Oct. 17, 2017

Podcast: Impunity: Countering Illicit Power in War and Transition – A Conversation with the Authors

This two-part podcast is an edited version of the book launch for Impunity, hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in 2017. It features eight of the contributing authors, who discuss a range of issues including how criminal patronage networks arise, the destabilizing effects of unchecked, transnational organized crime and corruption, and the opportunities and challenges for policing in a civil-military environment. This podcast has been specially edited for use as a “listen ahead” assignment.

Oct. 17, 2017

Webcast: Convergence, Beyond Convergence, and the Challenge of Impunity

In this short webcast, author, editor, and political scientist Michael Miklaucic, aided by contributors to Impunity and Beyond Convergence, defines the problem posed by illicit actors and their impact on the future of our national security and the risks to state sovereignty and international order.

Oct. 16, 2017

Module 4: Capacity Building, Institutional Development, and Accountability

Module 4 focuses on capacity building, to include security sector reform and security sector governance, and look at the enduring lessons from both US and international security assistance efforts around the world. Discussions should cover overlooked challenges in effective monitoring and evaluation of capacity, and include consideration of enduring insights from both pre-and post-conflict stabilization; capacity building issues and planning for accountability and anti-corruption.

Oct. 11, 2017

Module 5: Countering Illicit Power in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations

Module 5 is not a traditional teaching module in the sense that the others are but it can easily be adapted to become one. It consists of an e-guide to countering illicit power in HADR operations and its utility as a planning and implementation template. The e-guide was developed as a distance learning tool that can be converted to a platform lecture, panel presentation, or used as a checklist in scenario based, HADR tabletop exercises.

Oct. 10, 2017

Module 6: Planning and Prioritization

The purpose of Module 6 is to provide students with additional readings and perspectives that knit together the themes and lessons from the previous five modules. This is not a structured lecture, but rather an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned and their implications for future operations.

Oct. 9, 2017

Module 7: Applied Learning

During the test and evaluation process, all formats, except for the one-day seminar, concluded with an applied learning exercise that reinforced the concepts and learning that had taken place. Ultimately, two options proved to be the most effective.

Sept. 15, 2017

21st Century Intelligence - The Need for a One-Team-One-Fight Approach

We’ve been through this before. Now we’re just waiting to see how soon it fails.” As I put down the phone, the dismissive words about integration from one of the Iran watchers within the Intelligence Community (IC) resonated in my ears. In November 2005, less than two months into my role as the first Iran Mission Manager for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), I was face-to-face with the unfolding skepticism the IC felt about the implementation of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevent Act (IRTPA) of 2004 that reorganized the Community and created the DNI position.1 In retrospect, I am thankful for those words. They braced me for the challenges that lay ahead and helped shape my approach to integrating IC efforts on Iran. They were not far from the truth. I had been part of a number of “tiger” or “hard target” teams assembled to tackle particular intelligence challenges. They saw success in discreet areas that tapered off after the team was disbanded or new concerns siphoned off resources. The challenge for integration now was how to make it sustainable and enduring beyond changes in leadership. I am also thankful for the person who spoke those words. By the end of my three-year tenure, they were a champion for integration and a big supporter of the mission management concept.

Sept. 15, 2017

The Curse of the Shiny Object

Human beings have a strong tendency to fight problems where they are visible. This intuitive and usually well-intended response to visible cues often produces inefficiencies and can result in spreading greater harm. This is the curse of the “shiny object”—when the attention-grabbing aspect of a problem distracts from identifying and countering the core drivers. The curse impacts many aspects of life. It can cause the U.S. Government (USG) and other organizations to overcommit resources to fight visible symptoms of security problems, while initiatives to counter the structural or systemic drivers of those problems are under-resourced if not entirely ignored. In the worst cases, initiatives to restore order have ended up spreading greater harm by targeting people or entire communities that are victims, not drivers, of the original security problem.

Sept. 14, 2017

Leading the National Security Enterprise

Today’s complex, chaotic, and interconnected world has forced us to rethink some of our fundamental assumptions about the nature of leadership, especially when it comes to leading whole-of-government or even whole-of-nation efforts. This is especially the case in the U.S. national security enterprise (hereafter referred to as the NSE or enterprise) where a complex, diverse constellation of military and civilian agencies must wield both hard and soft power on behalf of the United States. For various reasons, that enterprise has become our nation’s “first responder” when it comes to almost any challenge, from traditional military operations to a myriad of nonmilitary ones, to include disaster and pandemic relief and humanitarian assistance (the Ebola crisis comes to mind), post–conflict reconstruction, and even nation-building. Irrespective of the challenge, our nation’s political leaders look to senior officers—particularly but not exclusively those in uniform—who are in, and/or who have been developed by our NSE to lead the way.

Sept. 14, 2017

Is There a Path Out of the Yemen Conflict? Why it Matters

Among the countries affected by the Arab Spring, only Yemen was able to negotiate a peaceful political transition. In November 2011 Yemen’s major political parties, with the support of the United States and the international community, signed the Gulf initiative that included provisions for the: replacement of the government of former President Ali Abdallah Salih; election of a new interim president; and establishment of a two-year roadmap for new presidential and parliamentary elections to include the creation of a National Dialogue as a forum to address Yemen’s problems.