News | May 24, 2016


By CCO Impunity

Clifford Aims retired in 1996 from a 20-year law enforcement career in the United States and worked in a variety of peacekeeping operations and Security Sector Reform (SSR) missions in several regions of the world until 2004. From 2005 through 2009, he was part of the Interagency Team in the Experimentation Directorate at the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Suffolk, Virginia. There, he worked extensively with SSR counterparts from around the world to build on lessons learned from peacekeeping and postconflict stabilization missions and to develop the most current set of best practices for dealing with instability and illicit power structures. Since 2009, Aims has been leading SSR efforts for the U.S. Department of State.

Maeghin Alarid is the lead policy analyst at the USAF Institute for National Security Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where she conducts research and analysis in the areas of arms control, deterrence, and strategic stability. She previously held a position at USNORTHCOM at Peterson AFB, as the joint training systems specialist. Alarid also spent seven years at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, where she was an exercise planner at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, she instructed on radiological terrorism and developed the school’s first course on female suicide bombers. Alarid has a BA in ethnology and Portuguese from the University of New Mexico, an MA in international security and homeland defense from the University of Denver, and a graduate certificate in terrorism analysis from the University of Maryland.

David Beer is director of the Ottawa Bureau of MediaBadger ( and serves as international policing adviser at the Pearson Centre ( He served 35 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in a variety of operational and command roles. He has a unique depth and breadth of international policing experience. At the time of retirement, he served as director general of international policing, with responsibility for international operations, peacekeeping operations, Interpol Canada, and international policy development. Beer deployed to conflict and postconflict areas, representing governments and international agencies. This experience included Iraq, Central African Republic, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and an extended time in Haiti, including bilateral capacity building dating back to the 1990s. In 2004-5, Beer commanded the UN Police Mission in Haiti. In 2007, he was elected to the executive of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, serving as vice president and chair of the International Division until 2011 ( He holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University (Ottawa) and an MA in political science and international relations, University of Windsor (Ontario).

Dan Bisbee is a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School for Public and International Affairs, researching warfare and governance challenges in urban terrain. Dan served with the U.S. Army and State Department on the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team during multiple tours in Iraq from 2005 to 2008, developing counterinsurgency strategy, implementing reconstruction plans, and conducting diplomacy with Baghdad’s municipal leadership. He has an MA in world history from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in transatlantic security policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bisbee is currently conducting research on his dissertation, “Metropolitan Battlefields: Urban Combat and City Politics.”

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Tej Pratap Singh Brar was commissioned into the elite First Maratha Light Infantry in 1966 and fought in the 1971 war that resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. Later, commanding his own Maratha battalion in Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka, as a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force, he was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal (YSM) for distinguished service in an operational context. Later assignments included Indian Army liaison officer to the British Infantry School (Warminster) and commander of the important XVI Corps in Jammu & Kashmir theater, during which he was wounded in a July 22, 2003, terrorist suicide attack. For his exceptional service, he also has been awarded the PVSM (Param Vishisht Seva Medal). He completed his service as commandant of the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, Tamil Nadu.

Scott N. Carlson has over two decades of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating complex international legal assistance programs in conflict, postconflict, and other transitional environments. For the U.S. Department of State, he deployed to Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan, in 2011, where he served as technical director for the Interagency Rule of Law Office, planning, coordinating, and synchronizing ROL efforts across the country with the United Nations, NATO, EU, World Bank, USAID, and DFID. Most notably, he oversaw the first interagency evaluation of the Provincial Justice Centers, for which he received a Meritorious Honor Award. At Main State, Carlson provided expert assistance on international ROL and anticorruption programming for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, serving as an adviser in various countries, including Cambodia, Haiti, Lebanon, and Thailand. He also served as a delegate to international working groups, such as the UN Access to Justice Working Group. Before INL, he supplied expertise to leading international development organizations. For the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, he developed the Primer for Justice Components in Multidimensional Peace Operations. For the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Carlson designed and implemented an anticorruption program in Albania, which boosted transparency and accountability across three institutions, using an integrated e-government platform to reduce discretion of civil servants working in tax, public procurement, and business registration. He graduated with honors in law from Georgetown University, LLM in international and comparative law, and the University of Georgia, JD. Carlson is fluent in Albanian, proficient in French, and learning Croatian. Currently, he is principal at New-Rule LLC.

