It has weathered the death of its leader, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, killed by a drone strike in June His longtime deputy, Nasir al-Raimi, a trainer in an al-Qaeda camp in the s, appears to have quickly cemented his authority. Precise relations between AQAP and other anti-Huthi militias in the south, notably the strong, non-Islamist, secessionist Hiraak, are difficult to define.
In some places — Aden after its liberation, for example — they already fight each other. In others, such as Taiz, where for now they align against Huthis, these alliances may prove temporary. Clearly, though, the war is a massive boon for al-Qaeda. Even if UN mediation yields a peace deal between the Huthis and their foes — which still appears some way off — ousting it militarily will be tough, especially with the southern question unresolved.
Though expelled by French and Chadian forces from towns in northern Mali they controlled for half of , AQIM militants have gained footholds in Libya, which has become a hub for jihadist networks stretching south into the Sahel, west to Tunisia and Algeria and east to the Levant battlefields. The former has claimed a hand in the recent Bamako and Ouagadougou attacks. Lastly, al-Shabaab in Somalia has withstood in the past few years offensives by an African Union AU mission, the loss of major population centres, ideological attacks from other Islamists, including earlier jihadist leaders, and, in , an internal power struggle.
Since , al-Shabaab blends insurgent tactics with terrorist attacks: besieging towns, breaking supply lines, conducting night raids while striking in urban areas beyond its direct control. It pays fighters well thanks to diverse income sources: donations, extortion, even in parts of Mogadishu, looting, kidnapping and taxing piracy and smuggling. Outreach in villages stresses need to defend Somalia and Islam from invaders. Foreign influence has shaped its ideological and tactical development but not swamped its Somali core.
It still aspires to create an East African regional emirate, and much outreach is now in Kiswahili not Somali. At least by night, it again controls much of Mogadishu. Abdiqadir Mumin, an al-Shabaab ideologue linked to the diaspora and based in northern Somalia, recently defected to IS with a handful of men.
For now, the appointment of Kenyan Somali national security officers in the north has gone some way to bridge the gap between the state and affected communities, although authorities should work more with elders, resolve local disputes al-Shabaab exploits and improve living conditions. Actions have been clumsier in Coast, another region with many Muslims and at risk of al-Shabaab infiltration. Droukdel also wrote to his lieutenants urging them not to alienate locals and even lamented their splitting from Tuareg rebels. Whether the new strategy heralds a change in the longer-term aspirations of any affiliate is unclear.
Local commanders have, however, allowed international humanitarian organisations to provide aid in areas they control. Some debates, nevertheless, have important policy implications. Often framed theologically, they rarely stray far from the strategic: arguments over what Islam permits track closely what works on the ground. IS and al-Qaeda differences, at least at leadership level, tend to revolve more around tactics and strategy than goals. Both disavow local regimes as un-Islamic and want to expel the West and Russia from Muslim lands and destroy Israel.
For both, the aspiration remains a caliphate that upends the international order. Their paths and timeline for getting there, however, diverge sharply, reflecting the contrasting experiences of their leaders and the contexts in which they emerged. Takfir can be invoked in three circumstances: against Muslim tyrants; against Muslims serving tyrants or operating in foreign interests; and against Muslims improperly practicing their religion, a provision particularly targeting Shia, who are referred to by so-called takfiris as rawafid rejectionists of the Sunni-endorsed lines of succession from the Prophet Muhammad.
With notable exceptions that jihadists take as inspiration, takfir was used infrequently in Islamic history, was limited to individual cases and had a high juridical bar. While al-Qaeda and IS, in theory at least, share this expansive conception of takfir , their behaviour differs considerably. Al-Qaeda has usually tried to avoid gratuitous Muslim casualties. Muslims must fight for the former or be seen as non-believers, part of the latter. Local IS commanders have shown occasional pragmatism in Iraq and Syria and are likely to do so elsewhere, given that eradicating all other forms of Sunni opposition would be impossible.
Still, IS fights a simultaneous war on all fronts: against primary enemies, Iranian proxies and the Shia; other Sunni rebels; Sunni powers it sees as Western stooges; Russians as infidel supporters of Assad and Iran; Western powers and so forth. It has woven together sectarian, revolutionary and anti-imperialist strands of jihadist thinking.
Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have responded differently to the popular upheaval. AQAP and al-Nusra may fight in sectarian wars and target Huthis and Alawites; and al-Qaeda is hardly shy about killing civilians or cooperating, in Pakistan for example, with deeply sectarian allies. Attitudes toward the nation-state system are, in some conflicts, perhaps a variable in determining who can be engaged diplomatically. At their top level, IS and al-Qaeda have transnational goals. Despite its primary identity as an Iraqi insurgency, IS — at least according to its own statements — wants to provoke a war across the Muslim world as a step to expanding its caliphate; Zawahiri and al-Qaeda affiliate leaders view their local struggles as fronts in a wider transnational jihad.
The Taliban has many elements, but its core is nationalist, if mostly Pashtun, dedicated to recovering its emirate in Afghanistan and expelling Western forces. Since , Ahrar al-Sham has also rejected the Salafi-jihadist label, ibid. Ansar Dine, which aligned with al-Qaeda in Mali in , and some Ansar al-Sharia factions in Libya similarly appear to aspire to Islamic rule within existing borders.
