Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


The Hope Bomb: Defeating Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Through Knowledge Sharing

It has been more than twenty years since the first Gulf War hauled awareness of the Arab world across the screens of American homes. An entire generation has been born and grown in that time. The Internet has gone from being a dark den of techno-academics to the utility of knowledge defining civilized existence.

Twenty years ago it may have been true that force was the only way to deal with geopolitical threats like Saddam Hussein. Ten years ago it may have been true that force was the only way to deal with festering extremist threats like Al Qaeda. But today we live in a world where we can attack the very soil that violent intolerance and extremism rise from. We can rob it the pestilential conditions it needs by encouraging environmental conditions where opportunities provide hope to the Millenials who are preparing to take over from their Cold War parents.

Events of the past decade – and the past month – have shown the limits of kinetic tools in combating violent extremism. The time has come to drain the swamp with infrastructure rather than explosives.

Yemen: An Ancient Nation at the Crossroads of Opportunity

I recently took the first of several trips to Yemen and Qatar. My purposes revolved around a point I had been making for the last few years: that some small nations were poised to implement national infrastructure cybersecurity structures ahead of larger and more developed nations. This theory went on to suggest that small wealthy nations and small developing nations each had distinct types of conditions which could present recognizable opportunities to make progress.

Central American, North Africa and the Middle East present a range of such nations. On the Arabian Peninsula examples of each are to be found in Qatar and Yemen. The first is a highly developed nation with complex infrastructure and surging growth, the latter is an impoverished nation tentatively coming out of decades of dictatorship.

After meeting with a wide range of individuals and groups in Yemen and key Qatari officials the opportunity to advance these issues in both nations is clear. Qatar stands to advance strong foundations laid in previous years and solidify its position as a role model for national cybersecurity infrastructure development.

Developing these capabilities in Yemen, however, could provide support for issues of national, regional and global interest.