ICTS Reports

roleof Diplo3 18From the dawn of history “diplomacy” has been utilized as a permanent mode of statecraft in the struggle for power within and among nations during peace and war. 

The purpose of this March 2018 report on “The Role of Diplomacy in Combating Terrorism: Selected International Perspectives” is to highlight insights from foreign diplomats on threats and challenges to officials and their missions, analysis of statecraft, and “best practices” responses to radicalization and violence.

Download the report here.

BiologicalTerrorismCoverRecent epidemics, such as Ebola and Zika, and the potential dangers of biological terrorism from both state and non-state actors highlight the urgent need to address these challenges through international partnerships and comprehensive biosecurity strategies to reduce the gravest health risks at home and abroad.

This January 2018 report on “Combating Biological Terrorism: Roadmaps for Global Strategies” follows several earlier related publications, such as “Biological Terrorism: Past Lessons and Future Outlook” (June 2017) and “Preventing WMD Terrorism: Ten Perspectives” (August 2017).

Download the report here.

 

 

Role of Diplomacy Nov 2017 Cover lgIn view of the multiple security challenges to international peace and order posed by the intensification of terrorist attacks for over the past half-century, governmental, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental bodies have developed tactical and strategic responses on national, regional, and global levels. The role of diplomacy is, indeed, a critical element in the evolving process.

The purpose of this report on “The Role of Diplomacy in Combating Terrorism: Selected U.S. Perspectives” to focus specifically on the role of diplomacy in combating terrorism relevant to experiences of the United States and their implications internationally. The key question is whether the U.S. and the international community is capable of crafting adequate responses to terrorism, diffusing expanding conflicts regionally and inter-regionally, engaging in constructive peace processes, and striking a delicate balance between security measures and democratic value systems.

Download the report here.

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.

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…

  • Combating Terrorism: National, Regional, and Global Lessons for the Next Decade and Beyond

    INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TERRORISM STUDIES AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES   20th Annual Event on "Combating Terrorism: National, Regional, and Global Lessons for the Next Decade and Beyond" April 30, 2018   Terrorism by state and non-state actors poses threats to individuals, communities, nations and perhaps even to the very survival of civilization itself. The potential political, social, economic, and strategic costs are likely to grow if we do not learn the historical lessons…

  • Balkan Security Challenges: Past Lessons and Future Outlook

    INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TERRORISM STUDIES AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES "Balkan Security Challenges: Past Lessons and Future Outlook" March 1, 2018   The Balkans remain vulnerable to several security concerns, including organized crime, terrorism, the refugee crisis, political turmoil as well as social and economic instability. The purpose of this seminar was to present an updated assessment of the current and future security challenges and to offer response strategies from within and without the region.…

CReST Blog

 

The CReST blog is intended to keep you updated on discussions addressing key societal, national, and international science and technology issues.  Blogs will address ongoing discussions, Bold Ideas seminars, current events, and policy recommendations. 

The Center for Revolutionary Scientific Thought is comprised of Potomac Institute Employees and additional Adjunct Fellows. There are three permanent members of CReST: the CEO, Mike Swetnam; the Chief Scientist, Bob Hummel; and the Chief of Staff, Kathryn Schiller-Wurster. This year there are three CReST Fellows: Jennifer Buss, Patrick Cheetham, and Ewelina Czapla.  Senior CReST Fellow Mark Ridinger and additional Adjunct Fellows participate in CReST meetings for the discussion of the bold ideas addressing key societal, national, and international science and technology issues. If you have questions or additional comments, please contact the CReST Coordinator, Jen Buss. http://potomacinstituteceo.wordpress.com/.

 

 

 

PotomacCyber

 

 

 

Amb. David Smith (Ret.), Director of the Potomac Institute Cyber Center, and PICC Fellows and guests blog on cyber security and cyber policy issues at http://pipscyberissues.wordpress.com/

 

 

Professor Yonah Alexander of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies International Center for Terrorism Studies released a special report on January 29, 2010, entitled: Maghreb and Sahel Terrorism: Addressing the Rising Threat from Al Qaeda and Other Terroirsts ijn North and West/Central Africa.  Click below to read the report in full.   

"Crossing Boundaries: Medical Biodefense and Civilian Medicine"
November 22-23, 2004, Crystal City Marriott
Senior Research Fellow, David Siegrist, spoke about "BioShield Medical Countermeasures Procurement Program" as the luncheon speaker.
Conference Hosted by George Mason University

Advanced Technological Needs for Biological Terrorism Consequence Management
2000 Association of Politics and the Life Sciences
Washington, DC
September 2, 2000

Biological Weapons and Biotechnology
Out of the Box and Into the Future Conference
Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, Washington, DC
June 27, 2000

Prospects for SuperTerrorism: PDF 505K
Senior Executive Course on Intl. Security Trends in the 21st Century
Marshall Center, Germany
September 14, 1999

Behavioral Impact of an Anthrax Release: PDF 631K 
1999 Association of Politics and the Life Sciences
Atlanta, GA
September 2, 1999

Emerging Threats of Biological Terrorism: Recent Developments
Potomac Institute for Policy Studies with George Washington University
Arlington, VA
June 16, 1998

Advanced Technology to Counter Biological Terrorism: PDF 63K
1998 International Conference on Threats of the Technological Age
Israel
May 17-18, 1998

Countering Biological Terrorism: Strategic Firepower in the Hands of the Many
Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Arlington, VA
August 12-13, 1997

The following links are provided only to inform the user on the programs and technologies available. This list is not comprehensive, nor exclusive of opinion. There exist many other outlets for this type of information, the links below represent only a small portion of the total available. There are also many other opinions on how to cope with the potential for biological attack, the information below represents only a portion of the available opinion. The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies holds no responsibility to the information contained at the linked site. If you believe that a particular link or information set may be of use in this discussion, please feel free to contact us.

