Threats posed by the current religiously inspired terrorist groups leave Malaysia with no choice but to adapt to new strategies and approaches. Not only have threats become more global in terms of networking and influences, but also the use of Islam to justify attacks produces great challenges for the country and its security enforcement. Malaysia’s promotion of moderation, or wasatiyah, as part of its counterterrorism campaign has been widely accepted by the international community. At home, the campaign of winning hearts and minds continues as an essential strategy of the government. Malaysia’s success in countering major terror threats since independence has also been credited to the role played by the police’s Special Branch (SB) Unit and the existence of preventive laws. Yet when those laws were repealed, amid a changing political climate and democracy in the country, the enforcement authorities were forced to re-strategize their intelligence gathering and to come to grips with the new legal processes, which require reasonable evidence to be presented during trials to avoid dismissal of the charges. At the same time, the SB is also upgrading its tactical skills and surveillance technology, given modern terrorists’ adaptive capabilities with a loosely connected decentralized network.
NATO’s admission of three classes of a total of twelve former communist states and republics took place in the years 1999, 2004, and 2009. Each of the admitted states had undergone a preparation process known as the Partnership for Peace. The Russian reaction was very negative, as they strengthened their own military in response and also complained that NATO had now moved to their doorstep. At the alliance’s Bucharest Summit in 2008, NATO made the strategically important decision to deny admission to both Georgia and Ukraine. This denial may have strengthened the Russian resolve to invade the first in 2008 and the second in 2014. After the Russian absorption of Crimea, NATO tactics bolstered the position of other vulnerable states but also angered Russian leaders.
Since the 1980s Algeria has had to respond to political extremism. Following the ‘Berber Spring’ in 1980, it had to react to the Bou Yali rebellion. Then, in October 1988, countrywide discontent and an organized Islamist movement challenged the government’s claim to embody the legitimacy of the Algerian revolution by leading the struggle for national independence. In 1991, the Algerian army, fearing that the Islamist movements might win elections, took control. Within a year it faced a complex insurrection in which some groups sought to restore the electoral process and others attempted to replace the state with a caliphate. Algeria’s strategy in this struggle has evolved from counterinsurgency during its 1990s civil war to suppression of ‘residual terrorism’ afterwards. Although this forced the groups concerned into the Sahara and the Sahel, it did not eliminate them, so Algeria has been forced to attempt to influence group behaviour in northern Mali, despite pressure from the US and France for direct engagement. One approach has been to organize a regional response, despite tensions between Algeria and Morocco over the Western Sahara. However, the Libyan crisis has pushed the country into reluctant engagement with Western paradigms of confronting non-state terrorism and violence.
Both America and Russia, for different reasons, decided to undertake a policy pivot towards Asia. For President Obama, such a pivot may have represented a needed change from preoccupation with tough issues in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. President Putin may have looked East in an effort to get away from constant preoccupation with issues related to Crimea and the eastern edge of Europe. The Asian-Pacific Economic Community (APEC) offered a common forum of communication for both wth other Asian states. However, both powers had different historical reasons for pursuing the overture to Asian states. For the United States, a major defense agreement with South Korea was a result of the Korean War of the 1950s, while its long engagement in the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 70s provided it with additional historical experiences in the region. Russia concerned itself with intensified trade relations and also defined the region to include Central Asian states that had formerly been republics in the Soviet Union. U.S. troops had been a presence in the region for decades, and the multi-state controversy over Chinese actions in the South China Sea also bore in part a defensive component.
The use of the concept of terrorism in Colombia, especially regarding who is a terrorist, has changed over the years according to the discourse, making it difficult to gain a singular concrete understanding of the phenomenon. Understanding terrorism, and the responses that the Colombian state has created to address it, requires identifying how specific agents have been categorized as terrorists according to the context. This chapter argues that instead of being an objective and continuous reality through the history of Colombia’s conflicts, terrorism has appeared as a result of the construction of discourses that have positioned specific agents as terror organizations. This categorization is not a simple matter of semantics; it has various policy implications related to the forms in which the state has responded to violent actors.
