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  • Author: Lars Erslev Anderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This article investigates the developments of al-Qaida and The Islamic State in the context of the war on terror. The Iraq war 2003–2010, including the US Counterinsurgency strategy implemented in Iraq in 2007 onwards, together with the political developments in Iraq after the US withdrawal of combat troops at the end of 2011 is seen as the breeding ground for Islamic State in Iraq and thus for establishment of the Nusra Front (al-Qaida) in Syria. The chapter argues that without political developments based on reliable states in the Arab Middle East there is no solution in sight for ending the conflicts and wars in the region.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: While Russia’s military involvement in the war in Syria has received great attention, less focus has been directed at the foreign fighters from Russia and other post-Soviet states who have joined the Islamic State and other Jihadist groups. The emergence of these Jihadists has been a gradual process, which began in the 1990s, and it has now led to a situation where an estimated 7,000 Russians and 3,000 Central Asians are fighting in Syria. These figures present a challenge for the various states fighting the Jihadist groups, but they pose a much greater problem for the Russian and other national authorities, who will have to handle the fighters, when they return home.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Islamic State, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Andrea Sjøberg Aasgaard
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Why do young Muslim women from the whole world join the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, despite the fact that the group is notorious for conducting terrible sexual violations against women? Through comparing how al-Qaeda (AQ) and IS are positioning women in their ideological literature, this article sheds light on IS’ appeal to women. This is interesting, as AQ in a historical perspective only attracted a handful of European women to physically join the group. The comparison highlights that AQ and IS position women in different ways: as housewives, migrants, warriors and sex slaves. Both groups’ ideologies agree that a woman’s primarily role is to be a housewife and mother, and exclude in principle women from the battlefield. However, only IS is emphasizing that Muslim women have a right and duty to migrate to its territory. Through using ideological arguments in its literature, IS convinces its supporters that it is a religious duty to enslave women the group defines as idolaters. For this reason, IS’ brutality against non-Muslim women will not discourage its female supporters from joining the group.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Migration, Sex Trafficking, Islamic State, Sexual Violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Mona Kanal Sheikh
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Islamic State (IS) movement has opened a new chapter in the Afpak region, changing the landscape of militant movements in the area. This article looks at the patterns of rivalry and collaboration between the Islamic State on one side and Al-Qaeda and Taliban-related movements on the other. It also surveys the way Al-Qaeda has developed during the past years where most of the international attention has been devoted to the formation of IS in Iraq/Syria, and shows that Al-Qaeda is still active, though it has become more locally oriented. Finally, the article looks at the prospects for the further expansion of IS especially in Pakistan where, on one side, a range of sectarian anti-Shia movements that resonate with parts of the IS agenda while, on the other side, there is no ideological tradition for embracing the kind of caliphate-jihadism that the IS advocates.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Ralph R. Steinke
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: It was the last European war in a bloody century of European wars. Less than ten years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the 1999 Kosovo War—Operation Allied Force, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) referred to it—was unique in many respects. From the perspectives of both international law and the law of armed conflict, it significantly challenged the limits of jus ad bellum, the international laws of war governing the circumstances under which nations are permitted to use force, as well as jus in bello, the laws of war relating to proper conduct in war.[1] After decades of a NATO-Warsaw Pact standoff in Europe and proxy wars elsewhere it was not self-defense, but rather humanitarian considerations, that drew the NATO Alliance, with the United States in the forefront, into this conflict. While the seventy-eight-day NATO bombing campaign captured the world’s attention, not long after its conclusion this military operation began to fade from the public memory. Beyond the Balkans, a little more than two years after the Kosovo War’s conclusion, the traumatic events of September 11, 2001, would virtually remove global examination and recollections of the Kosovo conflict from the agenda. The United States and much of the world embarked on an entirely new, 21st century ideological and combative struggle: fighting the scourge of terrorism. Nevertheless, the Kosovo War has alternatively been referred to as a reference point by Americans who have sought a response to the Syrian conflict as well as by Vladimir Putin as justification for his claims to Crimea and the “protection” of Russian nationals. Some sixteen years after the Kosovo conflict and Operation Allied Force, it is worth asking: are there any insights to be recalled and gained from this conflict? What has been the war’s effect on the law of international armed conflict to date? Is Mr. Putin right to refer to the Kosovo campaign as his justification for the use of force, either implied or explicit, in Crimea or greater Ukraine? It will be argued here that in spite of significant concern and warnings then that the Kosovo campaign would provide a dangerous precedent for international law and even global stability,[2] it has had a nominal if not negligible effect on the body of international law as informed by jus ad bellum. In spite of Mr. Putin’s attempts to try to identify it as a precedent, the Kosovo campaign was indeed an exception. While it was characterized as a messy and “ugly” affair,[3] it did accomplish what it intended to do: stop the killing of potentially tens of thousands of Kosovar Albanians and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands more from Kosovo, ultimately providing them with a better and more secure life than was possible in the pre-Kosovo campaign period.
  • Topic: NATO, War, Conflict, Collective Defense
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Kosovo, Syria