A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

CTX Past Issues

Read our past issues below:

Asset Publisher
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Letter from the Editor
  • 2. Learning from the Protestant Reformation
  • 3. QAnon’s Psychological Influence
  • 4. The Future of Irregular Warfare Between Nation States
  • 5. The Fog: Part Two Occam’s Razor
  • 6. The CTX Interview | Brigadier General Manuel Alvarez
  • 7. The Written Word | The Moon is Down
  • 8. Publications & Announcements
Irregular Warfare, Peru
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Letter from the Editor
  • 2. Feared and Revered
  • 3. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Operation Serval, and the Value of Irregular Warfare
  • 4. The Fog - Part One: Scimitar of the Prophet
  • 5. The CTX Interview
  • 6. The Written Word: Irregular Soldiers and Rebellious States: Small-Scale U.S. Interventions Abroad
  • 7. The Written Word | Head of the Mossad: In Pursuit of a Safe and Secure Israel
  • 8. Publications: Outsourcing Duty: The Moral Exploitation of the American Soldier
Ukraine, Afghanistan
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Operational Energy: Essential Knowledge for Military Officers
  • 2. NATO Tabletop Exercises to Further Energy Resilience and Security: Ukraine as a Case Study
  • 3. Exercise Roadmap for Resilience: Requirements, Results, and Resourcing
  • 4. Energy in Conflict: The Case of the 2020 Armenia Azerbaijan War
  • 5. The Integration of Special Forces in Cyber Operations
  • 6. Ethics and Insights | The Ethics of AI in Warfare
  • 7. Publications
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. At the Very End, I Smiled
  • 2. ISIS Medical System as a Target for Counterterrorism Efforts
  • 3. The Future of Islamic Extremism in Pakistan: An Ethnography, Part Twoy
  • 4. THE CTX INTERVIEW | GEN David Petraeus, US Army (ret.)
  • 5. THE GAME FLOOR | Facilitating CT Virtual Games: The Transition to the Virtual World
  • 6. Ethics and Insights | Sometimes
  • 7. The Written Word | Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS
  • 8. Publications | The Global Spread of Islamism and the Consequences for Terrorism
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Irregular War Is Revolutionary
  • 2. How Dutch Special Operations Forces Can Support Cyber Operations: A Symbiotic Relationship
  • 3. Causes of the Ongoing Mass Radicalization of Islam in Pakistan: An Ethnography
  • 4. Ethics and Insights
  • 5. The Written Word | How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns
  • 6. The Written Word | Blood in the Fields: Ten Years Inside California’s Nuestra Familia Gang
  • 7. Publications | Global Jihad: A Brief History
Cyber Religious radicalization
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. What Special Operations Forces Might Learn from the Police: Three Observations
  • 2. Movements of Rage
  • 3. The CTX Interview | Ambassador Feisal al-Istrabadi, Former Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations
  • 4. Ethics and Insights | On Truth, Lies, and Loyalty: Part One
  • 5. The Game Floor | Cyberspace Operations Training Using CyberWar: 2025
  • 6. The Written Word | Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations by Ronen Bergman
  • 7. The Written Word | Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists
  • 8. JSOU Publications
Special Operations Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Operation Inherent Resolve: Observations from Ninewa’s Tribal Mobilization Effort
  • 2. THE CTX INTERVIEW: LTC Kåre Jakobsen, Danish Jaegercorps
  • 3. Homegrown Terrorism: A Social Network Analysis of a Minnesota ISIS Cell
  • 4. SPECIAL CTX INTERVIEW: MG Eduardo Zapateiro, Joint Special Operations Command Colombia
  • 5. SPECIAL CTX INTERVIEW: LTG Danilo G. Pamonag, Armed Forces Of The Philippines (Ret.)
