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Tag Archives: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Two Things I Don’t Understand

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Friday, August 2, 2013 at 2:13 PM

1.  How are the hopeful suggestions by the Obama administration (including the President) that the armed conflict against Al Qaeda and affiliates may be winding down (or should be ended) consistent with reports about (a) the growing strength of al Qaeda affiliates (in Iraq, Syria, and North Africa, among other places) and (b) the closing this weekend of several . . .
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DOD’s Weak Rationale for Keeping Enemy Identities Secret

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Friday, July 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Cora Currier at Pro Publica has an important story on why DOD won’t publish the list of AUMF “associated forces” against whom we are at war.  DOD’s rationale: A Pentagon spokesman told ProPublica that revealing such a list could cause “serious damage to national security.” “Because elements that might be considered ‘associated forces’ can build credibility by . . .
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The Long, Classified War

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 9:21 AM

A recent cluster of stories – on al Qaeda’s growth, dispersion, and resilience, on the USG’s increased use of surveillance drones outside of “hot war zones,” on the USG possibly ramping up secret war in Somalia, and on the covert action to arm certain Syrian rebels – got me wondering about the debate in May on the proper scope of the AUMF.  . . .
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Tools and Tradeoffs: Confronting U.S. Citizen Terrorist Suspects Abroad

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Today, the Brookings Institution released a lengthy paper my colleague Daniel Byman and I have been working on for some time, entitled “Tools and Tradeoffs: Confronting U.S. Citizen Terrorist Suspects Abroad.” The Brookings release is available here. The full report is available here.  We will release audio of the launch event, which was hosted by our colleague . . .
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You Are an Operational Commander of AQAP Reading the White House Fact Sheet

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Friday, May 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Along with President Obama’s speech yesterday on counterterrorism policy, the White House released a document titled Fact Sheet: U.S. Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities.  Among other important matters (such as declaring a preference for capture), the Fact Sheet provides . . .
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New America Says Guantanamo Recidivism Rate Isn’t as High as Intelligence Community Claims

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Friday, May 10, 2013 at 7:15 AM

The New America Foundation has released a fact sheet listing the identities of Guantanamo Bay detainees who are “confirmed to be or suspected of engaging in militant activities against either U.S. or non-U.S. targets” after their release or relocation from the prison. New America’s numbers suggest that the recidivism rate may actually be a fair bit lower than . . .
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The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I have a long review in the New Republic of Mark Mazzetti’s excellent new book, The Way of the Knife.  The first half of the review simply summarizes the book, the main point of which is to demonstrate how since 9/11 the CIA and DOD have changed to become like one another.  In short, the CIA has become (in . . .
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A Statutory Framework for Next-Generation Threats

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Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Several years ago, in a prescient op-ed in the Washington Post, our colleague John Bellinger argued that the September 2001 AUMF was an increasingly poor fit for the evolving threats facing the United States.  It is a theme to which many of us have returned in the intervening years, as unfolding trends and events have exacerbated . . .
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Need to Dodge a Drone? Here are 22 Al Qaeda Tips

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Friday, February 22, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Yesterday, the AP released an English translation of what appears to be a 2011 Al Qaeda tip sheet.  (AP journalists evidently found the document in Timbuktu.)  Its author, AQAP senior commander Abdullah bin Mohammed, catalogs twenty-two handy methods by which Al Qaeda fighters can avoid unwanted drone-watching and drone-whacking. Some of his guidance amounts to . . .
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Tools and Tradeoffs: Putting Out a Draft for Comments

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

My colleague at Brookings, Daniel Byman, and I have written a lengthy paper on the different tools the United States uses in going after citizens abroad believed to have allied themselves with the enemy. The paper is still a draft, but given the controversy over the White Paper, we thought was quite timely. Since one . . .
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Other Lawfare Matters in the State of the Union

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:03 PM

In the President’s State of the Union Address, President Obama spent a fair amount of time on foreign policy and Lawfare-related matters. In addition to announcing his cybersecurity executive order, he discussed draw-down plans for Afghanistan, how to deal with the threat of Al Qaeda in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, his plan to increase . . .
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Hoover Task Force Short Essays on “Second Term Challenges at the Intersection of National Security and Law”

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:47 PM

The Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law is releasing a series of short essays entitled “Second Term Challenges at the Intersection of National Security and Law.” The task force, of which I and several other Lawfare contributors are members, is headed by Hoover’s Peter Berkowitz, who describes the project as follows: As Barack Obama . . .
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Readings: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) Letter to John Brennan, CIA Director Nominee, on Targeted Killing of US Citizens Abroad

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Monday, January 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

John Brennan, nominated by President Obama to become the next CIA director, will apparently face some tough questioning from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) at his Senate confirmation hearings (reportedly set for Thursday, February 7, 2:30 pm).  Sen. Wyden has sent Brennan a letter (obtained by Wired’s DangerRoom) on the refusal of the Administration to release . . .
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The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Whether you support or oppose the broader U.S. war on terrorism, you are likely to use Yemen to prove your point.  Those who are optimistic about the struggle contend that the Al Qaeda core has taken repeated body blows in Pakistan and decry the seemingly endless expansion of the battlefield to obscure fields of jihad . . .
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Jeh Johnson Speech at the Oxford Union

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Friday, November 30, 2012 at 12:01 PM

At this hour, Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson is giving the following speech at the Oxford Union in England: “The Conflict Against Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: How Will It End?” Jeh Charles Johnson General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense at the Oxford Union, Oxford University[1] November 30, 2012 Thank you for inviting . . .
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Gregory Johnsen on Yemen and AQAP

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Friday, November 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

The other day, my Brookings colleague Daniel Byman held an event entitled “Yemen and the Future of a Resurgent Al Qaeda.” One of the two panelists was Gregory Johnsen, the author of the recently-released book, The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia. I have been impressed by Johnsen’s work for some time; . . .
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Washington Post Adds to Report on US Pursuing Force Options Against AQIM in Africa

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Bobby posted a day ago about an important Wall Street Journal news story talking about the US government considering options for pursuing an increasing active and dangerous branch-franchise-affiliate of Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). They include drone strikes, increased cooperation with local governments, and peacekeeping missions.  It is a very important . . .
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The Aulaqi-Khan Suit: Some Initial Thoughts

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I have now read through the ACLU-CCR lawsuit on behalf of the Al-Aulaqi and Khan families. Here are my initial thoughts: First, this lawsuit does not suffer from the prohibitive standing problem that plagued these groups’ earlier efforts to block prospectively the targeting of Anwar Al-Aulaqi. That case suffered from the basic jurisdictional problem that . . .
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Michael Lewis on ‘The Drone Zone’, Dunlap, Rona, Corn, and Anderson

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:40 AM

We will have two final posts in our discussion sparked by Mark Mazzetti’s New York Times Magazine article, The Drone Zone.  This one by Michael Lewis, a former Navy fighter pilot and now professor at Ohio Northern State University Pettit College of Law, who is a frequent guest poster at Opinio Juris and other blogs . . .
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White House Releases 2012 6-Month War Powers Resolution Supplemental Report

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Friday, June 15, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Today’s report includes the boilerplate-for-such-documents “consistent with the War Powers Resolution” phrase.  It also includes the excerpt below regarding counterterrorism efforts in Yemen and Somalia: In Somalia, the U.S. military has worked to counter the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa’ida and al-Qa’ida-associated elements of al-Shabaab. In a limited number of cases, the U.S. military has . . .
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