March 7, 2011 Prism // Center for Complex Operations (National Defense University)
Since the dawn of aviation, airpower has played an important role in counterinsurgency operations. This has been especially true as the security situations in Iraq and Afghanistan have deteriorated. While ground forces learned to reapply old lessons to a new environment, air support was reshaped to provide an asymmetric advantage. The capabilities that were developed have become indispensible for conducting a modern counterinsurgency effort. The proliferation of antiaccess and area denial capabilities along with long-range precision weaponry will result in greater challenges for all military operations, even COIN. Airpower will continue to provide critical support and must integrate lessons from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq....
October 26, 2009 Stanford University // Security Studies
This article seeks to explain why two states faced with a similar
terrorist threat, perceiving it in a similar way, and drawing the
same broad implications for their counterterrorist investigations,
have nevertheless put in place significantly different types of organizational
reforms in response to that threat. The study shows that
although France and Britain have embraced a common preventive
logic in the face of Islamist terrorism, the changes that they
have made to the coordination of intelligence, law enforcement,
and prosecution in that context have differed because of contrasting
organizational routines and interinstitutional conventions in
the two states. An analysis of the British and French cases shows
that law enforcement can be preventive but that western states are
likely to pursue different ways of bringing security agencies and the
law together to prevent and prosecute terrorism. The organizational
and institutional factors that give rise to such divergent practices
have important consequences for the ability of a state to develop a
coordinated operational response to terrorism and convict terrorist
suspects of crimes in a court of law....
Over the past two decades, Western political leaders have scripted a new approach to
foreign policy, wherein far greater weight is given to ethical considerations and
protecting the rights and freedoms of extra-territorial citizens. Using the example of arms
exports to developing countries, the present paper exposes the organized hypocrisy
underlying countries’ self-declared ethical turn. We show that the major Western arms
supplying states – France, Germany, the UK and the US – have generally not exercised
export controls so as to discriminate against human rights abusing or autocratic countries
during the post-Cold War period. Rather, we uncover ongoing territorial egoism, in that
arms have been exported to countries which serve supplying states’ domestic economic
and security interests....
November 20, 2008 Vernie Liebl // Comparative Strategy
French diplomatic and military operations in Djibouti, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden have or are in danger of becoming seriously compromised and weakened, to the detriment of French policy in Africa and the Middle East. This article is a brief review of the French military presence in Djibouti and the Horn of Africa. It is written from a French viewpoint regarding how to either remove or enhance French capabilities in the Horn of Africa, with policy options provided. It is equally important that the U.S. presence be removed from Djibouti. Introduction of the European Union (EU) and expansion of the African Union may benefit France. In the end, France should adopt a specific policy that would benefit France militarily, exclude the United States, and shift funding from France to the EU....
In December 2006, the U.S. Army published its new counterinsurgency (COIN) Field Manual (FM 3-24). FM 3-24 is
the much-anticipated capstone doctrinal COIN guide for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Its intent is “to fill a
doctrinal gap,” for fighting COIN by delivering “a manual that provides principles and guidelines for
counterinsurgency operations.” The importance of developing a coherent, interdisciplinary approach that helps to fill
the “doctrinal” and capability gaps facing the U.S. military in the asymmetrical warfare spectrum, including COIN,
cannot be overstated. In light of this, how well do the new guidelines in FM 3-24 for conducting a COIN campaign
align with historical and social science lessons on counterinsurgency? FM 3-24 outlines U.S. COIN doctrine in the
form of strategies called Logical Lines of Operation (LLOs). With this in mind, are there cases in the Middle East
where FM 3-24’s LLOs have been applied and produced their intended effects? If they were not used and the state
power’s desired “endstate” was achieved, what strategies were used to achieve the COIN campaign objectives? This
thesis assess the extent to which the field manual aligns with insights and practices from historical COIN campaigns
in the Middle East as well as assess the new doctrine’s ability to supply the United States with a COIN strategy which
incorporates insights and conclusions from academia. Our findings indicate that FM 3-24 is a necessary step in
developing an effective and coherent U.S. approach to COIN. However, it fails to incorporate some more
contemporary social movement theory explanations into its strategies. For example, it fails to recognize the relative
importance political inclusion in counterinsurgency strategies versus other variables, such as security, as a primary
means of success in counterinsurgency campaigns....
