Category Archives: Counterterrorism

ARAB AWAKENING COUNTERTERRORISM IRAN IRAQ ISLAM ISLAMIC STATE/ISIS/ISIL JIHADISTS LEVANT MIDDLE EAST UNITED STATES

La Marseillaise Versus the Quranic Verse 5:32

by Ehsan Ahrari on November 20, 2015, No Comments

The ISIS-sponsored terrorist attacks of Paris of November 13, 2015 popularized two phenomena.  The first one was the public singing of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, which embodies the free human spirit, even under an environment pregnant with fear, blood, tyranny and their related gore.  The French soccer fans were singing it while exiting the soccer stadium, where the Islamist terrorists had let loose a torrent of bloody attacks on innocent human beings.  They were murdered as revenge for the French government’s air campaign in the ISIS-controlled areas of Syria.  The demented soldiers of ISIS were killing them because they were Christians.  The unnoticed aspect of those murderous attacks was that all human beings in that stadium and elsewhere in Paris—Christians as well as Muslims—were their targets, since they had no clue about the religious identity of any of their victims. (more…)
ARAB-IRAN RIVALRY BINYAMIN NETANYAHU BISHARA ASSAD C4I IRAN COUNTERTERRORISM EGYPT GREAT POWER RELATIONS HASAN ROUHANI HILLARY CLINTON HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES INTELLIGENCE IRAN IRAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER IRAQ ISIS/ISIL/IS ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN ISRAEL JIHADISTS KING ABDULLAH OF SAUDI ARABIA LEVANT MIDDLE EAST MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA UNCATEGORIZED UNITED STATES US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

Burying the Hatchet is the Precondition for US-Iran Rapprochement

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 13, 2015, No Comments

A lot of ink is being spilled analyzing the pros and cons of the recently concluded US-Iran nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+ 1 countries (4 permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany), and there is ample show of emotions about this deal involving different actors. The Arab states are upset because they concluded that its successful implementation would lead to an era of US-Iran rapprochement in which Iran, more than the Arab states, would be the focus of America’s attention. The Israelis are mad because they see the emergence of a nuclear Iran in the distant future as a result of it. More to the point, Israel’s Prime Minister , Benyamin Netanyahu, envisions that deal as the first historical step toward bringing about an end to Israel’s own preeminence, related to its nuclear deterrence in the region. A study prepared for the RAND Corporation addresses precisely that point when it notes, “Nuclear weapons would probably reinforce Iran's traditional national secu
BISHARA ASSAD COUNTERTERRORISM IRAN IRAQ ISLAM JIHADISTS KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN KING ABDULLAH OF SAUDI ARABIA LEBANON LEVANT MIDDLE EAST SHIA CRSCENT STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF WEST ASIA SYRIA THE ISLAMIC STATE/ISIS/ISIL UNCATEGORIZED UNITED STATES USAMA BIN LADEN

Heading Toward Failure: A Coalition of the “Reluctantly Willing”

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 17, 2014, No Comments

As the Obama administration is busy forming a coalition to fight-eradicate the Islamic State (IS) or (ISIS/ISIL), the evolving coalition that gathered last week in Paris was a far cry from the one put together by George H. W. Bush in 1991 to fight and expel Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait.  Today's participants of the coalition of the "reluctantly willing" are probably thinking, but not voicing, that defeating the IS will be a difficult, if not impossible, challenge for a variety of reasons. (more…)
ARAB AWAKENING BISHARA ASSAD COUNTERTERRORISM IRAQ JIHADISTS LEVANT MIDDLE EAST SYRIA UNITED STATES

Bin Laden’s Avatar: Get Real ODNI!

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 11, 2014, 1 Comment

The US government's intelligence services are either getting too imaginative or simply too paranoid about the "revival" of Usama Bin Laden, who, they know, is dead.  Now they are imagining him coming back to life as a "virtual" Bin Laden or as a new "avatar" of Jihadism.  In this ostensible flight of imagination, the American intelligence "experts on Islam appear eager to show their sheer ignorance and stupidity about the religion itself.  Consider the following statement from the study that was commission by no less than the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the highest intelligence agency of the United States.  It states:   Imagine that jihadist supporters create a detailed avatar of Usama bin Laden and use his many voice recordings to animate the avatar for up-close virtual reality experiences that could be used to preach, convert, recruit, and propagate dogma to the media. The Bin Laden avatar could preach and issue new fatwas for hundreds of years
AFGHANISTAN BISHARA ASSAD CHINA COUNTERTERRORISM DRONE ATTACKS ON PAKISTAN GREAT POWER RELATIONS HAQQANI TERROR NETWORK HILLARY CLINTON HU JINTAO INFORMATION REVOLUTION INFORMATION WAR IRAN ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN ISRAEL JIHADISTS KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN KING ABDULLAH OF SAUDI ARABIA LEBANON MUAMMAR QADDAFI PAKISTAN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SHIA CRSCENT SOUTH ASIA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF SOUTH ASIA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF WEST ASIA SYRIA TAHRIR SQUARE TIANENMAN SQUARE UNITED STATES US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP US-CHINA NAVAL COMPETITIONCHINA'S AIRCRAFT CARRIER USAMA BIN LADEN

