A Theoretical Analysis of the Capability of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Its Surrogates to Conduct Covert or Terrorist Operations in the Western Hemisphere.
Prince, William F.
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CitationPrince, William F. 2018. A Theoretical Analysis of the Capability of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Its Surrogates to Conduct Covert or Terrorist Operations in the Western Hemisphere.. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe Islamic Republic of Iran is one of only three state sponsors of terrorism as designated by the U.S. Department of State. The basic goal of this project has been to determine what capability the Islamic Republic has to conduct covert or terrorist operations in the Western Hemisphere. Relevant background to this research puzzle essentially begins with the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the subsequent taking of U.S. diplomats hostage. The Islamic Republic, through its subordinate Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) or its closely allied proxy, Hezbollah, has successfully conducted two deadly terrorist operations in the Western Hemisphere, which together killed 108 people and injured almost 400. The Islamic Republic had planned to conduct at least two more. Yet civilian and military leaders in the U.S. government, as well as academics and journalists, have arrived at very different conclusions regarding an Iranian threat capability to the Western Hemisphere. I have distilled these various conclusions into three major “schools’ or ‘views’ discussed at length in Chapter I.
In conducting research for this paper, I reviewed over 390 references. I developed a theoretical model for assessing covert action capability. As a result of this research, I believe the Islamic Republic has developed a viable threat capability in the Western Hemisphere as one part of its asymmetric warfare strategy. I have concluded that at least as of early 2018, the Islamic Republic is reluctant to antagonize the U.S. or other Western Hemisphere nations for fear of jeopardizing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA/Nuclear Deal), although it may well employ Hezbollah operatives which provide the Islamic Republic with some ‘plausible deniability.’ While the Islamic Republic may not have the intention to employ this capability, intentions can change very quickly, requiring additional intelligence resources and continued vigilance on the part of the U.S. and Western Hemisphere nations.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42004011
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