Poverty is often identified as a determinant of terrorist group participation, but existing research reveals mixed support for this relationship. Some studies find that macroeconomic decline is associated with increased production of terrorists, but micro-level research suggests terrorists have above average socioeconomic status and educational attainment. In this article, the author argues that poverty should increase terrorist group participation only for individuals with high education. The author suggests that as a result of terrorist group selection preferences and the lower opportunity costs for militant group membership in economically depressed environments, the likelihood of terrorist group participation should be highest for the highly educated, poor members of any population. The author tests the hypotheses using data from Krueger and Maleckova (2003) on participation in Hezbollah, adding an interaction term to their model. The results support the hypotheses. Poverty increases the likelihood of participation in Hezbollah only for those with at least high school education....
January 7, 2011 Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture
desk study on “The use of medical evidence
and expert opinions in international and
regional judicial mechanism and in selected
domestic jurisdictions” aims to provide an
insight into how medical evidence is viewed
and evaluated in court proceedings on alleged
torture cases today. The study looks
into the procedural rules as well as the
practice relating to evaluation of medical
evidence and expert opinions by the relevant
tribunals. The special issue further features
studies on investigations and evidence collection
in selected domestic jurisdictions
in torture cases. These studies have been
conducted in five countries from different
regions and with differing legal systems –
Ecuador, Georgia, Lebanon, The Philippines
and Uganda. In these countries the IRCT
has, for a number of years, worked with
local members and partners to promote the
value and use of medical documentation of
Our hope is that the study may serve
as a reference document for those involved
in legal cases seeking to prove allegations
of torture through the submission of medical
evidence or wishing to advocate legal
changes in this area....
May 26, 2010 Al Nakhlah // Tufts University // The Fletcher School Online Journal for Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization
In the last few years, particularly after the
May 2007 fighting in the Palestinian refugee camp
of Nahr al‐Barid, the threat of al‐Qaeda
establishing a base in Lebanon from which to
wage its global jihad has become a cause for
concern for most of the international community.
This paper will examine to what extent this
concern is justified by tracing the history of Salafi
jihadism in Lebanon and analyzing its future
prospects with an emphasis on the likelihood al‐
Qaeda will choose to open a new front in
Lebanon. The paper concludes with a range of
policy prescriptions intended to help Lebanon
and the international community counter the
growth of al‐Qaeda and Salafi jihadism in general....
May 7, 2010 Journal of Humanitarian Assistance // Feinstein International Center
This article analyses the case of the steering committees established by the Italian NGO INTERSOS in Lebanon following 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah. They are proposed here as an example of transformative humanitarianism which is able to fully respect the principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence, acting at the same time as a mean to strengthen state’s authority, and to reinforce the linkages between the central government and the local civil society. Obviously the experience which will be described in this article is deeply rooted in the context of Lebanon, however some relevant features could prove extremely useful in other areas of intervention.
To carry on the analysis this paper will be divided into three sections: The first one, is aimed at describing the context of southern Lebanon in particular focusing on the period following the 2006 war between Lebanon (Hizbullah) and Israel; The second section, evaluates the project of the steering committees which have been set up with the support of INTERSOS, and their impact in terms of state building and humanitarian action. The third section contains the conclusions of the article....
January 29, 2010 Royal Institute for International Relations // Egmont
The war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 came to an end when both conflict parties accepted the plan of reinforcing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) as a means to enable a ceasefire. In political as well as military terms, European nations were the driving force behind this UNIFIL ‘enhancement’ – marking a difficult return to the UN peacekeeping system since the debacles in the former Yugoslavia. This Egmont Paper explores both the political and military logic underlying the UNIFIL enhancement. On the basis of a detailed analysis of both the political decision-making process and the military planning cycle of the operation it develops two interlinked arguments. On the one hand, it argues that UNIFIL’s operational strategy relies on its threedimensional presence as a security buffer, as a mechanism for de-escalation and as an important actor in the local economy. On the other hand, it argues that friction between the political and military levels is at the root of persisting problems in terms of information management, organisational structures and the conceptual foundations of operational planning. As such this Egmont Paper assesses the strategic rationale of the operation, which is shown to be limited, and accounts for a variety of practical problems that hamper an effective functioning of the operation....