Links on Protection and Detection

Potomac Institute Pioneers Biosurveillance Evaluation

Nuclear Biological Chemical Defense Annual Report to Congress - 1999

Chemical & Biological National Security Program, United States Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration

Joint Program Office for Biological Defense

Medical NBC Online Information Server

Testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee's Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
Dr. James Richardson, Vice President for Research, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
February 25, 1999

Good morning Mr. Chairman, and thank you for the privilege of addressing your committee on this very important topic. The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies performed a NASA-funded study on commercializing the International Space Station (ISS) in 1996. During the study we collected and analyzed publications and sought extensive counsel across industry and government. Beginning with our panel, chaired by Mr. James Beggs, we interviewed over 200 people, representing approximately 50 companies, universities, and government agencies. We also conducted 12 case studies to look at potential utilization of piloted orbital space.

Quickly paraphrased, the study suggests that commercialization of human orbital space could yield considerable benefits. But, although there are some plausible commercial space-based ventures, we found no corporations that could access space without government help. The amount of help needed from NASA is considerable, for we found that successful ISS commercialization demanded a broader context than the ISS, involving space access and other orbital resources. In the face of this, NASA had articulated considerable support for commercialization, but had failed to commit the resources needed.

I have submitted a summary of the report for the record, which provides details and supporting data. During the next few minutes, I would like to offer some pertinent findings and recommendations from the Institute’s study.

THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY CONVINCED US THAT COMMERCIALIZATION OF HUMAN ORBITAL SPACE FLIGHT COULD OFFER SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS TO NASA AND THE NATION.

Benefits to NASA’s mission include:

  • better and more affordable space assets
  • increased utilization of the Shuttle, ISS and Reusable Launch Vehicle
  • release of NASA resources for application to new science frontiers
  • leveraged private investment
  • improved innovation and importation of commercial technology to space endeavors
  • increased public support for space operations

Three national benefits identified were:

  • enhancement of U.S. industry competitiveness
  • spin-offs of new technologies to non-space industries
  • national prestige

WE ALSO FOUND INTERESTING AND PLAUSIBLE SPACE-BASED COMMERCIAL VENTURES.

The most viable opportunities lay in the privatization of government functions, such as resupply and operation of the space station.

Emerging privatization opportunities encouraged industries to develop better and more affordable operations, services, support, and space equipment. Importantly, this also enables industry to better serve commercial space ventures.

Commercial research ventures, in biomedicine and materials, have provided important insights into earth-based processes.

Near-term commercial opportunities existed in education, entertainment, and advertisement.

HOWEVER, NO COMMERCIAL VENTURE WAS ABLE TO GET INTO SPACE WITHOUT HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT. Major problems cited included high launch and operation costs, low flight frequency and reliability, long launch lead times, and expensive indemnification against flight failure. Government help in situations like this is consistent with historical precedents set during the initiation of U.S. transportation systems, such as canals, rail, air, and interstate highways.

NASA HAD INDICATED A DESIRE TO TRANSFER ISS AND OTHER HUMAN ORBITAL SPACE FLIGHT ACTIVITIES TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR. THEY HAD ALSO AGREED WITH THE CONCEPT OF OFFSETTING NASA’S EXPENSES THROUGH A HEALTHY COMMERCIAL MARKET. EVEN SO, NASA’S EFFORTS TO FOSTER COMMERCIALIZATION WERE DECLINING. NASA’s superb accomplishments in space science continued, despite diminishing manning levels and budgets. But, in the inevitable tradeoffs between mission areas, commercialization seemed to be losing. For example:

The percent of NASA’s budget dedicated to commercialization declined steadily since 1993. At its highest, this portion was still less than one percent.

Reorganizations left NASA without an institutional center to accommodate commercial participants.

NASA lacked a coherent outreach program to commercial business.

Many publicly-stated promises went unfulfilled.

And, although procurement and procedural inflexibilities have been reduced, they are still too typical of NASA’s operation.UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, CORPORATIONS CONTACTED TENDED TO ASSUME THAT SPACE ACCESS WOULD REMAIN TOO RISKY AND SUBJECT TO BUREAUCRATIC PROCESSES. This stifled creative thought about space utilization in corporate boardrooms around the country, and posed a serious detriment to commercialization.

WE SUGGESTED A STRATEGY OF PRIVATIZATION-TO-COMMERCIALIZATION OF HUMAN ORBITAL SPACE AS A LOGICAL MEANS OF ACHIEVING NASA’S AIMS. Many components of our recommended strategy are reflected in NASA’s recent ISS commercialization plans.

