The International Center for Terrorism Studies hosted a seminar on “Combating Terrorism: Strategic Assessments, the Military's Role, and International Cooperation” on May 14, 2015. A panel discussed current and future threat analysis and outlook for passive and active defense measures on national, regional, and global levels.

General (Ret.) Alfred Gray (Twenty-Ninth Commandant of the United States Marine Corps; Senior Fellow and Chairman of the Board of Regents, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) made opening remarks and Professor Yonah Alexander (Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, and Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) moderated the event. The panel includedAmbassador Lukman Faily (Embassy of the Republic of Iraq to the United States. Formerly, he served as Iraq’s Ambassador to Japan and an Ambassador at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Brigadier Chaudhary Sarfraz Ali (Defence and Army Attaché, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan),Colonel (Ret.) Gary Anderson (Former senior U.S. Military Liaison Advisor to the UN mission in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993 and was the Chief of Staff for the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab when it conducted the URBAN WARRIOR experiments from 1998-2000; Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies), andDr. Thomas X. Hammes (Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University).

 

 

The year 2014 represents the most troubling security challenges since 9/11. With the escalation of violent attacks by an expanding array of terrorist groups, such as the emerging "Islamic State," the questions arises whether the worst is yet to come. Without more effective international cooperation to combat terrorism, the costs to the global community will continue to grow in 2015. The latest military operations led by Saudi Arabia in concert with its Gulf allies against the Houthi rebels in Yemen demonstrate the emerging strategic partnership trend. The Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies organized a panel of distinguished political, diplomatic, military, and academic experts to analyze last year's lessons, assess future threats, and offer "best practices" recommendations for the U.S. and its like-minded nations.


Since the dawn of history, women and children have represented the most vulnerable segments of societies. During the past several years, terrorist groups and state-sponsors have escalated targeting these populations including recruitment of members, explosions, kidnappings, conversions, slavery, rape, forced marriages, and murder. The brutalization and globalization of these expanded levels of violence are, indeed, unprecedented. On Friday, January 30th 2015 an expert panel met at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies to discuss the costs, lessons, future outlook, as well as related issues offering their insights and recommendations for “best practices” strategies to deal with this challenge. The opening remarks were presented by Michael S. Swetnam (CEO and Chairman, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies). The event was moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander (Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, and Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies). Panelists were Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast (Director, Center for Gender & Peacebuilding, United States Institute of Peace), Professor Patricia A. Maulden (Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution and Director, Dialogue & Difference Project, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University), Nina Shea (Director, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute and international human-rights lawyer for over thirty years), Professor Michael Noone (The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law), Dr. Mir Sadat (Professor of National Security and Foreign Policy, National Intelligence University). Closing remarks were presented by General (Ret.) Alfred Gray (Twenty-Ninth Commandant of the United States Marine Corps; Senior Fellow and Chairman of the Board of Regents, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.

 

Ambassador (Ret.) Paul Bremer III was the keynote speaker at a special seminar “America, Still the Indispensable Nation”, held at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies on January 15, 2015. Mr. Bremer's diplomatic service spanned almost 40 years under eight presidents. During his tours in Washington, Bremer was Special Assistant to six Secretaries of State including service as Henry Kissinger's Chief of Staff. His overseas assignments included Afghanistan, Malawi, and Norway. President Reagan appointed him Ambassador to the Netherlands (1983-86) and then Ambassador at Large for Counter Terrorism (1986-89). After leaving government service, Bremer was Managing Director of Kissinger Associates, a strategic consulting firm headed by the former Secretary of State and subsequently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marsh Crisis Consulting Company, a firm providing crisis management advice and training to corporate boards and CEOs. A recognized expert in counter terrorism, in 1999 Bremer was appointed Chairman of the Bipartisan National Commission on Terrorism. The Commission reported to President Clinton in 2000 that the United States faced a growing threat from Islamic extremism. After 9/11, President Bush appointed Bremer to the President's Homeland Security Advisory Commission. In 2003 the president recalled Bremer to government service as Presidential Envoy to Iraq charged with beginning the country's political and economic reconstruction. Bremer's best - selling book, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope, was published in 2006. Bremer has received numerous awards for his public service. In 2004, President Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, for his service in Iraq. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of the RAND Corporation's Center for Middle East Public Policy. He is Chairman of the Sustainable Systems International, and a director of Alelo, a California - based technology firm. He also serves on the Boards of The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, the AMAR Foundation, the Chester Historical Foundation and the Fort at Number 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire. Ambassador Bremer was the Founder and President of the Lincoln/ Douglass Scholarship Foundation, a Washington-based non-profit organization that provided high school scholarships to inner city youths. Bremer received his B.A. from Yale University, a CEP from the Institut D'Etudes Politiques of the University of Paris, and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He has an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Ave Maria University. Opening remarks were presented by General (Ret.) Alfred Gray (Twenty-Ninth Commandant of the United States Marine Corps; Senior Fellow and Chairman of the Board of Regents, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) and the event was moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander (Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, and Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies).

 

The latest Taliban school attack in Pakistan, the “lone wolf” café siege in Australia, and the beheading of Christian children by Islamic State members have once again demonstrated the brutalization of terrorism in “the name of God.” Despite the upsurge of contemporary theological-based threats, is religion still relevant in combating radicalization and extremism on national, regional, and global levels? Also, what are the “best-practice” strategies in minimizing religious confrontations and maximizing ecumenical inter-faith relations? A panel of academics, clergy, and former policy makers discuss these and related questions. The event was moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander (Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, and Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies). Panelists were Professor Robert Eisen (Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies and Chair of the Department of Religion at the George Washington University), Issam Michael Saliba (Senior Foreign Law Specialist for the Middle East and North Africa, Law Library of Congress), Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed (National Director of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) heading up its Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances in Washington, DC. He is one of the founders of the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) and served as Editor and then Editor-in-Chief (1984-1994)), Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt (President of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America. He served as Director of Israel Policy and Advocacy for the Rabbinical Assembly (2009-2014). He is the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Potomac, Maryland), Tina Ramirez (President, Hardwired Inc. Former policy researcher at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and a foreign policy advisor for various members of the U.S. Congress where she helped found and direct the bi-partisan Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus) and Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love (Associate Professor of International Relations in the Politics Department of the Catholic University of America. She is on the Core Group for the Department of State's working group on Religion and Foreign Policy and served as a Fellow at the Commission on International Religious Freedom). Professor Don Wallace, Jr. (Chairman, International Law Institute) made the closing remarks.

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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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