Taming the Frontier: Pakistan’s Counterinsurgency Campaign in the FATA — By Uzair Younus

As militancy engulfed Pakistan in recent years, the power disparity between the Pakistani military and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)-led insurgency worked against the former, prompting the military to resort to heavy-handed, counterproductive tactics in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that exposed the central government’s political vulnerabilities. This article adapts Ivan Arreguin-Toft’s framework for understanding […]

Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Mohammad Sadiq Al-Sadr: Mobilizing the Iraqi Shia Base – By Mike Airosus

In the existing literature on the Sadrist Movement in Iraq, there has been little analysis of one of its key actors, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr. Although he never directly controlled the Mahdi Army, Sadiq al-Sadr, founded the Sadrist Movement, directly challenged the Saddam Hussein regime, providing the legitimacy and inspiration for the […]

The Taliban’s Criminal Enterprise – By Shawn Snow

The media tends to paint a portrait of the Taliban as a monolithic, ideologically motivated entity with the goal of overthrowing the Kabul-led government. The conflict in Afghanistan, however, is morphing into a resource conflict and the Taliban is becoming involved in criminal enterprise, especially the opium trade. Poppies are the main staple crop in […]

Strategic Minorities: Iraq’s Non-Muslims and the Power of Persecution in the Fight Against the Islamic State – By Matthew Gruba

The tipping point in the U.S. debate over initiating an air campaign against the Islamic State was the plight of non-Muslim minorities in IS-controlled areas of Iraq, namely that of the Yazidi population in Sinjar. Via effective international messaging efforts, the Yazidis, a tiny religious minority unknown to the outside world, mobilized the United States […]