This article examines the mechanisms for combating global terrorism which emerged in Europe and Southeast Asia in the aftermath of 11 September, the Bali bombing, the two Jakarta bombings, and the Madrid train bombings. The article argues that, despite various attempts at crafting a common security framework in each region, the most successful examples of counter-terrorism and anti-terrorism cooperation thus far have been at the bilateral and trilateral levels. In balancing between national security priorities and multilateral cooperative arrangements, the main difference between the European and Southeast Asian approach comes from the different ways in which the terrorist threat is perceived. While the European reaction is determined by the acknowledgement of a "common external threat," the Southeast Asian response is based on the recognition of a "common internal threat." Such divergence of perspectives invariably nuances the scope of national and regional initiatives in each case scenario. These are further reinforced by the ideational and operational modalities of each regional community (EU and ASEAN).
US counter-terror doctrine appears to assume that undermining Islamist terror networks such as al-Qaeda and its Southeast Asian affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah requires increasing state capacities and promoting intelligence cooperation to eliminate terror cells and their logistics lines within Southeast Asia, while promoting good governance to ensure that terror networks do not transform failed state environments into sanctuaries. This article argues that while such a real-time, short-term counter-terrorist strategy is certainly important, it needs to be complemented by a longer-term approach designed to neuter the ability of terror networks to regenerate. This is why a counter-terrorism strategy designed to eradicate as far as possible the ideological and political sources of Muslim discontent is just as vital. Rejecting "top-down," one-size-fits-all approaches formulated in Washington, the article articulates a "bottom-up" Southeast Asian indirect strategy to combat Islamist terror within the region. It shows how certain aspects of the Malaysian and Indonesian experiences respectively may offer clues as to how such a Southeast Asian indirect strategy, encompassing a mix of counterterrorism and counter-terrorist elements in which the former play a central role, may be formulated.
The insurgency that has grown in Iraq since the downfall of the regime of Saddam Hussein and Allied occupation in April 2003, has gripped the country in a spiral of lawlessness and anarchy. Despite the presence of over 150,000 Allied forces and the training of thousands of local Iraqi police and security forces, Iraq is still dominated by armed insurgents who are weakening and sabotaging post-war reconstruction in the areas of law and order, oil production, and road infrastructure. In this article I will contend that the most serious dimension of this insurgency is Islamic in manifestation and examine its importance not merely to the internal political dynamic of the country but the wider American objective of the war on terrorism and the discourses that surround it. These discourses include radical Islamism, contemporary facets of foreign occupation, and the Muslim prohibition to avoid civil conflict (fitna). In the latter part of the article I examine the dimensions of Islamist interpretation, support, and objective to the current insurgency. This includes analysis of both Sunni and Shi'a elements of insurgency that have arisen in the Iraqi context as well a wider explanation of Muslim revolt against perceived Western domination of the political, economic, and cultural landscape of contemporary Islamism and its resurgence in Iraq.
This article employs a case study approach to examine the usefulness of Anthony F.C. Wallace's classic theory of group revitalization as it relates to terrorist and extremist movements. Wallace's theory, while well-known in anthropological circles, has only rarely been applied to the study of contemporary anti-statist groups. This oversight is unfortunate since the theory helps to account for the growth of these groups without relying on reductionist explanations. The central case of the West Virginia Mountaineer Militia, a radical militia group of the mid-1990s, is examined here in some detail to consider the precepts of revitalization theory. Other movements of a similar style are more briefly addressed.
This article contains an examination of two instances of protracted communal conflict, in Sudan and Sri Lanka. In my view the level of hostilities between the insurgent group and the national government in each case has risen to a level equivalent to that of warfare between sovereign states. The insurgent groups in each case, in Sudan, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA), and in Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), appear to have acquired certain attributes of belligerency. These include the capacity to maintain military control of territory, the ability to administer that territory effectively coercionfree, and a fidelity to the implementation of international human rights law. It is contended these attributes may provide particular mediators, for Sudan, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and for Sri Lanka, the Norwegian government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an ability to move governments from the practice of "discounting" or disparaging the insurgents during negotiations, to a practice of negotiating with the latter in a sober vein. The supposition is that this "movement" on the part of the government renders a ceasefire more attainable.
The "new wars" of the post-Cold War period pose unique challengesfor conflict resolution. Frequently, the international community hastried to manage these conflicts using fairly ad hoc and uncoordinatedapproaches that, while suited to traditional interstate disputes,are largely ineffective in the deconstructed settings of contemporaryinternal wars. In this article I attempt to construct an alternativeframework for international mediation that could act as a generalguide for policy makers. An examination of the Mozambique peaceprocess reveals an important set of lessons. First, non-official mediators– NGOs, churches, prominent individuals – need to be mainstreamedinto diplomatic initiatives, particularly in partnership withinsider-mediators. Second, there are key roles for mediators in thepre-negotiation phase, such as negotiator training of the rebel representativeswho may be inexperienced in diplomatic bargaining.Third, mediation initiatives should be coordinated and sequenced toavoid the frequent problem of mediator "crowdedness." Fourth,high-ranking and powerful third parties like heads of state should beused as impasse-breakers. Fifth, a wide range of technical experts –in the military, constitutional, electoral, economic developmentfields – need to be included in the agreement design phase of themediation. Lastly, there needs to be long-term engagement into theimplementation and post-conflict reconstruction phases. It is at thispoint that mediators are most needed, and yet frequently – as in theMiddle East – it is at this stage that they are most often absent.