Carl Forsberg is a PhD student in the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a Donald D. Harrington graduate fellow and a Clements Center doctoral fellow. His doctoral research focuses on U.S. attempts to build an alliance system in the Middle East from the Second World War to the present. During 2011-12, Forsberg served in Kabul, Afghanistan, as an adviser to the commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force Shafafiyat, the countercorruption coordinating body for the International Security Assistance Force. Previously, he spent two years as an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, DC, where he published reports on counterinsurgency strategy, Afghan politics, and Afghanistan’s corruption problem. His research led to invitations to testify before Congress and to join a team conducting research in Afghanistan for General David Petraeus. He holds a BA in history from Yale College.

Joseph Franco is an associate research fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), specializing in radicalization studies, counterterrorism, and counterinsurgency. Franco was awarded an MS in international relations from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, through an ASEAN graduate scholarship. He previously worked for the chief of staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the deputy chief of staff for operations (J3), AFP. His portfolio with the AFP covered research on internal conflict, peacekeeping operations, defense procurement, Asia-Pacific security, and special operations forces. He was involved in revising the AFP National Military Strategy and other AFP-wide policies. Franco was the lead writer of the AFP Peace and Development Team Manual, a novel, community-based approach to counterinsurgency, which remains in use among all AFP units involved in internal security operations. At CENS, Franco is a prolific writer of commentaries and articles on internal conflict and terrorism in the southern Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. His work has been featured in such periodicals such as the Straits Times, the Jakarta Post, and the Nation. Franco also shared his research findings with various audiences in major industry events such as Global Security Asia and in Singapore-based institutions such as the Civil Defence Academy. He is also frequently interviewed as a resource for international media outlets such as TIME, Channel News Asia, and Deutsche Welle. Currently, Franco is working on research projects on target displacement theory and terrorist networks in Southeast Asia.

Michelle Hughes is a lawyer, educator, writer, and consultant. Her work focuses principally on building capacity for multinational, interagency, civil-military, and public-private cooperation to build and strengthen the rule of law, resolve violent conflict, and enable sustainable peace. She is the founder, president, and CEO of VALRAC Innovation LLC, a company dedicated to preparing the next generation to restore and strengthen the rule of law at home and abroad. She is also a senior fellow with the National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College, the senior PROLAW development adviser for Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and a fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies. Hughes was a senior executive in the U.S. Department of Defense, where she was the only designated “highly qualified expert” for rule of law and security sector reform. She has field experience in 12 conflict countries and deployed multiple times to Afghanistan, where her role was to advise senior military commanders on how to connect security force development to governance and justice. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Hughes graduated from the University of Florida in 1979 with a BA in English and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. As a military intelligence officer, she was one of the first women to serve in the elite Eighty-Second Airborne Division, and the only woman officer ever assigned to the Army’s parachute demonstration team, the Golden Knights. Hughes graduated at the top of her class from Regent University School of Law in 1996 and practiced complex civil litigation, prosecution, and criminal defense with the firm of Williams Mullen. She is admitted to the Bar in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

David E. A. Johnson is executive director of C4ADS, a Washington, DC-based nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving global security. C4ADS won the Google Chairman’s 2014 New Digital Age Grant. Johnson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Command and General Staff Course, and the Joint Defense College (War College) at the École Militaire in Paris and holds a master’s degree in the history of strategy from la Sorbonne. His career as a decorated Special Forces combat veteran and Army strategist with service on six continents and multiple overseas contingency operations is outlined in the Congressional Record. Before coming to C4ADS, he worked for Intel Corporation as director of digital security products in the Software and Solutions Group. He speaks French, Russian, and Arabic.

Deniz Kocak is currently a temporary lecturer in political science and a research affiliate with the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies at the Free University Berlin. Previously, he worked as a research associate with the Special Research Unit 700 “Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood,” Free University Berlin, on security sector reform and security governance transfers. He studied, worked, or conducted research at Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Potsdam, Free University Berlin, Chulalongkorn University Bangkok, and Singapore Management University. While his doctoral thesis dealt with police reform and institutional change, his overall research interests include security governance, security sector reform, and civil-military relations in non-OECD countries, with a focus on Southeast Asia.

Mark Kroeker is senior partner of Kroeker Partners LLC, a company that offers a wide range of global services, including justice, rule of law, and security sector development efforts, with a heavy focus on postconflict and fragile environments. He is temporarily assigned as assistant secretary-general in the role of deputy special representative of the secretary-General for rule of law, ad interim, in the UN Mission in Liberia, (UNMIL). Following 32 years of service in the Los Angeles Police Department, where he rose to the rank of deputy chief of police, he served as deputy police commissioner of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He later became police chief of Portland, Oregon, where he served for almost four years. In 2003, he was appointed the first police commissioner for UNMIL, and later he was appointed police adviser and director of the Police Division in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York. There, he oversaw UN police operations in all peacekeeping missions. For five years, he served as vice president for global intelligence, threat analysis, and crisis management for the Walt Disney Company. Before launching Kroeker Partners in 2015, he served for three years as senior vice president for justice and rule of law at PAE, a global government contracting company. He was a member of the UN Model Criminal Codes Committee, the UN Working Group on the Protection of Civilians, the International Policing Advisory Committee, and the American-Israeli-Palestinian Anti-incitement Committee. In 1988, he founded the World Children’s Transplant Fund, and he continues to serve as the board’s chairman. He has a BS degree from California State University at Los Angeles, and an MS in international public administration from the University of Southern California.