SUCH A STRATEGY WILL NOT BE AN EASY UNDERTAKING. It will demand enthusiastic follow-through, with active support from the highest echelon of NASA. There must also be an implementation arm to create a more innovative and productive link between NASA and the private sector, and to develop and husband supporting policies, directives, and strategies. Some characteristics of the proposed strategy are:

  • Clearly stated commercialization goals, with a focal point within NASA to effectively pursue them.
  • Private sector representation in formulating plans, strategies, and policies, which should include an outreach program to convince commercial industry of the viability of operating in space, from both a technological and business perspective.
  • Compelling incentives for NASA management and personnel to support and accomplish commercialization goals.
  • A "Privatization-to-Commercialization" approach, with sufficient NASA investment to support it.
  • This approach must mandate the use of privately developed infrastructure by outsourcing and discouraging in-house competition with the private sector.
  • It must support the use of privatized facilities for commercial ventures.
  • It must support a realistic return on equity for the private sector, considering risks.
  • And, NASA should accept the role of anchor tenant, where appropriate.
  • A policy of providing support, encouragement, advice, and space access to diverse commercial sectors.
  • Added emphasis on reducing impediments to more frequent and affordable space access.

A Commercial Development Office (CDO) and a Space Economic Development Corporation (SEDC). The need for commercial advocacy within NASA is sufficiently compelling to warrant changes in organizational structure. First, NASA should form an in-house CDO to serve as a focal point and to advocate commercialization within NASA. The CDO should then organize a public/private partnership SEDC, which would take over some of the functions of commercialization and, eventually, most of the commercialization effort.

The CDO would begin this process by refining NASA’s strategy, developing contacts within the private sector, consulting with NASA Offices and Field Centers, recommending some early policies, and developing innovative approaches to privatization. The CDO should contain sufficient governmental expertise to coordinate actions and obtain support from within NASA. The major thrust of the CDO, however, would be business; therefore, it must include personnel with extensive experience in the business world. Venture capitalism, business and legal processes, as well as technology and product development must be represented. The staffing for the business side of the CDO should be found outside of the government. Such people would also help to form the SEDC.

The SEDC would represent the link with the private sector, providing a business environment to those industries seeking access to space for commercial purposes, or to those interested in privatization of space assets. It would begin as a quasi-government corporation. Its mission should include forming consortia, negotiating business agreements, formulating venture plans and strategies, and performing other functions that government cannot accomplish. The SEDC could accept funds from government or the aerospace industry. Large space assets ventures, such as the RLV could form their own development corporation, or rely on the SEDC. This organization would eventually lead the commercialization effort, acting in the role of a true development corporation. Until this "spin-off" occurs, they would support the CDO in conducting a series of outreach programs, encouraging industry to consider human orbital space flight, reaching a better understanding of the special problems of the private sector, and exploring benefits of space to the commercial marketplace. The SEDC would also help NASA become more appreciative of private sector values and approaches.That concludes my comments. Again, thank you for this opportunity. I would be happy to address any questions you may have.

Contact Dr. Jim Richardson at (703) 525-0770, or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for more information.

In reaffirming and clarifying the U.S. position on anti-personnel land mines (APL), the President stated that: the United States' goal is to end use of APL outside of Korea (including self-destructing APL) by 2003; alternatives are to be ready to replace APL in Korea by 2006; and mixed systems of self-destructing anti-personnel (AP) submunitions and anti-vehicle (AV) submunitions are necessary to meet security requirements. Accordingly, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) has directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to undertake an aggressive program to achieve alternatives; this is the long-term goal also known as "Track 2."

The Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is responsible for executing "Track 2," focusing on the program objective of developing and implementing alternatives to meet the requirements currently met by APL (non-self-destructing and self-destructing), particularly in Korea. DARPA was directed by the Undersecretary of Defense to form a task force to review potential technology alternatives to anti-personnel land mines. This task force investigated maneuver denial approaches that may be more innovative and/or take advantage of advanced technologies.

The Potomac Institute has been asked by DARPA to assist the DoD in its efforts to find alternatives to anti-personnel land mines. The Institute worked with DARPA to form and conduct this task force. The task force's initial report was due to the Undersecretary on 14 November 1997.

Full Report PDF 448K/47 pgs

In 1996 the Potomac Institute conducted a brief study on the current status of security on the Internet and in other information systems. The analysis and recommendations focused on the role of government in protecting the privacy and security of its agencies, businesses, and citizens.

Treatise on the Information Infrastructure (PIPS-96-T): PDF 39K

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies conducted a brief study on the Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The analysis and recommendations focused on how the TRP made significant progress in establishing a new way of doing business.

Read the TRP Development Study

 

A Dialogue Between Warfighters and Scientists on Far-Future Warfare (2025)
June 26-27, 2000
International Trade Center at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.

Conference Summary Report (.pdf File)
Conference Brochure (.pdf File)

Senators Lieberman, Roberts and Bingaman endorsed the Out of the Box project

Co-Sponsored by:
Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Armed Forces Journal International
Department of the Army
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
National Intelligence Council
National Science Foundation
Office of Naval Research
U.S. Joint Forces Command

With support from :
IBM Corporation
American Association of Engineering Societies
Coalition for National Security Research

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies has been asked by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to perform an independent study of the MARITECH program, as it approachs its fifth year and is in the process of transferring to Navy management. Much is to be gained by taking a hard and independent look at this revolutionary program to understand how well it is accomplishing its objectives and what benefits are expected over the next few years. A good deal of this insight can be gained from examining those efforts managed by the shipyards.