  • 6. ETHICS AND INSIGHTS: On Courage
  • 7. THE MOVING IMAGE: Hotel Mumbai
Ninewa Social Networks
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. The Man Who Would Be King
  • 2. The Rise of Isis in the Philippines and The Battle of Marawi
  • 3. Keeping All the Frogs in the Boil
  • 4. ETHICS AND INSIGHT: Ethics for Ethics’ Sake, George Lober
  • 5. THE WRITTEN WORD: LTC Ole Stephan, German Army
ISIS ethics written word
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Finland's Special Operations Surgical Team in Action
  • 2. Coercion and Non-State Actors: Lessons from the Philippines
  • 3. The Localization Strategy: Strategic Sense for Special Operations Forces in Niger
  • 4. The Development of a Special Operations Command for Japan
  • 5. THE WRITTEN WORD: LCDR Flemming Haar, Danish Naval Special Forces
Niger Finland Special Operations Japan
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Confronting an Isis Emir
  • 2. Maps in the Analysis of Insurgencies: The Case of ISIS
  • 3. The Challenges of Demobilizing and Reintegrating Armed Groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 4. Dealing with Contingencies in South Sudan
  • 5. CTAP INTERVIEW- Interviewed by MAJ Anders Hamlin, US Army Special Forces
  • 6. CTAP INTERVIEW- Interviewed by Dr. Doug Borer, US Naval Postgraduate School
  • 7. THE WRITTEN WORD: Reviewed by LTC Stans Victor Mouaha-Bell, Cameroon Army
Max Boot South Sudan Boko Haran Congo
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. ISIS Prisons: Where Labor Demand Meets Labor Supply
  • 2. Maritime Terrorism in the Mediterranean Sea
  • 3. Drones and the Future of Security Policy: A Maritime Case Study for Assessing the Risk of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • 4. Adapting CT Strategies to Combat Organized Crime Gangs
  • 5. Fundamentalism: The Branch Davidians and the Islamic State
  • 6. CTAP INTERVIEW: Vera Mironova, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
  • 7. CTAP INTERVIEW: Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University
  • 8. ETHICS AND INSIGHT: Honor and Truth
Bruce Hoffman Islamic State
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Foreward
  • 2. Introduction: The Theory, History, and Current State of Hybrid Warfare
  • 3. Countering Russian Hybrid Warfare: Acknowledging the Character of Modern Conflict
  • 4. Russian Aggression Toward Ukraine: A Long-Term Example Of Hybrid Warfare
  • 5. The Strategic Utility Of The Russian Spetsnaz In Crimea
  • 6. Is It All Just A Bad Habit? Explaining NATO's Difficulty In Deterring Russian Aggression
  • 7. From Tactical Champions To Grand Strategy Enablers: The Future Of Small-Nation Sof In Counter–Hybrid Warfare
  • 8. To Change Or Not To Change?
  • 9. Sharpening The Spear Of NATO SOF: Deterring Russian Hybrid Aggression Through Network Targeting
NATO Afghanistan Hybrid Warfare
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Da’esh, Legitimacy, and the Rise of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • 2. Radicalization and Deradicalization: Norwegian Foreign Fighters in Syria
  • 3. The 1990 Siege of Batticaloa: A Tribute to the Warriors of the Gemunu Watch
  • 4. The Lumads of the Philippines: Struggling from Conflict toward Peace
  • 5. Assessing Canada’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams: Can the Concept of INSETs Be Exported? |
  • 6. CTAP INTERVIEW: Brian Fishman, Center for International Security and Cooperation
Phillipines Radicalization Canada
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Photo Essay: The War Widows of Afghanistan
  • 2. Walking the Thin Red Line: DANSOF in Afghanistan
  • 3. The Lessons I Learned: Civil-Military Cooperation in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka
  • 4. That Word Terrorist, and What Terrorists Say about It
  • 5. Three Ghosts Who Haunt Modern Strategy
  • 6. CTAP INTERVIEW: Interviewed by Nicholas Tomb, US Naval Postgraduate School
  • 7. ETHICS AND INSIGHTS: George Lober
Sri Lankan Army North Africa Nick Tomb
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Analysis From The Edge: Information Paralysis And Decision Making In Complexity
  • 2. The US-Led Coalition Against ISIS: Strategic Difficulties and Political Will
  • 3. Language Skills for the Special Forces Operator: Access and Information in the African Permissive Environment
  • 4. Siding with the Egg
  • 5. Trying to Work Smarter: Fusion Tools for a Small SOF TF Staff
  • 6. CTAP INTERVIEW: The Return of the Zarqawists: How to Deal with the Islamic State Movement
  • 7. THE WRITTEN WORD: Not Your Dad’s Al Qaeda
SOCAFRICA Wael Abbas Afghanistan
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Countering Extremist Groups in Cyberspace: Applying Old Solutions to a New Problem
  • 2. Disaster Response: A Not-so-Sexy Kind of Job
  • 3. The Phantom Raid
  • 4. Generic placeholder image Seymour Hersh Reignites the Bin Laden Raid Controversy
  • 5. The Sri Lankan Civil War: a Personal Reminiscence
  • 6. The Use and Misuse of Influence in Counterinsurgency
  • 7. The Dark Side of Drones: Implications for Terrorism
  • 8. The Comprehensive Approach: a Silver Bullet or the Loch Ness Monster?
