Analysis

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

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.

The al Houthi Victory in Amran
By Alexis Knutsen, July 9, 2014

While the Houthi battle against the state may appear a sideshow to many, the expansion of conflict with the Houthi to an area directly north of Yemen’s capital will likely draw on Yemen’s limited military, now the only significant forces fighting our shared enemy AQAP

AQAP's Campaign against the Yemeni Military
By Katherine Zimmerman, July 7, 2014

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues its military operations in Yemen. It would be premature to expect a large-scale offensive, but it would also be a mistake to rule out the possibility of a series of significant attacks that could unhinge the Yemeni security forces.

Yemen's Counter-Terrorism Quandary
By Alexis Knutsen, June 26, 2014

Yemeni efforts since 2011 have reduced AQAP’s control, but the escalating conflict with the al Houthis threatens to divert key resources away from the counter-terrorism fight once again.

What You Need to Know About Pakistan's North Waziristan Operation
By Reza Jan, June 19, 2014

After many feints and false starts, the Pakistani military finally launched a long-awaited military operation in the main al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan on Sunday, June 15. Although necessary, the operation alone is not sufficient in defeating al Qaeda and its allies in the region.