The Synonymity Between Dispensability and Decline

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 22, 2013, No Comments

In his second inaugural address in January 1997, President Bill Clinton stated, "America stands alone as the world's indispensable nation."[1]  Since then, that phrase has been used on a regular basis.  America, as an indispensable nation, underscores its dominance in resolving conflicts of all portions since the end of World War II.    It has been a major enabler of global economic stability and prosperity of Western Europe and Japan, and, most important of all, it contained the former Soviet Union–playing a crucial role in bringing about its eventual implosion.  (more…)
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My TV Interview on Russian TV: “Drone Country”

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 18, 2013, No Comments

http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/drone-campaign-washington-pakistan-499/ Drone country May 19, 2013 13:18             Reuters / Erik Hildebrandt Download video (166.26 MB) Embed Embed video Code <object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" quality="high" data="http://rt.com/s/swf/player5.4.swf" width="690" height="388"><param name="menu" value="false"><param name="wmode" value="transparent"><param name="flashvars" value="skin=http://rt.com/s/swf/jwplayer/skin.zip&abouttext=RT&aboutlink=http://rt.com/about-us/corporate-profile/&stretching=uniform&controlbar.position=over&file=http://rt.com/files/episode/1f/20/b0/00/crosstalk.flv&image=http://rt.com/files/episode/1f/20/b0/00/drone-campaign-washington-pakistan.si.jpg&provider=http"></object> Pakistan and Washington's deadly drone campaign:  To what degree does the military in Islamabad still call the shots?  Where d
AFGHANISTAN COUNTERTERRORISM INDIA ISLAM JIHADISTS PAKISTAN SOUTH ASIA UNITED STATES

Pakistan: The Garrison State in the Author’s Own Words

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 27, 2013, No Comments

Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution Consequences (1947-2011). Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2013. ISBN 978-0-19-906636-0 http://www.oup.com.pk/shopexd.asp?id=2416 This study seeks to solve the following puzzle: in 1947, the Pakistan military was poorly armed and lacked the infrastructure and training needed to function as an effective branch of the State. It was not directly involved in politics. Over time, not only has it become a middle-range power possessing nuclear weapons, it has also become the most powerful institution in the country with de facto veto powers over politics. How and why did this happen and what were its consequences? (more…)
AFGHANISTAN COUNTERTERRORISM IRAQ PAKISTAN

Reflections on Fred Kaplan’s “The End of the Age of Petraeus”

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 5, 2013, 2 Comments

Reading Fred Kaplan's thoughtful essay, "The End of the Age of Petraeus," resuscitated long-standing doubts that I had nurtured about the effectiveness of the COIN doctrine.[1]  I am one of those professors Kaplan refers to in his essay, except that I was at the Joint Forces Staff College of the National Defense University, serving as Professor of National Security and Strategy, at a time when the COIN was referred to as "military operations other than war" (MOOTW).  In that capacity, I belonged to the category of "ether heads"–as our students (senior military officers) called us–who believed in questioning, not just the thinking of America's military leadership, but also their tactics.  When the COIN was being implemented, I was at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS).  My professional responsibilities included participating in a globally-oriented course entitled, Comprehensive Security Responses to Terrorism (CSRT).  As the chief author of that course, I made
ABBOTTABAD AMERICAN DRONES COUNTERTERRORISM DRONE ATTACKS ON PAKISTAN INTELLIGENCE PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA UNITED STATES

The Retrogressive Perspectives of Barack Obama on Countering Terrorism

by Ehsan Ahrari on November 26, 2012, No Comments

Regular readers of my OpEds know that I do not make a habit of quoting myself.  However, I will make an exception this time by reminding my readers of a column that I posted on my website on October 1, 2012 entitled, "Why Do Ex-politicians Make So Much Sense After Leaving Office?"  In that column, I stated: "I challenge anyone to provide a persuasive answer to this question. I have one, but I don't claim that it is any more persuasive than the one provided by any other person. My take is that, once free from the burden of office, ex-politicians can speak their mind. The burden of being in the government forces all smart politicians (and even the dumb ones) to toe the government line–like a parrot–no matter how much they disagree with various policies. However, once out of office, they seem to relocate their previous lost wisdom and insight."  One can also make the same observation about politicians who make very thoughtful observations earlier in their career on complex issues o
AFGHANISTAN COUNTERTERRORISM EGYPT INFORMATION WAR ISLAM ISRAEL JIHADISTS MIDDLE EAST PAKISTAN USAMA BIN LADEN

Bin Laden’s Cherished Dream: Turbulence Between the US and the World of Islam

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 15, 2012, No Comments

Before we allow a sense of despair to color our judgment about the future of the Arab Awakening, let me say that it is very much alive and kicking.  In the past few days and weeks, it not only has been trying to kick out Bishara Assad, but it seems to be turning against the United States.  One has to wonder whether the movie, "Innocence of Muslims," which insults the Prophet of Islam could generate so much hatred toward the United States or whether there are other hidden agendas.  I tend to be inclined to view both factors as resulting in the so-called Muslim "rage." (more…)