The principal goals of the MARITECH Program Review are to:

  • Provide an independent assessment of ongoing and completed shipyard-managed projects conducted under MARITECH
  • Assess how well these projects are serving the objectives set by the MARITECH Program Office
  • Collect and document stories to illustrate the benefits and the difficulties encountered in conducting a dual-use program with an emphasis on creating a commercial market
  • Derive lessons learned that will help guide future efforts and provide insight into prioritization of goals and approaches

Download the MARITECH Study here: PDF 845K/278 pages

Download just the Executive Summary from the MARITECH Study: PDF 50K/12 pages

MARITECH Program Background

New Challenges

The post-Cold War defense procurement posture has changed significantly. The Department of Defense (DoD) no longer projects the procurement of large numbers of new weapon systems. Particularly hard hit is U.S. Navy procurement of capital ships, which has declined steadily since 1991. Current strategy calls for the maintenance of a 300 ship Navy compared to the mid 1980’s goal of a 600 ship Navy. The effects of this vastly changed procurement posture on the U.S. shipbuilding industry were of great concern a half dozen years ago when the DoD budget began to fall. Our political leaders were particularly worried because the U.S. shipbuilding industry was almost totally devoted to building U.S. Navy ships and therefore had no other market to turn to.

The impact is beginning to be visited upon the Navy, which is finding costs and availability of shipbuilding technologies and facilities rising at an alarming rate. An effective way to counter this trend is to look to the commercial marketplace, as is being done in the various dual-use activities throughout the DoD. However, dual-use cannot be a solution where there is no commercial industry. Unfortunately, that is the case with the U.S. shipbuilding industry today, which for decades has neglected the building of commercial vessels. This neglect, coupled with the ever-diminishing demand for Navy ships, has resulted in an atrophy throughout the American shipbuilding industry which threatens to end not only our ability to ever compete in commercial shipbuilding again, but also in military shipbuilding.

Although a solution to the diminishment of Navy ship procurement may be for U.S. shipyards to become competitive in the global shipbuilding market, there has been little evidence that this can be done in the near future without an intense and collective effort by the shipyards, perhaps with government help. Recent experience is not encouraging. In the mid-70’s, U.S. shipbuilders built, on average, 20 large commercial ships per year. This production rate has steadily decreased, with fewer than 20 ships being built during the entire eleven-year period, from 1982 to 1993. [1]

MARITECH Program

In October 1993 President Clinton approved and signed a report to Congress titled, "Strengthening America’s Shipyards: A Plan for Competing in the International Market." This report described a program, MARITECH, that would share the costs of industry-initiated research and development projects to accelerate technology transfer and process change. MARITECH was to focus on manufacturing and information technologies needed by U.S. shipyards to become competitive in international shipbuilding commerce. The program is managed by the MARITECH Office, operating under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with personnel support from the U.S. Navy and the Maritime Administration. The MARITECH Program began in FY93, principally to encourage the U.S. shipbuilding industry to expand into the commercial sector, thereby increasing its potential for staying in business and passing savings gained from commercial efficiencies and economies of scale to the Navy. The MARITECH Program has been funded at $30-50 million per year since FY94. The program receives its final year of funding in FY98 and will then transition to a U.S. Navy managed effort to carry on the goals of MARITECH.

MARITECH Objectives and Approach

Five objectives were adopted by MARITECH to facilitate pursuit of commercial competitiveness in the shipbuilding sector. These objectives were listed in the President’s Plan and the National Shipbuilding and Shipyard Conversion Act of 1993. They are to:

  • Encourage and support proactive market analysis and product development
  • Develop a portfolio of U.S. designs
  • Develop innovative design and production processes and technology
  • Facilitate government and industry technology transfer activities
  • Encourage formation of consortia for short- and long-term technology investment strategies

The resulting MARITECH Program has sponsored projects in three areas:

The Near Term Approach is to apply technology for quick commercial market penetration. The stated goals of the near-term phase is to penetrate the global market in one-to-three years, and to change the U.S. shipbuilding culture to commercial practices. This is being accomplished through vertically oriented consortia or teams, market-oriented commercial ship designs, commercial shipbuilding strategies, and business plans.

The Long Term Approach is to develop advanced technology to achieve a self-sustaining shipbuilding mobilization base. The approach is to emphasize consortia or teams, to seek out and develop advanced technology and radical process and product improvements, and to facilitate culture changes toward commercialization.

In addition, MARITECH has initiated Nsnet, an electronic commerce and computer-integrated enterprise to bring information and electronic technology strengths of DARPA and the nation to the maritime industry. Results of working in this area will include: building an internet infrastructure in the maritime community and developing and deploying future technologies to enable the community to perform electronic commerce. Shipyard-Managed Projects

Many of the projects sponsored by MARITECH are managed by one of nineteen shipyards. They are especially focused on developing technology and infrastructure and pursuing a large commercial market in shipbuilding. The MARITECH Program Office perceives that these projects constitute a vital cross section of the total MARITECH Program, providing insight into the strengths, weaknesses and lessons to be learned from the program as a whole.

