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«2016 / Terrorism 2.0: The Rise of the Civilitary Battlefield 199 ARTICLE Terrorism 2.0: The Rise of the Civilitary Battlefield Gil Avriel* * Legal ...»

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See Janet E. Ainsworth, Categories and Culture: On the Rectification of Names in Comparative Law, 82 CORNELL L. REV. 19 (1996). See also Robert Eno, The Analects of Confucious, http://www.indiana.edu/~p374/Analects_of_Confucius_(Eno-2015).pdf; Warren E. Steinkraus, Socrates, Confucius, and the Rectification of Names, 30 PHILOSOPHY EAST AND WEST 261 (1980);

Bao Zhiming, Language and World View in Ancient China, 40 PHILOSOPHY EAST AND WEST 195 (1990).

Xunzi (Hsün Tzu, c. 310 – c. 220 B.C.E.). See HSÜN TZU, BASIC WRITINGS 142 (Burton Watson trans.) (1964); Ainsworth, supra at 7.


SMALL WARS, 3 (2013); Michael N. Schmitt and John J. Merriam, The Tyranny of Context: Israeli Targeting Practices in Legal Perspective, 37 U. PA. J. INT’L L. 53 (2015).

See, e.g., Gabriella Blum and Philip B. Heymann, Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists: Lessons from the War on Terrorism (2010); Frank G. Hoffman, Conflict in the 21st Century: The Rise of Hybrid Wars (2007); Michael N. Schmitt, Asymmetrical Warfare And International Humanitarian Law, International Humanitarian Law Facing New Challenges (2007).

See Philip Bobbitt, The Shield Of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History (2007).

See A.W. Kruglanski et al., What Should This Fight Be Called? Metaphors of Counterterrorism and Their Implications, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST 8.3 (2007).

See, e.g., Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era (2013); John Robb, Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization (2007).‫‏‬ See Michael N. Schmitt, Charting the Legal Geography of Non-International Armed Conflict, 52 MIL. L. & L. WAR REV. 93 (2014); Michael N. Schmitt, Classification in Future Conflict, INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE CLASSIFICATION OF CONFLICTS 455 (Elizabeth Wilmhurst ed., 2012).

206 Harvard National Security Journal / Vol. 7 The use of outdated or unclear terminology also creates confusion.15 The term “military conflict,” for example, is commonly used to describe the 2014invasion by Russia of Ukraine. At the same time, it is also used to describe the Nigerian Army’s fight against Boko Haram, the struggle of Saudi-led coalition of Arab states against the Houthis, and the Egyptian Army’s fight against Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Sinai Peninsula. The problem with applying this term to all four conflicts is that they are not all alike, leading to imprecision and confusion.16 Consider the term “terrorist group.” This is a generic term that has been attached to many designated groups or affiliations that inflict harm on civilians.

But are all terrorist groups alike?17 How similar are the small and large groups currently reshaping the borders and the geopolitics of the Middle East?18 Members of certain terrorist groups, like Hezbollah, officially serve as ministers in governments.19 Other groups, like Hamas, comprise entire governments.20 In contrast, some groups do not integrate into the political sphere at all. 21 Some have political and military wings.22 Some are rich; others are not. Some export oil to neighboring states.23 Others effectively control banking or financial systems.24 Some terrorist groups join hands with transnational organized crime or engage in See, e.g., Mark Sedgwick, Jihadism, Narrow and Wide: The Dangers of Loose Use of an Important Term, 9 PERSPECTIVES ON TERRORISM 34 (2015).

See, e.g., Michael N. Schmitt & Andru E. Wall, The International Law of Unconventional Statecraft, 5 HARV. NAT'L SEC. J. 349 (2014).

Brian J. Phillips, What Is a Terrorist Group? Conceptual Issues and Empirical Implications, 27(2) TERRORISM & POL. VIOLENCE 225 (2014). See also Ben Saul, Definition of “Terrorism” in the UN Security Council: 1985–2004, 4 CHINESE J. OF INT’L L., 141 (2005).

See Stopping ISIL: What Should (or Shouldn’t) Be Done? BELFER CENTER NEWSLETTER, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (Fall/Winter 2014-15), http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/24685/stopping_isil.html; see also Elise Labott, State Department Report: ISIS Breaking New Ground as New Leader in Terror Groups, CNN (June 20, 2015), http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/19/politics/isis-report-state-departmentterror/index.html; Tom Lister, Why ISIS is Winning, and How Its Foes Can Reverse That Success, CNN (June 9, 2015), http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/28/middleeast/isis-how-to-stop-it.

