ICTS Reports

RuleofLaw1Ensuring the safety and interests of citizens at home and abroad continues to be every government’s paramount responsibility. The purpose of this report is to focus on the interface between terrorism and the rule of law. The key question is whether nations can strike a balance between security concerns and protecting civil liberties and constitutional order.

“Terrorism and the Rule of Law: Selected Perspectives” features presentations by experts with extensive academic and government experience. Some of the topics covered include the “War on Terror,” the role of intelligence, law enforcement, detention, civil and military trials, punishment of terrorists, hostage-taking, and other relevant issues.

Download the report here.

WMD8 17a

Preventing the proliferation of biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear weapons has been a major priority for many nation states in the post-World War II era. Additionally, in the aftermath of 9/11, there has been a growing awareness globally of the potential dangers posed by terrorist groups who may resort to WMD capabilities.

The purpose of this report on “Preventing WMD Terrorism: Ten Perspectives” is to provide some recent insights from experts on lessons learned, assessments of future challenges, and offer recommendations on response strategies to reduce the risk on national and international levels.

Download the report here.

Biological Terrorism cover june

Biological security concerns are permanent fixtures of history, ranging from Mother Nature’s infectious diseases to man-made threats by state and non-state actors. Thus, as the international community is currently approaching the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed an estimated 50-100 million people, it is assessing the implications of the recent epidemics of Ebola and Zika, considering potential dangers of biological terrorism, and beginning to offer recommendations on response strategies to reduce the risk on national, regional, and global levels.

This June 2017 report on “Biological Terrorism: Past Lessons and Future Outlook” serves as an academic effort to provide insights from former U.S. officials, members of Congress, and other experts on these looming security challenges.

Download the report here.

LatinAmerica1aLatin America continues to face multiple security challenges including natural disasters, infectious diseases, organized crime, terrorism, migration, economic development, and threats to democratic governance.

This April 2017 report on “Latin America’s Strategic Outlook: Populist Politics, Health Concerns, and Other Security Challenges” deals with recent security-related developments such as the Rio Olympics, the Zika epidemic, and post-Castro-era assessments.

Download the report here.

Tehran's Bomb ChallengeIntroduction
Professor Yonah Alexander
Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies

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     The rise of power in Iran of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the November 1979 seizure of the United States Embassy in Tehran and of some 60 American hostages by “revolutionary students” triggered a flurry of introspection in Washington concerning the policies which successive Administrations had followed with a country of enormous strategic and economic importance in the Middle East.

     Among the questions that have been raised during that historical period were the following: What had gone wrong? Why had the United States failed to assess correctly the strength of the elements that brought down the Shah [Shahanshah, King of Kings, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in January 1979, after a 37-year rule]? Why had the United States linked its fortunes so closely to those of the Shah in the first place? What did the national interests of the United States consist of as applied to Iran? What were the full implications of the transformation of Iran from a friendly ally to a hostile adversary of the United States?

 

     These and related issues were analyzed in a study on The United States and Iran: A Documentary History, co-edited by Yonah Alexander and Allan Nanes and published by the University Publications of America in 1980. This work was prepared in association with the World Power Studies Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University.

     During the next 34 years, other research efforts have been undertaken, focusing on Iran’s strategic and tactical intentions, capabilities, and actions. For instance, Tehran’s expanding terrorism role was discussed within the framework of the study, Terrorism: As State-Sponsored of Covert Warfare, co-authored by Ray S. Cline and Yonah Alexander and published by Hero Books in 1986. This work was undertaken in cooperation with the Center of Strategic and International Studies of Georgetown University and prepared at the request of the Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate. This publication underscored the fact that the goal of psychological terror and physical violence employed by totalitarian dictatorships, like the Iranian regime, is to maintain control of their own people and to expand this kind of control over other regions and nations. In the face of Iran’s terrorism challenge, the United States, its friends and allies, particularly Israel, have developed a wide range of countermeasures. They consisted inter alia of intelligence, economic and security assistance, political and diplomatic pressures, economic sanctions, clandestine counter-terrorism infiltrations, and overt military operations.

 

 Despite these activities, Tehran continued to resort to terrorism at home and abroad. Additionally, Iran’s apparent vision of a country becoming the dominant power in the Middle East had led its leadership to develop a nuclear program in open defiance of United Nations resolutions. In this connection, the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies (IUCTS, a consortium of universities and think tanks operating in over 40 countries) had conducted a major research project resulting in the release of a study on The New Iranian Leadership: Ahmadinejad, Nuclear Ambition, and the Middle East. This book, co-authored by Yonah Alexander and Milton Hoenig, was published by Praeger Security International in 2007. It documents Ahmadinejad’s background and rise to power and explains the structure of the Iranian Revolutionary government—the competing centers of power and the major players. The study then details the terrorist groups funded and armed by Iran, primarily Hizballah and Hamas. It also provides a comprehensive picture of Iran’s apparent aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons, as well as the related implications for regional and global security concerns.

     Moreover, numerous seminars and conferences related to the multiple Iranian security challenges to the international community were held in the United States and abroad. For example, on December 6, 2011, a seminar was co-sponsored by the IUCTS, International Center for Terrorism Studies (ICTS) at Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, and the Inter-University Center for Legal Studies (IUCLS) at the International Law Institute. The topic was “Iran’s Nuclear Program: A Final Warning?” and held at Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, VA. The event highlighted Tehran’s nuclear weapon program amidst the backdrop of an uncertain political reality in the Middle East. Moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander, a panel of experts included Dr. Leonard S. Spector (Executive Director, Washington, DC, Office, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterrey Institute of International Studies); Dr. Christopher A. Ford (Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Technology and Global Security, Hudson Institute); Michael Eisenstadt (Director, Military and Security Studies Program, Washington Institute for Near East Policy); Guy Roberts (Former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Policy and Director, Nuclear Policy, Emerging Security Challenges Division, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); and Professor Don Wallace, Jr. (Chairman, International Law Institute). Because of the relevance of this topic, a summary of this event follows.

     Dr. Spector offered four main points: First, he warned that the West had only one to three years to counter Iran before it gained the ability to rapidly produce a small arsenal of nuclear warheads. Second, he stressed that although current measures to stop Iran from achieving this goal are often innovative and are being pressed aggressively by the United States and like- minded governments, they have not yet proven effective, and Iran continues to make progress toward acquiring a nuclear-weapon capability.

     Third, he said, this apparent reality makes it necessary to escalate U.S. and international efforts both to pressure Iran to halt its sensitive nuclear activities and to prevent its further progress. Such escalation is likely to entail tougher sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran and, in all probability, an intensification of covert operations against Iran’s nuclear program. Citing comments by the then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Dr. Spector noted that overt military action, while “on the table” in theory, appears to be “off the table,” as a practical matter, at least for now. But Panetta left the door open for covert actions. Some, such as “accidental” explosions at sensitive sites, Dr. Spector argued, might be as destructive as an air strike. He also noted that sanctions originally directed at the Iranian nuclear program had become so broad that they appear to be aimed increasingly at weakening the Iranian regime.
   

     That brought Dr. Spector to his fourth point, which he referred to as “Operation Arab Spring.” Noting that the regime of Bashar Assad appears to be crumbling in Syria, he stressed that when it falls, possibly within the next six months, Iran will lose its only national ally in the region. This would not only reduce the risk of Iran fomenting a wider war in the Middle East in response to interventions to curb its nuclear program, but would also force the Iranian Revolutionary Government to focus its energies on what will certainly be growing domestic challenges to its survival – challenges that will take strength from the Syrian precedent. Indeed, Dr. Spector concluded, if one looks at the combination of what is happening in Syria and the broader sanctions being imposed to undermine the legitimacy of the current Iranian regime, overall U.S. “grand strategy” may well be to promote the overthrow of the mullahs once the Syrian domino has fallen.

     The next speaker, Dr. Christopher A. Ford, discussed three distinct arguments against clandestine warfare and how he expected that U.S. officials might respond to those arguments in pondering the prospect of such a campaign. The first argument he addressed discussed the notion that clandestine warfare is illegal. Dr. Ford set the grounds for his argument acknowledging that both the United States and Israel have left overt military action on the table for addressing Iran’s nuclear program, which implies that a military offensive would be deemed legal by both actors. (Indeed, both nations have set a precedent of preemptive military strikes on rogue states’ nuclear weapon facilities as demonstrated in Iraq and Syria.) Dr. Ford argued that if preemptive action against an offensive weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program is an act of self defense and is a “legally available” option, then so also must be the “lesser-included” policy of covert war.

     He also discussed the implications of a covert war, as compared to an overt military strike, through the prism of international humanitarian law. Traditional military strikes might be more effective than most covert means in damaging a nuclear program, but they might also produce more collateral damage and come at a higher geopolitical cost than covert strikes. Covert methods might thus be depicted as morally superior to “legal” military action, and certainly not inconsistent with law-of-war principles stressing the minimization of suffering.

     Dr. Ford then discussed the “Caroline Case” of 1837, which provides a frequently-cited articulation of the legal precedent for preemptive warfare. The British viewpoint expressed in that episode – coupled with the parties’ difficulty in arriving at a common understanding of how to operationalize the agreed legal standard, which suggests the flexibility of the concept – arguably supports the idea that it is justifiable to engage in anticipatory self-defense against an assailant in the more modern context of emerging WMD threats. Dr. Ford then suggested that U.S. officials might find a further ground for a campaign against Iran because Tehran is passively and directly supporting terrorism, going so far as aiding and abetting al-Qa’ida and the Taliban in their war against the United States. The United States has demonstrated that it believes itself to have legal authority for using force against al-Qa’ida and all its supporters, grounded in self-defense and the Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted on September 18, 2001, and this might be felt now to apply against Iran.

     The next argument against covert action Dr. Ford addressed is the idea that covert warfare would provoke a bloodbath and that Iran is on a much more level playing field in this type of warfare. He agreed that Iran is adept at covert war, but noted that Iran already considers itself to be in such a conflict, and has been actively engaged in a covert war against the United States for the past three decades. Iran has supported and directed terror operations against the United States ranging from the Beirut bombing to the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. From Iran’s perspective, no covert war taboo remains to be broken; the main question is what the United States will do on its side of the campaign.

     The last idea that Dr. Ford discusses is that counter-proliferation is unlikely to stop Iran’s program. He acknowledges that this notion does indeed have some legitimacy, suggesting that disruptive tactics will not end the program but merely delay it. Though these tactics by themselves may prove to be unsuccessful, however, if coupled with other strategies to address the Iranian problem, they might provide enough time to stop the program by other means (e.g., regime change). Finally, Dr. Ford stresses the importance of making Iran policy with an eye not merely to counter-proliferation in Iran but also to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime as a whole. Even if Iran ultimately succeeds in developing nuclear weapons, U.S. officials might find it very important to make the cost of such a program to be as high as possible in order to serve as an example to other would-be nuclear proliferator states. This systemic rationale might provide a reason to justify a covert campaign against Iran for years to come.

     Michael Eisenstadt then discussed the larger consequences of Iranian nuclear proliferation, comparing it to Pakistan, China, Russia, and North Korea and their practice of sharing weapon technology. In response to the threat posed by Iran, regional powers have significantly increased their conventional military forces as well as expressed interest in pursuing their own “civilian” nuclear programs. This regional militarization is inherently dangerous for stability and could have massive international implications. Iran wants to create the perception that its development of nuclear power is inevitable with the creation of covert facilities, the use of mixed messages and double entendres, and symbolic demonstrations, such as showing their missiles instead of nuclear weapons. Thus, the Iranians are already using their program as a deterrent against the United States and other regional opponents. Eisenstadt suggests that Iran’s other option is to create all of the necessary infrastructure for an atomic weapon without making the bomb itself. He suggests that at the moment Iran might not have the capability to create a weapon, but if they stockpile enriched uranium and delivery systems, then years down the road they can make one rapidly if need be. Ultimately, Iran would not have invested this much energy and capital as well as such faced harsh sanctions if they were not bent on creating nuclear weapons at some point. Eisenstadt believes that U.S. policy towards Iran needs to be reset in order for the United States to rebuild its credibility and force Iran to believe our threats. The recent attempt to engage in terrorism on American soil is an indication that Iran no longer fears U.S. military retribution.

     Guy Roberts, the next speaker, explained that the United States is already at war with Iran, from Iran’s involvement with Hizballah to the Quds Force activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result, covert war should continue, but overt war is also a perfectly viable option. Iran is moving deeper into South America, specifically Venezuela and Bolivia. Thus, the United States needs to be more assertive to stop Iran’s global spread. The United States needs to address every facet of any potential Iranian offense and show Iran the true cost of its nuclear program. If the United States and NATO become more assertive and aggressive, then Iran would be forced to see the west’s threats as credible and possibly end their program. The European Union and NATO also need to present Iran with incentives to stop their nuclear weapons program. The carrot and stick approach must be fully utilized to ensure the security of NATO members, especially Turkey which is vulnerable to Iranian hostility. Roberts suggests that the United States and NATO may have to demonstrate the “teeth to our bite” if Iran continues to develop its weapons program. He believes the region needs a strong military commitment to ensure stability and act as a deterrent to other nations who may attempt to proliferate. Ultimately, this commitment could lead to a potential WMD free zone in the Middle East, which Roberts believes to be the best scenario for future stability and security.

     Professor Don Wallace, Jr., closed the individual presentation portion of the seminar. He agreed with many of the speakers that, apart from the specific challenge of Iran, the viability of the Nonproliferation Treaty must be ensured. He believes the Iranians to be an extremely proud and ambitious people, so even if there were regime change, a new regime may not stop their attempts to build a nuclear weapon. In his view, co-existing with a nuclear-armed Iran is a scenario that is completely unacceptable.

     Indeed, the foregoing insights discussed three years ago do provide a useful context to the latest seminar on “Tehran’s Bomb Challenge: Crossroads, Roadblocks, and Roadmaps to Rapproachment?” held on December 5, 2013, at Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. This event, moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander, consisted of a panel with Bijan R. Kian (highest ranking Iranian-American to serve two U.S. presidents, held other careers in both business and a former Senior Fellow, Naval Postgraduate School); Ambassador Noam Katz (former
Dr. Anthony Fainberg (former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Director of Office of Policy and Planning for Aviation Security and
currently consultant for the Institute for Defense Analyses), and Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi (Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the author of The Pasdaran: Inside Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.).
As this report goes to press, several developments related to Iran during January-March 2014 are noteworthy:

     First, Saudi Arabia provided the Lebanese army a 3 billion dollar grant to counter Hizballah, Iran’s proxy.

     Second, the al-Qa’ida-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings targeting the Iranian Cultural Center in Beirut in retaliation to Hizballah and Tehran’s role in the Syrian war.

     Third, Iran reported that it perfected multiple-warhead, medium-range ballistic missiles designed specifically to attack American targets. It also declared that the West “cannot entertain illusions” of Tehran completely ending its enrichment program.

     Fourth, the Israeli Navy seized the Klos-C, sailing under a Panamanian flag, in the Red Sea, off the coast of Sudan. The ship was carrying dozens of M-302 rockets intended for the Islamic Jihad in Gaza. This “arms export” operation was coordinated by Iran.
Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria and Ghana and currently Minister of Public Diplomacy at the
Israeli Embassy in Washington);

     And fifth, the U.S. Congress in bipartisan letters to President Obama asserted that in whatever a final agreement with Iran, the Islamic Republic must not retain any capability to pursue a nuclear weapon.

     Finally, an appreciation is due to Michael S. Swetnam (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) and Professor Don Wallace, Jr. (Chairman, International Law Institute) who participated actively at the December 5, 2013, seminar. Additionally, the research background for this report was provided by the Winter 2013 and Spring 2014 team of graduate and undergraduate interns coordinated by Sharon Layani (University of Michigan). The team included James Nusse (The George Washington University), Michael Klement (University of Denver), Sheila Davis (Duquense University), William Docimo (London School of Economics), Stephanie Rieger (University of Wisconsin), David Wiese (University of Exeter), Kai Huntamer (University of California, Los Angeles), Courtney Van Wagner (University of Georgia), Garth Keffer (University of California, Davis), Roxanne Oroxom (University of Maryland), John Jermyn (University at Albany, the State University of New York), and G. Genghis Hallsby (University of Iowa). Mary Ann Culver prepared the manuscript for publication. All these individuals deserve special gratitude for their efficient support.

 

Cover IUCTS 2017On April 13,2017,the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies (IUCTS) published its eighth annual report, "Terrorism in North Africa and the Sahel in 2016," authored by Prof. Yonah Alexander, Director--IUCTS. The report finds the region & global community facing the most serious security challenges since 9/11, from natural and man-made threats. The rise of the Islamic State and the resilience of al-Qa’ida and their affiliates in Africa in 2016 have resulted in continued instability on the continent with a costly strategic impact inter-regionally. The study recommends the U.S. & allies engage more effectively to slow a security crisis that is erupting across Africa’s “arc of instability.”

Download the report here.

loneWbThe latest terrorist incidents in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere, are once again a grim reminder of the expanding operational roles of "lone wolves." Whether they are self-radicalized or linked to home-grown or foreign groups, their involvement reflects a worrisome weakness in the security chain of modern society.