After months of political deadlock in Lebanon, large-scale violence erupted in Beirut on May 9, bringing analysts to question whether the conflict there might bubble over into civil war. Hezbollah fighters seized large parts of west Beirut (NYT), forcing pro-government groups out of the area and shutting down media outlets. Meanwhile, rocket attacks targeted the residence of Saad al-Hariri (al-Jazeera), the leader of Lebanon’s ruling coalition. CFR’s Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow Mohamad Bazzi, on the ground in Beirut, describes the simmering violence, which was sparked by a government decision to try to dismantle the militant group Hezbollah’s telephone network. He notes that Hezbollah fighters have not generally held the positions they seized, choosing rather to force out their opponents and then hand the areas over to the Lebanese army. He notes comment from the United States and Arab League, but says many observers question how much power the international community has to reconcile Lebanon’s political deadlock. He says the next concrete event to watch for is the response of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora....
David Wurmser is a specialist on the Middle East and served as an advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney until recently. His prior positions included special assistant to John R. Bolton at the Department of State and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Wurmser is the author of numerous influential papers and three books, including Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein (AEI Press, 1999). In 2000, he contributed to the Middle East Forum's Lebanon Study Group report, "Ending Syria's Occupation of Lebanon: The U.S. Role," which condemned Syria's occupation of Lebanon. He received a Ph.D. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Wurmser addressed the Middle East Forum on March 6, 2008 in New York City....
CFR Fellow Steven A. Cook discusses the impact of Pierre Gemayel's assassination on Lebanese politics. He says Gemayel's murder marks a return of Syrian influence in Lebanon and presents an opportunity for Hezbollah to consolidate its power.
[Click on the 'Full Briefing' icon for a complete copy] This is an event that is sponsored by the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. It is focused on the question of the fighting in Lebanon, how to stop the fighting, and achieving a sustainable ceasefire in Lebanon. We use that term, sustainable ceasefire, with a little bit of a question mark because one of the things that we want to explore is, in fact, what does it actually mean and how achievable is it.
November 20, 2008 Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform // International Development Department, School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham
Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the Arab Middle East remains a highly sensitive and politicised subject in a region prone to internal and external influences on its security sectors. These influences have a direct impact on global security, making it a pertinent topic for those following developments in the region.
This topic guide aims to present an introduction to literature written on SSR in the region in general. It then presents an overview of the latest and most relevant SSR issues in three countries in the region which are all undergoing phases of SSR within their unique contexts: Iraq – post-war security sector rebuilding in a state with highly volatile armed actors; Lebanon – security sector reform within a delicate civil and political environment and a major armed actor; and Occupied Palestinian Territories – security sector reform within a delicate civil and political environment. Whilst not exhaustive, this guide hopes to cover most of the literature available on SSR in these countries. It must be noted that as of yet literature on the region and countries within it remains limited, but is increasing. Consequently, this guide will be regularly updated....
June 13, 2011 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
The Combating Terrorism Center is an independent educational and research institution based in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point. The CTC Sentinel harnesses the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence.
This volume contains the following articles:
- The Death of Usama bin Ladin: Threat Implications for the U.S. Homeland, By Philip Mudd
- Terrorist Tactics in Pakistan Threaten Nuclear Weapons Safety, By Shaun Gregory
- The Syrian Uprising: Evaluating the Opposition, By Mahmud Hasan
- Can Al-Qa`ida Survive Bin Ladin’s Death? Evaluating Leadership Decapitation, By Jenna Jordan
- Hizb Allah’s Position on the Arab Spring, By Benedetta Berti
- Israel, Hizb Allah, and the Shadow of Imad Mughniyyeh, By Bilal Y. Saab
- The Taliban’s Conduct of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, By Ben Brandt
September 7, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
The Combating Terrorism Center is an independent educational and research institution based in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point. The CTC Sentinel harnesses the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence. 1. Are the Afghan Taliban Involved in International Terrorism? by Anne Stenersen. 5. The Insurgent-Narcotic Nexus in Helmand Province, by Captain Michael Erwin, U.S. Army. 8. The Expansion Strategy of Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, by Gregory D. Johnsen. 11. A Profile of Pakistan's Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, by Arif Jamal. 14. The Failure of Salafi-Jihadi Insurgent Movements in the Levant, by Bilal Y. Saab. 18. The Dangerous Ideas of the Neo-Zarqawist Movement, by Murad Batal al-Shishani. 20. The July 17 Jakarta Suicide Attacks and the Death of Noordin Top, by Noor Huda Ismail. 22. Recent Highlights in Terrorist Activity....
October 5, 2010 Integrated Regional Information Networks // UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The refugee and displacement problem is one of the most complex humanitarian issues facing the Middle East, aid workers say.
Elizabeth Campbell, senior advocate at US NGO Refugees International, believes it is likely the Middle East hosts the highest number of refugees and asylum-seekers in the world. She underlined the need to find lasting solutions: "Any time that people remain uprooted and have not been afforded basic rights or pathways to durable solutions, it is a humanitarian crisis."
IRIN takes a look at the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region, and the main issues they face....
Mona Yacoubian, a former intelligence analyst for the State Department, says the special UN tribunal to investigate the assassination in 2005 of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is linked to the politics of Lebanon and Syria, with the Syrians trying to sow enough chaos to prevent the tribunal from ever getting underway. As it is, she says, the tribunal is unlikely #to launch before next year.
Fatah al-Islam is a militant Sunni Islamic group said to have Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian members among its ranks. Estimates of its size vary: According to Reuters it began with two hundred members and militants from other Palestinian groups have since joined. It is also suspected to have ties to al-Qaeda. Based in Lebanon, the group quickly gained notoriety in mid-2007 after violent clashes between its members and Lebanese security forces left scores dead.
May 29, 2007 Government of the United States // U.S. Department of the Treasury // Office of Foreign Assets Control
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated Jihad al-Bina, a Lebanon-based construction company formed and operated by Hizballah. Jihad al-Bina receives direct funding from Iran, is run by Hizballah members, and is overseen by Hizballah's Shura Council, at the head of which sits Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.
"Hizballah operates Jihad al-Bina for its own construction needs as well as to attract popular support through the provision of civilian construction services," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). "We will take action against all facets of this deadly terror group."
Jihad al-Bina has used deceptive means to seek funding for projects from international development organizations. In cases when intended solicitation targets were thought to object to the group's relationship with Hizballah and the Iranian government, the organization employed deceptive practices, applying in the name of proxies not publicly linked to Hizballah. Following the summer 2006 conflict with Israel, Hizballah used Jihad al-Bina to raise funds for the terrorist organization and to bolster the group's standing by providing construction services in Southern Lebanon. ...
An animated map of recent protests in the Middle East as they spread from country to country, updated with the most recent events. Particular outcomes indicated with descriptions of the progression of events for each nation.
Israel "secured" its northern frontier by annexing the Golan Heights, which it occupied in 1967, and by occupying South Lebanon until May 2000. The 1923 borders and the cease-fire line between Israel and Syria are a central issue in the peace negotiations.
January 4, 2011 Foreign Policy Magazine // International Crisis Group
Across the globe today, you'll find almost three dozen raging conflicts, from the valleys of Afghanistan to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the streets of Kashmir. But what are the next crises that might erupt in 2011? Here are a few worrisome spots that make our list. [Captions provided by International Crisis Group]
With a renewed focus in Washington on Middle East peace, many here have re-ignited the longstanding debate as to which track of the Israel-Arab peace process has greater promise: the Palestinians or Syria and Lebanon. Although there is no such thing as low-hanging fruit in this quest, and it is easy to be tempted into thinking that each new chapter signifies a watershed or a crisis, the Obama administration is conducting the current peacemaking efforts prudently. While a holistic approach to Middle East peace is important--indeed, crucial--it is worth considering whether there is greater potential for progress on the Syria and Lebanon track than with the Palestinians.
