More Resources on Radicalization

I know the one thing you don’t have right now is time to read more, but the topic of radicalization is an important one, so I asked a bunch of my counter-terrorism friends to recommend additional materials for when you have more time. If anyone has additional recommendations, please add them in the comments section, and I’ll update the post over time. Ideally, we can build a more comprehensive reading list for you to take with you as you leave the Command and Staff College and continue with your individual professional development.

Tucker, David. “Terrorism, Networks, and Strategy: Why the Conventional Wisdom is Wrong.” Homeland Security Affairs 4, issue 2 (June 2008)

Tucker, David. “Jihad Dramatically Transformed? Sageman on Jihad and the Internet.” Homeland Security Affairs 6, issue 1 (January 2010)

Journal of Strategic Security 4, Number 4 (Winter 2011: Perspectives on Radicalization and Involvement in Terrorism)

Davis, Paul and Kim Cragin, Social Science for Counterterrorism (Washington, DC: RAND, 2009)

Countering the Terrorist Mentality, E-Journal USA 12, issue 5 (2007)

Borum, Randy. Psychology of Terrorism, (University of South Florida, 2007)

Thachuk, Kimberely. Transnational Threats: Smuggling and Trafficking in Arms, Drugs, and Human Life (Praeger Security International, 2007)

McCauley, Clark and Sophia Moskalenko, Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)

Smart people, what did I miss?

Dr. Johnson


China, US, Air-Sea Battle, and Competition in the Pacific, and other distractions

Doc Shibuya here. I’m working with some friends in Newport on a piece about USMC-USN relations in regard to AirSea Battle and Amphibious Operations. However, I was distracted with an offer to work up a piece on China-US competition in the Pacific Islands. The original sponsor for that piece fell through, but I was able to refocus the piece a little more on China. That new piece is here.

On another note, for those looking for something else to read. While we use The Ugly American to open the CIAO curriculum, we don’t often use fiction here. That can be a shame, while the stories may not be *true*, they are certainly no less real, especially in the questions they can make us ask. To that end, let me recommend the following (both trilogies, so three books for one recommendation).

Ian Tregillis, “Milkweed Triptych”: The first two, Bitter Seeds and The Coldest War are already out. The Third, Necessary Evil, is slated for release in April. This is an alternate WWII, where the Nazis have genetically modified superfolk, and the Brits counter by making deals with extradimensional beings (you could call them demons). The moral choices of both sides are interesting, but the British side, obviously, is especially so.

Mira Grant, “Newsflesh Trilogy”: Feed, Deadline, and Blackout. Doc Johnson tells me that more than a few of her students have a “zombie plan.” (I’ve never been brave enough to ask mine about theirs). But remember, we as a government have a lot of contingencies for continuity in the face of great disaster (including safeguarding our treasured documents, as I’m pretty sure Doc Swanson mentioned in his lecture). These books take place 30 years after the zombie outbreak, and it covers a presidential election. (One “plus” to the zombie invasion? It seems to have brought much of the divisive nature of *today’s* political talk to at least a lower boil. There might be a lesson there, I don’t know). Anyway, someone looking to mix zombies and politics should check this one out sometime.

Air-Sea Battle in Joint Planning

I am still recovering from our first operational decision game and found myself referring back to the Warfighting- MAGTF Ops block of instruction we have received thus far. I am sure many groups have brought up Air Sea Battle during the course of their seminar discussions. A quick web search will yield dozens of articles… it made me wonder how we can can begin to apply it during our planning exercises. Although I know very little about the concept, it has taken root as part of the larger Joint Operational Access Concept. Seeing as how amphibious operations are supposed to be “our bag”, I can’t help but wonder how our doctrine is going to change given the current threat environment…

Perhaps we’ve seen this cycle before- amphibious operations are far to dangerous and costly- our equipment is too valuable to hazard given the enemy’s capabilities. Really? Time for another look. Up until now we have had the luxury of permissive/semi-permissive environments- both in the maritime and air domains. This advantage can’t last forever. We may find ourselves ordered into the fray with the amphibious equipment we have today. It all depends on the strategic end state and America’s willingness to go all in. I am curious to hear your thoughts on these relatively new concepts and how we can test them out while in the relatively safe confines of our conference rooms.

I found the below article interesting as a primer…

Subject: Air Sea Battle- Well intentioned “Jointness”-Can We Make it Work?

Maj. Doug Cullins

One Minute to Midnight

Tomorrow marks the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis — when the United States and the Soviet Union stood nose-to-nose at the brink of nuclear war over the Soviet introduction of missiles into Cuba.

For a firsthand interpretation of events as they unfolded, you can watch Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s recollections in the highly acclaimed documentary, Fog of War. (Sorry, I’d link to the GRC’s holding, but their site’s down). A brief excerpt of his interview is available on-line here. Frankly, I think Fog of War should be required viewing for all CSC students. Really. Take some time and watch it. You won’t be disappointed.

For the twitterati among us, Foreign Policy magazine is live tweeting the events as they unfolded 50 years ago at @missilecrisis62.  For those who don’t trust other people’s interpretations of events, you can also listen to audio of the discussions President Kennedy had with his national security leadership through George Washington University’s National Security Archive. Is reading more your thing? You can read the transcripts of those conversations in The Kennedy Tapes.

The world as we know it almost ended fifty years ago this week. It warrants taking a moment to think about the moral courage, personal strength, and strategic vision required of President Kennedy, Premier Khrushchev and their teams to avert unparalleled catastrophe.

Dr. Johnson