This February 2017 report on “The Lone Wolf Terrorist: Past Lessons, Future Outlook, and Response Strategies” focuses on some of the “lone wolf” challenges. These include security threats to the safety, welfare, and rights of ordinary people; the stability of the state system; the impact on national, regional, and global economic development; the expansion of democratic societies; and the prevention of the destruction of civilization by biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons.

Download the report here.

NatoNATO, as it marked its 68th anniversary, is still facing a broad range of old and new challenges, including piracy, terrorism, regional and global conflicts, humanitarian crises, proliferation of WMD, and cyber threats.

In light of these and other strategic concerns, the latest NATO Warsaw Summit in 2016 focused inter alia on strengthening and modernizing the Alliance’s deterrence and defense posture and projecting stability beyond its Eastern borders. The question arises whether the 28 nations’ partnership will continue to play its essential political and military role in the coming years.

This January 2017 report on “NATO’s Strategy: Continuity or Change?” provides a recent academic effort to analyze whether NATO, at this stage of its evolution, is capable of completing its transformation from an earlier static defense alliance into a more effective regional and global security provider.

Download the PDF here.

JerusalemCover2

As the new administration of President Donald J. Trump is beginning to develop its Middle East foreign policy strategy, the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict still persists. In addition to the multiple outstanding issues to be resolved by the parties, such as the need for mutual recognition and the settling of boundary disputes, questions remain regarding the future of Jerusalem, the Holy City, which is considered by Israel as its eternal capital—and which the Palestinians also see as their own capital in a future state.

This current report on "The Holy Jerusalem: A Key to Middle East War or Peace?" provides a recent academic effort focusing on two questions. First, can religion in general serve as an effective bridge to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East and elsewhere? And second, will the antagonists and their partisan Jewish, Muslim, and Christian co-religionists be capable of a peaceful resolution on the final status of the Holy City?

Download the PDF here.

turkey2

In the wake of the failed coup in July 2016, many questions have arisen both domestically and internationally regarding Turkey’s future political, social, economic, and strategic direction. Among them are how will Turkey to continue to maintain a balance between security concerns and civil liberties domestically, as well as contribute to international efforts, including NATO’s mission, to advance stability regionally and globally.

This current report on “Post-Attempted Coup in Turkey: Quo Vadis?” provides a recent academic effort focusing on these issues as well as other related strategic concerns include the refugee crisis, the impact on the fight against the Islamic State, and Turkey’s relations with regional and global powers.

 

Download the PDF here.

roleofInfo1sm

The failure of contemporary societies during the past sixty years in the post-World War II period to effectively combat terrorism at home and abroad is, indeed, puzzling. After all, all nations are fully aware that the most critical element in combating the challenge of terrorism is intelligence. That is, the knowledge acquired, whether overtly or covertly, for the purpose of both internal and external statecraft.

And yet, despite this awareness, the grim reality is that terrorism is still attractive and works. For instance, according to recent press reports, during the past year and a half alone some 2,063 attacks were recorded in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, with a death toll of 28,031. Likewise, 46 attacks occurred in Europe and the Americas, and as a result of which some 658 were killed.

The purpose of this introduction is to provide an academic context for the apparent lingering confusion regarding the nature and implications of intelligence in democracies. It presents a brief overview of the challenge of modern terrorism, outlines key aspects of the role of intelligence in confronting the threats at home and abroad, and reports on the two latest academic efforts in this security area that are incorporated in this study.

Download pdf here.

roleofMilitaryThe role of force in the struggle for power within and among nations is a permanent fixture of international life. As James Madison observed during a debate on the adoption of the Constitution in 1787, “There never was a government without force.” Likewise, Sir Winston Churchill in a note to the First Sea Lord on October 15, 1942 remarked: “Superior force is a powerful persuader.”

Clearly, the primary actors capable of resorting to power domestically during periods of peace are the police and other law enforcement agencies. They are mandated to implement the preservation of public order, and thus represent the first layer of protection for civilians, including citizens, permanent residents, and visiting foreigners. These designated governmental bodies seek to encourage “good behavior,” prevent illegal activities, warnof potential internal threats, and develop strategies to assure an effective national security environment in accordance with the requirements of the administration of justice.