Many dynamics have markedly changed in the years since the US last seriously focused on the Israel-Arab peace process. To name but a few: there is a substantial US military presence in the region; most of the Gulf countries, Jordan and Egypt share the same threat perception as Israel (a well-justified fear of Iran); Syrian suzerainty over Lebanon has been substantially diminished; Iraq has been altered radically; the Palestinians waged a second intifada and failed; Hamas' de facto control over Gaza has been formalized; and there has been slow progress--but progress nonetheless--on democratization. These dynamics define the strategic context in which the latest effort to reach Middle East peace is being pursued.
The key issues under consideration on the Israeli-Palestinian track--security, refugees, Jerusalem and settlements--remain visceral in a way that the Golan Heights is not. The integrated nature of Israeli and Palestinian operating space makes this track extremely complex, as daily friction between Israelis and Palestinians creates numerous obstacles and setbacks that are difficult to overcome. Furthermore, the lack of a legitimate Palestinian state and broadly functioning state institutions, and a fragile PA leadership, make this track infinitely harder because it is less likely that a pseudo-state can deliver on its promises....
After the 2006 war in Lebanon and the ensuing political deadlock and escalation throughout 2007, FriEnt member organisations expressed the need for a more thorough understanding of the conflict and peacebuilding context and for reflection on options for peacebuilding by German development and peace organisations. As a result, the Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung (hbs), the German Development Service (DED), the Forum Civil Peace Service (forumZFD) and the Working Group on Development and Peace (FriEnt) jointly commissioned a study whose objective is twofold:
1. To identify relevant fields of activity for peacebuilding by German development and peace organisations;
2. To identify potentials, deficits and needs of existing approaches and give recommendations for coordination with Lebanese and international actors in order to strengthen coherence and relevance of peacebuilding activities.
The concept and methodology of this study stem from state-of-the-art tools for conflict analysis and the Peace and Conflict Assessment (PCA) approach. Starting from a systemic conflict analysis, the study looks into structural challenges, core problems and escalating factors and evaluates their relevance by analysing how their varying reciprocal impacts may foster and enable conflict and the use of violence in Lebanon. Based on this analysis, the study identifies strategical entry points and discusses main challenges, stakeholders, and peacebuilding needs in selected fields of activity. Existing approaches by Lebanese and international actors are assessed and gaps and opportunities to foster peacebuilding identified....
Israel’s invasion of Gaza and the ensuing humanitarian catastrophe has raised concerns about the potential for a dangerous escalation in regional hostilities. On January 8, three Katyusha rockets fired from southern Lebanon struck Nahariya, a city located in northern Israel, approximately 8 km from the Lebanese border. Many observers saw the attack as the first salvo in what may be the inevitable expansion of the conflict to Lebanon. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which caused minor injuries and property damage. Reports that militants launched a second barrage of rockets at Israel later proved to be unfounded (al-Jazeera [Qatar], January 8). In response, Israel retaliated by firing mortar rounds at the reported origin of the rocket fire, the Lebanese village of Tair Harfa, which is located in southern Lebanon approximately 7 km from the Israeli border. No injuries were reported from the attack. Residents of Tair Harfa did, however, flee the area out of fear of Israeli airstrikes (Daily Star [Beirut], January 9). A cache of non-operational rockets and a rocket launcher were also later discovered in the area (Daily Star, January 12)....
January 5, 2009 Carnegie Endowment For International Peace // Al Hayat
The possibility of peace between Syria and Israel in 2009 is a serious one. Both countries have a strategic interest in peace, and have been pursuing indirect negotiations under Turkish auspices for a year. Syria and Israel undertook extensive peace talks throughout the 1990s, almost coming to agreement in 1996 and again in 1999-2000. The outlines of an agreement are largely known to both sides, although in past negotiations some differences remained over details. The peace agreement would be based on full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan, and would include detailed agreements over borders, water, security arrangements, and diplomatic relations. The agreement would be implemented in phases over several years, with the Syrians insisting on full withdrawal first, before normalization of relations; while the Israelis insist on phased withdrawal and early diplomatic relations....