The MARITECH Program Review

As stated above, the basic purpose of the MARITECH Program is to improve the commercial competitiveness of the U.S. shipbuilding industry. Benefits to the Navy include improved availability of shipbuilding, more efficient (therefore faster and less expensive) shipbuilding processes, and a broader range of dual-use technologies and products. In order to optimize this process, it is important to understand its major efforts at each stage of progress. This will be accomplished through the Institute's MARITECH Program Review which will study each of the shipyard-managed MARITECH projects at fourteen yards.

[1] SCA, "International Shipbuilding Aid-Shipbuilding Aid Practices of the Top OECD subsidizing Nations and Their Impacts on U.S. Shipyards," Shipbuilders’ Council of America (SCA), Arlington, VA, 1993.

The Potomac Institute completed a study in early 1997 on the potential commercialization of space. The study focused on NASA's plans for the new space station. This project, called the International Space Station Commercialization (ISSC) Study, has played an integral part in helping the government identify technologies that deserve incentives to begin the process of commercializing space. The analysis included a process model by which a self-supporting space industry might be developed.

International Space Station Commercialization Study (PIPS-97-1): PDF 303K

Read about Dr. James Richardson's testimony before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics regarding the ISSC Study

Visit NASA's web site

In 1995 and 1996, the Institute conducted a study leading to a widely recognized report on dual use research. The study began with an intensive literature search centered on capturing the history of Department of Defense (DoD) investment in technologies that have commercial potential. The second part of the study reviewed case studies of DoD's Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP), whose mission was dual-use partnerships with industry. A distinguished Senior Military Industry Panel was formed to review the accumulated data and draw conclusions on the merit of dual-use research. This study has had pronounced impact on national policy. Congress adopted and integrated several of the conclusions of the study into the DoD FY '97 Authorization bill. The bill was subsequently signed into law by the President in September 1996.

Executive Summary of Dual-Use Report (PIPS-96-3): PDF 231K

DARPA's web site

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (the Institute) was asked to perform a six-month study of technology transition at the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA), Transitioning DARPA Technology. In this project, the Institute developed and documented an understanding of how well DARPA has transitioned these products into military systems over the past forty years. The report also addresses how that mission has been affected by the nature of the Agency and its output, and by the environment in which it operates.

The study had four goals:

  • to examine DARPA's history of transition to its military customer
  • to empirically identify transition paths and strategies employed by DARPA
  • to identify factors that affect DARPA's transition rates and to cite recent changes in those factors
  • to suggest how DARPA might improve transition

In order to accomplish the four study goals, Dr. James Richardson, Diane Larriva, and Stephanie Tennyson drew from the wisdom of past studies but also collected additional data, and developed a nomenclature for understanding and assessing DARPA's transition record. They compiled a list of 124 transitioned DARPA programs, but concentrated on two subsets of this program population. The first set, programs transitioned during the last decade (1990s), was chosen because it was deemed to be easier to obtain information on these programs rather than on earlier decades. The second program population, a subset of the last decade, is the New Starts (or initiatives) begun during Fiscal Year (FY) 1991. For this subset, the research team tracked eighteen new starts, objectively selected with no bias toward either success or failure, until they transitioned products, failed and were abandoned, or continued development with a Service lab.

Assessing transition performance for a research and development (R&D) organization, particularly one with DARPA's mission and operational strategies, is an inexact and argumentative undertaking—not given to a “single number” answer. After much thought, data collection, and analysis, the researchers came to believe that DARPA's transition record should be viewed from many perspectives and that the best way to judge its accomplishments is through a composite of these views. Four perspectives were chosen that together describe DARPA's transition performance and affect the standards of success under which it should be judged. The four were: (1) total number of products transitions to the military services by DARPA; (2) rate of transition, in terms of transitions per number of program initiated; (3) quality of products; and (4) other factors that affect transition. However, for the most part, that judgment remains somewhat subjective, principally because of the difficulties in arriving at an objective standard for success. Analysis of DARPA's record from the four perspectives led the researchers to the conclusion that the Agency's transition performance has been impressive. Moreover, there is ample evidence of many uncounted successful transitions, particularly during DARPA's early history.

To define frequently used transition paths, the team investigated the three canonical transition paths: (1) DARPA-to-Service Acquisition (DSA), (2) DARPA-to-Industry-to Service acquisition (DIS), and (3) DARPA-to-Service Science and Technology (DS&T). The main factor in determining these paths was the financial support of the product once it left DARPA. The report offers examples of products that have transitioned by each path. The report further shows how the paths examined for the 1990s Decade products had some unique features.

The team analyzed the factors that either impede or improve transition potential at DARPA. Some of these factors stem from DARPA's mission or organizational characteristics and policies. Others are part of the environment under which the Agency must transition its products. They also looked at changes in these factors that have occurred as the result of new trends in our world during the past ten years—changes in political, military, business, and R&D environments that have, or should have, affected transition. Some of the main organizational characteristics of DARPA's mission elements were the pursuit of radical innovation with high risk/high pay-off programs and seeking solutions to national level problems. Other factors include high program manager turnover, neglect to credit sponsorship, consortia, and flexible contracting procedures. The report also documents the impact of the environment in which DARPA must operate on transition. Such factors include timing, regulations, customer, and budgetary considerations.