And yet, from time immemorial, military forces in particular have projected power at home and abroad during periods of both war and peace. It is not surprising therefore that there exists a comprehensive literature in this field, from antiquity to the contemporary era. Suffice to mention the infinite theological and secular sources covering the nature, role, and impact of armies on the direction of the statecraft of nations. For example, early religious texts focused on God’s directing military operations (e.g., assurance of victory),organizational structures (e.g., standing armies and mercenaries), arms supplies (e.g., slings, chariots, provisions), strategies and tactics (e.g., intelligence and spoils of war), and the virtues and vices of battles (e.g., magnanimity in victory and treatment of prisoners)...

Download the full PDF here.

Search All ICTS Events

Purpose and Scope

There exists the need to educate policy-makers, and the public in general, on the nature and intensity of the terrorism threat in the twenty-first century.  As a member of the academic and research community, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies has an intellectual obligation, as well as a moral and practical responsibility, to participate in the international effort to arrest the virus of terrorism.  The purpose of the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies (IUCTS) is four-fold:

1. To monitor current and future threats of terrorism;

2. To develop response strategies on governmental and non-governmental levels;

3. To effect continual communication with policy-makers, academic institutions, business, media, and civic organizations;

4. To sponsor research programs on critical issues, particularly those relating enabling technologies with policy, and share findings nationally and internationally.

ICTS Events

  • Czech Republic-U.S. Strategic Partnership

    INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TERRORISM STUDIES AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES "Czech Republic-U.S. Strategic Partnership" November 13, 2017 Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Czech Republic in 1993, both countries have created common approaches to address multiple challenges nationally, regionally, and globally. Ambassador Hynek Kmonicek provided a unique assessment of the nature of this strategic partnership, including a discussion on security concerns (e.g., NATO, Syria) as well as promoting economic…

  • Spanish-U.S. Strategic Partnership

    INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TERRORISM STUDIES AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES "Spanish-U.S. Strategic Partnership" November 20, 2017 Spain’s role as a member of the UN, EU, and NATO as well as its strategic partnership with the U.S. has significant security implications regionally and globally. Ambassador Pedro Morenés, a former Minister of Defense, discussed the nature of these relationships and their future outlook. The Ambassador's Forum was moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander (Director, Inter-University Center for…

  • Can the State System and Separatism Co-Exist?

    INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TERRORISM STUDIES AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES "Can the State System and Separatism Co-Exist?" October 31, 2017 The political, social, economic, and strategic implications of the contemporary evolving trend of separatism in the name of self-determination is an emerging security concern nationally, regionally, and globally. The question is whether ethnic, racial, religious, and national movements seeking to establish distinct independent entities within their own homelands by various means will be forces…

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies  hosted a special program presented by the USMC Returning Commander speaker series on Thursday, June 23. Col Mark Desens, commander of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and Navy CAPT Pete Pagano, who led the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, spoke about their recent nine-month deployment across Southwest Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.  Marine pilots involved in the dramatic rescue of a US Air Force F-15 pilot in Libya also spoke, and described the rescue in detail.  Opening remarks were made by LtGen Keith Stalder, USMC (Ret.), Institute Senior Fellow,  and closing remarks were by Gen Al Gray, 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chairman of the Institute's Board of Regents. Click below to watch video of the event.

Please note: The views of guest speakers are the speakers' alone and do not represent the views of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies or its staff.  The Potomac Institute is a non-partisan, not-for-profit research organization dedicated to the free exchange of ideas for the purpose of informing public policy.

ICTS Books

In this breakthrough book, General Al Gray and Dr. Paul Otte provide a new model for achieving a higher level of leadership. This book validates the struggles of the Conflicted Leader – one who must lead individuals and organizations as our world moves through ever-evolving waves of change. But, the authors do more than address what many leaders today are experiencing. They propose a new way of making a difference though Vantage Leadership, defined as the ability to embrace uncertainty, see the possible over the probable, remain conceptual through conflict, and more.

“If you only look for leadership in the usual places, you will only find the usual leadership.”

FrontCoverOtte800web


PRAISE FOR

The Conflicted Leader and Vantage Leadership

“In 1989, the U.S. Marine Corps promulgated a small book entitled Warfighting for all Marines. The intent was to describe General Al Gray’s philosophy on warfighting and to encourage leaders at all levels to use the Maneuver Warfare concepts and values as a way of thinking to meet the challenges of both combat and life. Now General Gray and Dr. Paul Otte have taken these principles and applied them to the everyday challenges of leadership in a complex and uncertain world.  Understanding and using the concepts in this book will serve well all who aspire to lead and succeed at any level”

– Brent Scowcroft
Air Force Lt. General (Ret) and former National Security Advisor to President Gerald Ford and President George H.W. Bush

“General Al Gray’s leadership profoundly changed the US Marine Corps, US policy, and the way the US Military fights today in hundreds of ways. His unique form of leadership inspires all who come in contact with him. General Gray and Dr. Paul Otte have successfully outlined these principles of leadership in a fashion that will continue to inspire and guide people for generations to come.”

