Latest Issue of International Security

Go check out the latest issue of International Security on "TALIBS, TRIBES, AND TROUBLE IN SOUTH ASIA." Table of contents with hyperlinks is pasted below.

Press Release

May 2, 2008

Spring 2008
Vol. 32, No. 4

Table of Contents


"The Rise of Afghanistan’s Insurgency: State Failure and Jihad"
Seth G. Jones
pp. 7-40

In 2001 U.S. and Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Less than a year later, insurgents began a sustained effort to bring down the government of Hamid Karzai. Fueling this insurgency was the collapse of governance following the ouster of the Taliban. To counter the insurgents, the government must extend governance into Afghanistan’s rural areas and establish effective law and order. Also needed is greater cooperation by the Pakistani government to capture or kill jihadists and undermine their ideological support.


"No Sign until the Burst of Fire: Understanding the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier"
Thomas H. Johnson and M. Chris Mason
pp. 41-77

The portion of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area dominated by Pashtun tribes poses the greatest challenge to U.S. national security interests. Here, extremist groups such as the Taliban and al-Qaida continue to enjoy safe haven. The Pashtun, whose tribal structures have been subverted since the 1970s, represent a unique cultural challenge that the U.S. foreign policy establishment has failed to appreciate. To reverse the trend of radicalization in this area, the United States and the Afghan government must strengthen and rebuild the Pashtuns’ tribal structures while reducing the external pressures on them. Maintaining the current policy of extending the central government into this region will only foment insurgency among a proto-insurgent people.



"What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterterrorism Strategy"
Max Abrahms
pp. 78-105

The strategic model—the dominant paradigm in terrorism studies—claims that terrorists are rational actors who attack civilians to achieve political goals. To defeat terrorism, policymakers have sought to decrease its political utility by adhering to a no concessions policy, engaging in political accommodation, and promoting democracy. The evidence suggests, however, that terrorists are not motivated primarily by a desire to achieve political objectives. Rather, they use terrorism to develop strong affective ties with fellow terrorists. Counterterrorism strategies must therefore find ways to diminish the social utility of terrorism.



"Postconflict Reconstruction in Africa: Flawed Ideas about Failed States"
Pierre Englebert and Denis M. Tull
pp. 106-139

Africa has the highest percentage of failed states in the world, making it a top priority for external donors engaged in state reconstruction. Yet such efforts have a poor record of success because of three flawed assumptions shared by many donors: first, Western state institutions can be transferred to Africa ; second, donors and African leaders have the same understanding of failure and reconstruction; and third, donors are capable of rebuilding Africa states. In contrast, Uganda and Somaliland have succeeded in rebuilding and without external assistance. This success suggests that donors should shift their efforts toward encouraging indigenous state-building efforts and constructive bargaining between local groups and the governments of failed African states.

"Partitioning to Peace: Sovereignty, Demography, and Ethnic Civil Wars"
Carter Johnson
pp. 140-170

Partitioning states along ethnic lines is a debatable solution to solving ethnic civil wars. Advocates argue that partition offers the best chance for lasting peace, while opponents claim that it takes a huge toll on the populations involved and that its effectiveness has yet to be proven. The evidence suggests that only partitions that completely separate the warring groups succeed in creating peaceful states. Policymakers should thus consider partition as an option only where populations are already separated or where population transfers can be accomplished safely. Partitioning Kosovo into distinct ethnic districts could lead to lasting peace, whereas partitioning Iraq would most likely increase human suffering and violence.



"The Role of Hierarchy in International Politics"
Paul K. MacDonald
David A. Lake

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