  • 9. CTAP INTERVIEW: Dr. David Kilcullen, Caerus Global Solutions
  • 10, The WRITTEN WORD American Force: Dangers, Delusions, and Dilemmas in National Security
  • 11. THE WRITTEN WORD the Hour Between Dog and Wolf
  • 12. The Moving Image
Kilcullen Phantom Raid Cyberspace
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Preface
  • 2. Foreward
  • 3. Introduction to the Special Issue
  • 4. Characteristics Of Terrorism Hotspots
  • 5. The Blue-Green-Red Metaphor in the Context Oof Counterterrorism: Clarifications and Anthropological Emendations
  • 6. America: Imagined Community, Imagined Kinship
  • 7. The Ecosystem of Dark Networks: A Biological Perspective
  • 8. One Arm Tied Behind Our Backs? Assessing the Power of the United States to Combat Global Threats
  • 9. The Weather of Violence: Metaphors and Models, Predictions and Surprises
  • 10. Trapped by The Paradigm: Why Net Assessment may not Contribute to Countering Terrorism
  • 11. CTAP Interview: Dr. Cécile Fabre, Oxford University
  • 12. Ethics And Insights: Making Decisions, Taking Ethical Responsibility, Part 2: Recalibrating The Job, Reconsidering The Tool
Dark Networks Cecile Fabre Net Assessment
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. SOF Joint Combined Exchange Training From a Host Nation’s Perspective
  • 2. Turkey’s Fight to Shut Off the Flow of PKK Finances
  • 3. The Movers and Shakers of the Lord’s Resistance Army
  • 4. Hybrid Warfare Revisited
  • 5. Report on the 2014 Special Operations Research Association Symposium
  • 6. The CTAP INTERVIEW: Dr. Michael Noonan, Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • 7. ETHICS AND INSIGHT: Making Decisions, Taking Ethical Responsibility, Part 1: To Tool or not to Tool
  • 8. THE WRITTEN WORD: Rebels Without Borders: Transnational Insurgencies in World Politics by Idean Salehyan
  • 9. THE WRITTEN WORD: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
LRA Hybrid Warfare PKK
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Hizb-ut-Tahrir: The New Islamic State
  • 2. Factors for the Success of Jihadist Information Operations in Social Media
  • 3. Sustainability of the Afghan Security Forces: A Wicked Problem
  • 4. Understanding the Intensity of Boko Haram’s Terrorism
  • 5. CTAP INTERVIEW: Interviewed by Dr. Leo Blanken, US Naval Postgraduate School
Boko Haram Jihad Social Media
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Pakistan: Money for Terror
  • 2. Women in Terrorist Undergrounds
  • 3. Of Culture and Cliché: Politics and the Uses (and Abuses) of Anthropology
  • 4. The Tie That Binds: Reflections on Veteran’s Day
  • 5. The “Golden Owl” Returns to Kazakhstan
  • 6. THE CTAP INTERVIEW: Interviewed by Amina Kator-Mubarez and Elizabeth Skinner, US Naval Postgraduate School
  • 7. ETHICS AND INSIGHTS: George Lober, US Naval Postgraduate School
  • 8. THE WRITTEN WORD: Reviewed by Malladi Rama Rao, Editor, South Asian Tribune
Kazakhstan Pakistan India
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Building the Future: An Unlikely Coalition and a Road in Rural
  • 2. Education on Islam for Special Forces Needs an Overhaul: Africa as a Case Study
  • 3. Pounding on the Detonator: How China Is Radicalizing Its Own Uyghur Population
  • 4. Stressing Self-defense in the Force: Five Methods to Empower Commanders
  • 5. NATO SOF Countries’ Three Main Mission Sets: Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, Military Assistance
  • 6. Leading the Cool War: Building a Sustainable Network inside the Ivory Tower
