Institute for the Study of Asymmetric Conflict

Articles

October 14, 2013
Rational Choice Deterrence and Israeli Counter-Terrorism

Deterrence is the “holy grail” of counter-terrorism: a strategy that offers the promise of reducing or eliminating terror attacks at minimal cost. Israel’s experience has shown, however, that while many tactics have been promoted as deterrents, very few have actually worked. As claimed deterrence can be used to justify retributive policies that are unjust or simply unwise, it is important to apply careful thought before implementing such policies.

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By Don Radlauer
Rating: 0.0 star
May 8, 2012
Assad's Success Could Lead to Alliance With Gulf States

Assad is more likely to seek allies among other Middle Easter states rather than risk regime change. In fact, the contours of a new Damascus -- Gulf alliance may already be emerging.

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By Micah Levinson
Tags: Assad, Arab Spring, Syria
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January 12, 2011
Al-Qaida: A vindication for constructivism?

The impact of al-Qaida on American foreign policy shows that constructivists make a valid point in ascribing significance to ideational factors, alongside traditional realist factors such as military or economic strength. Ideas may not fully equate to traditional power, but they can play a major role in resource allocation and in the determination of the uses to which power is put.

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By Yael Shahar
Tags: Global Jihad, al-Qaida, Constructivism
Rating: Zero stars
January 12, 2011
Aspects of Deradicalization
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By Arie W. Kruglansk
Tags: Radicalization, Deradicalization
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January 6, 2011
Virtual Communities as Pathways to Extremism

The Internet is playing an increasing role in terrorism – not only in obvious areas such as command and control, technical instruction, and the publishing of ideological tracts, but also as a social medium in which groups of people form “virtual communities”. In some cases, these communities can become progressively radicalized to the point where they eventually commit or support acts of violence. An understanding of “virtual communities” is necessary in order to create means of preventing them from functioning as incubators for terrorism.

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By Don Radlauer
Tags: extremism, virtual communities, social networks
Rating: 0.0 star
November 17, 2010
The Global Jihad as Cult

It has been noted that terrorist groups likely to employ extreme measures to create mass casualties, such as weapons of mass destruction, are those that fit the profile of the apocalyptic religious cult. The Global Jihad network is a kind of hybrid terrorist entity which combines elements of the apocalyptic cult with the strategy and tactics of the traditional “leaderless resistance.”

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By Yael Shahar
Tags: Global Jihad, al-Qaida
Rating: 0.0 star
November 17, 2010
Fully Committed

A motivational analysis of suicidal terrorism is outlined, anchored in the notion of significance quest. It is suggested that heterogeneous factors identified as personal causes of suicidal terrorism (e.g. trauma, humiliation, social exclusion), the various ideological reasons assumed to justify it (e.g. liberation from foreign occupation, defense of one’s nation or religion), and the social pressures brought upon candidates for suicidal terrorism may be profitably subsumed within an integrative framework that explains diverse instances of suicidal terrorism as attempts at significance restoration, significance gain, and prevention of significance loss. Research and policy implications of the present analysis are considered.

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By Arie W. Kruglanski
Tags: suicide bombers
Rating: 0.0 star
June 24, 2002
An Engineeered Tragedy

Between September 2000 and September 2002, Israeli and Palistinian Arabs were engaged in a “low-intensity conflict” generally referred to as the “al-Aqsa Intifada”. This conflict caused over 2,200 deaths so far; and yet, its most significant aspect seems to be the struggle for international public opinion rather than any effort at gaining a conventional military victory. A thorough accounting and analysis of the conflict’s incidents and casualties not only provided a better understanding of the conflict, but also demonstrated the effifacy of casualty statistics in determining whether the "Principle of Distinction" had been adhered to by both sides.

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By Don Radlauer
Tags: casualty statistics, laws of war, intifada
Rating: Zero stars
June 20, 2002
An Engineered Tragedy: Summary of Findings
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By Don Radlauer
Tags: conflict, laws of war, casualties
Rating: Zero stars
Terrorism: No Prohibition without Definition

Without an objective and authoritative definition, accepted by all nations, the fight against terrorism will always suffer from “cultural relativism.” Without a change in the priorities of all the enlightened countries, and their determination to fight against terrorism apart from any other political or economic interest, it will not be possible to wage an effective war against terrorism. And without such a unified stand by all nations, the September 11th attacks in the United States will be insignificant compared to the attacks yet to come. The free world must understand that “cultural relativism” applied to terrorism – whatever the terrorists’ goals – will lead only to more terrorism.

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By Boaz Ganor
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