Paris Attack Is Latest In Increasing Number Of Global Terrorist Attacks

Report: Suicide Attacks Rose 94 Percent In 2014
The terrorist attack carried out in Paris by masked gunmen who killed four cartoonists and either others in the office of a French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has brought worldwide condemnation is latest in a skyrocketing trend of terrorist attacks worldwide.

A new report released by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), there were 592 suicide in 2014, which represents a 94 percent increase over approximately 4,400 who were killed in 2013. The analysts attribute the rapid increase in the frequency of attacks to the rise of ISIS, ongoing unrest in the Middle East and the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.

Across the Middle East, the number more than doubled from 163 in 2013 to 370 attacks in 2014, while number of fatalities in these suicide attacks in the Middle East also surged from 1,950 to 2,750, according to the INSS report.

Part of the spike in terrorist events is a consequence of attacks launched outside of the Middle East, including in a series of bombings in Africa by Boko Haram. The number of attacks in Nigeria rose from 3 in 2013 to 32 in 2014 and in Somalia, which witnessed a smaller increase from 14 in 2013 to 19 in the last year.

The authors of the report – Yoram Schweitzer, Ariel Levin and Einav Yogev – believe the number of suicide attacks will not abate in 2015 for a variety of reasons, including the ongoing instability in various countries and “the strengthening of global jihadi elements, primarily IS and al-Qaeda and its affiliates, which see suicide attacks as a proven means of struggle and an article of faith.”

On the same day as the Paris attack, a car bombing outside a police academy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa killed up to 33 people and wounded an estimated 70 others, reports Reuters.

The blast hit as cadets gathered to enroll at the police academy. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, however Yemen’s al Qaeda affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has carried out similar attacks. The explosion has come a week after a suicide bombing killed at least 26 people at a cultural center in the city of Ibb, south of Sanaa.

Violence has increased in Yemen since Houthi rebels seized Sanaa in September 2014.

Does American Credibility Matter?
Stephen Walt takes on the question of whether U.S. credibility matters, and, more importantly, whether the U.S. should fight wars in which it is not directly threatened in order to preserve our sense of credibility.

He notes that the notion of credibility looms so large in U.S. foreign-policy thinking “because the United States is the linchpin of a vast alliance network, it has to convince lots of other countries that its promises are really believable.”

But, he adds, few countries look at how the U.S. reacts in one situation and basis its response on our behavior. In fact, he says, if the goal is retaining U.S. influence and leverage, what really matters is whether other states have confidence in America’s judgment, not its credibility.

“If allies and adversaries believe the United States understands what is going on in key regions and has a clear sense of its own interests, then they will know that the United States won’t be buffaloed into unwise actions by self-serving allied whining, or provoked into overreactions by enemies eager to drag us into another costly quagmire,” he concludes.

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