FAILED STATES: AN EXAMINATION OF THEIR EFFECTS ON TRANSNATIONAL TERRORIST ORGANIZATION MOVEMENTS AND OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES
Mechling, Andrew David
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The overarching goal of this portfolio is to analyze poorly performing states in an effort to determine if transnational terrorist organizations gravitate towards those nations whose limitations in state capacity would facilitate their ability to operate from within them. Drawing largely from the Fund For Peace’s Fragile State Index, case studies are performed to examine al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen, al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Middle East region. In addition to Fund For Peace data and analysis, this portfolio draws upon research performed by various scholars and journalists, as well as discussions held at Congressional hearings. Research found within this work produces three main findings. First, it acknowledges that failed or failing states pose as attractive environments to transnational terrorist organizations. While poor state performance does not guarantee the presence of terrorist networks, it does enhance the probability of their existence, particularly if terrorist groups are already operating within other areas in the region. Second, research provided shows that allowing a state to completely fail is not a valid approach towards ensuring that terrorist groups are deterred from operating within a particular state. Finally, this portfolio provides the academic community a framework for the prediction of transnational terrorist movements by identifying poorly performing states and assessing their capacity to defend against a transnational terrorist group’s incursion, while taking that particular terrorist group’s ambitions into consideration.
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