A collection of 56 posts
Ambassador Lukman Faily on Iraq's Future, the Travel Ban, and ISIS
Lukman Faily served as Iraq’s ambassador to the United States for three years. He left that post, and the Iraqi Foreign Service, in 2016. A lot has transpired since our last chat and we plan to follow this short exchange with a more in depth discussion on Covert Contact soon.
The Nice, France Attack: How Can Counterterrorism Evolve with the Threat
In episode 54 I’m joined again by Patrick Skinner, Director of Special Projects for The Soufan Group [http://soufangroup.com/]. Patrick is a former CIA case officer, with a background in federal law enforcement, who specializes in counterterrorism issues. His background, and current work, allow him to look at
The Orlando Shooting and Our Struggle to Make Sense of the Senseless
In episode 51 I’m joined once again by Patrick Skinner, Director of Special Projects for The Soufan Group [http://soufangroup.com/]. Patrick is a former CIA Case Officer, with a background in federal law enforcement, who specializes in counterterrorism issues. You can follow Patrick on Twitter @SkinnerPM [https://twitter.
How Will ISIS Evolve and How Will Our Response Evolve with Them?
In episode 45 I’m joined again by Patrick Skinner, Director of Special Projects for The Soufan Group [http://soufangroup.com/]. Patrick is a former CIA Case Officer, with a background in federal law enforcement, who specializes in counterterrorism issues. In this episode we discuss the danger of an Islamic
A Look at Transnational Crime from a National Security Perspective
Andrew Trabulsi, entrepreneur, consultant, and co-editor of Warlords, Inc.: Black Markets, Broken States, and the Rise of the Warlord Entrepreneur [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N6PBC2G?btkr=1], joined me on episode 42 of Covert Contact to discuss the growing impact of transnational crime and how it intersects with
Ungoverned Spaces: What Threat do they Pose?
Phil Walter has served in the military, the intelligence community, and the inter-agency. The views expressed here are those of the author alone and do not contain information of an official nature. He tweets @philwalter1058 [https://twitter.com/philwalter1058] and blogs at www.philwalter1058.com [http://www.philwalter1058.com/]. This
Are Ungoverned Spaces Inherently Dangerous?
In episode 40 of the Covert Contact podcast Phil Walter joins me to discuss some of the concepts laid out in his recent post on Blogs of War [https://blogsofwar.com/ungoverned-spaces-what-threat-do-they-pose/] about ungoverned spaces and how they’re viewed from a national security perspective. Phil challenges some of the
Understanding the Limits of Intelligence and Counterterrorism
In episode 31 of the Covert Contact podcast I’m joined by Patrick Skinner. Patrick is a former CIA case officer who specializes in counter-terrorism issues. Patrick’s background in both law enforcement (US Air Marshals and the US Capitol Police) and intelligence has positioned him to understand the full
What You Are Getting Wrong About ISIS
Northeastern University professor and terrorism theorist Max Abrahms excels at poking holes in the conventional wisdom and he joins me again in episode 26 to do exactly that. I initially asked Max to discuss his recent piece in Harvard Business Review Why People Keep Saying, “That’s What the Terrorists
Discussing The Paris Attacks and Europe’s Security Challenges with William J. Tucker
William J. Tucker joins me again for a high level look at the Paris attacks and the impact that instability, chiefly in Syria, will have on the region. Failing states and the mass migration of refugees will continue to put immense pressure on dozens of governments. There is no framework,
The Return of the Gold Dinar: What is ISIS Up To?
ISIS is extremely proud of their latest video but, trust me, it’s a bit of a snorefest. But, to be fair, it’s also very different. The horrific violence they’re known for is there but only in comparatively small doses. Instead they’ve opted to take a lot
Why Terrorism Fails: A Discussion with Max Abrahms
We know that terrorism succeeds at terrorizing its targets but does it help the groups behind it achieve their political goals? In this episode I’m joined by Northeastern University professor and terrorism theorist Max Abrahms who makes a persuasive case that terrorism does not succeed where other more selective
All Filler, No Killer: Robert Baer's "The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins"
Theodore W. Weaver is a former Intelligence Officer within the CIA’s National Clandestine Service and the Directorate of Science and Technology. He has close to a decade working as a Special Agent with several Federal agencies and has worked against counter proliferation, human trafficking/smuggling, child exploitation, Intellectual Property
Counterterrorism Challenges: Pondering Seemingly Unsolvable Problems with Phillip Smyth
The first Covert Contact interview features University of Maryland Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics researcher Phillip Smyth. Phillip is also well known for his Hizballah Cavalcade [http://jihadology.net/hizballah-cavalcade/] project on Jihadology [http://jihadology.net/] Phillip specializes in Shia militias, and we touch on that topic, but most of