Wednesday, July 23, 2008

RAND Corporation's Ungoverned Territories

The RAND corporation has been featured on this blog before. They have a wonderful series of reports which explain aspects of military geography. Even geographers who do not dabble in military geography can pick up useful research tips and knowledge.

Lately I have come a book available for order or free PDF download entitled Ungoverned Territories: Understanding and Reducing Terrorism Risks. Using case studies the book identifies "three types of ungoverned territories and their effects on U.S. security interests and develop strategies to improve the U.S. ability to mitigate these effects."

Right now the trend in warfare is smaller scale engagements against non-state actors. These groups cannot hold their own in battle and therefore must use unconventional tactics to attempt to level the playing field. Even more important, to military geographers at least, is that these non-state actors need zones free from government control (and responsibility on a world stage) to build up an organization. The Taliban and al Qaeda have pushed out any nominal Pakistani control in Waziristan, HAMAS forced internationally-recognized Fatah out of Gaza, and FARC had its demilitarized zone. Understanding these lawless lands is the first step in knowing how to end them and severely limit an insurgency’s chance at success.

The book is an easier read and can be picked up almost at any chapter. Educate yourself today on ungoverned territories and their impact on the world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome recommendation. Just bought a copy from Amazon.