turleyCoverThe Potomac Institute Press is pleased to announce that The Journey of a Warrior: The Twenty-Ninth Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps (1987-1991): General Alfred Mason Gray, Second Edition by Gerald H. Turley is now available. Click here to purchase the paperback and Kindle versions. 

"The Journey of a Warrior" tells the inspiring story of a truly unique Marine who became a brilliant combat leader and achieved international prominence. General Alfred Mason Gray, US Marine Corps, was a loner by nature, and many of his peers considered him to be a maverick. At the same time, having established himself as a military intellectual of remarkable insight, he became an icon to service personnel of all ranks, as well as many prominent defense officials, politicians, and scholars. General Gray was a critical force behind the changes needed to prepare Marines for the new millennium. He is now recognized as one of the finest Commandants in fifty years. The Journey of a Warrior brings to the fore the journey of a most unusual individual: a warrior, a leader, a thinker, and a patriot. lt is not written as a biography but rather as a retrospective of a unique marine whose impact on his institution was both untraditional and perhaps under appreciated. The Marine Corps is better for his unselfish and dedicated journey to faithfully serve his country.

Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, USMC Retired, Marine Corps Historian Emeritus, appears to have best captured General Gray’s character when he wrote, “General Al Gray is imaginative, iconoclastic, articulate, charismatic, and compassionate. His Marines love him.”

About The Author

Now retired, Colonel Gerald H. Turley, US Marine Corps, enlisted during the Korean War, served two tours in the Vietnam War, was wounded in action, and received thirteen personal combat decorations. He served as a special consultant to two Secretaries of the Navy and six Marine Corps Commandants from 1987 to 2010. He and his wife, Bunny, reside near Hilton Head, South Carolina. He is also the author of "The Easter Offensive: Vietnam, 1972."

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


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 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

The Potomac Institute is Pleased to Announce the Release of:


The Early Years, 1968-1975, Volume 2

by Scott Laidig


The Potomac Institute Press is pleased to announce that AL GRAY, MARINE: The Early Years, 1968-1975; Volume 2 by Scott Laidig is now available in paperback and Kindle versions from

Most people know General Al Gray as the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps. His achievements as a transformational Commandant are legendary within the Marine Corps and the military services. The "Al Gray, Marine" series tells the story of this unique and charismatic leader.

Al Gray, Marine: The Early Years 1950-1967, Vol.1 tells the story of General Gray's time as an enlisted Marine and junior officer. Volume 2 tells the story of his time as a field grade officer, including his important role in the Vietnam War.

From establishing innovative intelligence operations in Vietnam, through his leadership during the evacuation of Saigon in 1975, Al Gray's story is exceptional. A unique, charismatic leader, he built a reputation as a tough but fair commander of infantry units, and through the challenges of drug use and racism in the Marine Corps in the 1970s.

This authorized biography is a fascinating personal account of a Marine Corps legend. Scott Laidig was awarded the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's esteemed Colonel Joseph Alexander Prize for Best Biography of the Year for 2014 for Al Gray, Marine: The Early Years 1950-1967, Vol.1.



Paperback, Harback, and ebook now available on Amazon
All net proceeds will be donated to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (



About the Author: Scott Laidig

Scott Laidig is a decorated Marine combat veteran of Vietnam. Also a Russian linguist, he served on US Pacific Fleet submarines, earning his 15 seconds of fame in the book "Blind Man's Bluff." Scott worked as a defense contractor until his retirement in 1998. He is currently working on a co-authored Volume 3 of the Al Gray, Marine series.

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 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.”



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” 

 IslamicStateFlyer Page 1

 IslamicStateFlyer Page 2

grayismsThe Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is proud to announce the release of Grayisms, compiled Dr. Paul Otte. This book presents stories, experiences and reminisces of General Al Gray, USMC (Retired) 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Grayisms are the embodiment of simplicity and capture recurring statements made by the General during his 41 year career in the Marine Corps and in subsequent years. General Gray’s love of his Marines along with the Sailors who serve with them and how much they love and respect him in return, shines through Grayisms. He has great admiration for all our Armed Forces. 

Often one to shun head tables and staff cars for mess halls and jeeps, General Gray is a true leader to the Marines serving, not under, but beside him. He has never missed an opportunity to talk with the troops and is always eager to hear about what is happening on and off the field.  The Grayism exemplified in this philosophy is, “Leaders must truly care more about the people they lead than themselves.” Even as a Commandant, he has never lost his “enlisted” mentality when it comes to caring for his Marines.