– Michael S. Swetnam
CEO and Chairman
Potomac Institute for Policy Studies

The Conflicted Leader and Vantage Leadership provides a fresh perspective to the study of leadership, providing a basis for developing leadership concepts, ideas, and ideals that apply to you. This book is a “must read” for the serious student of leadership.

– Robert L. Bailey
Retired CEO, Chairman and President – State Auto Insurance Companies
Author of “Plain Talk About Leadership”

“The Marine Warfighting philosophy published by General Gray in 1989 contains concepts, values, and wisdom that helped transform the Marine Corps. Now, General Gray and his writing partner Dr. Paul Otte have captured these thoughts in a superb book. If you want to know why the Marines win – read this. You can us the same principles in your in your business or professional life.”

– David C. Miller, Jr.
Ambassador of the United Sates (Retired) 
and former Special Assistant to President George H. W. Bush

“General Gray and Dr. Otte have advanced significantly the discourse on leadership for our modern age. Happily, one will not find in this work any endorsement of manipulative leadership so in evidence today, with its reliance on testing issues and words through focus groups before positions are articulated and ‘leadership’ is sounded through a false trumpet.”

– Norman G. Mosher, Capt, USN (Retired)
and former Professional Staff Member,
United States Senate Committee on Armed Services

“We owe General Gray and Dr. Otte great thanks for bringing us a very clear and convincing description of the U.S. Marine Corps’ extraordinary success in creating leaders and a culture of leadership throughout the organization. The military genuinely believes there is potential in most people. It is that profound belief that allows them to fully develop everyone’s potential.”

– Judith M. Bardwick
Author of “Danger in the Comfort Zone” and “In Praise of Good Business” 

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The Potomac Institute Press is pleased to announce the latest book by Institute Chairman and CEO Michael Swetnam and ICTS Director Prof. Yonah Alexander, Al-Qa'ida: Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond (Potomac Institute Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-9678594-6-0 Paperback, 454 pages).  Orders for Al-Qa'ida, Ten Years After and Beyond may be placed through Amazon.com.  Click here to access the Amazon listing.

Al-Qa'ida: Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond follows the authors' 2001 book, Usama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida: Profile of a Terrorist Network, which came out just months before the 9/11 attacks.  The new volume offers comprehensive coverage of the group’s history, leadership, financing, propaganda, ideology, and  future outlook.

click here to purchase

 

Here's what prominent scholars are saying about Al-Qa'ida: Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond:

“This is the indispensable book on al-Qa’ida, its spawn, and its affiliates.  Usama and many of his lieutenants have been killed, and the central “base” weakened. But radical Islam and sundry jihadi organizations live.  Yonah Alexander and Michael S. Swetnam have been writing about al-Qa’ida since 1988; they have not lost their touch.”  Don Wallace, Jr., Professor of Law at Georgetown University and Chairman of the International Law Institute.

“This comprehensive book on al-Qa’ida, its evolution, current status, ideology, modus operandi, and its affiliates provides an excellent source for both experts and those who want to learn about this organization and the challenges posed by international terrorism in general.” Shireen Hunter, Visiting Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and Distinguished Scholar, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Few experts on ‘jihadi’ terrorism can write with more authority on the past ten years of al-Qa’ida after 9/11 than Yonah Alexander and his colleague, Michael S. Swetnam.  Many things have happened in these ten years; 2011 was an important year just like 2001.  To understand what is likely to happen in the future, this book is a must read for both experts and all those interested in world peace.” Honorary Professor Ved Marwah, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi; Chairman, India’s Task Force on National Security and Criminal Justice System; Former Commissioner of Police Delhi; and Former Governor of Manipur and Jharkhand.

“Many books have been written on al-Qa’ida, but this comprehensive volume details not only the group’s origin and background, but also its evolution into the present. Yonah Alexander and Michael S. Swetnam have produced a much needed, up-to-date handbook on al-Qa’ida and its affiliated groups. An excellent source for all those who study or combat contemporary terrorism.” Michael Fredholm, Senior Researcher, Stockholm International Program for Central Asian Studies (SIPCAS), Stockholm University, Sweden.

