August 2013 Newsletter

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August 2013
The Jamestown Foundation Leadership: Glen E. Howard, President
At a Glance

Michael W.S. Ryan Releases New Book

Jamestown Supports Our Troops

Jamestown Welcomes New China Brief Editor

Save the Date!

Key Articles in August

Media Apperances

Support Jamestown

Jamestown Staff & Fellows
Editor, China Brief
Program Associate
Program Associate/Events Coordinator
Senior Editor of Global Terrorism Analysis Program
Director of Programs for the Balkans, Caucasus & Central Asia
Senior Fellow – China Program
Senior Fellow – Eurasia Program
Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow – Eurasia Program
Senior Fellow
Jamestown’s Michael W.S. Ryan Releases New Book

Decoding Al Qaeda’s Strategy: The Deep Battle Against America

Jamestown Senior Fellow Michael W.S. Ryan’s new book, Decoding Al-Qaeda’s Strategy: The Deep Battle Against America, is now available for purchase. 

By analyzing the work of well-known and obscure al-Qaeda theoreticians, Dr. Ryan finds that jihadist terrorism strategy has more in common with guerrilla strategies than mainstream Islam. In his new book, Dr. Ryan encourages strategists and researchers to devote their attention more to jihadi ideas than to jihadist military operations.

Dr. Ryan examines the Salafist-Jihadist roots of al-Qaeda’s ideology and concludes that al-Qaeda’s political-military strategy is revolutionary and largely a departure from classic concepts of jihad. By providing a theoretical framework for analyzing al-Qaeda’s plans and operations, Dr. Ryan aims to help the reader understand who al-Qaeda is, what they are trying to accomplish and how they are trying to achieve their goals.

Decoding Al-Qaeda’s Strategy: The Deep Battle Against America, published by Columbia University Press, is now available. Dr. Ryan’s next book, The Heirs of Al-Qaeda: The Evolution of the Global Jihadist Movement, will focus on the Salafi-Jihadist groups that have emerged across the Middle East and North Africa following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

For more information or to purchase the book from Columbia University Press, click here

      The Jamestown Foundation Donates Books and Reports to U.S. Service Men

      On August 8, The Jamestown Foundation donated a number of books and reports to the North Dakota National Guardsmen stationed in Washington, D.C. Staff Sergeant Kyle S. Emmel came to The Jamestown Foundation to meet with Jamestown President Glen E. Howard and receive the reading material, which was provided to the soldiers to support their personal and professional development during their deployment. The donated books and reports cover an array of global issues and regions of the world, ranging from oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, to the South China Sea dispute, to Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria, to

      Russia’s military reform. Jamestown is proud to support our men and women in uniform.

       Jamestown Welcomes New China Brief Editor
      The Jamestown Foundation welcomes the new China Brief Editor, David Cohen, to our office. David Cohen has been working as a freelance journalist and research consultant as well as a regular China contributor to The Diplomat
      The outgoing editor of China Brief, Peter Mattis, will stay on as a fellow with the China program as he begins doctoral research at the University of Cambridge. As editor, Peter Mattis expanded coverage of China’s place in the world and its internal security. He also directed China Brief’s substantial coverage of the implications of China’s recently-completed leadership transition. We valued his contributions to China Brief and are pleased that he will remain part of the Jamestown family.
      Save the Date!
      The Jamestown Foundation’s Seventh Annual Terrorism Conference
      Thursday, December 12, 2013
      Washington, DC
      8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
      The conference will feature General James N. Mattis (ret.), former Commander at U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), located in Tampa, FL as our keynote speaker. Gen. James N. Mattis has commanded at multiple levels. As a lieutenant colonel, he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander in the 3rd Marine Division. As a captain, he commanded a rifle company and a weapons company in the 1st Marine Brigade. As a lieutenant colonel, he commanded 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, one of Task Force Ripper’s assault battalions in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
      Upon becoming a brigadier general, he commanded first the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and then Task Force 58, during Operation Enduring Freedom in southern Afghanistan. As a major general, he commanded the 1st Marine Division during the initial attack and subsequent stability operations in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also commanded the I Marine Expeditionary Force and served as the commander of U.S. Marine Forces Central Command. Previous to this assignment, he served as both NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation from 2007-2009 and as commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command from 2007-2010.
      For the past six years, the conference has attracted some of the leading experts on al-Qaeda and militant movements in the Middle East and South Asia.
      **More details and registration information to follow**

        Key Articles in August
        China – Examining the Political Prerequisites for China’s Economic Reform

