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From military intervention to long term counter-terrorism policy

The question of how military interventions can best transition to a long term counter-terrorism policy forms the core research question of three interlinked reports. This research project has been completed with support of NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme. Leiden University researchers Sergei Boeke and Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn, together with professor William Maley from the Australian National University, have studied three cases in this endeavor: Afghanistan (2001-2016), Libya (2011-2016), and Mali (2013-2016). The research is divided along three phases in the process: the pre-intervention phase, the entry and stabilization phase, and the transition and exit phase.

Based on their study of the three cases, the researchers have found a number of key factors in the transformation of a broad military intervention to a counter-terrorism policy that is more limited in size and scope. The research also focuses on the elements that make long-term counter-terrorism policy alleviate the threat of terrorist groups, reinforce the host nation’s capacity, and address some of the causes of radicalization and violent extremism.

Each report starts with the same set of common policy recommendations that the researchers have distilled from the three case-studies. The recommendations for decision-makers offer some strategic lessons identified and practices that can contribute to easing the transition from military operations to a long-term counter-terrorism policy. On 15 April 2016 the authors presented their reports and findings to NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium,  

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