Thomas A. Marks is head of department, War and Conflict Studies, College of International Security Affairs (CISA) of the National Defense University, in Washington, DC. He completed his doctoral work in his home state of Hawaii, where, for 14 years, he was chair and professor of social science at Academy of the Pacific, a private high school. While there, for more than two decades he was a highly successful cross-country and track coach at all levels of competition. He was a leading authority on terrorism and insurgency (especially Maoist) when asked to join CISA as a consequence of 9/11. He has written hundreds of publications, several dozen of them on Sri Lanka. His instructional positions in the counterterrorism field include the Oppenheimer Chair of Warfighting Strategy at the Marine Corps University (Quantico), and longtime adjunct professorships at the Air Force Special Operations School (Hurlburt Field) and the intelligence community’s Sherman Kent School (Washington, DC). A former army and U.S. government officer, he subsequently worked as an independent contractor for, among others, Control Risks of London. For a decade during the heyday of Soldier of Fortune, Marks was the magazine’s chief foreign correspondent.

John Robert McBrien is a consultant specializing in economic sanctions and interdisciplinary countermeasures against transnational threat networks. An authority on the employment of U.S. economic sanctions programs, he had a seminal role in the conception, design, and development of targeted sanctions against nonstate foreign adversaries. His initiatives have been a key factor in the evolution of economic sanctions as major instruments of national security policy. At retirement, he was the associate director for global targeting in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and responsible for the Specially Designated Nationals programs directed against the operatives and networks of sanctioned countries, regimes, and nonstate foreign adversaries. McBrien retired in December 2012 after 42 years of government service. Most of his career, including 25 years with OFAC, was with the Treasury Department, where he handled a broad spectrum of cross-cutting national security, intelligence, and law enforcement issues. He was involved in the U.S. counterterrorism program from 1972 forward and in counternarcotics programs since 1985. His career in Washington began as an attorney in the U.S. Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. He also played a role in developing President Obama’s National Strategy on Transnational Organized Crime and the Executive Order against transnational criminal organizations. A graduate of the National War College, he also served as a visiting scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. A member of the bar, He holds a JD from St. Louis University School of Law, and a BA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Michael Miklaucic is the director of research, information, and publications at the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) at National Defense University, and the editor of PRISM, the journal of CCO. Before this assignment, he served in various positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State, including as USAID representative on the Civilian Response Corps Interagency Task Force, as the senior program officer in the USAID Office of Democracy and Governance, and as rule of law specialist in the Center for Democracy and Governance. In 2002-3, he served as the Department of State deputy for war crimes issues. In that position, he was responsible for U.S. relations with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, war crimes issues and negotiations in East Timor and Cambodia, and early implementation of the Sudan Peace Act. His university education was at the University of California, the London School of Economics, and the School for Advanced International Studies. He is adjunct professor of U.S. foreign policy at American University, and of conflict and development at George Mason University. He sits on several academic and professional advisory boards.

Carlos Ospina is a retired general and former commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, serving as Colombia’s top military officer until his retirement in 2006. At that point, he became the chief of defense chair and professor of national security affairs at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University, in Washington, DC. Since 2014, he has served as a distinguished professor of practice at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA). Commissioned from the Colombian Military Academy in 1967, he rose steadily, commanding at every level, including the Second Mobile Brigade (BRIM), Fourth Brigade (Medellín), Fourth Division, and the Colombian Army. He emerged as one of Colombia’s most decorated combat soldiers, having been wounded in action while commanding Fourth Brigade. As a major, he was decorated when a small jungle tracking unit he commanded, less than a squad, assaulted more than a hundred M19 guerrillas who had landed on the southwestern coast of Colombia—an action that led to their complete neutralization once reinforcements arrived. Simultaneously, General Ospina played a key role in the crafting and implementation of the approach that turned the tide of the counterinsurgency and restored the strategic initiative, which Colombia still holds. Together with Generals Tapias and Mora, he is credited with reversing what was seen as a hopeless situation and doing so in a manner that won the respect of his soldiers and his country.