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Even among movements with nationalist goals, few accept political or religious pluralism. The Taliban leadership aspires to a government under the authority of a divinely-appointed emirate. Institute for Peace, Official messaging may not reflect positions of the rank-and-file or even the leadership: some are clearly committed to radical ideals; others express them to curry favour with Gulf-based donors or may feign pragmatism to win state backing.
To a degree, identities are defined as much by strategy, tactics and sources of funding and support as by longer-term goals, given the often remote nature of those goals. What they want, particularly related to the state system, their openness to sharing power and tolerance toward other sects or religious groups, bears on policy. Any sign of evolution or possibility of influencing or splitting them along these lines may open new ways to diminish their threat. Controlling territory, among the thorniest challenges for any insurgency, has proven especially hard for jihadists.
Their harsh, literal implementation of Sharia has rarely inspired much support. More importantly, most have proven inept rulers. But given the conditions of extreme violence or state collapse that enable them to seize territory, communities may find them better than the alternatives or have little choice but to acquiesce. Also, some movements show signs of learning to govern in ways that avoid fully alienating those under their control. In recent history, few radical Islamist movements had held territory before The Taliban, first as it advanced north and then as the government of most of Afghanistan in the mids, initially brought some basic law and order, but its puritanical mores, economic mismanagement, sporadic attempts to curb poppy cultivation, forced conscription and war-time atrocities soon alienated many, particularly in cities and towns.
It was, in turn, mostly the failures of the new government and the U. Its courts, often mobile, dispense fast, predictable and enforced, if harsh, justice that by most accounts is reasonably popular, at least outside cities. Some villagers at first welcomed schools for Quranic education, basic medical services, reasonably predictable tolls on roads, regular, safe market days and local dispute resolution. As an insurgency, al-Shabaab now combines unpopular violence with pragmatism and political acuity. It deals ruthlessly with potential rivals, while mediating between clans or backing weaker ones against rivals and avoiding too close an association with any.
It does best amid outright rivalry between clans or where clans feel frozen out of power. Neither movement is popular. Many villages are caught between their harsh rule and violence and the predation of local government-aligned strongmen; for many, survival hinges on working with whomever holds sway locally. Both, however, deliver some basic public goods and exploit local grievances, conflicts and tribal or clan relations to win support, while playing on intra-tribal or clan tensions between traditional authorities and those marginalised, particularly younger men.
They exert their authority in captured territory through an often carefully calibrated mix of coercion and co-option. Since , more jihadists have seized territory. Its violence raises the cost of dissent, while its leaders have forged closer ties to parts of society. More importantly, in contrast to any past jihadist movement, it appears able to run a state, its recent setbacks notwithstanding.
Unlike the Taliban and al-Shabaab, it inherited a largely functioning infrastructure and civil service and has co-opted parts of the local bureaucracy. In most cities and towns, sanitation, rubbish collection, schools and clinics still work. Its law enforcement may be draconian but reportedly is not yet corrupt; its internal revenue generation is often extortive but at least so far appears sustainable.
It has, like other movements, emphasised the quick and enforced resolution of often longstanding disputes. During the revolution, it overran part of Abyan governorate, including its capital Zinjibar. Army reinforcements took time to deploy — the army split during the revolution, some factions siding with protesters — but then ousted militants swiftly, with local support.
New religious courts are viewed by many locals as fair and swift in contrast to the corrupt and slow official system, which in any case has collapsed. Civil servants are paid, and the city has not suffered the chaos of elsewhere, partly because it is among the few areas not hit by Saudi-coalition bombs. AQAP looted local banks, but the council generates revenue mostly through taxes on goods, particularly fuel.
Shipping companies continue to trade with the al-Qaeda controlled town; though wary of docking in its port, they stop in international waters and smaller boats ferry in goods, including gas. Its leaders meet representatives of Western aid organisations to coordinate relief, as jihadist leaders did in northern Mali in Selling qat is forbidden, but music and TV are not.
It has also responded differently to dissent. Boko Haram claims to want to bring Islamic rule to the Lake Chad Basin but pillages captured areas of northern Nigeria, bringing not even the blend of coercion and co-option deployed by some others, let alone any pretence of Sharia. Relations with the Islamic World Analysis Paper, no.
Nor would even the more adept groups be credible alternatives in reasonably functioning states. Conditions must be awful before communities accept them or are forced to do so to survive — illustrating again how war and state collapse create settings in which jihadists thrive. But where their governance is evolving, there are clearly policy implications. It has been common for extremists to win some initial support by bringing basic law and order — especially predictable and enforced dispute resolution — but for that to dissipate fast as their violence becomes arbitrary and their punishments draconian, as they ban music and empower criminals, as services collapse and rubbish piles up.
Will that model hold? Can groups be contained geographically in expectation that over time inhabitants will revolt or support their ouster? Or will they hold territory and deliver services in a way that deepens their ties to communities, furthers their agenda and safeguards a haven from which to launch attacks? It is too early to say, but more such movements hold land now than ever before, many of the crises that permit them to do so show little sign of abating, and some are learning to calibrate their approach toward those they rule. The extending reach of IS and al-Qaeda-linked groups poses thorny policy dilemmas, especially where they hold territory, but also in places facing an increased risk of terrorist attacks.
