Transnational Threats:
Publications


 

Only articles and reports are listed here.
Click to see Fund for Peace Blog Posts on Threat Convergence.

 

Briefing: Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Continues to Unfold

Published December 11, 2013 | By Jacob Grunberger

On Friday March 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm JST, an earthquake registered as a 9.0 on the Richter Scale occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. The earthquake was comparable in its magnitude to the earthquake that hit Sumatra in 2004, roughly the equivalent of 23,000 Nagasaki bombs being simultaneously detonated. The earthquake and ensuing tsunami destroyed towns and infrastructure, ultimately ending in billions of dollars worth of damage and the confirmed loss of about 16,000 lives. Located on the northeast coast of Japan, 219 kilometers from Tokyo, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant run by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) felt the first effects of the event.

Briefing: Ensuring Compliance in Syria

Published October 25, 2013 | By Jacob Grunberger

The details of the destruction of the Syrian government’s one thousand tons of chemical agents are still being finalized by the United States, Russia, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementing body of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). In addition to the negotiations, however, another question looms large pertaining to the chemical disarmament in Syria. Namely, how should the international community react if Syria or any other States Party to the CWC does not comply with the agreed upon framework?

Terror Strikes Nairobi Again

Published September 23, 2013 | By Patricia Taft
 
The tragedy of the rampage at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya hit close to home for many of us at the Fund for Peace. Like countless others working the fields of international development, defense and business in Africa, most of us have had the occasion to spend time in Nairobi over the years. Nairobi has long served as a hub in East Africa and Kenya has been one of the continental leaders in Africa on everything from providing peacekeepers to the world’s most dangerous places to combating terrorism at home and further afield. It is in these last efforts, Kenya’s participation in the war on terrorism, which may have brought the tragedy home to Nairobi this weekend. It is also yet another example that underscores the dangers to innocent civilians emanating from neighboring weak and failed states and the half-measures employed to deal with them.

Getting Serious About Chemical Weapons

Published September 20, 2013 | By Patricia Taft, Jacob Grunberger

With dueling opinion pieces gracing the pages of the American and Russian press by presidents and senators, and months of strategizing, vacillating, and handwringing, the crisis over the use of chemical weapons in Syria is a problem that seems to be going nowhere meaningful fast. The genesis of the latest crisis was the August 21, 2013 series of missile strikes on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, a neighborhood suspected of harboring militant forces opposed to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Soon after, videos and images began to surface depicting dead civilians, including children, who appeared to bear no signs of injuries resulting from explosives or conventional weapons fire.

Briefing: Chemical Weapons

Published September 19, 2013 | By Jacob Grunberger

The advent of chemical weapons, originally in the forms of chlorine and mustard gasses, is often attributed to being a direct byproduct of the industrialized nature of World War I. The first major use of this technology occurred on April 22, 1915 by the German military at Leper, Belgium. After witnessing the destructive capabilities of poison gas on entrenched soldiers, the European powers began to combine chemical weapons with long-range artillery, ultimately accounting for over one million casualties by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

U.S. Strategies on Iran Nuclear Development

Published April 9, 2013 | By Kennan Hedrick

As pressure from Israel builds and international sanctions against Iran continually weaken the Iranian economy, President Obama has repeatedly asserted his policy to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and his willingness to use force if necessary. In light of this policy, what is the best strategy to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and how should the U.S. pursue this strategy? To answer this question, this analysis evaluates U.S.-led military action, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) authorized use of force, and the dual-track strategy of sanctions and negotiations. Given the high costs of military action and the inability of the UNSC to authorize the use of force against Iran, maintaining a dual-track strategy is the best strategy for the U.S. to pursue to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.

Threats in the Straits of Malacca

Published August 23, 2012 | By Felipe Umaña

The Straits of Malacca consist of a narrow but lengthy waterway that extends more than 500 miles from the eastern limits of the Andaman Sea to the South China Sea in Southeast Asia. Straddling the sea route between the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the Thai-Malay Peninsula, and the small city-state of Singapore, the Straits of Malacca are known globally for their economic, political, environmental, and strategic importance. The Straits themselves link the Indian Ocean to some of Asia’s most powerful economies, as well as many other trade-influential countries, like the United States, Germany, and Russia.

Revisiting the Crime-Terrorism Nexus in the Tri-Border Area

Published April 11, 2012 | By Felipe Umaña

Along with its increasing economic and environmental value, the Tri-border region has also risen in relevance after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as an area attractive to global terrorist organizations. The region is largely ungoverned due to weak, inadequate, or ignored laws. A myriad of shadowy black markets, pirated CDs, stolen cars, falsified documentation, and trafficked humans – among other commoditized “goods” – all pass through this region either completely undetected or with tacit acceptance from the local governments. Money laundering and tax evasion also form part of the colorful gamut of illegality that runs rampant in what a reporter has termed as “a terrorist’s paradise.” High rates of violence and petty crime also plague the region, and exist in tandem with poor money laundering controls and low government preparedness. All of these activities occur under the purview of corrupt officials, whose expanse throughout the governmental establishment lends continued permanence to the activities in the region.

An Industry-Based Approach to Strengthening Nonproliferation

Published February 15, 2012 | By Ed Nagle

Not long after the dawn of the nuclear age, few experts were optimistic that the spread of nuclear weapons could be contained. In 1963 it was anticipated that fifteen to twenty nations would likely come to possess nuclear weapons, let alone nuclear power, by the 1970s.1 It is easy to lose sight of this in contemporary discussions on nuclear proliferation. Yet at present we are faced with renewed pressure from state and non-state actors who desire to acquire nuclear arms. The apparent success of North Korea and potential success of Iran have created new regional pressures that have the potential to greatly increase the number of nuclear weapons states to a point not unlike President John F. Kennedy’s grim prediction in 1963. The years since the end of the Cold War have seen not only a transformation of the security environment, but also an evolution in the means and motives for procuring nuclear arms.

The Haqqani Network

Published October 14, 2011 | By Kendall Lawrence

The Haqqani Network is an insurgent group that operates from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region of Pakistan. The group has been active mainly in the southeast of Afghanistan—in Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Ghazni Wardak and, occasionally, Kabul provinces. For the past two years, the group has focused on gaining support and control of Kurram Agency, a province of Pakistan not far from Kabul, which is mostly beyond the scope of U.S. drone activity. It is led by Siraj Haqqani, the son of the network’s founder, the famous anti-Soviet fighter and former CIA asset, Jalaluddin Haqqani. The Network falls under the larger umbrella of the Taliban, although they maintain their own command and control structures.

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