        While the Chinese economy appears to be stabilizing in the short term, its medium-term fate is likely to be determined by a package of major reforms currently being negotiated at the Chinese leadership’s seaside resort in Beidaihe. The details of these reforms will not be known until they are announced in October at the Third Plenum of the Central Committee. But judging by the speeches of Premier Li Keqiang, the new Xi-Li administration is pushing for a wide-reaching package

        touching almost every aspect of the economy: state-owned industries, regulatory structures, government financing, the financial sector, and urbanization are all under discussion. Many of these reforms, if carried out, will increase the degree of competition in China’s markets, and the urbanization policy — which may include a relaxation of the restrictive household registration system — could unleash a new wave of migration to cities which will spur the real estate market and vastly increase the labor supply. The big question, however, is whether China’s new leader will succeed in carrying their reforms out in the face of resistance from entrenched interests and local governments. Three articles in the current issue of China Brief examine the challenges facing China’s leaders: (In a Fortnight: What to Ask at the Third Plenum: Is Xi’s Party Building Sufficient for Reform?), the likelihood of their success (“Likonomics” Trumped by Harsh Economic and Political Realities), and the administration’s political strategy for overcoming opposition (Xi’s Mass Line Campaign: Realigning Party

        Politics to New Realities). As October draws nearer, China Brief will devote extensive coverage to the politics of economic reform.

        Pictured above: Beidaihe, the seaside resort where China’s leaders meet for summer negotiations
        Energy – Shale Gas: The Key to Lithuania’s Energy Independence
        Lithuania heavily relies on Russian energy, including crude oil and liquid fuels, natural gas, and coal. With Gazprom as the country’s only gas supplier, Lithuania needs to work toward energy security. According to the United States Energy Information Administration’s 2011 estimates, Lithuania has up to 480 billion cubic meters of shale gas energy. Shales gas exploration could decrease Lithuania’s and the

        region’s dependence on Russian gas imports, increase energy security, and foster the development of a regional gas market and more comprehensive energy infrastructure in the Baltic States. After long discussions and negotiations with Chevron, shale gas exploration will likely begin soon. Certain stakeholders are displeased with the prospect of shale exploration in Lithuania. The leading natural gas company in Lithuania, Lietuvos Dujos—of which Gazprom holds a one-third stake—has recently been accused of paying Lithuanian citizens to hold protests against shale gas exploration. There are also environmental concerns related to the use of radioactive or toxic materials

        (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, August 16).

        Russia – Mayoral Campaign in Moscow Threatens to Unleash Xenophobic Sentiments Among Electorate

        Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin surprised many by voluntarily calling for early mayoral elections on September 8. Experts believe Sobyanin has voluntarily put his mayorship up to the popular vote in an effort to boost his own political legitimacy and to distance himself from United Russia, which anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny has popularly termed the “Party of Crooks and Thieves.” Navalny, who was indicted on trumped up charges of embezzlement, has been allowed by authorities to continue campaigning in the Moscow elections while the

        case is being appealed and is arguably Sobyanin’s most serious rival. Nevertheless, according to recent polls, the incumbent currently enjoys far and away the highest popular support among voters. Sobyanin is running on his fairly successful record as mayor, while Navalny’s platform stresses his pledge to uncover and root out political corruption. Both candidates have been courting widespread nationalistic and xenophobic sentiments within the electorate (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, August 5). 

        Pictured above: Russian President Vladimir Putin, left front, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, center (Source AP)

        Middle East – Royal Rivalry in the Levant: Saudi Arabia and Qatar Duel Over Syria
        Saudi Arabia and Qatar seem united in their opposition to the Syrian Ba’athist regime, however, the facade masks a deeper rivalry for regional influence. The shadow conflict is evident in the agendas of the competing factions backed by the two nations. Qatar has been accused of empowering many of the most ideologically extreme militant factions such as Jabhat al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiya, and the Syrian Islamic Front. Saudi Arabia is seen as

        enabling armed factions operating under the auspices of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and its Supreme Military Council (SMC) as well as Islamist factions considered independent of al-Qaeda’s purview. A close inspection of the respective approaches of Saudi Arabia and Qatar toward Syria reflect divergent strategies. While both actors are playing a critical roles as supporters of the opposition, their divergent strategies reflect very different goals and motives (see Terrorism Monitor, August 9).

        Pictured above: Syria’s envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari criticized the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for publicly supporting terrorism in Syria (Source FARS News Agency)
        Media Appearances
        Jamestown analyst Jacob Zenn was quoted by Reuters in an article titled “Nigeria backlash against Boko Haram spurs risky vigilante war.”
        Jamestown Senior Fellow Vladimir Socor was interviewed by RFE/RL’s Moldovan service regarding Russian-Moldovan relations.
        Wladimir van Wilgenburg discusses PKK militia fighting against Islamists in Syria on TAZ.
        Jamestown expert Wladimir van Wilgenburg was a featured commentator in an article published by Hurriyet about clashes between Islamists and Syrian Kurds.
        Jamestown analyst Jacob Zenn was quoted by the Nigerian Tribune in an article titled “Panic as terrorists invade South.”
        Jamestown analyst Wladimir van Wilgenburg was a featured speaker on al-Jazeera in a discussion about the Kurds in Syria.
        China Brief expert Andrew Chubb’s article was cited by Niti Central in an article titled “China’s Army needs reform, Xi has work to do.”

        Mairbek Vatchagaev was quoted by WND in an article titled “2014 Olympics hit with terror warning.”

        Jamestown’s Michael Ryan discussed the situation in Egypt with Voice of America.
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