Coming Soon!
Armed Groups of the Greater Middle East
by Melia T. Pfannenstiel
September 2023, 420pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6846-7
$85, £66, 74€, A117
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6847-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Despite the official end of the United States’ global War on Terror in December 2022, the U.S. National Security Strategy notes the threat from armed non-state actors “is more ideologically diverse and geographically diffuse than that of two decades ago.”

Through informative profiles of armed groups of the greater Middle East and African Sahel from the 1960s to 2022, this book highlights a burgeoning network of violent organizations and evolving trends for future analysis.

This book offers readers an overview of major themes driving the proliferation of armed non-state actor groups operating throughout the greater Middle East, including a discussion of such conceptual issues as irregular warfare, separatist rebellions, proxy forces, insurgency, terrorism, and private military contractors. Rather than categorizing armed groups according to changing or contentious labels, the chronological organization follows the date of founding, with information on motivations or aims, strategies, organizational structure, safe havens or areas of operation, networks of political and financial support, and challenges to group capacity.

Many studies provide in-depth analysis of a single group or a particular strategy or motivation, while this work offers breadth in profiling dozens of groups with various aims over time to assess patterns of continuity and change. As armed groups learn from one another and adapt to evolving conditions, surveying numerous groups from the Cold War era of competition through 2022 offers insights for emerging trends and potential trajectories of armed groups.


  • Profiles prominent armed groups, affiliates, and offshoots
  • Provides context for the reader to understand how global trends can influence political, economic, and social dynamics driving the proliferation of armed non-state groups operating across the Middle East and northern Africa
  • Includes thematic literature combined with detailed information on dozens of groups
  • Provides a unique systems approach to evaluating armed groups as they adapt to local, regional, and global conditions
Melia Pfannenstiel, PhD, is assistant professor at the School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, KS. Her publications include "Disinformation and Disease: Operating in the Information Environment during Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Missions" in Joint Force Quarterly as well as "Does Education Mitigate Terrorism? Examining the Effects of Educated Youth Cohorts on Domestic Terrorism in Africa" and "Determinants of Domestic Terrorism: An Examination of Ethnic Polarization and Economic Development" in Terrorism and Political Violence. Pfannenstiel earned her doctorate in security studies from Kansas State University in 2015 and is a graduate of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Norfolk, VA.

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