World leaders ramping up their rhetoric against IS must learn from mistakes, while redoubling efforts to understand evolving dynamics. Many Western politicians overstate the threat. This is, to a degree, understandable: jihadist attacks target their citizens. But even IS poses no major, let alone existential, peril to their countries. Beyond the human misery it already causes, the gravest risk is that its violence provokes reactions — xenophobia, curtailing of civil liberties, selective policing at home or military adventurism abroad — that aggravate the conditions that enabled its rise, open new opportunities for it in the Muslim world and facilitate recruitment in the West.
Over the past few years, however, jihadist movements have become more powerful than ever before. Elsewhere, military gains have often merely relocated the problem. Russian operations in the North Caucasus have partly caused many jihadists to go to the Levant. In Yemen, without a peace deal between the Huthis and loyalists of former President Saleh on the one hand and forces aligned to the Saudi-led coalition, prospects of ousting al-Qaeda from the territories it controls are bleak.
The longer it brings a semblance of order amid chaos, the stronger it will grow. Even with a peace deal, it may have deepened local ties to such a degree and Yemeni security forces may have become so debilitated that they will struggle to oust violent jihadists as they did in Similarly, reversing jihadist gains in Libya will depend on resolving rivalries between other local forces and persuading them to collaborate against IS. It will depend, too, on giving areas associated with the Qadhafi regime, which are most vulnerable to IS recruitment, a stronger position in the national fabric and probably also self-defence opportunities.
But so long as rivalries between its enemies persist, it will continue to hold the area around Sirte and may extend further east. If the U. More can also be done to engage with diverse Libyan security actors — and promote contact between them — to both build support for the political process and find potential partners against IS.
The best starting point against it would be a grand bargain to dial back the Iran-Saudi rivalry that drives both Sunni and Shia radicalism, is a principal obstacle to ending crises across the region and poses a graver threat to global stability than jihadists. Prospects appear bleak, but urging an entente should be as vital a priority as fighting IS. Without it there is risk of mounting confrontation, with Syria its epicentre and both sides describing their violence as counter-terrorism, that pits an Iran-Baghdad-Damascus-Hizbollah axis, with Russia joining opportunistically, against the mostly Sunni powers in the new Saudi alliance, backed uneasily in the West.
Efforts to narrow other fault lines that open space for jihadists, — between, for example, conservative Arab regimes and the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey and Kurdish armed groups, now Turkey and Russia and India and Pakistan, should also be redoubled — even if rapprochement seems remote. Thirdly, there is the nature of many affected states.
The largest movements have filled vacuums left by state collapse in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen and, to a degree, Afghanistan. In many vulnerable states and those at war, government behaviour is a main source of grievances driving support for jihadist movements or provoking crises they profit from. Capable, resilient states should be the foundation of efforts against extremism. However, the outlook for recovery, reform and regeneration, particularly in the Arab world, is gloomy. Little suggests that governments largely responsible for the fourth wave are ready to adapt in ways needed to counter it.
Fourthly, leaders in many of the countries most affected simply view the threat differently than their Western counterparts. Some, as described, are more focused on regional rivalries or may fear that action against jihadists would anger religious establishments. Others see opposition movements as graver threats to their rule or jihadists as useful leverage with the West and a pretext for repressing other rivals.
He then gave government posts to some, while sidelining others, even if often retaining ties to them through intelligence services. Throughout the last two decades of his rule, he used the jihadist threat to win Western support, receiving training and weapons to fight al-Qaeda. Despite sporadic crackdowns, usually under U. Some states, notably Pakistan, have badly miscalculated this balancing act, a mistake Turkey may have replicated in Syria.
But contrasting incentives mean anti-jihadist alliances tend to be flimsy, and the U. There is, of course, no single solution. Options against groups like those that captured northern Mali, for example, — that initially enjoyed shallow support, fled when confronted by a serious force and some of which appear to have had transnational goals — differ from those against the Afghan Taliban, which is firmly entrenched in the Pashtun heartlands, largely nationalist, enjoys at least intelligence support and safe havens in Pakistan and has weathered U.
Tackling unpopular Boko Haram, which can hide in the vast desert and bush around Lake Chad but against which regional governments are now reasonably united, requires a very different strategy than in Libya against militants in Benghazi and Derna that other revolutionary brigades view as allies and many residents more as wayward youth than hardened extremists. Understanding local dynamics is critical.
Each movement should be tackled individually, not as a global phenomenon. That said, many pose similar dilemmas. First is on the use of force. Secondly, does the targeted killing of leaders help reduce the threat, either locally or to the West? Thirdly, what engagement is feasible, what ends should it serve and what risks does it entail? The longer it holds a swathe of Iraq and Syria, the stronger its aura of invincibility and the greater its appeal will be.
Ousting it or at least putting it on the back foot should thus be a priority. But IS also thrives in chaos. Woven within its narrative are both its inexorable advance and a strand of apocalyptic thinking that envisages an eventual final battle with Western forces. Reclaiming territory is vital, but doing so at the cost of further alienating Sunnis — having already lost them in the aftermath of the invasion and then by a betrayal of the Awakening — would be counterproductive. The lynchpin of any approach and that must shape any use of force has to be a political strategy to win over the communities in which IS is embedded.