The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, established in 1989, has an extensive record of work in public policy. LCPS, headquartered in Beirut , is a non-partisan not for profit research center with a practical aim. Although research and publication are central to the center's objectives, advocacy, training, and cooperative efforts are also a large part of the work of LCPS. While LCPS focuses on Lebanon the center does work throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. LCPS is concerned with a variety of issues including governance, elections, social and economic development, judicial reforms, and media reform. LCPS employs a substancial staff to coordinate its efforts. However, because of the breadth of work, LCPS often utilizes a network of experts in Lebanon and the Arab region. Additionally the center works in concert with other local, regional, and international organiztions including the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) and the UNDP. LCPS funds its activities through grants from international and Lebanese organizations, the sale of its publications, consulting contracts with United Nations specialized agencies and other international public organizations, and unrestricted contributions from individuals....
WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean consists of four technical divisions headed by directors reporting to Deputy Regional Director/Regional Director. They are: Health Protection and Promotion (DHP), Health Systems and Services Development (DHS), Communicable Disease Control (DCD), General Management (DAF). There are two departments in the office of the Assistant Regional Director and they report directly to the Assistant Regional Director. The two departments are Knowledge Management & Sharing and Policy & Strategy Support. Five priority programmes are supervised by the Regional Directory/Deputy Regional Director while reporting through their respective divisional directors. The priority programmes are the Tobacco Free Initiative, Roll Back Malaria, Stop TB, Community-based Initiatives, Women in Health and Development. Further, the regional office runs a special programmes on Polio Eradication, which reports directly to the Regional Director. Another is the UNAIDS Inter-Country Programme. It gives support to the development of an expanded response to HIV/AIDS through the coordinated action of the UN theme groups on HIV/AIDS as well as the process of national strategic planning; collaborates with EMRO in the joint response to HIV/AIDS at the regional and country level; strengthens partnerships with UNAIDS cosponsers through joint regional initiatives in HIV/AIDS priority areas.
On February 14, 2005, a car bomb explosion killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and several other people in his convoy. The attack triggered mass protests in Beirut and sparked anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon. Hariri had increasingly been at odds with Syria's government, opposing the far-reaching Damascus influence in Lebanon. However, while political tensions provided a setting for the attack, no specific cause has as yet been identified. This page follows efforts towards the creation of a UN-backed international court to try the alleged perpetrators of the assassination....
Lebanon has long been caught up in the tumultuous regional politics of the Middle East. Violent civil conflict had roots in gaping class differences and fractious ethnic and religious rivalries, combined with a large number of destitute and stateless Palestinian refugees. In the 1970s internal divisions, sharpened by the presence of armed Palestinian irregulars, erupted into civil war and led to military intervention by Syria in 1976 and Israel in the south in 1978. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 425 in 1978 calling for Israeli withdrawal and establishing the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). In 1982 Israel again invaded, seizing all of Lebanese territory from the border to the suburbs of Beirut. The Security Council passed a series of resolutions, notably Resolution 509. Israel withdrew to a large enclave south of the Litani River where Israeli troops remained in occupation for the next 18 years, battling with a local guerilla resistance. After Israeli troops pulled out in 2000, a dispute continued over the Israeli-held border zone Shabaa Farms. Meanwhile, Syria continued its long military presence in the country, giving it a powerful influence over Lebanese politics. In September 2004, the United States and France sponsored Resolution 1559 calling on Syria to end its occupation. Though a largely symbolic move, the resolution was a reminder of Lebanon's incomplete sovereignty and its vulnerable status as long as Israel remains in occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory. ...
