NEWS | Oct. 17, 2017

Module 3: Understanding the Operational Environment and the Intelligence Challenge

DOWNLOAD PDF - THE COUNTERING ILLICIT POWER: AN EDUCATOR'S GUIDE

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.

Recommended Primary Readings:  

  • Impunity: Confronting Illicit Power in War and Transition, Edited by Michelle A. Hughes and Michael Miklaucic. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office (2016). 
    • Chapter 10, “It Takes a Thief to Catch a Thief” by Michelle Hughes 
    • Chapter 11, “Weapons Trafficking and the Odessa Network: How one small think tank was able to unpack one very big problem, and the lessons it teaches us” by David E. A. Johnson 
  • Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization, Edited by Michael Miklaucic and Jacqueline Brewer. Washington, DC: The National Defense University Press, 2013. 
    • Chapter 5, “Fixers, Super Fixers, and shadow Facilitators: How Networks Connect” by Douglas Farah 

Optional Readings (depending on class interest and instructor objectives) 

  • Impunity: Confronting Illicit Power in War and Transition, Edited by Michelle A. Hughes and Michael Miklaucic. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office (2016). 
    • Chapter 12, “Financial Tools and Sanctions: Following the Money and the Joumaa Web” by Robert (J.R.) McBrien  
    • Chapter 13, “Recruitment and Radicalization: The Role of Social Media and New Technology” by Maeghin Alarid  
  • Beyond Convergence: World Without Order, Edited by Michael Miklaucic and Hilary Matfess. Washington, DC: The Center for Complex Operations (2016)  
    • Chapter 7, “Hezbollah’s Criminal Networks: Useful Idiots, Henchmen, and Organized Criminal Facilitators” by Matthew Levitt 
    • Chapter 19, “Virtually Illicit: The Use of Social Media in a Hyper-Connected World” by Tuesday Reitano and Andrew Trabulsi 

Webcasts/Podcasts: 

  • Webcast: “The Odessa Network: Understanding Enablers” featuring David E. A. Johnson 
  • Webcast: “Traffickers and Truckers” featuring Gretchen Peters 
  • Webcast: “Radicalization, Social Media, and Gender” featuring Maeghin Alarid 

Lecture Notes and Facilitator’s Guides: 

  • Lecture Notes: “Weapons Trafficking and the Odessa Network: How One Small Think Tank was Able to Unpack One Very Big Problem, and the Lessons It Teaches Us”  
  • Facilitator’s Guide: “It Takes a Thief to Catch a Thief: Understanding the Operational Environment” 

Slide Pack: 

  • “Understanding the Operational Environment and the Intelligence Challenge”