Analysis

Please find below the most recent in-depth analysis pieces from CriticalThreats.org.

Competing Jihad: The Islamic State and al Qaeda
By Katherine Zimmerman, September 1, 2014

The Islamic State’s success is energizing the entire global jihadist movement, including al Qaeda, to compete with one another in violent conquest and terror. The U.S. must act decisively for the danger is clear and present.

Pakistani Government’s Survival in Question Following Violent Clashes with Protesters
By Reza Jan, August 31, 2014

Pakistan's political crisis finally boiled over and clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters turned the capital, Islamabad, into a warzone. The violence and instability of the situation has called the government's survival into question.

If West Cannot Live With Islamic State It Must Do All That's Needed To Defeat It On The Ground
By Frederick W. Kagan, August 23, 2014

Air attacks alone will not be enough to deal with ISIS now that it controls so much of Syria and Iraq - and threatens the US and Europe.

Pakistan's March Madness: The Opposition Attempts to Topple the Government
By Reza Jan, August 14, 2014

Although events in Pakistan sometimes have a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it feeling to them, today’s protests have been months in the making and have implications for the future of Pakistan’s civil-military relations, democratic development and relations with the U.S. and India.

Warning: AQAP's Looming Threat in Yemen
By Alexis Knutsen, Katherine Zimmerman, August 14, 2014

The horrific images and story of 14 murdered soldiers that came out of Yemen on August 8 pale in comparison to those coming from Iraq and Syria. Yet they may presage the emergence of a renewed threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) that the U.S and Yemen are ill-prepared to handle.

Gauging the Success of Pakistan’s North Waziristan Operation
By Reza Jan, July 25, 2014

The ground phase of the operation in North Waziristan is progressing at a cautious pace, and whether Pakistan has learned from the lessons of its previous military operations and is prepared to do what’s necessary to make its gains in North Waziristan permanent, remains to be seen.

Al Shabaab in East Africa
By James Miller, July 24, 2014

Multiple crises throughout the world—in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, and now Israel—have pulled attention from growing violence in East Africa. Al Qaeda’s group in Somalia, al Shabaab, now has an operational reach that covers all of the Horn of Africa.

Testimony: Moving Beyond Fear - Addressing the Threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
By Frederick W. Kagan, July 24, 2014

The establishment and expansion of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS) represents a step-change in the threat to American homeland security and national security generally. This is the first time that an al Qaeda-affiliated group has made the leap from stateless terrorist organization to a quasi-state with a combat-effective army and the resources of a modern urban region at its disposal.

Yemen Model Won't Work in Iraq, Syria

President Obama says the United States is looking to its Yemen policy as a model for what to do in Iraq and Syria. But what the president labels the “Yemen model” has not been as successful as the White House claims; indeed, it is in danger of collapse.

How to Avert Afghanistan's Implosion

This election must be decided according to Afghan law by the established electoral bodies and without more mobilization of street pressures. Any other outcome will hurt all of the Afghan people and seriously damage U.S. and international interests in South Asia.