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Russia's Homegrown Insurgency: Jihad in the North Caucasus
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The United States has had a bitter set of experiences with insurgencies and counterinsurgency operations, but it is by no means alone in having to confront such threats and challenges. Indeed, according to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the greatest domestic threat to Russias security is the ongoing insurgency in the North Caucasus. This insurgency grew out of Russias wars in Chechnya and has gone on for several years, with no end in sight. Yet it is hardly known in the West and barely covered even by experts. In view of this insurgencys strategic importance and the fact that the U.S. military can and must learn for other contemporary wars, the Strategic Studies Institute SSI felt the need to bring this war to our readers attention and shed more light upon both sides, the Islamist and nationalist rebels and Russia, as they wage either an insurgency or counterinsurgency campaign. While the evident and primary cause of this current war is Russian misrule in the North Caucasus in the context of the Chechen wars, it also is true that Russia is now facing a self-proclaimed fundamentalist, Salafi-oriented, Islamist challenge that openly proclaims its links to al-Qaeda and whose avowed aim is the detachment of the North Caucasus from the Russian Federation. Therefore, we should have a substantial interest in scrutinizing the course of this war both for its real-world strategic implications and for the lessons that we can garner by close analysis of it. The three papers presented here are by well-known experts from the United States, Russia, and Sweden The Caucasus Emirate Jihadists The Security and Strategic Implications, by Gordon M. Hahn The North Caucasus in Russia and Russia in the North Caucasus State Approaches and Political Dynamics in the Turbulent Region, by Sergey Markedonov and The Afghanization of the North Caucasus Causes and Implications of a Changing Conflict, by Svante E. Cornell.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE