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Exporting Jihad: Iran's Use of Non-State Armed Groups
Unformatted Document Text:  Abstract This paper examines Iran’s use of non-state armed groups to achieve its political and security objectives. It recognizes the use of non-state armed groups as being a critical component to an Iranian security doctrine that is guided by strategic asymmetry. Specifically, it examines: the political and strategic cultures that contribute to the use of non-state armed groups; the structural components that facilitate their use; the operational particulars of the groups which Iran utilizes; the broader implications of their strategic employment. To achieve this qualitative study, this paper uses an architecture for the study of non-state armed groups. This architecture was developed by Professors Richard Shultz, Douglas Farrah, and Itamara Lochard in the US Air Force INSS Occasional Paper (57), entitled “Armed Groups: A Tier-One Security Policy.” This framework provides four categories of non-state armed groups, and it utilizes six variables for the analysis of individual groups. Analysis leads this study to conclude the following: Iran’s senior leadership sees the exportation of jihadi insurgencies as paramount to achieving its long-term ideological goals. 2

Authors: O'Brien, James.
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Abstract
This paper examines Iran’s use of non-state armed groups to achieve its political
and security objectives. It recognizes the use of non-state armed groups as being
a critical component to an Iranian security doctrine that is guided by strategic
asymmetry. Specifically, it examines: the political and strategic cultures that
contribute to the use of non-state armed groups; the structural components that
facilitate their use; the operational particulars of the groups which Iran utilizes;
the broader implications of their strategic employment.
To achieve this qualitative study, this paper uses an architecture for the study of
non-state armed groups. This architecture was developed by Professors Richard
Shultz, Douglas Farrah, and Itamara Lochard in the US Air Force INSS
Occasional Paper (57), entitled “Armed Groups: A Tier-One Security Policy.”
This framework provides four categories of non-state armed groups, and it utilizes
six variables for the analysis of individual groups.
Analysis leads this study to conclude the following: Iran’s senior leadership sees
the exportation of jihadi insurgencies as paramount to achieving its long-term
ideological goals.
2


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