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Subject: Understanding Insurgency Operations: A Comparative Analysis
DGreat1    10/8/2008 5:33:58 PM
Understanding Insurgency Operations: A Comparative Analysis by Terrance Jones The content of insurgent ideology has shifted. While there are a few lingering Marxist insurgencies, an ideology based on transnational, radical Islam is clearly on the ascent. In some ways it poses greater challenges than Marxism. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century The threat of radical Islam based insurgencies is greater than any other insurgency because of several factors: Divergent Distribution of Radical Islam- Al Qaeda alone has a significant amount of followers in over 60 nations across the globe. This fact has allowed Al Qaeda to turn the global war on terror into a global insurgency effort that could potentially destabilize multiple regions of the world simultaneously. Proxy War Facilitation- Many of the nations in which Al Qaeda operates have anti-American inclinations; therefore the insurgents that are based in those nations immediately become proxy war subordinates of those nations. The insurgents are willing to kill Americans and their allies while using their operational autonomy to provide their proxy war superiors with a veneer of deniability. Caliphate Factor- The divergent distribution of radical Islam has set the stage for a scenario in which a global Caliphate can be formed. The Caliphate would most likely be comprised of a majlis (committee) based leadership model that retains representation from every region across the globe while acknowledging one Imam (leader) as the Caliph (Successor/Representative) who will exercise authority over the Islamic community that is represented by the majlis. Osama Bin Laden is the most likely candidate to be officially given the title of Caliph, as he currently operates as the de facto Caliph of the Al Qaeda led global network of Islamic radicals. Bin Laden has been able to do the unthinkable in successfully launching terrorist attacks in the United States and various other regions of the world in addition to crossing sectarian lines and uniting radical Wahabi Sunnis, Shiites and Orthodox Sunni Muslims. Insurgency is challenging for the United States because two of its dominant Characteristics¯protractedness and ambiguity¯mitigate the effectiveness of the American military. Rapid decisive operations are seldom, if ever, strategically decisive; long-term involvement with extensive interagency activity and partner cooperation is the norm. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century Radical Islam based insurgencies are different than the norm. Using the war in Iraq as a model, we have a scenario where the insurgents have proven to be flexible and adept at waging asymmetrical warfare. For instance, the Shia based insurgents of Sadr City negotiated a deal where they would put away their arms in return for a hard timeline for an American withdrawal from Iraq. This withdrawal is scheduled for 2011. This is a clear paradigm shift where the insurgents, who are well aware of the many mistakes that have been made by the American led coalition, see the benefit of switching from a strategic goal of protractedness to brevity concerning the war. An agreed withdrawal allows the insurgents to retain all of the advantages that have been gained up to this point including the ability to keep its weapons, therefore, allowing them to remain a threat to peace and stability although they have agreed to put them away for now. The agreement also gives the insurgents political legitimacy and sets them up as a proxy war ally of the Shia controlled contingent of the Iraqi government that can be called upon to bear arms on behalf of the same at any given time. There is no ambiguity here. Since the military battlespace is not decisive, ultimate success requires that the U.S. military play a supporting role to other government agencies and, more importantly, to the partner governments and their security forces. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century This is problematic, as many governments that are threatened by insurgents have to overcome the fact that they have a weak central government to contend with. This severely limits the qualitative aspect of their ability to lead a coalition based counter insurgency operation. This reality is even more prevalent in scenarios similar to the current war in Iraq in which a new government was set up before a multi sect insurgency was decisively subdued or defeated, therefore placing the new government of Iraq in a position where its central government would be significantly weakened by and under constant threat from the various insurgents factions who are operating in country. Because of scenarios like this, a precedent must be set where very clear goals must be set concerning the tandem force continuity of counter insurgency initiatives and nation building operations. War must not be waged against a given nation unless the invading force is wi
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DGreat1    Caliphate Background Info   10/9/2008 9:16:08 PM
Has a precedent been set in Islam with regard to a majlis (committee) based selection process when choosing a Caliph (Successor/Representative)? Is Osama bin Laden really acting as a de facto Caliph of the global network he commands?

In an Islamic Caliphate system of governance, there is a selection process for choosing a Caliph (Successor/Representative). In my paper, I used the word elect. The difference between elect and select is just a question of semantics but let me get back to the issue of whether or not Muslims have an election or selection process. Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of islam was chosen as Calipha based on a majlis (committee) based selection process. The majlis was comprised of prominent Ansar and some of the Muhajirun. Umar Ibn Al Khattab, the second Caliph of Islam, reaffirmed the committee based selection process that was to be used when selecting a Caliph when on his deathbed, he ordered the remaining members of the ten companions of Prophet Muhammad who were promised paradise to elect a Caliph from amongst themselves within three days. It is also important to note that the first four Caliphs were chosen based on their ability to maintain the religious and philosophical tenets of Islam. Al Qaeda, puritanical in every sense of the word can be expected to make an attempt to follow the example of the four "rightly guided" Caliphs who laid the foundation and set the precedent for the committee based Caliph selection process in Islam. As you can see my assertions as to how Al Qaeda would most likely attempt to reestablish the Caliphate is backed up by Islamic history. To suggest that Osama Bin Laden is not acting as a "de facto Sheikh, Imam and Caliph of the global network he controls would be the ultimate form of denial and could prove to be a costly mistake.. If Al Qaeda is successful in reestablishing the Caliphate, Osama Bin Laden is the most likely candidate to be officially selected as the Caliph.        
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