Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.769863
Title: More than counterterrorism? : re-examining the Obama administration's military response to al-Qaeda's affiliates
Author: Watts, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 7886
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
This thesis critically examines the means, animators and continuity of American counterterrorism operations outside of Afghanistan and Iraq during Obama's presidency. It takes the form of a structured-focused comparison of the Obama administration's military response to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Shabaab, and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Most existing studies of Obama's foreign and counterterrorism policies have analysed these campaigns in isolation from one another, or marganlised them. This thesis presents the first holistic study of the Obama administration's military response against all three of al-Qaeda's regional affiliates and speaks to a series of larger trends in the contemporary practices of American military intervention in the global south. It argues that there was far more to the means of U.S. counterterrorism operations outside of Afghanistan and Iraq than a single technological development (drones) and a single practice of statecraft (targeted killings). Security force assistance programmes are shown to have also been at the centre of what is conceptualised as Obama's small-footprint approach to counterterrorism, and the larger retooling of the coercive practices of U.S. military intervention in the global south during the era of perceived imperial decline which followed the Global Financial Crisis and Iraq War. It also argues that there was more animating the military response to al-Qaeda's affiliates than just counterterrorism and national security concerns. Working within the historical materialist tradition, al-Qaeda's affiliates are shown to have challenged two core practices of American imperialism: the reproduction of open-doors and closed frontiers. This thesis contributes to International Relations scholarship more broadly by shedding new light on the relationship between military assistance programmes and the spatial arrangement of American power. An alternative perspective on al-Qaeda's challenge to American primacy 'from below' is also advanced by outlining the movement's approach to economic warfare.
Supervisor: Bode, Ingvild Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.769863  DOI: Not available
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