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Intelligence at a Cross Roads: To Be Or Not To Be…

... this book’s limitations and take all that the authors offer at both face value and as “the final word.” [1] 4 stars – A+ on Its Narrow Focus, C+ For Contextual Shortfalls David Omand and Mark Phythian, Principled Spying: The Ethics of Secret Intelligence (Georgetown University Press, 2018), 286 pages, $32.95, ISBN-13: 978-1626165601. In relation to their central focus – the ethics of overcoming extreme secrecy with extreme subversion, the book is excellent. For that alone Principled Spying ...

Steele Robert David
Опубликовано:
03.07.2018 15:42:36

The Donkey and the Elephant: American Presidential Politics, Russia, and 'None of the Above'

Whether one truly believes in the old adage that the President of the United States is the ‘leader of the free world’ and ‘the most powerful person on the global stage,’ it is unquestionable that whoever holds the Oval Office in the White House wields tremendous influence and impact far beyond the borders of America. As the world looks on with fascination in 2016 at the coming confrontation between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, questions remain as to which candidate is...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
30.06.2016 20:53:00

American Jihadi: Why Westerners Fight with the Islamic State

... tolerant, the open, the just and go fight for a group that represents the antithesis of such principles? Unfortunately for all those horrified by the images of beheadings and immolation, understanding this process (and more importantly the failure of the intelligence community and state department to make inroads against it) requires one to accept something most Americans cannot: that the American Dream for too many seems more myth than reality. Reality in America, if you are not able to hook into upward ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
18.04.2015 17:10:00

America's National Security Schizophrenia

There is no stronger example of the schizophrenic nature of American foreign policy toward Russia than comparing statements written in the formal National Security Strategy (NSS) of President Obama with actual testimony given by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. In 2010 the NSS asserted that the U.S. would endeavor to ‘build a stable, substantive, multidimensional relationship with Russia, based on mutual interests.’ What’s more, the NSS called Russia a 21st century ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
23.02.2015 20:59:00

Cold War Triumphalism and the Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma

There is a decided chicken-and-egg quality when trying to unravel Russian-American relations. The general pessimism and pejorative characterizations that come from the U.S. Congress clearly have a negative influence on Putin’s strident bravado and dismissive arrogance to the United States. What is perplexing is how this dilemma, which implies that it is difficult to figure out which truly came first, never seems to be an actual problem for American politicians: the Russian ‘corrupt and...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
14.02.2015 21:08:00

Keeping Russia the Enemy: Congressional Attitudes and Biased Expertise

America seems reluctant in accepting the fairly benign fact that countries do not like to be dictated to and thus misses opportunities for creating new dialogues. This is especially prominent in explaining the poor relationship at the moment with Russia. There seems to be an element of purposeful animosity in the way Russia is viewed, analyzed, and engaged, especially at the so-called expert level and most prominently within the now Republican-controlled United States Congress. Perhaps one of the...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
07.02.2015 00:55:00

U.S.-Russia Relations: The Problem of Intellectual Insincerity

There are numerous think tanks, both in the United States and Russia, which are deeply concerned about the state of Russian-American relations. Places like the Moscow Carnegie Centre or the Brookings Institution in Washington DC are regular go-to places for the media when seeking expert opinion and analysis. However, these centers of independent knowledge production have had a decided slant in allocating blame for the poor bilateral relations to the Russian side, with the explanations ranging from...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
03.02.2015 00:20:00

The Price of Paris: Islamism and the Exploitation of Women

... some corners it is still perhaps a bit shocking that events like the storming of Charlie Hebdo and the killing of civilians do not actually take place more often than they do. In my line of work, this is the foundational conundrum of secret success: intelligence communities around the world actually do a stellar job of ferreting out literally hundreds, if not thousands of ideas, intentions, and full-on strategic plans to wreak havoc and create terror on the streets of various cities every single ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
18.01.2015 18:34:00

The Saudi Bait-and-Switch

... maintaining an oil production level of 30 million barrels per day. Saudi officials have vowed to not change their stance on this ceiling, thus guaranteeing its 2015 economic ‘problem.’ When you look deeper into the multiple foreign-policy, intelligence, and global political layers of this decision, however, you don’t find a country in trouble or even incompetent. Rather, you find a cunning sense of strategic analysis that is built more upon long-term economic and national security ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
06.01.2015 19:02:00

Old American Punishment, New Russian Strength

On December 18 President Vladimir Putin gave his traditional end-of-year holiday speech. Think of it as a Russian version of the American State-of-the-Union address always given by our President. In it Putin expressed dismay and concern at the manner in which Russia’s “Western partners” were behaving, even going so far as to declare Western intentions as being purposely aimed at controlling Russian national resources and leaving Russia a de facto vassal state. He vividly used the...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
22.12.2014 22:41:00