‫ ‏‬ee Krista E. Wiegand, Reformation of a Terrorist Group: Hezbollah as a Lebanese Political S Party, STUDIES IN CONFLICT & TERRORISM 32.8 (2009).

Mohammed Omer, Hamas Forms a Government, WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS, May/June 2006, 12–13, 45, http://www.wrmea.org/2006-may-june/hamas-forms-agovernment.html.

See Nancy Susanne Martin, From Parliamentarianism to Terrorism and Back Again (2011), https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/ETD-UT-2011-05-3416.

See James Kanter, European Union Adds Military Wing of Hezbollah to List of Terrorist Organizations, THE NEW YORK TIMES (July 22, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/ 07/23/world/middleeast/european-union-adds-hezbollah-wing-to-terror-list.html?_r=0.

See, e.g., Ashley Fantz, How ISIS Makes (and Takes) Money, CNN (Feb. 20, 2015), http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/19/world/how-isis-makes-money/index.html and See, Stephens, M.

ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. The Rusi Journal 160(2) (2015).

Juan Zarate, Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare (2013); see also Walter Enders & Todd Sandler, The Political Economy of Terrorism (2006).

2016 / Terrorism 2.0: The Rise of the Civilitary Battlefield 207 narco-terrorism,25 smuggle cigarettes26 or take part in large-scale pharmaceutical crimes.27 Finally, consider ISIL. How do we name the phenomenon that ISIL represents? While conducting the research for this Article, we presented this question to many scholars and journalists. The common and somewhat striking answer was that we have no name for the phenomenon. Everybody simply calls it ISIL, which is nothing but a translation from Arabic (ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī al-‘Irāq wash-Shām ‫ )الدولة ‏اإلسالمية ‏في ‏العراق ‏والشام ‏‬meaning “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” While the leaders of the world seek to degrade and destroy the phenomenon, the international community is still stuck with a fuzzy and inconsistent name (sometimes ISIL, sometimes ISIS, and sometimes Da’ish)28 that says nothing about the phenomenon itself.29 Why do the international community and global media30 continue to use old vocabulary31 without acknowledging that a fundamental change has taken place—a new reality that should be supported by a fresh vocabulary?

–  –  –

This Article explores the evolutionary process of certain terrorist groups through a new analytical framework: Civilitary Theory. Civilitary—a new term coined from the words civil and military—aims to capture the state of play imposed on the international community by ISIL and other radical forces of See Emma Björnehed, Narco-Terrorism: The Merger of the War on Drugs and the War on

Terror, GLOBAL CRIME 6.3-4 (2004). See also Victor Asal et. al., When Terrorists Go Bad:

Analyzing Terrorist Organizations’ Involvement in Drug Smuggling, 54 INT’L STUD. Q. 112 (2014).

See Thomans M. Sanderson, Transnational Terror and Organized Crime: Blurring the Lines, 24 SAIS REV. 49 (2004).

See Boaz Ganor and Miri Halperin Wernli, The Infiltration of Terrorist Organizations Into the Pharmaceutical Industry: Hezbollah as a Case Study, 36 STUD. IN CONFLICT and TERRORISM 699 (2013); Matthew Levitt, Hezbollah’s Organized Criminal Enterprises in Europe, 7 PERSPECTIVES ON TERRORISM 27 (2013).‫‏‬ Ray Sanchez, ISIS, ISIL or the Islamic State? CNN (Jan. 23, 2015), http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/09/world/meast/ISIL-isil-islamic-state. See also Graeme Wood, What ISIL Really Wants, THE ATLANTIC (March 2015), http://www.theatlantic.com/features/ archive/2015/02/what-ISIL-really-wants/384980/?utm_source=SFFB.

Shadi Hamid and Will McCants, John Kerry Won’t Call the Islamic State by its Name Anymore.

Why That’s Not a Good Idea, THE WASHINGTON POST (Dec. 29, 2014), https://www.


Exploring the effects of the new reality of global terrorism on media coverage is beyond the scope of this article. But for further reading, see Mahmoud Eid (Ed.), Exchanging Terrorism Oxygen for Media Airwavesm: The Age of Terroredia, IGI GLOBAL (2014).

See Ewell E. Murphy, Jr., The Vocabulary of International Law in a Post-Modern World, 23 TEX. INT'L L.J. 233 (1988).

208 Harvard National Security Journal / Vol. 7 violence in the 21st century that has placed civilians at the heart of military conflict. To enhance the analytic framework, Civilitary Theory proposes new terms and definitions that help adjust the language in a way that better reflects the changed (and changing) reality.