General Gray transformed the Marine Corps with his unique leadership, but his greatest legacy and source of happiness is the people he helped develop along the way, many who followed in his footsteps as Commandants, Generals, and leaders at all levels. Know that this book’s collection of stories is not complete. Ask any Marine that served with the General to tell you about him.  Odds are they will have a story, or a Grayism, to share with you.  “We were able to gain greater insight into this very special Marine who ‘took what he got, and made what he wanted.’ This book is a compilation of the many sayings we have heard and heard repeated, as they have been shared from one Marine to another”, commented Paul Otte.

About General Gray:
In 1991, after 41 years of service, General Gray retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. He has faithfully served around the world, including Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.  Leaving most of us in the dust, General Gray has not slowed down since retirement. He has served on several public and private corporate boards and is the past Board Chairman of three public companies and three private companies. The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is honored to have General Gray serve as a Senior Fellow, a Chairman of the Board of Regents and a member of the Board of Directors. From 2004-2014, General Gray served as Chairman of the Semper Fi Fund, which helps wounded warriors and their families. 

Find your inspiration and favorite leadership quotes in Grayisms today. 

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathryn Schiller Wurster at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1-703-525-0770. 

Hon. Tevi Troy, PhD, Senior Fellow’s book comes at the right time. U.S. Health Policy: An Insider’s Perspective thoughtfully assembles articles that Dr. Troy has written in publications ranging from The New Atlantis to The Wall Street Journal. He cohesively covers a number of subjects including Obamacare implementation, the government’s ability to impose its electronic medical records plan, biopreparedness, life science innovation, and Medicaid and Medicare.

Dr. Troy has travelled the world, representing both the Department of Heath and Human Services and the U.S. government as an ambassador for U.S. health care policy. In doing so, he was able to develop a better understanding of how to convey messages to a wide variety of people, “You can have the best policies in the world but they will not do any good if no one knows about them.”

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is pleased to present Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research. This book, authored by study lead Dr. Robert Hummel, Chief Scientist of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, arose out of a study conducted for the Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight (CPO) of the Office of the Secretary of Defense on research directions for alternative futures for corrosion and degradation. 

Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research offers a road map for novel research directions that could lead to dramatic changes in how the nation views and deals with corrosion and degradation problems.  Corrosion is a national problem that goes beyond the rusting of metal. The issues associated with corrosion and degradation are responsible for more than one trillion dollars in annual national expenditures.  This study outlined new approaches and technologies to materials sustainment, which could lead to reduced maintenance requirements and planned lifetimes for systems.

Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research sparks the discussion of functional advances in corrosion control, including development of new materials and coatings, as well as novel systems engineering approaches to mitigate corrosion effects in systems throughout their lifecycle.  Materials sustainment approaches include “the portfolio of long-range research programs should group programs that address the design and production phase, other programs that address the development of new materials and coatings, and other programs that address inspection and maintenance of systems.”

Click to Purchase

Click Here for Kindle Ebook Version


Daniel J. Dunmire, the Director of Corrosion Policy and Oversight for the Department of Defense, said, “This book maps an innovative approach in battling corrosion and supporting new ideas in material sustainment.”


Technical Contact: Robert Hummel, PhD, Chief Scientist, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Contact: Kathryn Schiller Wurster, Chief of Staff, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robert Hummel, PhD, is the Chief Scientist at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, where he leads studies on science technology and innovation. The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute with a focus on science, technology, and national security issues.

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  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.


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
• 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

Al Gray, Marine  The Early Years 1950-1967 Vol. 1 Most people know General Al Gray as the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps. His achievements as a transformational Commandant are legendary within the Marine Corps and the military services. However, little is generally known about his years as an enlisted Marine, junior officer and field grade officer.  In this book, author Scott Laidig tells us the compelling story of those early years in the life of a unique, charismatic Marine who rose through the ranks to the pinnacle of Marine Corps leadership.  Admirers of Al Gray, Marines who served under him and with him, history buffs, students of leadership and of the military, and readers interested in the Vietnam era will all find much to fascinate them in this book, written by a decorated Marine combat veteran of Vietnam. This volume covers the career of Al Gray from his time as a young sergeant in the Amphibious Recon Platoon, to duty as both an artillery officer and an infantry officer along The Main Line of Resistance in Korea and later while conducting special operations in Vietnam in 1964, through command of Vietnam’s northernmost outpost at Gio Linh in 1967, to assignments in the secretive field of cryptology.  The book is rich with personal and historical details, anecdotes and colorful episodes that bring this remarkable Marine’s experiences to life on the page. You will finish this book with a deeper understanding of the qualities that make Al Gray a revered leader with the US Marine Corps, and a true national treasure.  (Purchase Here)

