Despite perceptions among Americans that the country is unsafe and a terrorist attack is "likely," the real threats don't emanate from actors like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Rather, as Micah Zenko argues, self scrutiny is needed among U.S. policymakers to recognize the true threat of terrible domestic crimes, generally not labeled as "terrorism," as they are more likely to occur, and do so frequently.
Speakers: Jytte Klausen and Jeremy Shapiro Presider: Gideon Rose
Listen to Foreign Affairs contributors Jeremy Shapiro, former member of the U.S. State Department's policy planning staff and current fellow at the Brookings Institution,and Jytte Klausen, founder of the Western Jihadism Project,discuss the threat that foreign fighters returning from Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere pose to their home countries.
The U.S.-led coalition to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) includes fifty-five states, nine of which have taken part in military operations or stated their willingness to do so. However, over time, CPA's Micah Zenko argues, these commitments will diminish as the mission shifts, resources dwindle, and national support decreases, just as was the case in the Iraq War and 2011 intervention in Libya.
President Barack Obama spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2014. He discussed resolving conflict in Ukraine and fighting the threat of Ebola and outlined U.S. and global actions to combat the terrorist network Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
On September 24, 2014, all fifteen UN Security Council member states passed a resolution, that prevents suspected foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) from traveling to member states and creates legislation to prosecute FTFs. The resolution defines foreign terrorist fighters as "individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, including in connection with armed conflict."
President Barack Obama spoke on September 23, 2014, about airstrikes in Syria, conducted by the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, and Qatar, to target Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
American leaders repeatedly offer unrealistic and outrageous counterterrorism strategies that are destined to fail. This is no different for the Obama administration's policy to "destroy" the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, says Micah Zenko.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted delegations from twenty-six countries to support Iraq in its efforts to eliminate the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The final communique, released September 15, 2014, acknowledged the newly formed government in Iraq and agreed to provide military assistance and to implementing UN Security Council resolutions regarding violations of human rights, recruitment and radicalization of terrorists, and terrorist financing.
The Obama administration's plan for expanding its military campaign against ISIS, however worthy, raises questions about how the militants can be defeated on the ground, says CFR's President Richard N. Haass.
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »