Oct. 19, 2017

Module 1: Introduction to Illicit Power and the Problem of Convergence – Definitions, Objectives, and Taxonomy

Module 1 provides an orientation to the problem. It does so by introducing the concepts of “Convergence” and “Illicit Power,” the implications for national sovereignty and security, and overarching insights from the totality of the research.

Oct. 18, 2017

Module 2: Peace Matters: The Impact of Peace Agreements and Political Accords on Illicit Power – Why is this an operational problem?

By comparing case studies from Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, and including a prospective look at Colombia, this module highlights one of the enduring insights from Impunity – that peace agreements and political settlements directly impact our ability to contain the rise of illicit power in a post-conflict environment. A critical learning objective is to create a bridge between policy and implementation. Discussions should center around the impact of peace agreements on every level of operations, how such strategic accords fit in the analysis of the operational environment, and how implementers can identify the ways in which agreements and settlements themselves create risk. During beta testing of the model syllabus, this module proved to be the most popular among JPME students as it was the least well-understood prior to instruction.

Oct. 17, 2017

Module 3: Understanding the Operational Environment and the Intelligence Challenge

This module addresses another of the enduring insights from Impunity – the persistent failure of the U.S. and its international partners to understand the operational environment in which illicit powers structures arise and thrive. Building on Module 1, Module 3 offers several frameworks for analysis, suggestions for how to adapt commonly used doctrinal frameworks, and case studies that illustrate the value of open source intelligence and publicly available information. Multiple case studies are available to facilitate wide-ranging discussion, but the module outline focuses on the Odessa Network in particular, as an example of end-to-end analysis.

Oct. 17, 2017

Webcast: Defining "Success"

In this thought-provoking interview, National Defense University Professor Tom Marks analyzes insurgencies in Sri Lanka and Colombia to illustrate the difficulty in determining what “success” looks like when confronting the problem of impunity and illicit power. He further discusses the adaptation that enabled those nations’ militaries to turn defeat into victory, and the cost of that adaptation to international reputation and support.

Oct. 17, 2017

Podcast: The Challenge of Countering Impunity in International Missions

Former Portland Police Chief Mark Kroeker, and retired RCMP Superintendent David Beer have a combined total of more than eight decades as law enforcement leaders both within their home countries and internationally, directing United Nations missions abroad. In this podcast, they discuss lessons and insights from international missions, focusing primarily on the coordination challenge for military, police, and host nation officials.

Oct. 17, 2017

Webcast: Radicalization, Social Media, and Gender

In a fascinating narrative, researcher Maeghin Alarid explores the phenomenon of online recruitment and radicalization, from the perspective of the Islamic State’s use of social media to recruit women and sustain its extremist vision of a new Caliphate. Alarid’s cutting edge research adds additional perspective to ongoing discussions and debate.

Oct. 17, 2017

Webcast: Traffickers and Truckers

Investigative reporter and best-selling author Gretchen Peters shares her insights into the means and methods used by illicit power structures, and in particular, the activities that exemplify illicit economic activity. She further describes the processes she uses to understand the operational environment, and offers suggestions on how to address the information-gathering challenge.

Oct. 17, 2017

Webcast: The Odessa Network: Understanding Enablers

In this short webcast, David Johnson, the Executive Director of C4ADS, a Washington, DC-based think tank that specializes in network analysis, discusses the lessons that C4ADS learned during its process of unraveling the Odessa Network, a Russian-controlled arms trafficking enterprise. He explains C4ADS’s open source methodology, and further outlines how the C4ADS team has subsequently applied its techniques to other illicit activities including wildlife trafficking and the proliferation of hate speech.

Oct. 17, 2017

Webcast: Sacred Documents and the Enemies of Peace: Why Agreements Matter

This short webcast by rule of law and security sector reform expert Michelle Hughes, provides an overview of the importance of peace agreements and settlements to efforts to contain illicit power in the aftermath of conflict and political transition. Contributing authors highlight key issues, while Hughes provides a roadmap for analysis and comparison using case studies from Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Colombia, as well as contextual consideration of the conflicts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Oct. 17, 2017

Webcast: Convergence in Criminalized States

Using Latin America as a regional case study, veteran journalist Douglas Farah presents his analysis, based on more than three decades of investigation, into the convergence of insurgency, extremism, corruption, and transnational organized crime. His detailed narrative provides a comprehensive overview of the phenomena described in Convergence, Impunity, and Beyond Convergence., This 30-minute webcast is an excellent scene-setter for deeper study into the totality of the issues explored in all three publications.