Interview with author about book - Leatherneck Magazine:

Review in the Marine Corps Gazette:

Review in Leatherneck Magazine:

A Life at Full Speed: A Journal of Struggle and Discovery

by Charles M. Herzfeld

Among computer science aficionados, Dr. Charles Herzfeld is affectionately known as the “Godfather of the Internet.” As Director of ARPA, the 1960s forerunner of DARPA (today’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), he was the force behind the development of the ARPANET, which ultimately became the Internet we know today. But what many do not know is the backstory behind this phenomenal achievement. The heady political, cultural and scientific milieu of that time was his element, and he emerged as a true high-tech legend. His numerous awards and honors include induction into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012, with the title of “Pioneer.” Charles Herzfeld’s life story is an iconic American tale. Here, in his own words, is that story.

Click to Purchase


Buy on AmazonCo-editors Timothy Sample and Michael Swetnam, along with a dozen thought leaders in the realm of cyber security, have assembled “#CyberDoc: No Borders - No Boundaries” as a preliminary framework for the development of a national doctrine for the cyber era.

Cyber technologies are an increasingly essential part of daily life for people around the world, and have fundamentally altered our lives in countless ways. The Internet is now as essential as any other “utility,” and is so seamlessly woven into the fabric of life that we rarely even think about it. At the same time, the vulnerabilities inherent in our reliance on the Internet are rarely discussed publicly in terms of our national security. Those responsible for protecting the capabilities upon which we all rely, as well as the security of the United States, have struggled to articulate and agree upon a doctrine to address these complex issues.

Several of the authors whose essays are included herein begin from the standpoint of nuclear doctrine, assessing whether concepts like containment, mutually assured destruction, and first strike are relevant in the cyber era. Other authors address our role as a nation in a world that is dominated by information and governed by its control. Indeed, we may already be “at war” in a sense that may not neatly fit into the established norms and definitions of war, and may not be bounded by existing treaties and agreements.

The goal of this volume is to raise and debate the issues that a doctrine should consider, and to begin identifying a broad framework from which a doctrine might be developed. It is intended to be the start of a critically important discussion on this topic, one that will inform and guide the development of a useful and enduring doctrine, as well as subsequent policies and strategies, for the United States.


Find on Amazon

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is pleased to recognize the latest book edited by VP for Academic Programs, Prof. James Giordano, PhD, entitled Neurotechnology: Premises, Potential and Problems (CRC Press, 2012).  Prof. Giordano is also the Director of the Institute's Center for Neurotechnology Studies. Here's how CRC Press describes the new book: "Written by leading international experts, this text presents a unique, integrative perspective that examines how studies and developments in neurotechnololgy are both impacted by and affect the philosophical foundations of the human condition. As the first book in the series Advances in Neurotechnology: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues, this work establishes the current state of neurotechnology and defines the philosophical and ethical issues in neuroscience, neuroengineering, biomedical engineering, computer science, and nanoscience. It also specifically addresses core questions that are integral to the intellectual and pragmatic dimensions of the rapidly progressing field of neurotechnology." The book Neurotechnology: Premises, Potential and Problems has an official publication date of April 24, 2012.  Please note that CRC Press is offering a 20% discount and free shipping to customers who enter code 888FX at online checkout.

perspectivesThe Potomac Institute Press is pleased to announce that Perspectives on Detention, Prosecution, and Punishment of Terrorists: Implications for Future Policy and Conduct  is now available in a Kindle edition.  The new book is the first volume in a series of monographs by the Potomac Institute Press, edited by Prof. Yonah Alexander, PhD, Director of the Institute's International Center for Terrorism Studies, and Profs. Edgar Brenner and Don Wallace.  Click here to access the Kindle listing on

maldyniaThe Potomac Institute for Policy Studies' Prof. James Giordano, PhD, Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, is the editor of the recent book Maldynia: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Illness of Chronic Pain  (CRC Press, 2010).  The book is available on click here to access the Amazon listing.