“This book, produced from the pens of scholars that have been wrestling with the issues for decades, should come as a timely reminder that we might want to get back to business as usual but that the likes of al-Qa’ida won’t forget us.”  William J. Olson, Distinguished Professor, National Defense University.

Authors:

Yonah Alexander, PhD
Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies
Director, International Center for Terrorism Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Arlington, VA, USA
Co-Director, Inter-University Center for Legal Studies at the International Law Institute, Washington, DC, USA

Michael S. Swetnam

CEO and Chairman, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Arlington, VA, USA
Member, US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Technical Advisory Group
Former Special Consultant to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Washington, DC, USA

 

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Charles E. Allen
Chapter 1: Ideological and Theological Perspectives
and Goals
Chapter 2: Key Leadership
Chapter 3: Selected Modus Operandi
Chapter 4: Propaganda and Psychological Warfare
Chapter 5: Al-Qai’da’s Key Networks
Chapter 6: Selected Affiliated Groups
Chapter 7: Selected U.S. Individuals with Alleged
al-Qa’ida Connections
Chapter 8: Operation Neptune Spear and Beyond
Appendices
• Selected Electronic Political Communication from
al-Qa’ida (October 2001 – 2011)
• U.S. Indictment of Usama bin Laden (November 5, 1998)
• Remarks by the President on Osama bin Laden
(May 2, 2011)
• Ensuring al-Qa’ida’s Demise (Remarks by John Brennan
on June 29, 2011)
• National Strategy for Counterterrorism (June 2011)
• Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent
Extremism in the United States (August 2011)
• The Honorable James R. Clapper, Statement
• David H. Petraeus, Director of CIA, Statement

terrorBy Yonah Alexander and Tyler B. Richardson

Terror on the High Seas: From Piracy to Strategic Challenge is a provocative look at maritime security and the steps that must be taken if terrorist threats are to be nullified. From the Achille Lauro hijacking to the bombing of the USS Cole to attacks on shipping channels by Somali pirates, terrorists have employed a variety of tactics, both successful and unsuccessful. These have included the smuggling of arms and plots to bomb shipyards, as well as attacks on Merchant Marine ships, maritime offices, fuel storage facilities, and Navy personnel, ships, and facilities, both on shore and in port.

 This book constitutes the first research effort after the unprecedented attacks of September 11, 2001, to provide government, industry, and the academic and policy communities with a major resource on potential threats to the maritime environment. Assuming that past tactics, as well as a variety of other unconventional attacks, will be utilized by both domestic and international groups well into the 21st century, the book sagely outlines the response needed from government and industry to meet the coming challenges.

"Professor Yonah Alexander and Tyler Richardson have written and compiled an outstanding and comprehensive review of piracy and terrorism at sea, an essential tool by anyone desiring to understand and fight this timeless, and yet modern day, threat to public safety, international security and commerce.  They have constituted this book to provide governmental leaders, policy makers, academicians, law enforcement officials, and the maritime industry, with the body of knowledge, easily accessible, to achieve the deep understanding of where we are in addressing terror on the high seas, the indispensable prerequisite for charting the future through pirate-infested waters."
- Jamie Barnett, Rear Admiral USNR (Retired), Director of Naval Education & Training from 2004-2006

YONAH ALEXANDER is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies based at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and the International Law Institute. He has published over 95 books in the field of international terrorism including The New Iranian Leadership: Ahmadinejad, Nuclear Ambition and the Middle East; Evolution of U.S. Counterterrorism Policy: A Documentary Collection (3 Vols.); and Turkey: Terrorism, Civil Rights, and the European Union.  TYLER RICHARDSON has served as the Director of Research for the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies and as Defense Fellow for the Long-Term Strategy Project, both in Washington, DC.  His work on maritime terrorism and port security issues has been published by The Washington Times, United Press International, The Jerusalem Post and The Lexington Institute.  Mr. Richardson holds a B.A. in English from Georgetown University and an MBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He currently works as a Senior Analyst in North Carolina. 
 
Publication date:  September 2009;  ISBN: 0-275-99750-2 (Two volumes, 660 pgs.)
$195.00  U.S. Dollars £134.95 Sterling

20% Pre Publication Discount  $156.00 U.S. Dollars; £107.95 Sterling

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