  • 7. The Call-up: The Roots of a Resilient and Persistent Jihadist Presence on Twitter
  • 8. CTAP INTERVIEW: Kirk Meyer, Former Director of the Afghan Threat Finance Cell
  • 9. THE WRITTEN WORD: Reviewed by Ryan Stuart
Uyghur Twitter Kirk Meyer
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Leadership in Afghanistan: Three Takes Part 1
  • 2. Leadership in Afghanistan: Three Takes Part 2
  • 3. Leadership in Afghanistan: Three Takes
  • 4. The Indian Mujahideen: The New Face of Jihadist Consolidation
  • 5. An Interview with Nir Maman: Founder and Chief Instructor, Israeli Special Forces Krav Maga
  • 6. Drones: A Challenge to the Professional Military Ethic
  • 7. CTAP INTERVIEW: Afghan Special Forces officer
  • 8. ETHICS AND INSIGHTS: George Lober, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School
  • 9. THE WRITTEN WORD: George Lober, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School
Drones Nir Maman
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. A Roundtable Conversation on Intelligence and Terrorism Part One: The Changing Nature of Terrorism
  • 2. A Roundtable Conversation on Intelligence and Terrorism Part Two: Requirements and Roles and Missions
  • 3. Tags, Tweets, and Tethers
  • 4. The Relevance of Technology in the Fight against India’s Maoist Insurgency
  • 5. A Roundtable Conversation on Intelligence and Terrorism Part Three: Sharing Intelligence in Counterterrorism
  • 6. Preventing a Day of Terror: Lessons Learned from an Unsuccessful Terrorist Attack
  • 7. CTAP INTERVIEW: Peter Berg, Director of Lone Survivor
  • 8. CTAP INTERVIEW Part Two: A Roundtable Discussion of Lone Survivor
  • 9. The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth
  • 10. The Wire HBO Serial Television Drama, Created by David Simon
Lone Survivor The Wire
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Protecting Soft Networks: Time to Counter the Enemy’s Logical Strategy
  • 2. The Ideologies of Anti-Technology Violence
  • 3. De-Radicalizing Muslim Youth in Western Societies
  • 4. The Role of Medical Development in Support of Security
  • 5. The Challenge of Combat Search and Rescue for Colombian National Army Aviation
  • 6. The Future of SOF Education: A Vision for Global Special Forces Education
  • 7. The Haqqani Network: Pursuing Feuds under the Guise of Jihad?
  • 8. CTAP INTERVIEW: Colonel William (“Billy”) H. Shaw
  • 9. Kill v. Capture—With a Twist
  • 10. The Wildest Province: SOE in the Land of the Eagle
  • 11. The Deceptive American
Haqqani Britain
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. When the Goldfish Meets the Anaconda: A Modern Fable on Unconventional Leadership
  • 2. Incentivizing Cooperation in Afghanistan
  • 3. Estonia’s Forest Brothers in 1941: Goals, Capabilities, and Outcomes
  • 4. The Strategy and Activity of the Forest Brothers: 1947–1950
  • 5. Cutting the Link between Illegal Drugs and Terrorists
  • 6. Human Rights as a Weapon of Terrorists: A Case Study
  • 7. CTAP INTERVIEW: LTC Ramey Wilson
  • 8. ETHICS AND INSIGHT: The Real Double Bind
Estonia Afghanistan
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. MAl-Sahawa: An Awakening in Al Qaim
  • 2. Inside Anbar
  • 3. Maoist Insurgency in India: Emerging Vulnerabilities
  • 4. The U.S.–Yemeni Joint Counterterrorism Exercises:The Other Side of the COIN​​​​​​​Media heading
  • 5. CTAP INTERVIEW: MAJ Nils French
  • 6. ETHICS AND INSIGHTS: How Can Leaders Maintain Ethical Command Climates?