Gretchen Peters conducts research and analysis work to help governments understand and disrupt transnational organized crime. She has supported efforts in Kenya, Mozambique, and Gabon to fight elephant and rhino poaching, focusing on disrupting wildlife trafficking networks at the transport and financial levels. She also cochairs the OECD Task Force on Wildlife and Environmental Crime. Her prior work focused on the links between narcotics and terrorism in Pakistan, supporting the deputy assistant secretary of defense for counternarcotics and global threats, U.S. Central Command’s J2 (Intel), and Special Operations Command. Peters is considered a leading authority on D-Company and other Pakistani drug-terror syndicates. She is the author of Seeds of Terror, a groundbreaking book that traced the role the opium trade has played in three decades of conflict in Afghanistan. She spent five years researching the book, which Barron’s magazine called “a well-written, well-documented and exemplary work of journalism.” In the past, she worked as a foreign correspondent and investigative reporter, covering Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, first for the Associated Press and later for ABC News. She has published editorials in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Foreign Policy and has also reported from Mexico, Cambodia, China, Taiwan, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Kosovo, India, and Egypt.

Ismail Rashid is a professor of history at Vassar College, where he has been teaching since 1998. He grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He received his BA honors in classics and history from the University of Ghana, his MA in race relations from Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, and his PhD in African history from McGill University. His primary teaching interests are modern African history, enslavement, resistance and emancipation, and the African diaspora. His research interests include subaltern resistance against colonialism, and social and military conflicts in contemporary Africa. Tecent publications include “Epidemics and Resistance in Sierra Leone during the First World War,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 45 (2011): 415-39; “Decolonization and Popular Contestation in Sierra Leone: The Peasant War of 1955-1956,” Afrika Zamani 17 (2009): 115-44; West Africa’s Security Challenges, coedited with Adekeye Adebajo (Lynne Rienner, 2004); “Religious Militancy and Violence in West Africa: A Study of Islam in Sierra Leone” (cowritten with Kevin O’Brien), in Militancy and Violence in West Africa: Religion, Politics and Radicalization, ed. James Gow, Funmi Olonisakin, Ernst Dijxhorn, (London: Routledge, 2013); and The Paradoxes of History and Memory in Postcolonial Sierra Leone, coedited with Sylvia Ojukutu-Macauley (Lexington, 2013, forthcoming).

William Reno is a professor of political science and director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone (Cambridge, 1995), Warlord Politics and African States (Lynne Rienner, 1998), and Warfare in Independent Africa (Cambridge, 2011) as well as numerous other publications regarding on-the-ground politics of conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. His recent work focuses on the determinants of the organizational strategies of nonstate armed groups, with particular focus on how leaders of these groups manage the challenges of operating in socially fragmented environments of collapsed states. Research for this project has included extensive field investigations in Somalia and elsewhere in Africa to investigate the organizational strategies of these groups. His other projects include a study of the changes in civil-military relations in African states, such as how governments include their militaries in new economic development strategies and how participation in regional peacekeeping forces reshapes these forces. Another study focuses on African approaches to counterinsurgency operations.

Tim Sullivan is a joint MA/MBA candidate at the Yale School of Management and Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he focuses on entrepreneurship and institution building in developing contexts. Before his graduate studies, Sullivan served for over a year in Kabul as an adviser to the commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force Shafafiyat (“transparency” in Dari and Pashto), which was responsible for the countercorruption efforts of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. Previously, Sullivan was a research fellow in the Foreign and Defense Policy Studies Department at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. Most recently, he led the business development team of Praescient Analytics, a national security-focused analytic technology services start-up in Alexandria, Viginia. He is a member of the Center for a New American Security Next Generation National Security Leaders program and splits his time between New York and New Haven.

Phil Williams is Wesley W. Posvar professor and director of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies, at the University of Pittsburgh. Williams has published extensively in the field of international security. He has written books on crisis management, the U.S. Senate and troops in Europe, and superpower détente and has edited volumes on Russian organized crime, trafficking in women, and combating transnational crime. During 2001-2, he was a visiting scientist at CERT, where he worked on cyber crime and on infrastructure protection. During 2007-9, he was visiting professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, where he published two monographs: From the New Middle Ages to a New Dark Age: The Decline of the State and U.S. Strategy (2008) and Criminals, Militias and Insurgents: Organized Crime in Iraq (2009). Williams has worked extensively on transnational criminal and terrorist networks; terrorist finances; and, most recently, the rise of drug trafficking violence in Mexico, Nigerian organized crime, and long-term trends and their impact on organized crime. He has recently coedited a volume for the Strategic Studies Institute on malevolence in cyberspace and is currently working on the crisis of governance in the northern triangle of Central America, and a cowritten monograph on military contingencies in megacities.