Maldynia: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Illness of Chronic Pain focuses on the issue of chronic pain that has progressed to a multidimensional illness state in and of itself. Although often dismissed as such, this pain is not imaginary, but rather represents an interaction of neurobiological processes, emotional and behavioral responses, and socio-cultural effects and reactions that become enduring elements in the life and world of the pain patient, and often remain enigmatic for those who provide care.  This volume emphasizes the need for researchers, clinicians, and caregivers to regard the ways in which chronic ,intractable pain becomes illness and affects a patient’s biological, social, and psychological states. Click here for more information about Prof. Giordano and the Center for Neurotechnology Studies.

socialBankingPotomac Institute for Policy Studies Academic Fellow Dr. Roland Benedikter is the author of a new book, Social Banking and Social Finance: Answers to the Economic Crisis (Springer, 2011).  Click here to access the listing. Dr. Benedikter is currently the European Foundations' Research Professor of Political Sociology, and Visiting Scholar at the Forum on Contemporary Europe of Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.


In his new book, Dr. Benedikter observes that for over 2,000 years, banks have served to facilitate the exchange of money and to provide a variety of economic and financial services. During the most recent financial collapse and subsequent recession, beginning in 2008, banks have been vilified as perpetrators of the crisis, the public distrust compounded by massive public bailouts.

Nevertheless, another form of banking has also emerged, with a focus on promoting economic sustainability, investing in community, providing opportunity for the disadvantaged, and supporting social, environmental, and ethical agendas. Social Banking and Social Finance traces the emergence of the “bank with a conscience” and proposes a new approach to banking in the wake of the economic crisis.


scientificAndPhilosophicalThe Potomac Institute for Policy Studies' Prof. James Giordano, PhD, Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, has recently published Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives in Neuroethics (Cambridge University Press, 2010). The book is available on click here to access the listing on Amazon. 

A compilation of essays from leaders in the field, Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives in Neuroethics explores the multiple - and sometimes surprising - ramifications of rapid progress in neuroscience and neurotechnology.Even as neuroscientific research provides deeper insight into the workings of nervous systems, the fact remains that there is much we do not know about the nature of mind and consciousness.  Technical knowledge alone does not bridge this gap, and as a result there are many challenging ethical and social questions about the meaning and use of neuroscientific discoveries. Prof. Giordano will address these controversies.

Why has radical Islam become such a deadly threat, and why does it dominate the Muslim world? Dr. Tawfik Hamid answers these and other questions about this evil movement clearly and accessibly in his groundbreaking work. Dr. Hamid knows about radical Islam firsthand. In the early 1980s, he was recruited into Jamaa Islamiya, a terror group led at the time by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man who went on to replace Osama bin Laden as leader of al-Qaeda. Eventually and miraculously, Dr. Hamid recognized the insidious nature of violent jihad and rejected its distortions of the Quran, the holy book of the Muslim faith. Ever since, he has pursued the reformation of Islam. He has written new interpretations of the Quran's key texts and has shared his message in many mosques. Inside Jihad reveals Dr. Hamid's deep insights about and passionate opposition to the Islamic terror movement drawn from his direct personal experiences. As a medical doctor and an expert on the psychology of the jihadist mindset, he explains the roles that sex, fear, petrodollars and the hijab for women have played in its proliferation. And he details his bold plan for Islamic reformation that would eventually change the jihadists minds and end their reign of terror.

Dr. Tawfik Hamid is a Senior Fellow in and Chair of the Study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. He is considered a world authority on Islamism and counterterrorism. As such, he has been a keynote speaker at intelligence summits in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. He has discussed jihadism with senators and members of Congress, and has lectured at conferences in Europe and the United States, as well as at several universities. He has been featured on Fox News, CNN and the BBC, and he has published analyses in The Wall Street Journal, the National Review and for the Hudson Institute.

From Mountain Lake Press
Mountain Lake Park, Maryland

Release Date: September 10, 2015

238 pages; paperback (6 x 9); indexed
ISBN 978-0-9908089-1-6
PCN 2014945085
$16.95 ($19.95 Canada)

Distributor: Independent Publishers Group

Agent: Susan Schulman Literary Agency LLC

Publisher/Publicity contact: Phil Berardelli
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


nirvanaThe Potomac Institute Press is pleased to announce that Bureaucratic Nirvana: Life in the Center of the Box, by Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Senior Fellow Hugh Montgomery, is now available on Click here to access the Amazon listing. In Bureaucratic Nirvana, Montgomery draws on his four decades of experience to present a "how-to" primer for Pentagon contractors, administrators and researchers seeking a better understanding of the R&D bureaucracy. 

basThe Potomac Institute Press is pleased to announce that the new edition of Best Available Science: Fundamental Metrics for Evaluation of Scientific Claims is now available for purchase on  Click here to access order page.

