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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December 15, 2014

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…

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December 8, 2014

Anyone who has worked through post-mortems on the Iraq war is familiar with the pitfalls associated with ‘groupthink’ and preconceptions. Indeed, it is perhaps one of the few modern examples of consensus across American partisanship. Some…

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November 26, 2014

  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…

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October 27, 2014

  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…

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September 22, 2014

  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…

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September 16, 2014

  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…

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September 9, 2014

The surrealism of the Ukrainian conflict continued last week, with the 28 members of the NATO alliance meeting in a cozy golf resort in Wales, United Kingdom, to discuss all of the supposedly egregious and disconcerting Russian maneuvers against…

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August 22, 2014

Less than two weeks ago President Obama, sitting for an interview with The Economist magazine, basically went ‘old school’ on President Putin, dismissing his Presidency, his country, and the future of both. While his words were certainly…

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August 15, 2014

  2014 is starting to look and sound and feel an awful lot like 1964. If you find yourself sitting at home wondering how 50 years could go by with so much historical change and global shifting and yet still end up basically back at the starting…

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July 23, 2014

  The percentage of Americans who have heard of Yemen is undoubtedly small. Still fewer could locate it on a map. Still fewer have even an inkling of its current political issues. Reality shows that civil unrest and insurrection has been…

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July 20, 2014

So many American politicians upset with the Israelis for the attacks on Gaza. .....Using weapons largely obtained through the United States... .....hmmmmm.....does that mean America is responsible for the Gaza deaths? President Putin is on the phone…

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July 17, 2014

  New sanctions were levied against Russia on July 16th by both the United States and the European Union. America has taken the lead in explaining the sanctions, claiming continued unrest in Eastern Ukraine is primarily because of tacit Russian…

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