The principal finding of the study is that DARPA's transition performance has been excellent over the past forty years, inserting over 120 products or technologies into fielded systems (about 3 per year). During the past decade, the Agency's record has been even better, about 5 per year. Finally, where data was available, we calculated transition rates and found them to be at a level exceptionally high according to industry's standards. Considering DARPA's other missions and its responsibility to foster high-risk/high-payoff ideas, the Institute's team considers these statistics quite impressive.

Overall, transition at DARPA is an opportunistic pursuit, greatly enhanced by skilled and dedicated DARPA and industry program manager and Service agent teams. It is likely that any structure or procedure that limits the program manager's sense of responsibility or options to transition his or her products will negatively affect the Agency's rate of transition.

Finally, the report offers some suggestions on implementing changes to DARPA's transition strategies and policies. Each recommendation is discusses in light of the team's findings and analyses, as well as other studies. Recommendations include maximizing the effectiveness of the DARPA and industry program manager and Service agent team, and exploiting recent avenues of transition initiated by OSD and the Military Services. Furthermore, the report also recommends developing a better system of tracking and recording transitions and lessons learned, and integrating the results, as well as ensuring sufficient technological maturity of products.

Executive Summary: PDF 1.86MB/19 pgs

The rate and impact of scientific breakthroughs and applications will continue to rise over the next twenty years, spawning immense changes to society that can be both crucially beneficial and tragically destructive. This growing and enduring trend, principally occurring outside of government, is producing both threats and solutions to our national security that are dramatically enhanced by emerging disruptive technologies. Our nation’s leadership needs considerable scientific and technological acumen to make balanced decisions and set national priorities - many of which are becoming increasingly technical in nature.

Yet, while political aspects of these issues are laboriously considered, even the foundational scientific arguments are infrequently well represented - too often there is no "scientist at the table." In fact, Congress exacerbated this situation by eliminating their Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) in 1995. More disturbing is the fact that policies that directly affect science and technology (S&T) - for instance, policies that encourage and capitalize the positive output of research, while mitigating its dark side - are too often fractional, and narrowly focused.

It is time to consider broadly based and collaborative, long-term (sustainable) policies to guide the nation’s decisions and its efforts to develop and exploit research for national security. We should explore the creation of a national security science and technology strategy that improves: scientific resources available to decision makers; understanding of national security science and technology needs; coordination and collaboration among science and technology providers; control of dangerous technologies; and technology prioritization and acquisition processes. We must also consider how to establish better relationships with the S&T communities in the private sector and abroad and how to create a dialog on fruitful use of their technical research and products.

In the pursuit of the "right" policies, we must balance the degree of government's influence over research and development against the dangers of inhibiting the freedom and ingenuity of U.S. scientists and engineers, who have made this the most technologically adept and enabled nation in the world.

Four goals of the study are:

  • Document likely S&T trends and their impacts on national security over the next 20 years
  • Develop recommendations to optimize governmental employment of S&T in decision-making and influence of S&T research
  • Deliver a proposed national security S&T strategy, enabling policies, and an implementation plan
  • Consider effects of and influence on foreign R&D - European Perspective

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Study focuses on the technical and operational shortfalls surrounding the detection of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It explores the detection capabilities available as well as the relevant research and development being conducted throughout the federal labs and private sector facilities in the U.S. Out of this effort will emerge an identification of current gaps in detection capabilities and an agenda for future WMD detection investment.

Commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the study completed its second phase. The first phase of this project focused on gathering information on the shortcomings of the U.S. ability to detect WMD. Dr. David Kay, designed a methodical plan based on sound scientific methodology and techniques to determine the validity and extent of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. Then Potomac Institute staff member and former UN Weapons Inspector, Dr. Kay, traveled to Iraq to observe and analyze the post-war policing of the battlefield and the ongoing WMD detection efforts. There, he conducted interviews with U.S. forces and personnel engaged in weapon detection efforts. With the information gathered in these interviews, he presented a series of briefings to the U.S. government on the situation in Iraq. Immediately after Dr. Kay's briefing to the Intelligence Community, he was appointed a special advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and sent to Iraq to lead the WMD survey team. Dr. Kay has since rejoined the Potomac Institute.

Part of the Institute's study included a conference to bring together pertinent subject matter experts from the Department of Defense (DoD), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the Department of Energy (DOE), as well as former weapons inspectors and cutting-edge technologists. By aggregating the ideas and experiences of all these disciplines, a list of systemic process shortcomings and technology gaps were identified as problem areas within the detection process. Some of the shortfalls that were acknowledged included: the inability to analyze water, soil and air samples from a stand-off range; the difficulty in monitoring the movements of key personnel involved with the creation of WMD; and the problem of overcoming denial and deception techniques used by adversaries.

Phase II of the study focused on investigating what technologies are available or being developed that could aid the U.S. in the detection of WMD. The Potomac Institute visited the major national research facilities and met with researchers to gain knowledge of technologies in existence or under development/consideration that could aid detection efforts. It is the Institute's belief that we need to arm our decision makers and intelligence community with better tools to gain rich insights into what countries and terrorist groups are doing. This study hopes to start that process.

Project Events : The Potomac Institute held a WMD Detection conference on June 23, 2004 focusing on the problems faced by weapons inspectors operating in Iraq from 1991-2003. The outcome of this effort identified a number of key problems that are associated with the detection of WMD.

