Subnational Conflict in the Mediterranean Region

by Brian Michael Jenkins

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The Mediterranean region continues to be an arena of international and internal conflict. This paper reviews the patterns of conflict in the Mediterranean since World War II. The constant conflict in the area has made this part of the world the cradle of international terrorism in its contemporary form. Many of the nations in the Mediterranean region have increasingly supported or exploited guerrilla or terrorist groups as a means of waging surrogate warfare against their foes. In recent years, a number of security analysts have warned that terrorists may turn to targets in the maritime environment and there are ample maritime targets in the Mediterranean. While maritime terrorism is possible and has been tried on a small scale, subnational groups active in Mediterranean countries currently possess a limited capacity for low-level maritime operations. Continued international and subnational conflict seems likely to occur in the region and future plans must take this into account.

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