The effort to dismantle al Qaeda continues. After a number of blows including the death of its founder and leader Osama bin Laden, the organization is on the defensive. But a move to reconstitute al Qaeda by increasing its affiliate organizations is underway. By working with these local factions, al Qaeda is increasing its power and expanding its reach. These mergers aren’t wholly effective, however, and tensions between al Qaeda’s core and its affiliates could be exploited, notes Senior Fellow
Daniel Byman’s paper Breaking the Bonds between al-Qa’ida and Its Affiliate Organizations examines the dynamics of al-Qa’ida-affiliate relationships and the interests each party brings to these partnerships.
Highlights from the paper include:
• Factors that determine why local groups decide to join or not to join with al-Qa’ida.
• Benefits al-Qa’ida and local groups gain from affiliation.
• Dynamics that lead to frayed al-Qa’ida-affiliate relationships.
Byman argues that by exploiting the areas where al-Qa’ida and its affiliates do not agree, the United States and its allies can limit al-Qa’ida’s influence and expansion around the world.
[Trump has] given Iran the moral high ground and that is an exceptionally difficult thing to do given the history and reality of Iran's misdeeds at home and in the region. It's just malpractice on the part of an American president.
The way the Trump administration is moving forward [with its Iran policy] is just so hostile to all aspects of Iran that it’s unlikely to produce any traction with the Iranian people or to encourage divisions within the system.
The intent of [any U.S. action] to do with the IRGC is basically to cast a very broad shadow over sectors of the Iranian economy and exacerbate the compliance nightmare for foreign businesses that may be considering trade and investment with Iran.