The Potomac Institute hosted a series of seminars bringing together top officials in the Intelligence Community to identify the necessary changes needed to fix the Intelligence Community.  With the deliberations within the Senate and House regarding Intelligence reform, the Potomac Institute felt that the public should have access to the seminar transcripts, as well as the recommendations, the Intelligence Community devised on reform through these seminars.   


Recommendation Letter written to Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Summary of Seminar 1: "Survey Intelligence Opportunities and Shortfalls"

Summary of Seminar 2: "Analytical Shortfalls"
Summary of Seminar 3: "Domestic Information Challenges and Tactical vs. National Requirements"

Overview

Project GUARDIAN examines policy issues associated with maintaining our civil liberties in the war on terror. This multidisciplinary effort provides a public forum to examine the information technologies that are useful in the war on terror. Project Guardian endeavors to provide practical and workable recommendations to policymakers for deployment of technologies that enhance the aggressive pursuit of terrorists while protecting our civil liberties.

As the nation seeks to protect itself from more terrorist strikes, new uses of technology to counter foreign terrorist threats may be needed. There are many new technologies that may reasonably help our government find terrorists as they operate in vast and perplexing arrays of information networks. Authorities are exploring the use of such advanced and emerging techniques to effectively deter terrorism through the use of detection, identification and interdiction. But it is of equal and fundamental importance that the privacy and constitutional rights of every American are protected in this process.

Seeking to find a balance between national security and civil liberties, the Potomac Institute has structured and conducted an informed, robust, non-partisan public debate that seeks reasonable solutions to the many competing issues that characterize this intriguing technological challenge.   Project GUARDIAN proposals have suggested new and creative ways to increase public confidence and Congressional oversight of new information technologies.  

As manager of the GUARDIAN project, Mr. Gallington has testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Technical and Policy Advisory Committee for the Department of Defense, has led numerous panels of distinguished experts, and published articles and papers on many different aspects of the tensions between privacy and security in the war on terrorism.

Biological terrorism is potentially so destructive that it now ranks as a strategic threat to the U.S., one that represents such potential widespread and profound suffering as to cause significant political consequences. While in office, President Clinton declared a state of national emergency regarding the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), and he issued Presidential Decision Directive 39 (PDD-39) and 62 setting out responsibilities to detect, defeat, prevent and manage the consequences of WMD terrorism. Within WMD, biological terrorism is of particular concern because of its unique combination of lethal effects, relative ease of manufacture, and possibility of covert deployment.

Seen as a strategic threat, the potential for biological terrorism raises critical issues of the proper relation between civilian and military sectors; federal, state and local authorities; and domestic and international affairs. This convergence needs to be explored to establish the best division of responsibility among the stakeholders, the preservation of civil liberties for Americans in a continuing situation that has some elements of both peace and warfare, and the policy and process issues that need to be identified, prioritized, and integrated into a cohesive national strategy.

The Potomac Institute has assembled noted researchers from many disciplines to address key aspects of biological terrorism, as well as publishing cutting edge research in this area. The Institute has conducted conferences with recognized experts, providing them a forum to discuss cross cutting issues and to begin to identify overall priority thrusts for policy and process initiatives needed to counter biological terrorism. We have also conducted a seminar wargame to prioritize operator needs and match them to appropriate technological advances. Our goal is to perform required research and to bring together technologists and policy makers to be able to limit U.S. vulnerability to the most critical national security threat of the 21st century. A selection of our content is presented below.

Briefings and Conferences

Resource Links

Study Director: Mr. David Siegrist

The Potomac Institute and the Stanley Foundation convened a cadre of experts in the fields of technology, military strategy, arms control, philosophers, and policy (including Dr. David Kay; Dr. Gordon Oehler; Dr. Albert Pierce; Michael Swetnam; Sharon Weinberger and Dr. Gerald Yonas) to consider the challenges of existing and future WMD regimes. 

Over the course of the day, participants discussed the potential development and consequences of “future weapons of mass destruction” from three distinct vectors—technical, strategic, and ethical—in an attempt to capture perspectives from a range of hard science, social science, and philosophical human endeavors. 

A conclusion:  “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.”  All three—the W, the M, and the D—may need a complete definitional and conceptual overhaul.  A joint Policy Dialogue Brief of the event was prepared.  The contents break from the current and historical strictures imposed on thinking with regard to long-standing, mature WMD lines, and considers potential long-range impacts of today’s cutting-edge technology and political environments.  Threat and risk analyses play an increasingly important role as the WMD threat diversifies into innumerable possibilities from wide-ranging sectors, e.g. from satellite communications and neurotechnology to the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology.

Joint Potomac Institute/Stanley Policy Dialogue Brief

Symposium Examines Future Weapons of Mass Destruction

For additional information on the project contact, webmaster[at] potomacinstitute [dot] org.

On February 23rd and 24th, 2005, The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Virginia, hosted a two-day conference entitled “Stun Devices: Uncertainties and Gaps in Knowledge.” The conference was co-sponsored by Aegis Industries, Inc. The purpose of the conference was to bring together experts from various fields including medical and health effects, safety and regulatory issues, policy, and industry practices, to discuss what we know about stun device technology and offer insight and suggestions on filling the current gaps in knowledge.

