COMBATING TERRORISM EXCHANGE

A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

From the Editor | Vol. 5 No. 3, August 2015


The Combating Terrorism Exchange staff are happy to bring you the August 2015 issue of CTX.

Asset Publisher
PREFACE

The analytical process known as counterterrorism (CT) net assessment anticipates our ability to counter threats and thus provides a perspective on the factors that could define success or failure for US CT policy that is fundamentally different from other methods. 

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FOREWARD

In 1942, not long after the United States entered World War II, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox gave a speech in which he said, "Modern warfare is an intricate business about which no one knows everything and few know very much." He spoke at a time of great adversity, when the German Army's blitzkrieg on land and the Imperial Japanese Navy's aircraft carriers at sea had transformed the face of battle. U-boats were decimating shipping along the East Coast of the United States, and Stuka dive-bombers had already turned many European cities into rubble...

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INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL ISSUE

The rapid rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) seemed to stun American leaders. US President Barack Obama stated, "There is no doubt that their advance, their movement over the last several months has been more rapid than the intelligence estimates and, I think, the expectations of policymakers both in and outside of Iraq," an observation echoed by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper...

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CHARACTERISTICS OF TERRORISM HOTSPOTS

What types of countries are more likely to experience terrorism? This seemingly simple question is crucial when conducting a net assessment of the environment in which terrorist activity occurs. Understanding which countries are terrorism-prone—what might be called "terrorism hotspots"—helps experts understand the conditions that are conducive to terrorist activity...

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THE BLUE-GREEN-RED METAPHOR IN THE CONTEXT OF COUNTERTERRORISM: CLARIFICATIONS AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL EMENDATIONS

Metaphors are universal in human languages and pervasive in the language used by national security experts. For instance, power can be "soft," diplomacy can be a "lever," and war can be a "fog." Metaphors, when well defined and understood, can facilitate communication, but they will create potentially dangerous confusion if they are poorly defined or misunderstood...

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AMERICA: IMAGINED COMMUNITY, IMAGINED KINSHIP

Kinship drives culture, and cultural rules shape society. National community in modern times is shaped by imagined kinship and the need for collective belonging and identity. Modern nations construct kinship through the belief that all citizens are related, and thus committed, to one another, and the state itself becomes the central meditative and celebratory agent for the affirmation of national kinship, especially in war...

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THE ECOSYSTEM OF DARK NETWORKS: A BIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

Organizations increasingly belong to complex networks that enable them to work together in support of shared and complementary goals. To understand this trend, scholars, policy makers, and leaders regularly seek new viewpoints from which to explore the conditions and complexities associated with human networks and organizational systems. Sociologists have developed a range of analytical models for identifying actors and organizations within formal and informal systems, and for explaining the various relational ties that link these organizations together...

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ONE ARM TIED BEHIND OUR BACKS? ASSESSING THE POWER OF THE UNITED STATES TO COMBAT GLOBAL THREATS

Americans were left bewildered in the wake of the Vietnam War (1964–1975). “How is it that the ‘greatest power in the world’ could suffer defeat at the hands of … [bandits] ‘in black pajamas?’” 1 A phrase, both explanatory and palliative, was often proffered for this puzzle: We fought with one arm tied behind our backs...

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THE WEATHER OF VIOLENCE: METAPHORS AND MODELS, PREDICTIONS AND SURPRISES

Metaphors (figures of speech) are a common part of the English language, and official speech about war, terror, foreign policy, and defense, including the net assessment of violent state and non-state actors, is no exception...

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TRAPPED BY THE PARADIGM: WHY NET ASSESSMENT MAY NOT CONTRIBUTE TO COUNTERING TERRORISM

This volume of CTX is devoted to discussing ways to refine net assessment concepts and address the complexity of the terrorism/counterterrorism dynamic. It might therefore seem heretical to question whether net assessment can make any contribution to countering terrorism, but that is what this article does...

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CTAP INTERVIEW: DR. CÉCILE FABRE, OXFORD UNIVERSITY

This interview is taken from the collection of the Combating Terrorism Archive Project (CTAP). 1 Dr. Cécile Fabre is a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford and a senior research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. She specializes in the ethics of war and has written most recently on that topic in her book Cosmopolitan War (Oxford University Press, 2012)...

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ETHICS AND INSIGHTS: MAKING DECISIONS, TAKING ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY, PART 2: RECALIBRATING THE JOB, RECONSIDERING THE TOOL

In my previous column, I called into question the self-definition expressed by some military officers, that they are merely "tools." Such a perception, I wrote, implies that these officers see themselves not necessarily as independent ethical agents but rather "simply as instruments—the ‘tools'—of a greater organization, and the means by which some directive or policy or strategy or law will be carried out." As I stated in that column, such a self-image disturbs me because it suggests the forfeiture of personal moral responsibility. It also raises the question, "Why does a tool need to be bothered about ethics?"...

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DISCLAIMER

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.

TERMS OF COPYRIGHT

Copyright © 2020 by the author(s), except where otherwise noted. The Combating Terrorism 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.


EDITORIAL STAFF

  • ELIZABETH SKINNER Managing Editor
  • LAYOUT AND DESIGN Graduate Education Advancement Center, Naval Postgraduate School

EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD

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