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Dr. Norman Cigar

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Dr. Norman Cigar is a Research Fellow at the Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA, from which he retired recently as Director of Regional Studies and the Minerva Research Chair. Previously, he had also taught at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and at the Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting. In an earlier assignment, he spent 7 years as a senior political-military analyst in the Pentagon, where he was responsible for the Middle East in the Office of the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, and supported the Secretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff of the Army, and Congress with intelligence. He also represented the Army on national-level intelligence issues in the interagency intelligence community. During the Gulf War, he was the Army’s senior political-military intelligence staff officer on the Desert Shield/Desert Storm Task Force. Dr. Cigar is the author of numerous works on politics and security issues dealing with the Middle East and the Balkans, and has been a consultant at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at the Hague. He has also taught at the National Intelligence University and was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution, George Mason University. Among his writings are Al-Qa’ida’s Doctrine for Insurgency and Al-Qaida, the Tribes, and the Government. Lessons and Prospects for Iraq’s Unstable Triangle. Dr. Cigar holds a Certificate from the Middle East Institute, Columbia University; an M.S.S.I. from the National Intelligence University; an M.I.A. from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; and a D.Phil. from Oxford (St. Antony’s College) in Middle East history and Arabic. He has studied and traveled widely in the Middle East.

*The above information may not be current. It was current at the time when the individual worked for SSI or was published by SSI.

SSI books and monographs by Dr. Norman Cigar

  • Iraq’s Shia Warlords and Their Militias: Political and Security Challenges and Options

    June 03, 2015

    Authored by Dr. Norman Cigar.
    View the Executive Summary

    The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has seen a resurgence of the Shia militias in Iraq and unprecedented prominence for the warlords who lead them. Given the presence of U.S. Landpower in Iraq as part of the fight against ISIS and the close links of some of the militias with Iran, understanding the militias’ role and capabilities is key for force protection and operational security, as well as for policy concerns.

  • Tribal Militias: An Effective Tool to Counter Al-Qaida and Its Affiliates?

    November 18, 2014

    Authored by Dr. Norman Cigar.
    View the Executive Summary

    Since many of the societies in which Al-Qaida, its affiliates, and offshoots operate have a significant tribal component, tribally-based militias may be a critical tool in fighting against Al-Qaida, because such militias can provide a cost-effective mechanism and serve as a force multiplier for U.S. Landpower. However, tribal militias are no panacea, but can be a two-edged sword and, like any weapon, has to be understood and wielded with caution and skill in order to avoid unintended consequences.

  • Thinking about Nuclear Power in Post-Saddam Iraq

    April 08, 2010

    Authored by Dr. Norman Cigar.
    Iraqis are debating the desirability of atomic power for their country. U.S. and international policymakers will have to consider Iraqi views as they shape policy to manage the process of an orderly, safe, and peaceful nuclear reintegration of Iraq in the civilian sector while guaranteeing safeguards against both accidents and any future diversion of a nuclear program for military purposes or terrorist exploitation.