A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

The Combating Threats Exchange staff are happy to bring you the July 2019 issue of CTX.

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Photo Essay: The War Widows of Afghanistan

Every wife of an Afghan soldier or policemen killed in the line of duty is eligible for regular payments from her husband’s service branch equal to his salary. The widows of civilians killed in terrorist attacks are to be given 5,000 afghanis per month, or about USD$80. If you ask these women how much they’ve actually received, however...

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Walking the Thin Red Line: DANSOF in Afghanistan

Denmark has a long tradition of contributing to stabilization engagements. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Denmark was heavily involved in peacemaking and peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, specifically in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo  ...

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The Lessons I Learned: Civil-Military Cooperation in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Army, the “Guardian of the Nation,” fulfilled its duty to the motherland in 2009 by eradicating terrorism from the island after three decades of ruthless war. After the war ended, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-affected areas in the north and east became particularly important for national development. Compared with the rest  ...

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That Word Terrorist, and What Terrorists Say about It

Armed with this Qur’anic verse, Karim Bourti, a member of the transnationa lSalafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in North Africa, explained his pride in considering himself “a Muslim terrorist,” saying he “loves” the model terrorist of this new century. “All those who are sincere with Allah support OsamaBin Laden. Any Muslim who doesn’t love Bin Laden has hypocrisy in his heart.”

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Three Ghosts Who Haunt Modern Strategy

I see dead strategists. Let me help you see them, too. For just a moment, avert your gaze from the latest Islamic State attacks and atrocities. Instead, concentrate along with me on catching a glimpse of the three ghosts who haunt the halls of the US Pentagon and the central military administrations of most developed nations—the three ghosts who drive policy in costly, counterproductive directions and keep much of the world in a permanent state of chaos.   ...

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 This interview is taken from the collection of the Combating Terrorism Archive Project (CTAP). Dr. Letitia Lawson teaches courses on security, government and politics, history, and cultures in Africa. She frequently travels to the African continent as a faculty member for the Center for CivilMilitary Relations (CCMR). Colonel Michael Mensch, former Africa program manager for CCMR, is currently a consultant on African affairs. On 8 December 2015, Nick Tomb talked with Dr. Lawson and COL Mensch about security and counterterrorism across the African continent...

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Whenever I have attempted to teach the concept of principled ethics in a class or at a briefing over the past eight years, I have asked those present to consider whether they hold any principle to be so fundamental to who they are that they are willing to “go to the mat” over it...

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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