The CSS Blog Network

How US Military Aid Can Backfire

Image courtesy of the US Army/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 15 March 2019. 

Can military forces mitigate insurgent activity—“win hearts and minds”—by implementing small, localized aid projects? Evidence from the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has provided contradictory answers to the question of aid’s ability to mitigate violence. Some research finds that aid projects increase the legitimacy of the state among civilians and, under specific circumstances, dampen violence. Other studies, however, show that aid projects provoke insurgent activity, even when delivered by non-military organizations.

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What We Know about Militant Groups as Political Parties

Image courtesy of David Drexler/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 4 December 2017.

Featured on both wanted posters and campaign posters in Pakistan, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is not alone. The founder of a group linked to the militant Lashkar-e-Taiba and now also the front of the Milli Muslim League party bears a striking resemblance to other rebels and terrorists turned politicians. Yet we have little systematic understanding of those candidates, or organizations, using armed and electoral strategies.

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Militant Munchies

Because insurgency is hard work / Photo: Mike Chaput-Branson/flickr

Forget MREs. Terrorists in the Caucasus reportedly keep their tummies full during the winter by downing Snickers bars.

Acccording to a post on RFE/RL’s Transmissions blog, Wahhabbi militants snowed under in the Chechen region get their nutrition from that peanut, caramel and chocolate concoction that has kept American schoolkids bouncing off of rec room walls for decades.

[…]A few tens of militants may hide in Chechen gorges. Now when mountain passes are covered with snow and delivery of food from abroad is impossible, bandits eat snickers bars.

(Are Snickers halal? This person says yes. This site says no. This site says…well I’m not sure.)

But there’s a down side to succumbing to the scent of Snickers. According to the post, folks seen purchasing five bars or more are under “special control” by authorities.

Whether that’s security control or weight control, I’m not sure.