Bombs alone will not do the job. Pounding Raqqa after the Paris attacks had no strategic value; further flattening and driving more residents from homes risks playing into the hands of extremists as much as weakening them. Airstrikes, even if intensified, only work if they reinforce allies on the ground, which raises the question of which forces can lead offensives.
Even when the U. During the Awakening, the U. Replicating that today would be hard, for many reasons. Even hawks in the U. Even a more limited Western deployment, as some recommend — in numbers ranging up to 25,, including military advisers, Special Forces and Quick Reaction Forces — to back local and regional elements would pose enormous hazards for an uncertain return. Lewis estimated the needs of a first phase alone at 25, In Iraq, the U. Even during its eight-year occupation, the U. Marshalling local and regional forces for the U. Other rebels and their al-Qaeda allies have done the most in Syria against IS, repelling it from the north west, but they cannot fight it successfully in the east while hemmed in by the regime and pounded by Russian airstrikes.
So long as the war between regime and rebels rages, training the latter to fight only jihadists has no chance, as shown by the dismal results of U. Arming militias also further degrades the Iraqi state. Most important, while Baghdad and the U. Tribes joined against AQI only after being convinced that the U. Their bitter experience in the aftermath means that any foreign force would face an uphill battle to win their trust. Unless Western states make an open-ended commitment of troops at far higher levels than seem possible, it will be hard to win back former allies.
With a U. Recent offensives have involved warnings to civilians to leave towns and massive airstrikes to oust militants, followed by the Iraqi government, in cooperation with para-state forces, advancing a patchwork of small units — including counter-terrorism forces, retrained Sunni local and federal police and Kurdish forces — to retake territory. Former Sunni political leaders, displaced by IS, are waiting out the fighting in Baghdad and elsewhere, hoping to recover their legitimacy and reestablish their authority by rebuilding the infrastructure the offensive against IS destroys.
The Iraqi government, with the support of the U. This strategy is unlikely to succeed. Iran and, to a degree, Russia oppose any devolution that could empower Sunnis. Renovating the structure of governance will not necessarily imbue it with substance. The key to broad Sunni re-engagement is narrowing the gap between the Sunni leadership and its constituents, particularly young people. This is especially so if non-ideological supporters of IS are to be prised from its ideologically motivated core, which would not disappear even if ousted from towns.
Massive destruction and backing largely discredited leaders who abandoned Sunni areas after the Awakening would be a weak base on which to build a new Sunni political project. The Sunni character of Anbar is undisputed, but the longstanding regional competition over the multi-ethnic and strategically located Mosul will complicate stabilising the city in the wake of any campaign, which itself will be more complex than any previous ones against IS. Turkey, the Iraqi government, Iran and Shia militias, and the Kurds including both the Kurdish Democratic Party and PKK, themselves at odds with one another are all determined to secure their own interests and, perhaps more important, deny their rivals the same.
What, then, is the alternative? This starts by limiting the bombing campaign to vital targets and imminent threats, and preventing IS expansion, while squeezing it in every other way so as to erode the aura of invincibility that has convinced communities to cooperate with it and attracted new recruits from around the world. Circumstances are different, of course, from a decade ago, when the Sons of Iraq switched sides: IS is more potent than AQI; the Iraqi government is less amenable to Sunni aspirations; the U. The principle, however, should be the same: that trust of residents is a more important asset than territory.
It would involve risks that either Iran assumes the lead in combatting it and does so in a counterproductive manner, or that IS endures and its rule normalises; and political costs, including domestically, that the U. Options against IS are especially poor, but other groups pose similar dilemmas. Early Pakistani operations against militants hosting al-Qaeda in the tribal areas, for example, launched mostly at U.
The army stirred up resistance, was repeatedly forced to retreat and struck deals ceding militants more local authority. Blood on Their Hands. Corruption, insufficient logistics and poor leadership meant desertions were rampant, mutinies common. They may not drive communities to support Boko Haram, but they make them less likely to offer government cooperation, as militants hide in more remote areas.
Working through auxiliaries is potentially more problematic still. Institute of Peace, 20 May Foreign boots on the ground involve other challenges. There have been some successes: the French Serval operation in Mali quickly ousted al-Qaeda-linked groups from northern towns, creating space for an eventual deal between Tuareg factions and the government.
The Iraq invasion, though at first only tangentially linked to counter-terrorism, breathed new life into a global jihadist movement disoriented after the loss of Afghan sanctuaries. Even the U. In Afghanistan, U. A further influx of mostly U. As in the Iraqi surge, political failures outweighed military success: a tarnished presidential vote and potential openings for talks with Taliban leaders squandered by U.
Instead, their presence has contributed to radicalisation across the region; in some Central Asian states, already threatened by the Afghan upheaval, reliance on closed regimes to keep open supply lines deepened destabilising patterns of rule. In Somalia, too, foreign forces gave impetus to radicals.
Al-Shabaab won backing from both Islamists and nationalists opposing the Ethiopian invasion in Many Somalis view troops from neighbouring countries now in the AU mission as occupiers with suspect motives, sentiments al-Shabaab, much like the Taliban, exploits. More broadly, the Afghan and Somali experiences highlight the flaws in an approach that combines building centralised state institutions with counter-insurgency but without a wider political strategy that includes reconciliation.