The purpose of this report is to objectively evaluate the relative efficacy and safety of stun devices in the context of law enforcement use, and in the near absence of federal governmental attention.

Based on the available evidence, and on accepted criteria for defining product risk vs. efficacy, we believe that when stun technology is appropriately applied, it is relatively safe and clearly effective. No federal regulative body has asserted oversight of current non-lethal stun technology. As a result, there is insufficient guidance for public and private management.

Full Report

The transition of military Non-Lethal Technology (NLT) to traditional law enforcement and other stakeholders is not high-paced, nor organized optimally. The Institute investigated the efficiency and effectiveness of this transition process for what is now of course known as Homeland Security application. We initiated the program with a highly visible, funded project on electrical stun guns. The principal public concern of course with stun guns in particular, and NLT in general, is their perceived “lethality.” The Institute's project focused on the technical, policy, and indeed, public affairs issues associated with NLTs, specifically stun guns.

Press Coverage 

The Potomac Institute's report on stun devices has been widely cited in the media.

FloridaToday.com (5/5/2005)

Potomac Institute President, Dr. Dennis K. McBride interview, KGNU Radio (5/3/05)
Discussed the results of Taser research.
You may hear that live broadcast via stream or download at KGNU's website, click on 2005-05-03.

Nantucket Island Inquirer: (4/28/2005)
"Police chief wants Tasers for officers"

Gailsburg Register Mail: (4/24/2005)
"Arguments for and Against Tasers"

Dallas Morning News (4/6/2005)

Press Enterprise (4/5/2005)

USA Today (4/4/2005)

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (4/4/2005)

Newsday (4/3/2005)

Des Moines Register (4/2/2005)

East Valley Tribune (4/1/2005)

Project Press Releases

For additional information on the project contact, Dr. Dennis K. McBride at 703.525.0770 or dmcbride [at] potomacinstitute [dot] org.

 

ICTS Books

The Potomac Institute is Pleased to Announce the Release of:

It's the Ideology: How to Defeat Islamist Terrorism Once and for All
by David M. Eneboe

Its the Ideology Cover Small

 

The terrorism embraced by the likes of Islamic State and Al-Qaeda emanates from their common Islamist ideology of hate and intolerance. Kill that ideology and we kill the terrorism that it breeds. But, we cannot kill ideas with bombs and bullets – we can only kill them with better ideas. And since the handful of Al-Qaeda extremists who first attempted to target US interests in 1992 has now grown to over 30,000 in Islamic State alone, what Washington has been doing clearly has not been working. Our strategic victory against Islamist terrorism is all but certain; the only variable in the equation is the human and material cost from our policy missteps and mistakes. Yet even after a quarter century of conflict, Washington still does not have a solid strategy for winning the war against Islamist terrorism. It’s the Ideology offers what our leaders have not – a fresh, bold, and clear six-step plan to muzzle our enemies; win the information war; turn failing states around; be smarter in our use of military force; substitute failed conventionalism with bold, twenty-first century approaches; strip Islamism of any religious legitimacy; and, ultimately, prevent future generations of terrorists. This book delivers a specific, real-world strategy to permanently defeat Islamist terrorism once and for all. This is a book about victory. It is a roadmap for restoring America’s global statesmanship and leadership written by a fresh voice with an experienced perspective.

Paperback and Kindle now available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

David M. Eneboe graduated from the 47-week Arabic language course at the prestigious Defense Language Institute as a young Marine in December 1975. He graduated at the top of his class, with honors, and in the four decades since that achievement, he has had ample opportunities to apply his education. Following language training, Mr. Eneboe received technical training in the signals intelligence (SIGINT) field as a Voice Intercept Operator (the Marine Corps now calls its language graduates Cryptologic Linguists). He was subsequently assigned to 2nd Marine Division, Force Troops, 2nd Radio Battalion at Camp Lejeune, NC. Consistent with the expeditionary nature of the Marines, Mr. Eneboe was continuously deployed domestically, abroad, and aboard ship for nearly the entire period of his assignment to the battalion. After his honorable discharge from the Marines, Mr. Eneboe’s position required him to routinely brief Senior US Officials, such as Ambassadors and cleared members of visiting Congressional Delegations. Mr. Eneboe was certified in Arabic as a Language Analyst in 1990 and he was awarded numerous honors and citations, including an NSA Letter of Appreciation for his contributions during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and a Most Valuable Player award from his component. In the early nineties, the author returned to the United States after an unexpected tragedy made family considerations a higher priority. He founded Sahara Consulting Services and began working as a contract Arabic linguist for the intelligence community and that relationship grew to include various special projects and collection/reporting responsibilities focused on counterterrorism and counterproliferation. He was instrumental in pioneering early Internet research tradecraft and received a personal commendation from the Director of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (now the Open Source Center) for his work on Mideast counterproliferation. In addition to his work for the intelligence community, Mr. Eneboe also provides translation and other services to commercial clients. In his leisure time, he is an active pilot and aircraft owner who enjoys flying for charitable and humanitarian causes. He and his wife live and work in Arizona.

About the Potomac Institute

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science, technology, and national security issues facing our society, providing in particular, an academic forum for the study of related policy issues. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government. For further information see www.potomacinstitute.org. Media inquires please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 703-525-0770. Follow us on Twitter: @PotomacInst

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.”

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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

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Our Mission

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.

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