically against civilian Shi'a targets in and around Baghdad. Shi'a militias are mobilizing and have begun a round of sectarian killings facilitated by false checkpoints, a technique characteristic of the 2006-2007 period. Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki has taken a number of steps to demonstrate that he remains in control of the situation. The expansion of Shi'a militia activity, however, is likely to persuade many Iraqis that he is either not in control or is actively abetting the killings. The re-mobilization of Shi'a militias in Iraq coincides with the formal announcement by Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah of his organization's active military participation in the Syrian civil war. Al Qaeda in Iraq's sectarian mass-murder attacks coincide with the announcement by AQI's affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra, that attacking Hezbollah is that group's primary target henceforth. The stage appears to be set not merely for the collapse of the Iraqi state into the kind of vicious sectarian killing and sectarian cleansing that nearly destroyed it in 2006 and 2007, but also for the expansion of that sectarian warfare throughout both Mesopotamia and the Levant.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Jessica Lewis
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) announced "The Soldiers' Harvest," a new campaign on July 29, 2013, immediately after the Abu Ghraib prison attack. AQI then declared that event the conclusion of the "Breaking the Walls" campaign, which apparently achieved its goals: to stoke sectarian violence by targeting Shi'a communities; and to reconstitute the veteran AQI fighting force by breaking former members out of Iraq's prisons. ISW has assessed that AQI has reconstituted as a professional military force. It is therefore crucial to examine the first 60 days of the new "Soldiers' Harvest" campaign for indications of what AQI means to accomplish this year. Initial indications suggest that AQI will seek to establish control of key terrain in Iraq while targeting any Sunnis who work for the government. The campaign name, "The Soldiers' Harvest," refers in particular to the intimidation and displacement of the Iraqi Security Forces, especially through the destruction of their homes.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The Syrian conflict is a human rights catastrophe. Over the past two years, nearly 70,000 people have died, mostly civilians, including more than 3,700 children, and nearly one million refugees have fled the country. Although both sides of the conflict are responsible for atrocities, the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the vast majority. The regime's security forces have used indiscriminate bombings, intentional mass killings, rape, and torture to kill and brutalize civilians. There is no end in sight.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Human Rights, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Jacqueline McLaren Miller
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: More than a decade after the United States and allied troops began military operations in Afghanistan, the country remains a major conflict zone. Afghanistan's continuing instability constitutes the largest security issue in the region. The country's role as the center of global opiate production contributes heavily to this instability. The grave social, economic, political, and security implications of the trafficking of the Afghan opiates extend beyond the regions of South, Southwest, and Central Asia. The opium economy in Afghanistan has become deeply entrenched and shows no signs of declining. Inside Afghanistan, narcotrafficking contributes to insecurity and feeds corruption, warlords, and insurgents. All this vastly complicates the prospects of the Afghan central government consolidating its power and effectively governing. Compounding these issues is the scheduled withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and the ongoing drawdown of U.S. troops.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War on Drugs, Counterinsurgency, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Timothy D. Sisk, Dr. Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Can political and socioeconomic transitions be systematised beyond their own contexts and specificities? In examining political liberalisation attempts taking place in the early twenty-first century, notably those leading up to and in the wake of the Arab Spring, dominant perspectives have featured a conspicuous absence of the literature on transitions to democracy of the past forty or so years. For all its insights and shortcomings, the framework of transitology (a body of literature that has comparatively and through case-study analysis examined common patterns, sequences, crises and outcomes of transitional periods) has been largely eschewed. The combined effect of the emphasis on regional narratives and immediate political dynamics has stripped the understanding of a new generation of political transitions of a deeper background of transitology which carries much relevance, albeit one in need of updating in light of recent experiences.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Politics, Sociology, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Wesley Morgan
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: This document describes the composition and placement of U.S. and other Western combat and advisory forces in Afghanistan down to battalion level. It includes the following categories of units: maneuver (i.e. infantry, armor, and cavalry) units, which in most cases are responsible for advising or partnering with Afghan troops in particular districts or provinces; artillery units; aviation units, both rotary and fixed-wing; military police units; most types of engineer and explosive ordnance disposal units; and “white” special operations forces. It does not include “black” special operations units or other units such as logistical, transportation, medical, and intelligence units or Provincial Reconstruction Teams.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan