By James F. Miskel
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Extra resources for A Fevered Crescent: Security and Insecurity in the Greater Near East
The violence in DRC and Colombia have been principally directed against regional and local targets, occasionally including in-country agents of the United States or other Western countries. Another reason is that the anarchic chaos of DRC and Colombia may make them less desirable as hosts for bases and other terrorist infrastructure, though obviously not for fund-raising. Terrorist organizations must also be concerned that without mastering the complex relationships among ethnic groups, tribes, families, and criminal organizations in places such as eastern DRC, they will run the risk that one or more of these groups will turn on them in order to gain a tactical advantage against another group or for financial or political gain.
Now, these tumbling tenements contain, by night, a swarm of misery. As on the ruined human wretch, vermin parasites appear, so these ruined shelters have bred a crowd of foul existence that crawls in and out of gaps in walls and boards; and coils itself to sleep, in maggot numbers, where the rain drips in; and comes and goes, fetching and carrying fever, and sowing more evil in its every footprint. Residents of any major city in Europe or the United States would undoubtedly offer similar—if less evocative—descriptions of local slums or rundown neighborhoods where unemployment and crime are prevalent, drug abuse abounds, the roads and streetlights are not well maintained, and the schools are failing to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary in the contemporary economy.
The poverty and isolation of rural pockets of darkness do not present an opportunity in the traditional sense of the word; moreover, the terms themselves are relative. Note, for example, the difference between dollar denominated measures of income and “purchasing power” measures, which better indicate what an individual can acquire in his or her local economy, and neither takes fully into account the social and family supports that mitigate the sting of poverty in traditional societies. Further in the era of globalization, modern communications and transportation networks ensure that no area can be absolutely isolated.
A Fevered Crescent: Security and Insecurity in the Greater Near East by James F. Miskel