A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

What a difference a few months can bring—and how much stays the same. When I sat down in July to write the letter for the August issue (vol. 4, no. 3), Syria was still in crisis, Iraq was quickly sliding deeper into crisis, a radical Sunni militia calling itself ISIL/ISIS was starting to monopolize the terror headlines, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was boiling over into tragedy again. Since then, Al Shabaab lost its head, northern Iraq and southeastern Syria were carved into what its occupiers are now calling the Islamic State, and the United States and its allies have flown their advisors and bombers back into a wicked problem that will have global consequences for generations to come. No one seems able to agree on whether these changes are actually something new or just a rebranding of the same old jihad. Paradoxically, events may promise those tasked with combating terrorism far more job security than any of us really wishes for...

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Pakistan: Money for Terror

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) broadly defined the term financing of terrorism as “the financial support, in any form, of terrorism or of those who encourage, plan or engage in it.” The need to track ...

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Women in Terrorist Undergrounds

Even in the twenty-first century, many of us retain the sense that women are the gentler sex, the nurturers, and the protectors.  But modern militancy is dangerously misunderstood unless the counterterrorism and intelligence communities confront the fact that females have been and are fighting ...

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Of Culture and Cliché: Politics and the Uses (and Abuses) of Anthropology

When we try to use anthropology to more effectively conduct war, we can find ourselves with a flawed understanding of both culture and warfare. In theory, the consideration of culture is a good thing, and cultural insight can be especially helpful in a time of military occupation ...

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The Tie That Binds: Reflections on Veteran’s Day

The month of November is host to the US federal holiday called Veterans Day. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marked the official start of the armistice that brought the First World War to a close, ...

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The “Golden Owl” Returns to Kazakhstan

The fifth annual international sniper competition, known as Golden Owl–2014, took place in June at the Spassk Training Center near the city of Karagandy, Republic of Kazakhstan. This event was held under the auspices of the Central Asia Forum for Sniper Arts, as part of ...

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This interview is taken from the collection of the Combating Terrorism Archive Project (CTAP).  On 28 March 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Chok Dhakal of the Nepalese Army spoke with ...

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A Line In The Sand:  Lately I have been thinking about evil—not just any evil, but the truly horrible acts that some people are capable of, the evil that manifests in individuals who delight in taking life, who draw sadistic pleasure from destroying lives, or who are profoundly amoral and feel no regard for the suffering ...

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Militant Groups in South Asia:  A tragedy is a tragedy. Words are no compensation for the pain inflicted by terrorist bullets. Time can gradually offer some healing touch, however, and the reopened Nariman House in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, provides a reality check on the events that took ...

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The Potential of Transnational Cinema to Counter Islamic Extremism:  It is well recognized among US strategists and policy makers that the so-called War on Terror is a “war of ideas” in which the Western world needs to “tell its story better.” Much has been written about the use of new social media such as Twitter ...

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This journal is not an official DoD publication. The views expressed or implied within are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any governmental or nongovernmental organization or agency of the United States of America or any other country.


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