In this updated and revised edition of  Best Available Science: Fundamental Metrics for Evaluation of Scientific Claims, authors A. Alan Moghissi, Michael Swetnam, Betty R. Love and Sorin R. Straja  draw on their decades of experience to provide straightforward, easy-to-understand guidance for policymakers tasked with evaluating scientific claims.  Scientists and non-scientists alike will find the step-by-method outlined here to be invaluable in a world where new scientific developments are reported at a breathtaking pace.

Best Available Science is the latest publication of the Potomac Institute Press, a subsidiary of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. The Potomac Institute Press publishes original works addressing key contemporary issues in science, technology, healthcare, environment, national security and defense that are of interest to the academic community, government sector and general public alike. In this way, the Potomac Institute Press enables the Institute’s philosophy of providing important scientific, technical and policy information that is of high quality and remains independent and objective.  Click here to read more about the Potomac Institute Press.  

By Yonah Alexander

To date, no definitive study has dealt specifically with the role of American citizens in supporting foreign political, ideological, or extremist religious agendas.  Dr. Yonah Alexander's forthcoming book, Terrorists in Our Midst: Combating Foreign-Affinity Terrorism in America, remedies that.  In the book, seven expert authors discuss the threats to American security interests in the United States and elsewhere.

Terrorists in Our Midst focuses not only on foreign nationals operating in the United States, but also on American citizens participating in terror networks at home and abroad. The book presents an overview of both conventional and unconventional terrorism, surveys the terrorist threat in the United States by state and non-state actors, and analyzes the foreign-affinity links of American operatives in this country and abroad. Most important for the safety and security of the United States, it offers an assessment of what policies worked and what did not work, specifying a “best practices” agenda of recommendations that should be adopted by the United States and the international community. Also included are case studies and a discussion of various U.S. policies, including intelligence, law enforcement, border security, and civil liberties.

Yonah Alexander is Professor Emeritus of State University of New York and a former research Professor and Director of Terrorism Studies at George Washington University. Currently he is Director of the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, a consortia of universities and think tanks throughout the world. He is also a senior fellow and director of the International Center for Terrorism Studies (at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) and is a co-director of the Inter-University Center for Legal Studies (at the International Law Institute). Dr. Alexander has published 95 books as well as founded and edited three International Journals: Terrorism; Minority and Group Rights; and Political Communication and Persuasion.
His co-contributors to Terrorists in Our Midst are Prof. Raymond Tanter (Michigan); Prof. William Lewis (GWU); Prof. Edgar H. Brenner (ILI); Bruce Zagaris, Esq.; Martin Sieff (UPI); and Oliver “Buck” Revell (former FBI).
Publication date: 12/30/09 0-313-37570-4; 978-0-313-37570-5; $49.95 U.S.Dollars; £34.95 Sterling

20% Pre-publication discount: $39.95 U.S. Dollars; £27.95 Sterling

To order or for more information please contact:
US Contact: ABC-CLIO
Call: 1-800-368-6868;
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Marston Book Services Ltd
160 Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4SD, UK
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terrorBy Yonah Alexander and Tyler B. Richardson

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

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

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

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

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

To order outside the US or for more information please contact:
Marston Book Services Ltd
160 Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4SD, UK
PO Box 1437 • Oxford, UK OX4 9AZ
Tel: +44 (0)1235 465500; Fax: +44 (0)1235 465555
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
US Contact: ABC-CLIO
Call: 1-800-368-6868;
Fax: 1-805-685-9685
Orders by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Dr. James Giordano and M.V. Boswell

This book, edited and written by leading scholars in the field(s) of neuroscience, ethics, law and healthcare policy, provides a unifying perspective of how a philosophical understanding of pain and medicine gives rise to the ethics and policies of pain care. Toward these ends, the chapters shed light on how pain and the experience of the patient and clinician establish the moral obligations of pain medicine, and the conditions necessary to enact pain care on a global scale. In this context, the authors consider possible ethical systems and approaches that are important to, and viable for pain medicine, and provide perspectives into the ways that moral obligations and practical realties are wedded to (and should underscore) any and all practice guidelines, health policy, and laws. In these ways, this volume provides erudite discussions of how contemporary knowledge of pain could and should influence the moral values, and conduct, tenor and value(s) of medical practice, and how this knowledge might serve as a foundation upon which to construct policies toward a more meaningful, patient-centered pain medicine in the future.

