A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

The Combating Terrorism Exchange staff are happy to bring you the November 2011 issue of CTX.

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CTFP In Action: East African Alumni Take on the LRA

If there is one thing we in the global combating-terrorism community have learned from our adversaries, it is the power of the network.  The global reach and collective knowledge a network affords are excellent force multipliers.  In keeping with this understanding, many of our alumni are reconnecting with us and their counterparts in other countries with requests for assistance or to share lessons learned...

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Bleeding for the Village: Success or Failure in the Hands of the Local Powerbrokers

On a moonless night, I crested a hill on my way to check out the valley below for enemy forces. Suddenly, I came upon three Taliban fighters approximately 10 meters in front of me; they were apparently as surprised as I was. “Dresh!” (Pashto for “stop,”), I yelled. They responded instantly with a spattering of automatic fire...

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Ten Years Later: Are We Winning the War?

The year 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the horrendous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.45 Al Qaeda’ s religiously motivated murder of almost 3,000 people on that sunny Tuesday morning led directly to military operations in Afghanistan and then Iraq, which together mark the longest-ever military engagement by America since 1776...

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Focus on Algeria

Not only has Algeria earned a distinct place in the annals of international terrorism, but terrorism is hardly only a matter of historic interest in the Maghreb.  It is an ongoing concern.  Movies, books, and articles offer numerous interpretations of how Algerians have responded to their country’s waves of violence.  One can hardly contemplate the use of torture, for instance, without recalling the movie, The Battle of Algiers.  Liberation struggles the world over have looked to the Algerian example for inspiration.  And Western counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency thinking have been indisputably shaped by French and Algerian lessons learned...

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Islamism in Algeria and the Evolution to AQIM

Islamism has a long history in Algeria, but it has been marred in the past 20 years by the deaths of 100,000 to 200,000 citizens killed in conflicts with religious roots.  The notions of Islamism, Islamic fundamentalists, radical Islamists, and Muslim extremists within Algeria—and the world—lamentably have been lumped into one category, which oversimplifies the complex ideologies involved...

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The Moving Image

There is a remarkable theme that runs through two movies set on different sides of the same insurgency:  torture works.  The insurgency is the Algerian Revolt, 1954–1962, that ended when France granted independence to its long-held North African colony.  The two movies are Battle of Algiers, directed by Gillo Pontecorvo and nominated for three Academy Awards, and Lost Command, based on the novel Les Centurions by French war correspondent Jean Pierre Lucien Osty,who wrote under the pen name Jean Lartéguy...

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Ethics & Insights

Any discussion of torture in 500 words or less is bound to fail. This column will be no different. But for the sake of clarity, let me try. Within the past 10 years, newspaper columns, magazine articles, academic papers, and entire books have been written on the ethics of torture. Films such as the 1966 classic, The Battle of Algiers have been studied for the ethical questions they pose: were the tactics employed by the French military tantamount to torture, or were they, as the lieutenant colonel in the film suggests, merely a form of enhanced interrogation? ...

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Copyright © 2023 by the author(s), except where otherwise noted. The Combating Threats Exchange journal (CTX) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal available free of charge to individuals and institutions. Copies of this journal and the articles contained herein may be printed or downloaded and redistributed for personal, research, or educational purposes free of charge and without permission, except if otherwise noted. Any commercial use of CTX or the articles published herein is expressly prohibited without the written consent of the copyright holder. The copyright of all articles published herein rests with the author(s) of the article, unless otherwise noted.


  • SALLY BAHO, Copy Editor
  • LAYOUT AND DESIGN, Graduate Education Advancement Center, Naval Postgraduate School


  • VICTOR ASAL, University of Albany SUNY
  • CHRIS HARMON, Marine Corps University
  • TROELS HENNINGSEN, Royal Danish Defense College
  • PETER MCCABE, Joint Special Operations University
  • RAJAN RAVINDRAN, Indian Army (Ret.)
  • IAN C. RICE, US Army (Ret.)
  • ANNA SIMONS, Naval Postgraduate School
  • SHYAMSUNDER TEKWANI, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
  • CRAIG WHITESIDE, Naval War College


  • AMINA KATOR-MUBAREZ, Naval Postgraduate School