Insight on Conflict provides information on local peacebuilding organisations in areas of conflict. Local peacebuilders already make a real impact in conflict areas. They work to prevent violent conflicts before they start, to reduce the impact of violence, and to bring divided communities together in the aftermath of violence. However, their work is often ignored – either because people aren’t aware of the existence and importance of local peacebuilders in general, or because they simply haven’t had access to information and contacts for local peacebuilders. We hope that Insight on Conflict can help redress the balance by drawing attention to important work of local peacebuilders. On this site, you’ll be able to find out who the local peacebuilders are, what they do, and how you might get in touch with them. Over half the organisations featured on Insight on Conflict do not have their own website. Insight on Conflict is a project launched by Peace Direct, the UK-based charity that finds, funds and promotes local peacebuilders in conflict areas around the world. Peace Direct wants to change the balance of power and resources between local people and outsiders so that local peacebuilding is central to all strategies for managing conflict....
The Violent Intranational Conflict Data Project (VICDP) was created by Will H. Moore in 1992 to produce events data for the study of violent intranational conflict. The project produced data for five cases: Colombia, Nigeria, Peru, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, covering the years 1955-1991. In addition, some data were collected for both Lebanon and the Phillipines.
This is a transcript of an event held on 5 October at Chatham House. The panellists, drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts, examined the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
As the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict was embarked on in September 2010, the regional ramifications of the much-interrupted peace process have never appeared more important. State actors close to the conflict such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and non-state actors such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, all have a stake in the outcome of the peace talks. Together with the wider Arab League membership and Iran, not all of them wish the process to succeed, or succeed on the terms envisaged by the US and its allies in the European Union.
This panel drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts will examine what is at stake for the regional neighbours of Israel and the Palestinians. What influence have they had over the initial progress of the negotiations? Are their actions critical in helping or hindering the outcome of the bilateral talks? What alternatives or reactions might they envisage should this latest attempt at peace fail?...
The recent political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region have exposed growing concerns about conflict risk, political stability, and reform prospects across its societies. Given the prevalence of oil and gas resource endowments in the region, which a voluminous literature suggests can be associated with adverse development consequences, this paper examines the interplay between their associated rents and political economy trajectories. The contribution of the paper is threefold: first, to examine the quantitative evidence of violent conflict in the region since 1960; second, to provide a nuanced review of the regional case study literature on the relationship between resource endowments, political stability, and conflict risk; and third, to assess how prospective political transitions have implications for the World Bank Group's work in the region on public sector management and private sector development. The authors find that resources and regimes have intersected to provide stability and limited violent conflict in the region, but that these development patterns have yielded a set of policy choices and development patterns that are proving increasingly brittle and unsustainable. A major institutional challenge for reforms will be to consolidate a requisite degree of inter-temporal credibility and stability in these regimes, while expanding inclusiveness in state-society relations....
May 24, 2011 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The phrase “Cherkessian Factor” usually refers to the influence exerted by the ethnic solidarity of the Cherkessian (Abkhaz-Adyg) peoples, both those located in the Russian Federation and the Cherkessian diaspora in Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt. This influence is felt on political, social, and cultural processes in the Caucasus and in countries with a large Cherkessian population. It is increasingly likely that this Cherkessian factor will lead to further destabilization in the North Caucasus.
The Carnegie Moscow Center, as part of the Black Sea Peacebuilding Network, hosted a discussion on the Cherkessian factor. Alexander Skakov of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Nikolay Silaev of the Center for Caucasian Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, spoke on this factor and its potential influence. Carnegie’s Andrei Ryabov moderated.
The speakers concluded by discussing possible avenues for resolving the tensions created by the Cherkessian factor in the North Caucasus, including full-scale privatization of land ownership; implementation of the provisions of federal law for municipalities; and effective action against corruption. They argued that such reforms would “permit a significant portion of the population to return to normal economic activity, which is currently impossible, and would thus automatically reduce the unhealthy interest in politically charged questions of ethnic identity … and in radical Islamism.” However, they warned the Russian government does not seem to recognize the necessity of such reforms to help stem the increasing violence in the region....