The military campaigns in fact work at cross-purposes, relying on local allies whose behaviour is part of the problem and, in some cases, have an interest in perpetrating insecurity. Military aid, meanwhile, has often fed corruption. In Afghanistan, the reduction in foreign forces has left some provincial capitals vulnerable to insurgents, with the U.
In Mali, perhaps, and certainly against Boko Haram, military action has been necessary. But recent history suggests governments and foreign partners have been too quick to go to war. Framing wars as struggles between governments and extremists is far too simplistic a dichotomy and overlooks complex, multi-layered and often old drivers of violence, a misdiagnosis that inevitably leads to mistakes.
Many groups prove more resilient than anticipated.
Insurgents with strong bonds to communities and who tap genuine grievances that are hard to resolve quickly and military action often aggravates are difficult to uproot. Crisis Group observations, interviews and telephone interviews, Mali, January-February When force is required, too often insufficient regard is paid to its wider impact.
The past decade is littered with examples of violence either deepening support for extremists or leaving communities caught between their harsh rule and brutal campaigns against them. They perpetrate horrific acts of violence; the suicide bomber, reviled a few years ago as alien across much of the Muslim world, is now ubiquitous. Many fight, however, in conflicts in which all sides violate international law. Targeted killings are a tactic only as effective as the strategy that guides their use. They can disrupt extremist networks and potential attacks on the West across great distance and, in the case of drones, without immediate risk to U.
But their greatest strength is also a weakness: by taking asymmetrical warfare to the extreme — with all risk of harm born by the target population, including non-combatants, and none by the attackers — drone strikes can destabilise local political conditions and fuel anger. Unless they are integrated into a broader strategy to calm a conflict, their tactical gains come at a cost.
Drone strikes in Yemen, for years a central component of U. The movement has weathered this, while collateral civilian deaths have fuelled anger, particularly among tribes whose support against al-Qaeda is essential, and driven anti-Western sentiment, even if not direct backing for jihadists. In Somalia, the U. Against large insurgent movements in war zones, particularly those like IS whose inner workings and command structures are opaque, the impact is particularly uncertain. Though it may fragment some groups, in the case of a well-organised group like IS a replacement, perhaps more radical, is likely to emerge quickly.
See, for example, Cockayne, Hidden Power , op. Little suggests targeted killings will help either end the conflicts jihadists fight in or decisively weaken their movements. Talking to IS- and al-Qaeda-linked groups, whether to negotiate over hostages, humanitarian access or an end to violence, poses practical and substantive challenges. There is physical danger to mediators. Leaders may hold views different from those on the front lines. Mediators often face resistance from states that have suffered attacks. Obstacles can also be legal.
Some states prohibit material support of groups designated terrorist in ways that would penalise dialogue; others ban facilitating transport of their representatives to a safe meeting place. Code B. Top IS leaders make no demands; even negotiating relief delivery with local commanders has been hard. Though their austere social vision, including literal interpretation of the Quran, is not unique to them, ending the wars they fight in will require some degree of political and religious pluralism. At times, too, negotiations have emboldened movements with scant popular support.
With hindsight, the U. According to experts with contacts in the insurgency, the Taliban was sending envoys up to Crisis Group telephone interview, March Now, Kabul and its foreign allies will have to surrender much more to persuade the Taliban to stop fighting, if indeed the movement intends to or can without fragmenting. Reluctance to engage at the height of the war on terror has meant opportunities with al-Shabaab have been missed, too. Crisis Group interviews, mediation team members, September Crisis Group interviews, observations, Tobruk, al-Bayda, Benghazi, On occasion individuals claiming to represent Boko Haram have been dismissed by Shekau.
Instead, both sides escalated, and Boko Haram metastasised into a regional menace. But ending violence through a mediated settlement with the radical and increasingly nihilist core looks remote. Refusing in principle to engage jihadists seems an anachronism, given their prominence, the ties some enjoy to communities and the spotty records of military action against them while trying to sap their support through better governance.
Lister, Syrian Jihad , op. Contact with many groups should be approached without much expectation their core will easily move off global jihad, let alone toward peaceful political participation or Salafi quietism. Prospects are probably brighter with groups with national goals and even more so with those prepared to accept pluralism. Nor should governments themselves necessarily attempt to engage. But policymakers, certainly in Western capitals, could take advantage of often longstanding contacts between those in radical movements and others and of the engagement that already takes place, including by religious or other community leaders, non-state mediators and humanitarian groups.
All these can help shed light on dynamics within groups, facilitate humanitarian access and, in places, alleviate suffering. Although many jihadist movements have perpetrated horrific violence against civilians, the wars they fight in have featured atrocities by many other actors as well. Crimes should be dealt with through transnational justice, if feasible, not shape decisions on whether to talk.
Mediators always face questions. What is the purpose of engagement? What are the risks? Will it empower unpopular hardliners at the expense of those more inclined to compromise? Will it incur costs with others? Who is best placed to do it? Can it delegitimise the use of violence by those that do not participate? Although the answers may differ, these questions are the same for the most extreme group as for any armed movement.