Maurice Papon was appointed as general secretary for the prefecture of Gironde on 1 May 1942. The "Office of Jew Questions" was among his responsibilities. He carried out this function until August 1944, when he was transferred to the French Home Office. Ten convoys left Bordeaux for Drancy between June 1942 and August 1944. They were composed of Jewish people who would later be deported to Auschwitz. Some of these convoys were the result of mass arrests among the Jewish population, others were made up of people who had already been in detention in the camp of Merignac for offences such as trespassing the demarcation line between occupied and free territory. Papon's contributions to the prosecuted acts occurred between 20 June 1942 and 16 May 1944. They concerned signatures on deportation orders. He regularly communicated the arrival of Jews who had broken German law at the camp of Merignac to the SIPO (security police)....
Nearly everyone agrees that a large, multinational force of some kind is needed to police the Israel-Lebanon border and enforce a cease-fire. But Israel has made it clear that it won't accept the usual U.N. rent-a-force. With Britain and the United States unwilling to send troops because of their commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, FP takes a look at other nations that could supply the boots on the ground.
Excessive secrecy prohibits the public from knowing the exact number of nuclear weapons in the world. Each nation shields the details of its own nuclear arsenal and generally knows few precise details about the size and composition of other countries' stockpiles. Despite the uncertainty, we know that the total global nuclear weapons stockpile is considerably smaller than the 1986 Cold War high of 70,000-plus warheads. Through a series of arms control agreements and unilateral decisions, nuclear weapon states have reduced the global stockpile to its lowest level in 45 years. In the same period, the number of nuclear weapon states has grown from three to nine....
The United States of America finds that neither the classic instruments of criminal law and procedure, nor the framework of the laws of war (including respect for the Geneva Conventions) has been apt to address the terrorist threat. As a result it has introduced new legal concepts, such as "enemy combatant" and "rendition", which were previously unheard of in international law and stand contrary to the basic legal principles that prevail on our continent. Thus, across the world, the United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers, often encompassing countries notorious for their use of torture. Hundreds of persons have become entrapped in this web, in some cases merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation....
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 17 nations finds that majorities in only nine of them believe that al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In no country does a majority agree on another possible perpetrator, but in most countries significant minorities cite the US government itself and, in a few countries, Israel. These responses were given spontaneously to an open-ended question that did not offer response options. On average, 46 percent say that al Qaeda was behind the attacks while 15 percent say the US government, seven percent Israel, and seven percent some other perpetrator. One in four say they do not know. WPO_911_Sep08_graph.jpgGiven the extraordinary impact the 9/11 attacks have had on world affairs, it is remarkable that seven years later there is no international consensus about who was behind them," comments Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org....
During a trip to Israel in August, the only optimists I met were French diplomats. The reason for their upbeat mood? Ambitious plans by President Sarkozy for the EU to advance the Middle East peace process – including a controversial proposal that the EU should take the lead in creating an international peacekeeping force which could replace the Israeli army in the West Bank as part of a peace deal. But in the current inauspicious environment, can France, which currently holds the EU presidency, really help to move things forward and allow the EU to play a bigger role in the peace process?
Probably not. Already, it looks as if the French plans are becoming victims of circumstance. The Gymnich, an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, that will take place on September 5th and 6th, had been flagged up as vital in developing a new EU strategy. The EU was to reflect on ways it could increase its support for the peace process, including the offer of new security guarantees to Israel. But the Georgian war has changed EU priorities, and talks on the Middle East have been seriously scaled down....
This month marks the 14th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, which is commonly considered to have begun on April 6, 1994. One aspect of the genocide that has received little attention in English-language media is the close relations that existed between the French military and the armed forces of the "Hutu Power" Rwandan government. In collaboration with the pro-government Interahamwe militias, Rwandan army officials are held to have been largely responsible for organizing the massacres perpetrated against the Tutsi civilian population and moderate Hutu from April to July 1994. The massacres are estimated to have claimed some 800,000 lives. They took place against the background of a civil war between Rwandan government forces and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF): a rebel force led by Paul Kagame, the current Rwandan president. In light of France's support for the Rwandan government of the time and the ambiguities of the allegedly "humanitarian" mission -- dubbed "Operation Turquoise" -- dispatched by France to Rwanda in June 1994, victims groups and critics of French African policy have long accused the French government of complicity in the genocide. Their efforts led to the formation in 2004 of a "Citizens' Commission of Inquiry" on the French role in the Rwandan genocide....