  • 7. THE MOVING IMAGE Zero F*&%#!@G Thirt​​​​​​​y
  • 8. STATE OF THE ART Painting Guerrillas or Guerrilla Painting?​​​​​​​
Max Boot Yemen
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Learning from the Enemy: Alternative Afghan Security Forces
  • 2. Land Grabs, Radicalization, and Political Violence: Lessons from Mali and Beyond
  • 3. The Problem with Rhetoric in COIN
  • 4. Decentralizing Democracy: Governance in Post-conflict Ethnically Divided Countries
  • 5. Cultural Intelligence: Archiving Lessons from Afghanistan
  • 6. Equivocated Intentions: Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan
  • 7. Anger or Ability: Arguing the Causes of Rebellion
  • 8. ETHICS AND INSIGHT: Should Former Military Members Maintain Their Military Obligation?
Afghanistan COIN
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. The New Battlefield: The Internet and Social Media
  • 2. From al-Zarqawi to al-Awlaki: The Emergence and Development of an Online Radical Milieu
  • 3. Rethinking the Role of Virtual Communities in Terrorist Websites
  • 4. Countering Individual Jihad: Perspectives on Nidal Hasan and Colleen LaRose
  • 5. Artisanal Intelligence and Information Triage
  • 6. Another Tool in the Influencer’s Toolbox: A Case Study
  • 7. Mining Twitter Data from the Arab Spring
  • 8. ETHICS AND INSIGHTS: Should Military Members Really Call Themselves “Professionals”?
  • 9. STATE OF THE ART: Contemplating the Future of Social Media, Dark Networks, and Counterinsurgency
  • 10. THE WRITTEN WORD: The Harkis: The Wound that Never Heals
Nidal Hasan Peter Waldmann
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Combining Special Operations Forces: A Dutch Case Study
  • 2. The Civilian Casualties Management Team: A Piece of the Counterinsurgency Puzzle
  • 3. Learning From History: What Is Successful Interrogation?
  • 4. Financing al Shabaab: The Vital Port of Kismayo
  • 5. Parole for Guantánamo Releasees: Revisiting a Time-tested Concept
  • 6. Teenage Spy: Infiltrating the Irish Republican Army
  • 8. THE MOVING IMAGES: Not Just a Russian Platoon in Afghanistan
  • 9. THE WRITTEN WORD: Find, Fix, Finish ...
al Shabaab Guantánamo
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. The Learning from Our Enemies: Sri Lankan Naval Special Warfare against the Sea Tigers
  • 2. Airpower in Irregular Warfare: The Sri Lankan Experience
  • 3. Operation “Jatagani”:Working to Win the Hearts and Minds of the Afghan People
  • 4. The Killing Technology Next Door: Can South Sudan Learn from the Assassination of Darfur’s JEM Leader
  • 5. Exploitable Vulnerabilities of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
  • 6. STATE OF THE ART: From yBa to Al Qaeda: A Spectrum of Postmodern Spectacular
  • 7. THE WRITTEN WORD: Lions of Kandahar, The Story of a Fight Against All Odds
  • 8. THE MOVING IMAGE: Before Iraq & Afghanistan, There Was Ireland
  • 9. ETHICS AND INSIGHT: Moral Courage Take Two
Al Qaeda Sudan
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. Measuring a Government’s Capacity to Fight Terrorism
  • 2. The Fifth CISM Military World Games
  • 3. Radicalization in Light of the Developments in Egypt
  • 4. Combating Terrorism: A Ugandan Perspective
  • 5. The Forgotten Jihadist
  • 6. THE WRITTEN WORD: Rock the Casbah
  • 7. Q&A with Eric Schmitt
  • 8. THE MOVING IMAGE: Top Ten War Movies
Egypt Eric Schmitt
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. CTFP In Action: East African Alumni Take on the LRA
  • 2. Bleeding for the Village: Success or Failure in the Hands of the Local Powerbrokers
  • 3. Ten Years Later: Are We Winning the War?
  • 4. Focus on Algeria
  • 5. Islamism in Algeria and the Evolution to AQIM
  • 7. Ethics & Insights
  • CTX Journal Issue
  • 1. CTFP In Action: Crafting a National Counter-Terror Strategy for Bangladesh
  • 2. The Financing of Lashkar-e-Taiba
  • 3. Al Qaeda’s Strategy
  • 4. Ethics & Insights
  • 5. Violent Converts to Islam: Growing Cluster and Rising Trend
  • 6. Terrorist Rehabilitation: a Neglected Secret CT Weapon
  • 7. The Moving Image
al Qaeda Bangladesh


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