Particularly important now with all groups — those with transnational as well as national goals — is to monitor them as prominent forces in conflicts, not just as threats to the West; keep the door to engagement ajar; and identify and assess prospects as they arise. Opportunities to open discreet lines of communication to at least try to define whether groups have demands that could be used as the basis for talks and can be moved away from those that are irreconcilable, are usually worth pursuing.
The recent expansion of IS and al-Qaeda-linked groups injects new urgency into conflict prevention, particularly in the belt running from West Africa to South Asia. Since such movements are likely to profit from any new crisis, and prospects for reversing their gains or ending the crisis diminish once they do, it is important to shore up states that are still standing but vulnerable. Institute of Peace, Special Report , September The plan refers to preventing, rather than countering, violent extremism, but the thinking is much the same. Much within the CVE agenda makes sense. So, too, is its call for member states not to violate human rights as they respond.
But there may be dangers in countries using CVE as the main prism through which to see threats to their stability. First, while recognising the diverse factors that can drive extremism and shifting resources toward efforts to tackle them is valuable, re-hatting efforts explicitly as CVE may be less so. Many are worthwhile without vesting them with de-radicalisation expectations they may be unable to meet or that could undermine them. Creating jobs for youths is sensible, for example, but prevents them joining extremist groups only in some conditions.
Similarly women activists should be engaged to help develop policy, not inform on their children, as has happened in places. But branding such diplomacy as CVE adds no value. Governments should allow and protect space for diverse Muslim voices, Salafi and otherwise. During crises, support extremists may enjoy from communities is, in most cases, based less on shared values and more on what else they provide when things fall apart: protection against a hated regime, quick dispute resolution, social advancement or opportunity for profit.
Chad is an example worth study. His forces spearheaded offensives that routed militants from the villages they had captured across north-eastern Nigeria. The gradual, mostly Gulf-funded encroachment of Salafism preceded Boko Haram. As elsewhere in Africa, Sufi leaders in Chad lament ground lost, particularly with youth, to more radical Salafi imams.
Boko Haram is likely to remain disruptive, particularly if Chad and its neighbours cannot offer hope to people in affected areas. Without reform, he is likely to either provoke internal instability before he departs office or leave chaos behind. More probably, jihadists, whether Boko Haram or more sophisticated North African and Sahel movements, will infiltrate and profit from any crisis, much as they have done elsewhere, even in places with little history of radicalisation.
So while African and other leaders are justifiably angry at the unregulated flow of Gulf money to intolerant preachers, focusing on that to the detriment of other sources of fragility risks missing the forest for the trees.
The likeliest way IS or al-Qaeda-linked groups can capture part of the Chadian state is if it collapses in a struggle over power and resources. Vital is that measures against jihadists do not inadvertently make violent breakdown more likely by propping up exclusive, destabilising patterns of rule.
Does it refer to doctrine, tactics, outreach or aspirations? Some Western governments mostly use the label as a euphemism for the jihadists this report covers; others so classify different kinds of Islamic militants like Hamas; yet others include violent right-wing movements in Europe. If confusing the Taliban and al-Qaeda was a mistake fifteen years ago, creating a category that might include IS, Hamas, the FARC insurgents in Colombia and right-wing extremists in the West is analytically flawed and risks setting policy on a course that allows leaders to portray their enemies as irreconcilable and lock their countries into endless wars against them.
Even the movements this report discusses — among the most extreme contemporary non-state armed groups in terms of their beliefs and goals — comprise a dedicated core and then many others fighting for a diverse array of often local, non-ideological motives. Policymakers should disaggregate even the most radical movements and look for opportunities to end violence, not lump others in with them.
This leaves an empty political middle ground between the mostly development- and de-radicalisation-oriented policies usually considered part of CVE and counter-terrorism or counter-insurgency policies. The CVE agenda has value, of course — and not only as a corrective to previous mistakes. It might help in tackling IS recruitment, which in many places hinges less on imams and religion than on social media and appeals to fraternity, belonging and purpose. It might, for example, advance de-radicalisation in prisons, a main recruitment venue, and measures to assist particularly vulnerable youth groups, a main recruitment pool.
Efforts to address root causes of instability and conflict should, naturally, be redoubled; donors can usefully shift resources from military and security spending toward addressing those underlying factors. However they and governments they support should think carefully about the benefits in each case of labelling these efforts CVE. Most of all they need to involve a wide range of people, including women, from communities affected in developing whatever policies are adopted and how they should be framed.
IS provokes justifiable outrage, but blame for its rise is widely shared and should provoke introspection beside condemnation; compassion as much as revulsion. Exactly how further expansion would play out is unclear. The interaction between the threat jihadists pose and other sources of fragility varies from place to place. Despite their contrasting strategies, both IS and al-Qaeda have shown they can exploit cleavages along multiple lines — particularly sectarian in the case of IS, but also generational, between communities and within them, between those with power and those without.
Their terrorist attacks, like those of many groups before them, aim to deepen divides, aggravate conditions that enable them to expand and provoke reactions that do the same. What the past few years show clearly, however — especially but not only in the Middle East — is that war and state collapse are massive boons for both movements. And while either movement could itself provoke a major crisis in a new theatre, the more probable path along which either captures territory or establishes a serious presence elsewhere is by profiting from a collapse in which it initially plays no central role.
