A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

The Combating Terrorism Exchange staff are happy to bring you the August 2014 issue of CTX.

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Building the Future: An Unlikely Coalition and a Road in Rural

A Special Forces operational detachment–alpha (ODA) comprises 12 soldiers with different specialties and roles: leadership, intelligence, weapons, engineering, communications, and medical. In that regard, ...

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Education on Islam for Special Forces Needs an Overhaul: Africa as a Case Study

Islam is and should be a core education topic for Special Operations units. Dozens of nations’ armed forces have been engaging enemies inMuslim-majority countries for decades. Besides violent engagements, ...

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Pounding on the Detonator: How China Is Radicalizing Its Own Uyghur Population

“The most rebellious territory in the Qing Empire” is how historian Joseph Fletcher once described the land known today as XinjiangProvince, in northwestern China. ...

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Stressing Self-defense in the Force: Five Methods to Empower Commanders

Inherent in the United States’ counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan is a tension between the individual warfighter’s natural desire to wage conventional war and the strategic leader’s attempt to overcome ...

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NATO SOF Countries’ Three Main Mission Sets: Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, Military Assistance

NATO Special Operations Forces consists of personnel from 27 contributing countries. These countries vary not only in size, manpower, and military and financial strength, but also in their attitudes and level of national political will to support NATO SOF.

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Leading the Cool War: Building a Sustainable Network inside the Ivory Tower

Some people argue that a new cold war is going on, but the characteristics of this war—which Frederik Pohl has called a cool war—have totally changed. This cool war, which is also referred to ...

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The Call-up: The Roots of a Resilient and Persistent Jihadist Presence on Twitter

The sophisticated use of online media platforms by individuals and organizations that promote violent Islam augments a blend of audio visual media interspersed with writings that help to sanction ...

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Kirk Meyer, Former Director of the Afghan Threat Finance Cell

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The Written Word

A lot of veterans are disinclined to tell war stories. They rightly say, “You wouldn’t understand. You weren’t there.” Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, seems pretty convinced that you can’t tell a true war story. KurtVonnegut was equally convinced: it took him years...

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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