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The Advancement of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

July 8, 2014

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The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has made significant territorial gains over the past month as it has moved toward Baghdad. Leveraging the Sunni populations’ disenfranchisement with the central government, the ISIL has successfully taken strategic cities in Anbar, Nineweh, Salah al-Din, and Diyala provinces. This report will analyze the ISIL’s military strategy and offer suggestions as to how the Iraqi government can successfully combat this extremist group.

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Interview: Syria

May 9, 2014

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A video interview with Praemon analyst Mike Godfrey about some of the current events in Syria and what they mean for U.S. national security.

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Iraq: Current Causes of Sectarian Conflict

November 16, 2013

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The reasons for sectarian dissidence and violence in Iraq are both complex and numerous. While recognizing that there are many factors that contribute to the current situation in Iraq, there are two primary antecedents to the current growth of violence. First, the renewed vigor and aggressiveness of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI); second, government corruption in the Maliki administration.

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The State of American Cyber Security

October 31, 2013

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American cyber security efforts have been severely restricted. Domestic political pressures like sequestration and the government shutdown have undercut U.S. cyber defenses. Foreign political pressures have also increased in the wake of the Edward Snowden incident. These pressures have left the United States more vulnerable to cyber attacks from both state and non-state actors. If these trends continue, America will face increasingly serious threats from state actors and even more serious threats from terrorist organizations.

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Syria Update October 2013

October 15, 2013

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As the United States embraces a plan to get rid of all chemical weapons in Syria, the Syrian rebels are reorganizing themselves into Islamic coalitions that are independent of the US-backed Syrian National Coalition and are in opposition to an ascendant al-Qaeda. This reorganization represents a significant loss of US influence among the rebels, their willingness to adopt a hard-core Islamist character, and the probability of internal fighting between al-Qaeda and the other Sunni rebels in Syria.

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