Twisting in Our Own Tortured Noose: American Verbal Duplicity and Torture

So the United States Senate has released its report highlighting extreme and supposedly ‘abhorrent’ techniques used on terrorist targets after 9/11 to glean greater intelligence and information. Since that release there has been an orgy of oscillating condemnation/hand-wringing with rationalization/chest-beating, depending on whom you speak with. What strikes me more is the whole surreal ridiculousness of this false ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
15.12.2014 18:04:00

Prisoners of Preconception: The Problems of Bias in American Intelligence

... the few modern examples of consensus across American partisanship. Some have argued such assumptions emerged from an administration not interested in counter-arguments and alternative information. Others pointed to embedded preconceptions within the Intelligence Community itself, making it impossible to jump off the analytical train once it started rolling down the track. Both camps show the important compensating role academics could play within Intelligence Studies: through formal training academics ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
08.12.2014 06:59:00

Bears and Byzantium: How America Misreads Russian Strategic Thinking

Common complaints within Intelligence Studies about the examination of foreign intelligence communities, especially those not residing in the west, run the gamut from being too historically driven to being completely ahistorical and thus nothing more than a simple organizational ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
26.11.2014 18:37:00

The implications of a victory for the Islamic State in SYRIA and IRAQ

Patrick Adams (Strategic Analyst & RIEAS Research Associate) A victory for the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria would have a wide range of economic, social and political consequences. Economically, there would be a significant and damaging effect on the world's oil supply. Socially, not only would Iraq and Syria be affected but any country with a sizable Muslim population. Politically, there would be consequences due to the forming of new alliances between former foes and the type of...

RIEAS Research Institute for European and American Studi
Опубликовано:
01.11.2014 01:33:00

THE COLLAPSE OF ISIS IS IMMINENT AND INEVITABLE. THE QUESTION IS: HOW WILL IT HAPPEN?

Quentin de Pimodan (Author based in the Middle East) Al Baghdadi's major strategic failure has been his choice of the Fertile Crescent as the region for the establishment of his Khilafa. His dream of reestablishing a Sunni caliphate with roots in Iraq and Syria will eventually be crushed by the field's realities and only exposes his own lack of knowledge about the region. Not that a Sunni leadership would be impossible to carry on the lands of the ancient Omayyad and Abbasid's...

RIEAS Research Institute for European and American Studi
Опубликовано:
28.10.2014 13:36:00

American Failures with Grand Strategic Culture

This work is about how a specific conceptualization of ‘culture’ in intelligence studies, amongst scholars at first but subsequently practitioners as well, has taken on too powerful a role, one that has become too restrictive in its impact on thinking about other intelligence communities, especially non-Western ones. ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
27.10.2014 01:40:00

Soft Spying: The Love-Hate Relationship America has with Economic Espionage

Despite Hollywood romanticizing about Bonds and Bournes, one of the most prevalent forms of modern intelligence activity is also arguably the least emphasized: economic and industrial espionage. Aimed at garnering a financial and innovation advantage for countries seeking greater influence in a highly globalized world, this activity is not just about ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
22.09.2014 04:36:00

Targeted Killings Coming Back to Haunt America

While most international organizations and foreign states have made attempts to explicitly fuse drones and targeted killing to already established norms, ethics, and rules of war, the United States has focused more on drones being something of a semi-covert tool of political means. In other words, drone war is not necessarily the exact same thing as conventional war. Once you blur the line on this basic fundamental categorization then nearly everything else becomes open to interpretation, including...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
16.09.2014 06:44:00

NATO: A Mighty Wind, Signifying Nothing

... (and granted it is really just token sympathy as the leadership of Ukraine has not exactly stood out and distinguished itself all summer in terms of ending or settling the crisis in the East). He desperately wants NATO to give him arms, training, and intelligence support. And while NATO clearly talks lovingly and embracingly about the need to protect Ukraine from ‘Russian aggression,’ it seems fairly obvious that in real terms that is the closest NATO is going to come to giving Poroshenko ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
09.09.2014 18:04:00

Yemen's Special Interests, or, Horton Hears a Houthi

... incurred civilian casualties. This reality has been largely ignored and downplayed in the United States, as the details of Yemeni conflict remain deep in the shadows for almost all Americans. But given these strikes are actually being done by the American Intelligence Community, namely the CIA, in an arena where the US has not officially declared war or placed troops, the blowback potential long-term is being dangerously ignored. It is not just the United States that has played fast and loose, however,...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
23.07.2014 18:13:00

 

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Poll conducted

  1. Korean Peninsula Crisis Has no Military Solution. How Can It Be Solved?
    Demilitarization of the region based on Russia-China "Dual Freeze" proposal  
     36 (35%)
    Restoring multilateral negotiation process without any preliminary conditions  
     27 (26%)
    While the situation benefits Kim Jong-un's and Trump's domestic agenda, there will be no solution  
     22 (21%)
    Armed conflict still cannot be avoided  
     12 (12%)
    Stonger deterrence on behalf of the U.S. through modernization of military infrastructure in the region  
     4 (4%)
    Toughening economic sanctions against North Korea  
     2 (2%)
 
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