War in Libya and Its Futures – Tribal Dynamics and Civil War (2)

Throughout their history (see “Tribal Dynamics and Civil War (1)“), Libya’s tribes have not been based exclusively on systematic tribalism, but rather on a flexible tribal ideology that is grounded in identity and shifts according to circumstances and practical opportunities. This shifting tribal ideology makes the non-Arab tribes different from the majority of the actors in Northern Libya, who are more or less bound by religious or political ideology – and thus ally with similar groups. Furthermore, tribalism naturally produces “nepotism and favoritism” amongst tribal groups and families (Varvelli, ISPI, May 2013), but Libya’s minority tribes have also shown that they can unite to protest shared grievances, as we shall see below. The Amazigh (Berber), Toubou, and Tuareg tribes have been […]

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Collapse War in the Middle East?

The current war raging throughout Syria and Iraq is profoundly singular, because it combines itself with the social and environmental collapse, combined with the severe effects of climate change, known by these societies. In Iraq, the current war is waged between, on the one hand, the Kurdish forces, and the Iraqi army, both supported in a way or another by the Iranian forces and air strikes delivered by the US-led coalition (Rowan Scarborough, “Iranian Quds force aiding Iraqi Shiites with Obama administration’s blessing”, The Washington Times, September 20, 2014) and the aggressor, the Islamic State, on the other (Valantin, “Environment, Climate Change, War and the State”, The Red Team Analysis Society, March 16, 2015). It is in itself politically quite […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 197 – Unstable Equilibrium in the Middle East

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Read the 2 April scan →  World – Three articles this week are particularly interesting, in themselves but also when read together. Amal Mudallali “Sorry, Obama: The Arab World No Longer Needs America” for The National Interest, focuses on the pride and “new Arab spirit” resulting from the Saudi-led […]

The Islamic State Psyops – Foreign Fighters’ Complexes (2)

After having seen the threats linked to the existence of foreign fighters within the Islamic State (The Foreign Fighters’ Threat), we focused on identifying the reasons why those foreign fighters would join the Islamic State, using the latter psyops products and locating them within the framework of existing findings (Attracting Foreign Fighters (1)). With that post, we presented the psyops “recruiting” products used for this study, then, taking stock of the research done on foreign fighters  by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation  and Political Violence (ICSR) and by the Sufan Group, we focused on two core elements that are meant to be present for all recruited foreign fighters: a quest for meaning and purpose and a need for belonging. Using the Islamic State […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 196 – Yemen, towards the End of the U.N.?

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Read the 26 March scan →  World – As the world wonders about the motivation that could prompt the copilot of Germanwings to crash a plane, and while the hypothesis of a terrorist intention is most probably on everyone’s mind, a very large number of crowdsourced articles this week […]

The Islamic State Psyops – Attracting Foreign Fighters (1)

After having pointed out the main risks entailed by the existence of foreign fighters within the ranks of the Islamic State and by their rising numbers (see The Islamic State Psyops – The Foreign Fighters’ Threat), we shall now turn to the reasons that push individuals to join the Islamic State. Within the framework of existing findings resulting from current research, notably by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation  and Political Violence (ICSR) and by the Sufan Group, we shall analyse the Islamic State psyops products and underline the specific points utilised in the recruitment effort. Indeed, the increase in foreign fighters mobilization as underlined previously would tend to imply that the Islamic State is relatively successful in recruiting, thus that it knows well enough […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 195 – Tunisia Museum Attack, Global Jihadi Threat and Public Indifference?

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Read the 19 March scan →  World – The deadly attack on the Bardo museum in Tunisia, on 18 March, reminded the world that the Salafi-Jihadi threat is far from being overcome, despite some lassitude displayed by crowds and media over such attacks. One of the interesting signals to notice here, is the small number of crowdsourced articles referring to the attack. Only three articles found their way in The Weekly, when the casualties are far more important than those of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris or of the shooting in Denmark, to say nothing of the impacts to Tunisia’s economy and more broadly polity, and in terms of spread of Jihadi attacks, threat […]

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Update – War in Libya and its Futures – The Islamic State Advance and Impacts

In the past weeks, several major developments occurred in Libya that will affect the dynamics of the civil war, and on the longer term, most probably, its outcome. Egyptian airstrikes on Libyan soil, increased Russian support and involvement with the Council of Representatives (the internationally-recognized Libyan government), the Council’s suspended then renewed participation in the UN peace talks, its request to remove the arms embargo, and conflicting support in the UN for an intervention are all directly linked to the increased hostilities and threat from Islamic State elements in Libya. The United States and Britain stand currently opposed to any intervention and to Libya’s appeal to lift the arms embargo, citing the lack of a unified government that could not […]

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The Islamic State Psyops – The Foreign Fighters’ Threat

One of the many issues that needs to be addressed regarding the Islamic State is that it attracts foreign fighters, as abundantly reported in the media. This issue is also one of the focuses of the latest issue of the Islamic State psyops product, Dabiq 7 (12 Feb 2015), as it features in five articles: “Major operations in Libya and Sinai” (foreign fighters from Tunisia and Sudan), pp. 40-41; “Among the believers are men: Abu Qudamah al-Misri” (foreign fighters from the UK), pp. 46-49; “A brief interview with Umm Basir al-Muhajirah” (foreign fighter from France), pp. 50-51; “The good example of Abu Basir al-Afriqi” (foreign fighter from France), pp. 68-71; “Interview with Abu Umar al-Baljiki” (foreign fighters from Belgium), pp. 72-75. This […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 192 – Denying the Islamism of the Islamic State

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… We present below some of the most interesting or relevant features for each section. Read the 19 February scan →  World (all matters related to war, international and national security) – The focus this week stems from the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism currently held in Washington D.C. (see White House Fact sheet). First, in a very “Washingtonian” way, the summit leads to the publication of a host of reports and articles, as think tanks, newspapers, researchers, experts and pundits try to have their voices heard by policy-makers, some of them having been crowd-sourced here and worth checking and reading. Second, the summit forces the various actors to face an issue that […]

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