You are on page 1of 3

This Week at ISN

17 - 21 September 2012 While transnational terrorism is by no means a new phenomenon, its ability to exploit and thrive within a networked world makes it a continuing threat to global and local security. This week we provide an update on this disconcerting political-cultural phenomenon.

Transnational Terrorism Complex Threat or Back to Normal?


Defining Terrorism How Far Have We Come?
17 Sep 2012

Establishing a universally accepted definition of terrorism remains a work in progress. Headway has been made, Ben Saul confirms, but an ultimately successful definition will have to walk a fine line. It will, in other words, have to reconcile political expediency with international law. More STRATFOR Discusses the Terrorist Attack Cycle
17 Sep 2012

Stratfors Fred Burton argues in this video that all terrorists ultimately follow a five-step attack planning cycle. By methodically working through this cycle, analysts and policymakers can identify terrorists capabilities and vulnerabilities, and develop strategies to prevent future attacks. More The Causes and Psychology of Terrorism
18 Sep 2012

The September 11 attacks prompted widespread interest in the causes and psychology that lay behind terrorist activities. And while old theoretical models cannot be easily applied to what is a continuously evolving phenomenon, history and pre-9/11 scholarship remain invaluable tools for explaining terrorism, argues Lorenzo Vidino in this Q and A. More Suicide Bombing The Argument over Motives
19 Sep 2012

Robert Pape's "Dying to Win" and "Cutting the Fuse" have cast long shadows across terrorism studies. The texts' territory-centered explanations for suicide bombing remain seminal yet also provoke questions. The ISN's Peter Faber, for example, wonders if the explanations are comprehensive enough. More Transnational Terrorism How Has It Evolved Since 9/11?
20 Sep 2012

The weakening of Al Qaeda over the last decade has not prevented others from drawing inspiration from its objectives and worldview. In tracing the evolution of transnational terrorism since 9/11, Alex Mackenzie describes how this inspiration has transformed into the regionalization of the Al Qaeda brand. More And the (Terrorist) Threat Goes On?
21 Sep 2012

The killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 was a major milestone in the war on terror. But while some argue that the threat posed by the likes of Al Qaeda is now a manageable risk, others warn that we should not underestimate transnational terrorism's resilience and ability to fight back. More

Security Watch
The Enduring Economic Aftermath of Natural Catastrophes
17 Sep 2012

While natural disasters still remain relatively infrequent, the damage they cause can be severe and longlasting. Ilan Noy argues we need a more realistic approach to risk assessment if we truly hope to understand the long-term impact of such events, specifically on regional economies. More Conflating Spaces: Syrian Rebels and Refugees in South Turkey
18 Sep 2012

There are worrying signs that refugee camps in Turkey are being used by Syria's armed opposition. Not only does this violate basic humanitarian principles but it alters the dynamics of Syria's conflict, argue Mark Naftalin and Kristian Berg Harpviken. More Tim Prior on IDRC Davos 2012
19 Sep 2012

In this podcast, the Center for Security Studies' Tim Prior discusses some of the key issues addressed at the 4th International Disaster and Risk Conference recently held in Davos, Switzerland. They included the latest thinking on risk preparedness, perception and communications; systems resiliency, and more. More US-Iranian Relations: A Decade Down the Line
20 Sep 2012

Stringent economic and political sanctions notwithstanding, the United States continues to be frustrated in its attempts to curtail Iran's nuclear program. Pursuing strategic missile defense, Sam Rajiv argues, is no solution either it will merely complicate global and regional security. More Intelligence and National Security: The Case of Greece
21 Sep 2012

The woebegone Greek economy is subverting the National Intelligence Services' ability to support Athens' foreign and national security policies. The RIEAS' John Nomikos considers how the NIS might surmount its troubles and remain an elite component of Greece's security architecture. More

ISN Blog
The OSCE and Conventional Arms Control in Europe: Towards a Double Relaunch
17 Sep 2012

The OSCE may soon grow both in relevance and stature, argues Daniel Mckli. Europes debt crisis and growing 'intervention fatigue' may lead to the type of conflict resolution initiatives it specializes in, including conventional arms control. More Why Is Russia Favored By Mongolia and North Korea?
18 Sep 2012

Since 1991, Mongolia and North Korea have steadfastly maintained healthy diplomatic relations with Russia. Jargalsaikhan Mendee wonders what geopolitical opportunities both countries might offer Moscow in the future, particularly in enhancing its influence throughout Northeast Asia. More Occupy's Middle East Potential
19 Sep 2012

The Occupy Movement in the US and Israel has sought to change the entrenched dialogue surrounding a host of social and economic issues. As it approaches its first anniversary, the time might be right for Occupy to push for reconciliation between Israel and Palestine, argues Chrisella Sagers Herzog. More A Little Less Isolated and a Lot More Troubling: Ban Ki-moon Meets Bashir
20 Sep 2012

UN Secretaries General are supposed to extol the virtues of international justice and peace. In this respect, the recent meeting between Ban Ki-Moon and Omar al-Bashir is troubling Mark Kersten worries it shows a lack of interest in bringing the Sudanese president to justice. More Suicide-Bombs Without the Suicides: Why Drones Are So Cool
21 Sep 2012

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have become an essential component of modern military and security operations. According to Paul Rogers, however, this capability cuts both ways. Terrorists and other non-state actors will soon be deploying drones too. More

Videos
Domestic Responses to International Terrorism Following the 9/11 attacks and others across Europe, domestic responses to international terrorism have increased in both scale and perceived importance, but how well are they working? In North America there has not been a significant terrorist event for over a decade, but as Veronica Kitchen argues in this video from CIGI, that doesn't mean that national security efforts are necessarily functioning as optimally as they should. More Poland's Strategic Outlook Stratfor Eurasia analyst Eugene Chausovsky discusses Poland's relationship with the West and its energy dilemma with Russia. More The Terror-Crime Nexus and the United States As part of their research for Seven Revolutions, a project to identify and analyze the most important trends shaping the world out to the year 2030, CSIS asked Tom Sanderson (Co-director of the CSIS Transnational Threats Project) his thoughts on the terror-crime nexus. More

Would you like to link to the ISN? Copy the ISN logo to your website and create a link to (http://www.isn.ethz.ch).

International Relations and Security Network (ISN) - Managing information, sharing knowledge. www.isn.ethz.ch The ISN is a service of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich). If you would like to change your subscription profile, please do so at: http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Services/Newsletters. Contacts: List moderator ISN Secretariat