Research Summaries

Back Rising to the Top: Armed Group Consolidation in Civil Wars and Fragile States

Fiscal Year 2021
Division School of International Graduate Studies
Department National Security Affairs
Investigator(s) Hafez, Mohammed M.
Sponsor Army Research Office (Army)
Summary In support of the 2018 National Defense Strategy - which calls for building enduring coalitions to consolidate gains in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, ensuring the lasting defeat of terrorists, and countering Iran's threat network - I propose to investigate consolidation processes among non-state armed groups in fragmented conflicts and fragile states. The proliferation of rebels and militias is a prevalent feature of modern civil wars, insurgencies, and weakly governed spaces. The question of consolidation bears critically upon conflict outcomes as the establishment of a hegemonic rebel faction is crucial to rebel chances of victory and militia consolidation can help bring order to anarchic spaces or act as the vehicle for foreign influence over a weak state. Consolidation therefore is vitally important to national defense because of US direct military involvement in fragmented conflicts and fragile states (e.g., Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan), the use of proxy non-state armed groups by key adversaries (e.g., Iran, Russia) and the potential for anarchic spaces to foster terrorism and spread disorder (e.g., Libya, West Africa).
Keywords
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Data Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal