By James F. Miskel
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Extra info for A Fevered Crescent: Security and Insecurity in the Greater Near East
The violence in DRC and Colombia have been principally directed against regional and local targets, occasionally including in-country agents of the United States or other Western countries. Another reason is that the anarchic chaos of DRC and Colombia may make them less desirable as hosts for bases and other terrorist infrastructure, though obviously not for fund-raising. Terrorist organizations must also be concerned that without mastering the complex relationships among ethnic groups, tribes, families, and criminal organizations in places such as eastern DRC, they will run the risk that one or more of these groups will turn on them in order to gain a tactical advantage against another group or for financial or political gain.
On the other hand, if poverty were the primary concern, the donor presumably would have contributed directly to poor families, as is indeed the tradition of the zakat in some Muslim countries, or to charitable organizations with no affiliation to terrorist groups. That said, however, conditions of impoverishment do create incentives that apparently do cause individuals to take actions they otherwise might not. These incentives can generate recruitment opportunities for terrorist groups. It is true that an opportunity observed in retrospect by analysts may not have been as obvious to the individuals who could potentially have acted upon them.
Colombia’s struggle with guerrillas and narco-trafficantes demonstrates both the potential durability of a pocket, even in the face of sometimes erratic and belated governmental and international opposition and the possibility that events in the pocket will destabilize not just the parent country but also neighboring countries. Even discounting 24 A Fevered Crescent the extremely negative effects of drug abuse in the Andean region, it is clear that the violence in Colombia is having spillover effects on Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, and Brazil.
A Fevered Crescent: Security and Insecurity in the Greater Near East by James F. Miskel