Since the attacks of 9/11 there has been much research and policy work done on ungoverned spaces. An early discussion of ungoverned spaces occurred in February, 2004 when the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby, provided a statement for the record to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence . His 2004 definition of the term spoke to “geographic areas where governments do not exercise effective control….Terrorist groups and narco-traffickers use these areas as sanctuaries to train, plan and organize, relatively free from interference.” From a U.S. perspective, the idea that ungoverned spaces pose a threat to U.S. interests is continued today in the 2015 U.S. National Security Strategy  which states that “[a]n array of terrorist threats has gained traction in areas of instability, limited opportunity, and broken governance.” This article will discuss the term ungoverned spaces; what it means, its ties to human nature, how ungoverned spaces in and of themselves are not a threat, as well as outline a broad concept for action and identify one additional consideration.
Episode 39 of Covert Contact explores our frequent inability to adequately understand Russia’s strengths and weaknesses. William Tucker joins me once again to look at the significant challenges weakening Russia, their ability to act within constraints that would hobble other nations, and how they might evolve and cope in the face of serious economic and demographic pressures.
Lynnette Bukowski joins me to discuss LZ Grace Warriors Retreat in the latest episode of the Covert Contact podcast. Lynnette, and many volunteers, have transformed a 38 acre farm in Virginia Beach into a place for members of the special operations community and first responders to decompress and recharge. Lynnette shares the story of her husband, a Navy SEAL, and we discuss some of the unique challenges the she faces in supporting who are accustomed to serving, and often suffering, in silence.
The episode closes out with another update on Russia, and their involvement with Hezbollah, from William Tucker.
William Tucker joins me for episode 36 of the Covert Contact podcast to review the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the militia standoff in Burns, Oregon. Did Saudi Arabia go too far? How will Iran respond? Why is the federal government handling the armed militia members in Burns with kid gloves? We address those questions and others.
The episode closes with the announcement of a new segment that will feature William. He’ll be joining the podcast once a week for a short discussion about Russia. There’s much to discuss here, and 2016 will be eventful, so the persistent focus will help us, and you, stay on top of America’s greatest national security threat.