It appears that the Trump administration Related Tags Iran. Up Next. Little suggests these groups can be defeated by military means alone, yet they espouse goals hard to accommodate in negotiated settlements. Today the Middle East is at war, and the main winners so far are extremists. Two boys stand near the charred chassis of a vehicle after a bomb attack near the busy Ajilari-Gomari market in Maiduguri, Nigeria.
March Map of the Middle East. Few of the diverse forces against IS treat it as the main enemy. May The vast majority of Salafis do not preach or practice violence. October The ouster of Saddam Hussein and policies adopted afterwards by the U. Loading Video. Although Libya is not torn along the sectarian fault lines of Iraq or Syria, IS can exploit rifts between the state and communities associated with the former regime Facebook Email. However, the above estimates are based on the measurement of tides, the average high tide being 30 cm above MSL.
The contribution of waves due to wind and traffic was not included. Describing works at the Ducal Palace in he provided some references on the position of CM that was This observation led us to conclude that the MSL in was The camera obscura Fig. In the camera obscura the light beam penetrating from the objective was projected on an inclined mirror and reflected onto a glass located on the upper surface of the box, where a sheet of paper was placed making it possible to draw precise contour lines.
The visibility of the pale reflected image was improved with a mobile screen on the top that shielded against external light. It operates like a modern reflex camera. The light beam white arrow from the objective O is projected on an inclined mirror M, visible for having removed the left side of the box and reflected onto a transparent glass surface on the upper surface of the box.
On the top of the box, a mobile screen S shields the image from external light. In historic palaces, the basement was made of big stones, decorations and several architectural features that make it easy to identify the exact level of the front of the algae. The above methodology was applied to all the available paintings in which buildings had a clearly visible algae belt and were unaffected by renovation works. The palace was reproduced with extreme precision and documents have been found suggesting that Veronese probably also used a camera obscura to improve the accuracy of his rederings.
The Venetian palaces, with their stairs, offer a novel proxy and the possibility to verify the findings from the above paintings. These palaces have secondary doors onto the narrow streets, but monumental doors and external water stairs face the canals Fig. Venice palaces were built on closely spaced wooden piles deeply implanted in sand and mud until they reached the underlying layer of hard clay MIOZZI, Under anoxic conditions, the wood remains almost unaffected by deterioration and biological attack.
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The building foundations and the water stairs remain on the implanted piles. Under normal conditions, water stairs had the necessary number of steps, with the lowest step being positioned on a vertical basement Fig. The total run and total rise of water stairs was kept to the necessary minimum because the submerged part was useless, expensive and constituted a risk for boats. The water stairs were necessary for everyday life, and their use was possible with the assistance of two or more mooring piles that helped to avoid collision with the underwater steps and to allow boats to moor alongside while people unloaded supplies or guests jumped from the gondola to the emerging steps of the stairs.
The mooring piles were implanted on the canal bottom just in front of the stair, and the emerging part was coloured like a flag for each family. Today, sea-level rise has changed the distance from the usable steps and has forced most palaces to add a wooden wharf to facilitate boat docking Fig. A Grassi Palace, on the Canal Grande, with most of the water stair presently under water. A wooden wharf for boat docking has been added. A Police Frogman is standing on the lowest step and is measuring the submersion depth relative to the high-tide level i.
B In a secondary canal, a small five-step water stair made of Istria stone abutting a vertical brick basement, based on the bottom of the canal, during maintenance and restoration works to reinforce the damaged parts. The level of the lowest step of water stairs, like all the built levels in Venice, e. The part of the stair that is permanently underwater, or is periodically submerged by the tidal water, is fully covered with slippery green algae.
It is impossible to walk or stand on it. If a step was covered of algae, the problem was solved with servants unrolling a red carpet runner to make walking possible. For the above reasons, the most essential and less expensive stairs ended at the CM level. All the steps below were not usable without servants with carpets. The steps below the CM were covered with algae and were only visible at low tides. In practice, the stairs were linked to the CM, but the most magnificent buildings herewith called outliers had a number of submerged steps depending on the required aesthetic features.
In practice, four steps covered the normal tidal range. In particular, the magnificent baroque palaces by Longhena 18 th century have huge honour stairs, that are also visible during low tide. The underwater depth of the lowest step of the water stairs of palaces facing the Canal Grande may provide additional, independent information about the water level from the 16 th to the 18 th centuries.
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To this end, an extensive field survey was made with the cooperation of the Frogmen Team of the Italian National Police that has been essential for underwater inspections and to operate under normal water traffic conditions. The height of a step i. The upper readings are for the most essential stairs at the CM level, the lower readings include the low tide level. For these reasons, we depicted, in a different colour, the outlier buildings, i.
The best-fit interpolation i. In the 16 th century the rate of sea-level rise was They typically occur in the cold season, when low pressure lies over the western Mediterranean, the main factor being the Sirocco wind blowing from Africa along the Adriatic Sea and dragging waters towards Venice. The heat and moisture released by the warm Mediterranean waters accentuate the low pressure and feed the local cyclonic activity.
Other related factors are the atmospheric pressure pattern and the seiches, i. All of the above factors are determined by the atmospheric forcing. The storm surge determined by the meteorological forcing is superimposed on the lunar-solar tides, TOMASIN, and both contribute to the total level of seawater flooding Venice. Before instrumental records, i. Solar activity is a potential cause that should be considered.
