Iconoclast: Contrarian Musings on Global Affairs

Matthew Crosston

A foreign affairs/international relations analytical blog offering opinions and analysis on contemporary global issues which often run contrary to international conventional wisdom. Dr. Matthew Crosston, Professor of Global Security and Strategic Intelligence, is Director over all Intelligence Programs at the American Military University. Crosston has authored three well-received books, several book chapters and 30 peer-reviewed articles in venues like the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Journal of Strategic Security, International Politics, Journal of Military and Strategic Affairs, Comparative Strategy, Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Central Asian Survey, Journal of Global Analysis, and Democracy and Security. His research agenda continues to address counter-terrorism, intelligence analysis, failed democratization, countering violent extremism, and cyber war/ethics. His works have been translated into Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish, Greek, Kazakh, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, and Uzbek. Crosston has spoken out across the globe promoting interaction between intelligence agencies that share common interests but lack connectivity, as well as fostering improved collaboration between the academic and intelligence communities. He has spoken at the US State Department, Defense Intelligence Agency, US STRATCOM, Oxford University, Rhodes College, North Carolina State University, and many others. In 2013 Crosston was named the Outstanding Instructor by the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE). He has a BA from Colgate, MA from the University of London, and PhD from Brown.

New entries

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August 6, 2019

For more than two decades I have written about missed opportunities and egregious missteps on the part of America (sometimes accidental, sometimes seemingly deliberate) when it comes to establishing a new relationship dynamic with Russia that could be…

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October 26, 2016

October 1st began what could be one of the more interesting Chairships of the United Nations Security Council, with Russia taking over and being charged with a rather delicate balancing act: between conducting the numerous affairs expected to be…

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June 30, 2016

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…

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April 18, 2015

  Media outlets and government circles both cringe and squirm when the subject of Westerners leaving the West to go fight in Syria and Iraq with the Islamic State arises. While acquiring data and calculating accurate numbers wildly diverges…

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April 5, 2015

            It is perhaps a misnomer to discuss future ‘blowback:’ there have been groups actively pursuing technological attacks on American targets simultaneously alongside the…

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February 23, 2015

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…

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February 14, 2015

  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…

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February 7, 2015

  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…

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February 3, 2015

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…

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January 18, 2015

The events in Paris are unfortunately all too familiar in the 21st century. I think in 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…

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January 6, 2015

  Western media members are currently basking in what to them seems to be a story of economic ‘come-uppance.’ Saudi Arabia announced that its 2015 budget will suffer from a significant economic shortage, resulting in a nearly $39…

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December 22, 2014

  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…

Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
 
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