About the Author
Editor, James Giordano, PhD is Professor of Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Ethics at the Institute for Psychological Sciences, Centre for Philosophical Psychology, and Fellow, Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, UK, and is the Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, and Chair of the Academic Programs at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, in Arlington, VA (USA). His research is focused upon the molecular and behavioral neuroscience of pain and analgesia; the neurophilosophy of pain and mind, and the neuroethics of pain research and treatment. Editor, Mark V. Boswell, MD, PhD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Director of the International Pain Center, at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, in Lubbock, Texas. His clinical and research interests focus upon neuroanesthesia, acute, chronic and neuropathic pain disorders, and the roles and practices of interventional pain management and palliative care.

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by Yonah Alexander, Ph.D. and Milton Hoenig, Ph.D.

Since his election, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has reversed the more moderate and pluralistic policies of his predecessor and projected himself onto the public scene with headline-grabbing speeches regarding Jews and the state of Israel, open defiance of the UN Security Council on the nuclear issue, and an apparent vision of his country becoming the dominant power in the Middle East. Iran's nuclear ambitions are in direct conflict with the wishes of the United States, the European Union, and many of the governments of the Middle East, leading to consequences that remain uncertain. Iran is a focus of attention in the most recent war in Lebanon, expanding its influence as a (the?) major supporter and supplier of Hezbollah. And Iran is cited in the most recent annual U.S. State Department report on terrorism as the country that is the "most active sponsor of terrorism." This book documents Ahmadinejad's background and rise to power. It explains the current structure of the Iranian revolutionary government--the competing centers of power and the major players. In separate sections it details the terrorist groups funded and armed by Iran, primarily Hezbollah and Hamas. And it 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. There is little reason to believe that Ahmadinejad will leave the scene anytime soon, or that Iran's behavior will change in the near term.

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by Ben Sheppard, Ph.D.

This new volume explores terrorism and strategic terror, examining how the public responds to terrorist attacks, and what authorities can do in such situations.

The book uses a unique interdisciplinary approach, which combines the behavioural sciences and international relations, in order to further the understanding of the 'terror' generated by strategic terror. The work examines five contemporary case studies of the psychological and behavioural effects of strategic terror, from either terrorist attacks or aerial bombardment. It also looks at how risk-communication and public-health strategies can amplify or reduce psychological and behavioural responses, and considers whether behavioural effects translate into political effects, and what governments can do to relieve this. Ultimately, the study argues that the public is not prone to panic, but can change their behaviours to reduce their perceived risk of being exposed to a terrorist attack. This book will be of much interest to students of terrorism studies, homeland security, social psychology and politics in general.

Ben Sheppard is an Adjunct Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, DC, specializing in the terror of terrorism and missile proliferation. He has a Ph.D. from King’s College London.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Overview of the key disciplines
3. Methodological Parameters
4. Israel and the Scud Missile Attacks During the 1991 Gulf War
5. The Tokyo Sarin Attack
6. September 11 Attacks
7. 2001 Anthrax Attacks
8. Israel and the Second Intifada
9. Conclusion. Selected Bibliography

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Quantifying Human Information Processing (Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) [Hardcover]

Quantifying Human Information Processing

  1. Dennis K. McBride (Editor), Dylan Schmorrow (Editor)

ISBN-13: 978-0739112014  ISBN-10: 0739112015


Rapid advances in IT that allow complex information to be presented in high volume and density are challenging human ability to absorb and analyze data as never before. Designing technologies and systems to provide optimal sensory information to human users will be increasingly important. But to do this, quantitative relationships between brain behavior at a molecular level and observable human behavior must be better identified. This was previously considered to be a futuristic, and somewhat unrealistic, goal, however, recent advances in cognitive neuroscience have provided new opportunities for researchers. 

Refinements in imaging technology and simulation tools, and the learning yielded from them, provided the Quantifying Human Information Processing (QHIP) research teams strong starting points from which to further assess the ability to quantify human information processing. Led by experts in psychology, cognitive science, and information processing, among other fields, researchers sought to quantify the information flow in the nervous system, the limits of that flow, and how it is affected by emotions. The QHIP effort looked at specific aspects of the brain's information processing ability including measuring task-related and unrelated thought, assessing mental workload, and finding optimal information processing. 

The researchers found important indicators of both the capacity and limits of the human brain, and offer new ways to think about the brain. This work is a valuable contribution to the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and cognition, and will serve as a resource for human factors engineers designing the next generation of information, safety, analysis, and control systems because it starts to answer how to maximize information processing without overloading the central nervous system


click to purchase


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.








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



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
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.


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


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]


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"


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. (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.



The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
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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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