Civilitary Theory has three objectives: to shed light on the current developments in the Middle East and Africa; to demonstrate current patterns and point to future developments in the evolution of terrorist groups; and to influence political, diplomatic, legal, academic, military, and public discourses in an effort to bridge the gap between outdated words and the new reality, thereby helping the international community to better meet the national security challenges of our time.

The 21st century has witnessed the weakening of central governments32 and the rise of non-state actors. Fragmentation of central authorities33 has helped terrorist groups to operate in a relatively secure environment.34 The rapid disintegration process has created special geographic opportunities for certain terrorist groups35 that have acquired territory and started to govern the lives of the civilians.36 According to Civilitary Theory, this evolutionary process has resulted in the creation of new entities: territorial terrorist groups.

What is the main difference between regular terrorist groups and territorial terrorist groups? Territorial terrorist groups are those that have a territorial dimension and also govern civilians. This observation or classification by no See Henry Kissinger, Statement to the United States Senate Armed Services Comm.: Global Challenges of U.S. National Security (Jan. 29, 2015) (Peace is often threatened by the disintegration of power—the collapse of authority into ‘non-governed spaces’ spreading violence beyond their borders and their region. This has led to the broadening of the challenge of terrorism—from a threat organized essentially from beyond borders, to a threat with domestic networks and origins.”). See also Stephen D. Krasner and Carlos Pascual, Addressing State Failure, FOREIGN AFFAIRS 84, 153 (2005); Diane E. Davis, Non-State Armed Actors, New Imagined Communities, and Insecurity in the Modern World, 30.2 CONTEMPORARY SECURITY



Edward Newman, Weak States, State Failure, and Terrorism, 19.4 TERRORISM AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE 463 (2007); Bridget L. Coggins, Does State Failure Cause Terrorism? An Empirical Analysis (1999–2008), JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION (2014); Stephen D. KRANSER, The Hole in the Whole: Sovereignty, Shared Sovereignty, and International Law, 25 MICHIGAN J. OF INT’L LAW 1088 (2003).

U.S. DEP’T OF STATE, State Dep’t Country Rpt. on Terrorism, Ch. 1 (2014) http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2014/. See also NBC News: Intelligence Chief: Iraq and Syria May Not Survive as States (NBC television broadcast Sep. 10, 2015), http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/intelligence-chief-iraq-syria-may-not-survive-statesn425251.

See Aidan Hehir, The Myth of the Failed State and the War on Terror: A Challenge to the Conventional Wisdom, JOURNAL OF INTERVENTION AND STATEBUILDING 1.3 (2007).‫‏‬ See Syrian Government No Longer Controls 83% of the Country, IHS JANE'S INTELLIGENCE REVIEW (Aug. 23, 2015), http://www.janes.com/article/53771/syrian-government-no-longercontrols-83-of-the-country.

2016 / Terrorism 2.0: The Rise of the Civilitary Battlefield 209 means implies that the regular terrorist groups are not dangerous.37 It only means that they have not evolved to the level of territorial terrorist groups38 Examples of groups that have added a territorial dimension and also govern civilians include ISIL in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, the Houthis in Yemen, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Sinai Peninsula, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Before examining the analytic framework underlying the Theory, it is important to highlight two points about the scope of this Article and to articulate two linguistic clarifications.

First, there are other groups of terrorists in geographic areas apart from the ones mentioned above that could become or have already become territorial terrorist groups. Yet this Article seeks to lay out the framework of Civilitary Theory and then to demonstrate its applicability to the development of the six aforementioned territorial terrorist groups. These groups will serve as representative samples for each stage or model of the theory (as elaborated later).

Reviewing the development of the six territorial groups through the lens of Civilitary Theory illustrates the possible ways this theory could be applied by political leaders, scholars, diplomats and journalists in order to have a better understanding of the challenges posed by ISIL and other similar groups.

Second, the evolution from regular terrorist groups to territorial terrorist groups is a multi-dimensional process. The foundations of such an evolution relate to various socioeconomic, cultural-religious, and other contextual determinants beyond the scope of this Article.39 See generally Jeffrey Kaplan, Terrorist Groups and the New Tribalism: Terrorism’s Fifth Wave (2010); Terrorism, Identity, and Legitimacy: The Four Waves Theory and Political Violence (Jean E. Rosenfeld, ed., 2010); David C. Rapoport, Modern Terror: The Four Waves. Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy 46 (2004).

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