In addition, an increase in sea-surge frequency was observed in the period between the Maunder and Dalton Minima. The mechanism linking sea surges and solar activity is complex and still unknown. The only clear factor is that the superposition of the storm surges and sea-level rise is increasing the flooding frequency at an exponential rate, which constitutes a dramatic challenge for the society and the monumental palaces of Venice.
Once stone and masonry are impregnated with salt water, over the long term the dissolution-crystallization cycles around the deliquescence level i. First, the text has been analysed and classified in terms of departures from the norm, as deduced from the description of facts and consequences. The proxy zero, by definition, is the most frequently occurring class of events i. The methodology is simple. In the common period, we know the two distributions of the same variable i. The two distributions must coincide because they are two different ways of expressing the same observed variable but in two different units.
The methodology is based upon a frequency criterion, i. We know that the temperature readings follow a Gaussian distribution, centred on the average and equally departing on both sides. Geometrically, a Gaussian is defined in terms of the standard deviation SD. Classification of temperature readings in terms of Standard Deviation SD classes and the population of readings falling within each class. Once this exercise is made over a common period, the methodology is validated over another different common period.
If the result is successful, the calibration is extended to the whole proxy series. This methodology forces and fixes some homogeneity to the readings. However, it does not respond to long-term trends because the zero reference is the subjective idea of normality that the author has in mind e. The methodology is excellent in the frequency domain and in qualitative investigations, but limited in the purely quantitative domain. Although with the above limitations, documentary proxies are essential because they cover the early period of LIA when no instrumental records were available.
In the proxy period, the arbitrary zero level has been established to be coincident with the average of the whole available period of instrumental data. This choice is justified to avoid a discontinuity in level when passing from proxy to instrumental readings.
Instrumental observations used in this paper are derived from the series of Florence, Vallombrosa, Padua, Bologna and Milano see Table 3 and cover , and then today. The series have been stopped at the end of the LIA, i. The and periods are based on documentary proxy data P , grey background. In this period only year-to-year variability of unusual temperatures is possible. The and periods are based on instrumental readings I , white background. In this period, cycles and long-term variability are detectable.
The best-documented seasons are winter and spring, thanks to documents discussing severe frost and snow. Some mild summers are also visible. The least-documented season is autumn, because during this season temperature is not a critical factor. The instrumental period shows extreme events and repeated swings. The bars represent the number of outliers over yr intervals starting from For each interval and for each season, the percentage anomaly of outlier events is reported, i.
For each interval, blue bars represent the percentage of observed anomalous cold seasons from which the 10 values of the reference period have been subtracted. Similarly, the red bars denote warm events. This choice has been made to make the reference period zero, with the results being expressed results in terms of anomaly. Winters Fig. Positive blue bars mean increased frequency of the most severe winters; negative blue bars denote decreased frequency of the most severe winters.
The positive red bars mean increased frequency of mild winters; the negative red bars decreased frequency of mild winters. The peak in present-day i. Springs Fig. Particularly during the 16 th century, chilly springs dominated and mild springs were less frequent. After the situation was inverted, with a peak in Global Warming. Summer Fig.
Cool summers dominated during the 16 th and 17 th centuries. The Global Warming peak is evident. Autumn Fig. The second half of the 18th and the 19 th centuries show a slight increase in cold autumns. Global Warming is less evident. Winter and spring are the most variable seasons. Summer is the most regular one.
An accurate comparison is difficult because the swings are characterized by unstable quasi-periodicities and the records used for SST, NAO and air temperature are not of equal length. In the SST we have also reported some multiples of the fundamental 6. However, the situation is complex and the mechanism remains unclear. Most months have no long-term trends, except for January, February and March that show a temperature increase from to present.
MTRM combines information from different proxy types to take advantage of the strengths of, and minimize the limitations of, individual proxies. The pre-instrumental period is based either on natural archives i. Europe is divided into a regular grid and the data are depicted along the X and Y axes. The Y axis latitude of 70 steps, 0. Wide uncertainties are associated with the early period, i.
In summer, the simulation provides slightly better results. In the mid seasons, when both models operate, they provide similar results. Since the band has narrowed i. After , when the observational data are of better quality and more ubiquitous, the MTRM benefit from a more precise calibration and the calculated temperature fits better with the instrumental observations that constitute the true reference.
For their nature, the documentary proxies respond better to the frequency domain than to averages, and for this reason our knowledge of the early part of the LIA is necessarily limited to the frequency of extreme events and guesses about their intensity, while the second part of the LIA is better documented. Very severe and great winters in which the Venice Lagoon was partially or totally frozen over decreased in frequency passing from LIA to Global Warming, with a remarkable attenuation in the 17 th century. The relationship with the solar activity in this, and other weather situations, remains unclear.
A comparison with the instrumental records shows that the GW may be obscured when the seasonal or monthly averages are preformed because the short-term peaks of cold are distributed over a wide time interval. Another painting by Veronese, also made with a camera obscura provided another information for the second half of the 16 th century. The underwater depth of the lowest step of the water stairs of the Venetian palaces faced to the Canal Grande have proved to be an excellent proxy for the long-term knowledge of the relative sea level, that has now been reconstructed since the beginning of the 16 th century with a large number of observations.
In particular, in the 16 th century the