Regional Security Issues Latest Statements, Briefings, and Hearings
Here are more links relevant to Regional Security Issues, including congressional hearings, testimonies, and policy briefs:
Country Reports on Terrorism 2011
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State, July 31, 2012
The death of Usama bin Ladin, al-Qa’ida’s founder and sole leader for the past 22 years, highlighted a landmark year in the global effort to counter terrorism. In addition to being an iconic leader whose personal story had a profound attraction for violent extremists, bin Ladin was also a prime advocate of the group’s focus on the United States as a terrorist target. Even in the years when he had to limit and manage his contacts with the rest of the organization, it was clear from the trove of information collected from the compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, that he remained deeply involved in directing its operations and setting its strategy. Read more...
Section on the Middle East
Remarks at the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation
Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Dept of State, July 24, 2012
I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to speak here today about some of the work that we have done at the State Department over the past three years to strengthen the international counterterrorism apparatus. This includes not only creating the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) but fine tuning the existing bodies. In both cases, among the key objectives has been to ensure the necessary international architecture is in place to allow us to pursue our long-term, civilian-focused counterterrorism objectives most effectively. Read more...
Iran’s Support for Terrorism in the Middle East
Hearing before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, July 25, 2012
- The Honorable James F. Jeffrey, Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq
- Dr. Daniel Byman, Senior Fellow and Director of Research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution
- Ms. Danielle Pletka, Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
- Dr. Matthew Levitt, Senior Fellow and Director, Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Civilian Casualty Mitigation
Headquarters, Department of the Army, July 2012
Army Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (ATTP) 3-37.31 is the Army’s doctrinal publication for mitigating civilian casualties (CIVCASs). The purpose is to provide doctrinal guidance for minimizing CIVCAS incidents and managing their consequences. The focus is on guiding Army leaders conducting operations involving armed conflict.
This ATTP is organized into two chapters and two appendixes. Chapter 1 discusses the foundations of CIVCAS mitigation, including its purpose, key definitions, legal authorities, the significance of protecting civilians from armed conflict, application of the mission command philosophy to CIVCAS mitigation, and considerations for mission analysis. Chapter 2 expands on the Army’s integrated approach to CIVCAS mitigation by introducing a CIVCAS mitigation cycle—prepare, plan, employ, assess, respond, and learn—that integrates with other Army processes and ensures effective mitigation. Appendix A discusses nonlethal capabilities. Appendix B provides detailed guidance for preparing reports and conducting investigations. Read more...
Congressional Research Service, updated July 16, 2012
The current principal objective of international sanctions—to compel Iran to verifiably demonstrate that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful uses—may be on its way to achievement but has not been accomplished to date. The international coalition that is imposing progressively strict economic sanctions on Iran has broadened and deepened, producing significant effects on Iran’s economy. U.S. officials believe that these sanctions—which are now harming Iran’s oil export lifeline—caused Iran to return to the nuclear bargaining table in 2012 with greater apparent intent toward resolution. Read more... (86 pages)
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
Congressional Research Service, August 3, 2012
A ban on all nuclear tests is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties that entered into force between 1963 and 1990 limit but do not ban such tests. In 1996, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would ban all nuclear explosions. In 1997, President Clinton sent the CTBT to the Senate, which rejected it in October 1999. In a speech in Prague in April 2009, President Obama said, “My administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.” However, the Administration focused its efforts in 2010 on securing Senate advice and consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). The Administration has indicated it wants to begin a CTBT “education” campaign with a goal of securing Senate advice and consent to ratification, but there have been no hearings on the treaty in the 111th or 112th Congresses. As of July 2012, 183 states had signed the CTBT and 157, including Russia, had ratified it. However, entry into force requires ratification by 44 states specified in the treaty, of which 41 had signed the treaty and 36 had ratified. Seven conferences have been held to facilitate entry into force, most recently on September 23, 2011.
Read more... (58 pages)
Iran: Preventing War by Making It Credible
Anthony H. Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 1, 2012
There are times when the best way to prevent war is to clearly communicate that it is possible. No one can now calculate the odds of a serious conflict in the Gulf, or preventive strikes on Iran, or how the two might interact. The fact is, however, that negotiations are not yet making clear progress, there is a steady rise in tensions and military readiness in the Gulf, the United States is enforcing still more sanctions on Iran, and the last week has seen Israel’s leaders become involved in new debates over the timing and prospects of preventive strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Read more...
Against All Odds: Relations between NATO and the MENA Region.
Strategic Studies Institute. Florence Gaub. August 1, 2012.
While NATO was created with a primary outlook to the East, its Southern rim was neglected strategically until the end of the Cold War. Since then, the Alliance has undertaken a number of efforts to build strategic relationships with the Middle East and North Africa, recognizing the region's importance for Allied security. But obstacles are on the way to deepened relations, and geostrategic realities do not play in NATO's favor: a region of crisis, suspicious of the West in general and riddled with internal instability, is a difficult one to build ties with. The monograph examines the existing relationships as well as the remaining obstacles, and proposes solutions to the latter.
Read more... [HTML format with a link to the PDF format].
Updated: August 21, 2012.