Counterterrorism, like espionage and covert action, isn’t a spectator sport. The more a country practices, the better it gets. France has become the most accomplished counterterrorist practitioner in Europe. Whereas September 11, 2001, was a shock to the American counterterrorist establishment, it wasn’t a révolution des mentalités in Paris. Two waves of terrorist attacks, the first in the mid-1980s and the second in the mid-1990s, have made France acutely aware of both state-supported Middle Eastern terrorism and freelancing but organized Islamic extremists....
Here at Dushanbe airport, French Air Force planes sit on the tarmac, their blue, white, and red roundels looking a bit incongruous against the backdrop of the soaring, snowy Pamir Mountains. A dozen miles away, Indian engineers are quietly reconstructing a former Soviet airfield. In central Tajikistan, Russia maintains a motorized infantry division of 10,000 men at a sprawling outpost, while the US is reportedly training Tajik forces in counterterrorism techniques. They're all piling into a modern replay of the 19th-century "Great Game," in which the contending Russian and British Empires vied for land and influence amid these same Central Asian desert wastes and towering mountain peaks. In this round, the main prize is control over pipelines that will deliver an estimated 5 percent of the world's dwindling energy reserves to market. And the players are far more diverse: In #addition to the US, China, France, and India, the region's five post-Soviet states are getting into the game, giving the local hazards that stalk them - including faltering authoritarian governments, rising Islamic militancy, and a wave of drug trafficking that originates in the poppy fields of Afghanistan - a new international dimension....
The Eurocorps was created in 1992 as the concrete implementation of a political will that has developed since the 1950's. The Eurocorps comprises military contributions from its five framework nations: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain. The Headquarters, in which soldiers from the member states and also from Austria, Canada, Finland, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Kingdom participate, is located in Strasbourg, France. At the beginning of the third millennium it is now available as a Rapid Reaction Corps HQ for both the EU and NATO....
Comments in this testimony are largely derived from a compilation of studies that the author commissioned in previous years looking at how key countries in Europe (the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain) were addressing the threat of Islamist terrorism domestically. I then analyzed those studies and set out to compare their respective findings with the post-9/11 counterterrorism regime here in the United States. The result was a volume published last summer by the American Enterprise Institute entitled Safety, Liberty and Islamist Terrorism: American and European Approaches to Domestic Counterterrorism. The author provides context to United States counterterrorism policy by comparing it with the policies and practices of our European allies...
The United States has increasingly viewed the government of Algeria as an important partner in
the fight against Al Qaeda-linked groups in North Africa. The Algerian economy is largely based
on hydrocarbons, and the country is a significant source of natural gas for the United States and
Europe. Algeria receives little development assistance from the United States, but its security
forces benefit from U.S. security assistance and participation in bilateral and regional military
Algeria’s relative stability, always tenuous, has most recently been challenged by a series of riots
and popular demonstrations that have occurred since early January 2011. The unrest initially
appeared to be motivated by discontent over food prices, but has turned more overtly political
since mid-January. The example of neighboring Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” and the ripple
effects of ongoing unrest in Egypt may contribute to opposition activism, with further protests
anticipated in mid-February. The government has reacted both by attempting to assuage the
public through political and economic concessions and by using the security forces to prevent and
break up demonstrations. Across the region, other authoritarian governments have adopted a
similar approach with varying results....
March 7, 2011 Polish Institute of International Affairs
Several weeks of violent anti-government demonstrations in Tunisia, which on 14 January led to
the resignation of President Zin al-Abidin Ben Ali are an unprecedented event in the history
of the state. France’s highly restrained position on these incidents is consistent with previous
French policy towards Tunisia. For more than two decades, support from Paris for the former president
was intended to guarantee stability in Tunisia and protect the country against the development
of Islamic fundamentalism within its territory. In the future, any assistance to Tunisia should be conditioned
on Tunisian authorities’ respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms....
March 7, 2011 Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik // German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Following the fall of Tunisia's President and in light of the upheaval in Egypt, the spectre of domino effects has been raised. The lack of prospects for young people, social injustice and political repression - all causes that sparked the protests in Tunisia - are problems in virtually all Arab states.