Duality of détente in the 1970s and neo-Cold War in the 1980s
James W. Peterson
During the late Cold War there was a serious effort by leaders in both capitals to defuse the tension and conflict that characterized their relationship during the 1950s and 60s. Commitments by both sides to the details of soft power approaches such as negotiating arms agreements such as SALT and the Helsinki Accords eased the climate of hostility somewhat, while the rise to power of Mikhail Gorbachev, with his emphasis on perestroika and other aspects of reform, resulted in considerable retraction of the Soviet military both in size and from various points of involvement such as Afghanistan. However, there was usually either continuing underlying neo-Cold War tension between the two or vacillation between steps forward and backward. The initial Soviet move into Afghanistan combined with emergence of Marxist forces in locations such as Nicaragua kept American leaders in a state of military readiness. Provocative moves such as the build-up of the American nuclear arsenal under President Reagan in the 1980s were combatitive in tone with regard to Soviet leaders. Thus, positive and negative features combined in an uneasy mix at the end of the Cold War.
This conclusion draws out the chief findings from a comparative analysis of the preceding chapters. It also offers policy implications, specifically highlighting how policymakers in Western countries can be culturally sensitive to the different conceptualizations of terrorism present elsewhere and tailor their requests for cooperation accordingly.
Theoretical approaches and a path from the Crimea to stability
James W. Peterson
In terms of the ten theoretical approaches presented in Chapter One, the balance of power model carried the most explanatory force in tracing the evolution of the Russian-American relationship. The multipolar model also was strong in depicting the impact on Russian-American relations by other interested states, and it also is useful in studying the impact of that relationship on other nations and their leaders. Further, realism is the best theoretical tool in characterizing motives behind many policy initiatives of the two states. As a result, there were many points at which erosion in the relationship occurred. Their very different reactions to the Syrian civil war was one major example, but so also were continuing military provocations. Russians carried out numerous military exercises in very sensitive border regions, while the West was able to use NATO capabilittes to set up deterrents to Russian ambitions. However, convergence between the two did occur in some ways. Russian-American diplomatic tactics were minimal but meaningful, while President Putin also reached out in unexpected ways to nations such as Iran and Greece. American contacts were those of reassurance to Ukraine and the anxious states in the Baltic region as well as Poland.
Bombings, armed action and other militant phenomena have been a recurrent feature of Lebanese politics. The divided political landscape across sects and party formations, in the absence of a strong executive institutional mechanism, in the aftermath of a protracted ‘civil’ war and a hashed-up cessation of hostilities in a turbulent regional environment, has contributed to a climate where violent acts are a way to conduct politics. As a result, the struggle over meaning and naming significantly shapes political struggles and the possibility for compromise in the Lebanon. There have been conflicting claims as to which acts are labelled terrorism, and this war over words is integral to the different political struggles plaguing the country, involving other regional state and non-state actors. This chapter will look at two important battles at managing claims of terrorism, one regarding the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and the establishment of an international tribunal, and the other involving a Islamist targeted campaign waged by Hizbullah against takfiri groups such as al Qaeda and IS (the Islamic State).
Pakistan has achieved significant success in countering terrorism without, however, defeating it. The violence thus persists. Not only have the countervailing policies lacked a coherent vision underpinned by a balanced blend of soft and hard approaches, the ongoing, mainly military-led effort has also been subverted by important actors in the state, politics and society of Pakistan. Apart from an idiosyncratic national security landscape characterized by a complex set of geopolitical dynamics and foreign interventions, the conundrum resides in a multitude of conflicting viewpoints, policy attitudes and reactions against terrorism. Ironically, the extant terrorism and conflict literature has not systematically sought to understand the causes germinating this peculiar security setting of an important South Asian country, which not only deprives research of critical input about non-Western responses to terrorism but also hinders the development of an objective understanding of the socio-political conditions and constraints impacting such responses, at times leading to uninformed perceptions. This chapter helps to fill that void.