H
undreds of thousands of children around the world have been seduced and forced into being child soldiers and cadres in the service of armed and violent groups. Many have been successfully treated using a combination of individual, family and community interventions that relied on combinations of expressive, cognitive and behavioral therapies as well as play, song, art and dance mixed in with culturally indigenous cleansing and healing rituals. Is there a possibility of the same for the children of ISIS— the Iraqi and Syrian boys and girls seduced and forced into slavery and violence; raped; beaten and tricked into serving the brutal non-Islamic State? 

Published in Terrorism
A
few days ago the press reported that dozens of Russian military "contractors", supplied by the RSB Group, were already operating in Eastern Libya to remove mines from the areas around Benghazi, in a region recently freed from jihadists by the armed forces of Khalifa Haftar, who ever more seems to be the pivot of Russian geopolitics in Libya. These reports run by the press are of great strategic relevance.

Published in Russia
D
uring the Cold War, nations were increasingly sponsoring and/or supporting insurgencies. For instance, the United States of America supported Afghan-Mujahedin, Nicaraguan Contras, and Tibetan Buddhist fighters. The Soviet Union supported communist guerrillas in Angola, Greece, and South Africa. China supported insurgents in Vietnam. India supported Sri Lankan Tamil rebels. In fact, Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements by Daniel, Chalk, Hoffman, Rosenau and Brannan discusses how 74 operational guerrilla movements and/or insurgencies were supported. This is why the term proxy, the authority to represent someone else, became very common in discussions of the Cold War.

Published in Intelligence
T
urkey has been suffering from terrorism for a long time, losing over 40,000 people in the last 40 years. When the Syrian uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began in 2011, Turkey was enjoying a peaceful era with the least causalities lost to terrorism in its recent history. However, this less-violent period quickly started to deteriorate due to new regional conflicts and Turkey’s flawed domestic and international policies.

Published in Intelligence
L
ibya is planning to double its crude oil production next year. Although it has been an OPEC member since 1962, as well as the African country with the largest (and best quality) oil reserves, for obvious geopolitical reasons it has not been involved in the recent agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries, which favours the Russian Federation, reconnects Russia to Saudi Arabia, thus avoiding too close a link between Russia and Iran, and make Russia play a primary broker’s role in the Middle East.

Published in Middle East
T
he Syrian civil war has been raging for close to six years, fueled by a tangled web of alliances, the regional ambitions of foreign powers, and an increasingly bitter power struggle between various armed rebel and Islamist groups. The conflict has claimed an estimated 400,000 lives in that time, but there are signs that the fighting may be tenuously coming to an end due—in part—to an unlikely détente between Turkey and Russia.

Published in Russia

Authors: Matthew Crosston & Kagusthan Ariaratnam

A
merican political scientist Joseph Nye wrote in his famous book, “Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics,” that political or social power can influence others to get them to behave in ways that you want by either coercion and/or payment - elements of hard power - or through attraction and/or persuasion - the foundations of soft power.

Published in Intelligence
T
he agreement between the Libyan factions signed in Morocco on December 17, 2015 has not been implemented yet. It implied an enlightened "process of national reconciliation" - obviously bottom-up - that no one wanted to put in place while bullets were whizzing and the self-styled "Caliphate" of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi established itself in the Sirte region.

Published in Middle East
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