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...
- 30.06.2016 20:53:00
... 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 ...
- 18.04.2015 17:10:00
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 ...
- 23.02.2015 20:59:00
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...
- 14.02.2015 21:08:00
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...
- 07.02.2015 00:55:00
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...
- 03.02.2015 00:20:00
... 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 ...
- 18.01.2015 18:34:00
... 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 ...
- 06.01.2015 19:02:00
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...
- 22.12.2014 22:41:00
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 ...
- 15.12.2014 18:04:00
... 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 ...
- 08.12.2014 06:59:00
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 ...
- 26.11.2014 18:37:00
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...
- 01.11.2014 01:33:00
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...
- 28.10.2014 13:36:00
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. ...
- 27.10.2014 01:40:00
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 ...
- 22.09.2014 04:36:00
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...
- 16.09.2014 06:44:00
... (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 ...
- 09.09.2014 18:04:00
... 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,...
- 23.07.2014 18:13:00
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. He would like an answer to that question.
- 20.07.2014 23:13:00