May 18, 2011 United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations // Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict
Child Protection in United Nations Peacekeeping: Volume I is the first
in a series illustrating the challenges and successes of protecting
children in some of the most dangerous places on earth. In the
following pages you will learn about the work of Dee, Svjetlana, James
and Julie—peacekeepers and child protection advisers who rely on their
diverse individual experience at home and in the field to introduce the
relatively new concept of child protection to missions in distinct conflict
and post-conflict situations.
The creation of this publication was initiated by Under-Secretary-General
for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy and Special Representative
of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika
Coomaraswamy on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day when the two
United Nations officials reaffirmed their commitment to protect innocent
girls and boys faced with the brutality of war....
The objective of this report is to provide a comprehensive, long-term and regional framework for thinking about water in the Middle East, which can be implemented with specific policy decisions, beginning in the immediate future, by individual countries or small groups of countries without waiting for all the countries in the region to move forward.
Such a framework recognises the potential of water to deliver a new form of peace – the blue peace – while presenting long term scenarios of risks of wars and humanitarian crisis.
The report takes a comprehensive view of rivers, tributaries, lakes and underground water bodies. It is based on the recognition of linkages between watercourses. It is not only impossible for any one country to manage a water body in isolation from other riparian countries but it is also impossible to manage a water body without examining its linkages with other watercourses in the region.
The report takes a long-term view. The countries that are friendly today may be antagonistic tomorrow and the ones which are enemies today may be friends tomorrow. The history of merely last ten years in the Middle East demonstrates how quickly the geopolitical scene changes. The political equations of today cannot be assumed to remain constant during the next decade and beyond. Our vision, therefore, should not be imprisoned by the current context. We have to anticipate alternative political trajectories for the next couple of decades in order to find solutions that are sustainable in the long run.
The report provides a regional perspective. Since watercourses, both surface and underground, do not understand political boundaries, it would be natural to have a regional approach to water management. The nation centric approach is unnatural and therefore unsustainable....
March 4, 2010 Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism
The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism maintains a searchable database on all suicide attacks from 1981 to 2001 and additional years will be added. The database includes information about the location of attacks, the target type, the weapon used, and systematic information on the demographic and general biographical characteristics of suicide attackers. The database expands the breadth of the data available in English using native language sources (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Tamil) that are likely to have the most extensive relevant information. The database allows filtering by location, group, campaign, target type, weapon and gender....
September 29, 2008 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
The Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) dataset is a subsidiary of the
Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project. The purpose of this project is to answer fundamental
questions focusing on the identification of those factors that motivate some members of ethnic
minorities to become radicalized, to form activist organizations, and to move from conventional
means of politics and protest into violence and terrorism. Focusing initially on the Middle East
and North Africa, the MAROB project provides information on the characteristics of those
ethnopolitical organizations most likely to employ violence and terrorism in the pursuit of their
perceived grievances with local, national, or international authority structures. The project has
identified 118 organizations representing the interests of all 22 ethnopolitical groups in 16
countries of the Middle East and North Africa, operating between 1980 and 2004. The project developed a set of criteria for the inclusion of organizations into the MAROB dataset. These are as
• The organization makes explicit claims to represent the interests of one or more ethnic groups and/or the
organization’s members are primarily members of a specific ethnic minority.
• The organization is political in its goals and activities.
• The organization is active at a regional and/or national level.
• The organization was not created by a government.
• The organization is active for at least three consecutive years between 1980 and 2006.
• Umbrella organizations (coalitions/alliances) are NOT coded. Instead, member organizations are coded.
Organizations were selected on the basis of their basic longevity. This was operationalized in the following manner:
The first year that an organization is mentioned in a source as being active, it is put on a “watchlist” for potential
inclusion. Once the organization is mentioned in sources for three consecutive years, it is included in the dataset,
coded from the first year of the three consecutive years. If an organization included in the dataset disappears from
source material for five consecutive years, it is no longer coded for following years. If after that time, it is again
mentioned for three consecutive years, it is again included but as a separate organization....