DARK INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: WHEN CRIME IS THE “DIME”

Criminal states have infused their national instruments of power with an ethos that more closely resembles organized crime At a press conference in Pyonyang last year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to a North Korean negotiator’s claim that the U.S. demands during nuclear negotiations were “gangster-like.” Secretary Pompeo explained that the United States […]

IS “VUCA” A USEFUL TERM OR IS IT ALL “VUCA’ED” UP?

To treat our own time period as though it is somehow exceptional feels intellectually and morally wrong. Do we need a new lexicon or do we already have the right words that we are misapplying? For a quarter century, a popular term to describe the modern strategic environment has been “VUCA,” an acronym meaning “Volatile, […]

ORGANIZED CRIME: NOT WHAT YOU SEE ON TV

Clausewitz talkS about war being an extension of politics; for criminals, violence is … an extension of the profit motive. Paul Kan and Jacqueline E. Whitt discuss organized crime as an important force in the global security environment. Whether organized criminal activity by large transnational groups or networks of smaller groups perpetrating similar criminal behaviors […]

SUN TZU AND THE ART OF WAR — GREAT STRATEGISTS (EPISODE 2)

In “Sun Tzu and the Art of War,” Paul Kan explains the impacts of Sun Tzu’s famed treatise on war. Although little is known about Sun Tzu, The Art of War has been applied to many contemporary contexts from sports to relationships. Military educators often align this book with unconventional war in contrast to the supposed conventional war teachings of Carl von Clausewitz. The podcasts explore the impacts of the book and compare it to those of other Chinese philosophies of the time.

A MIDNIGHT HEIST: THE CONVERGENCE OF WAR & CRIME

Criminal groups turn to warlike tactics to keep themselves in business and to expand their power.  Low-intensity conflict may be high-intensity crime; meaning that one person’s gangster may be another person’s terrorist or insurgent. The explosions that rocked the city of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay just after midnight on April 25th of this year […]

CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE & IMPLICATIONS FOR THE U.S.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the “One Belt, One Road” strategy as a national effort ostensibly to improve the economic integration and regional security of the Eurasian landmass. Also known as the “Belt and Road Initiative,” the strategy emphasizes development projects within underdeveloped east European and Asian nations. However, critics question both the motivations of the Chinese and the potentially low returns on investment. So why are the Chinese pursuing this? Join the podcast as Rakesh Kapoor and Paul Kan explore this question.

FOREIGN FIGHTERS IN THE CARIBBEAN: A PODCAST

In this War Room Podcast, Jamaican Defense Force Colonel Jaimie Ogilvie discusses with U.S. Army War College faculty member Dr. Paul Kan the challenges of foreign fighters operating within the Caribbean, the “third border” of the U.S. as named by former President G. W. Bush. By foreign fighters, Colonel Ogilvie refers to the David Malet’s definition from his book Foreign Fighters: Transnational Identity in Civic Conflicts, “a non-citizen of a state experiencing civil conflict or arrives from another state to join a civil insurgency.” This definition differs from more common usage which treats foreign fighters as a type of terrorist.

They explore the broad range of reasons why individuals become foreign fighters; the impact of foreign fighters on the economically fragile states in the Caribbean, particularly on tourism; and the potential expansion of violent extremist organizations into the region. They also discuss why the U.S. should be concerned about the presence and activities of foreign fighters so close to its homeland, and that the U.S. should assist its Caribbean partners as many lack the resources to deal with the problem themselves.

Colonel Ogilvie is Jamaican’s first officer to attend the U.S. Army War College, and the podcast is based on his strategy research project in satisfaction of resident program requirements.  Each year, the U.S. Army War College resident class includes over 75 international officers from 70 different partner nations all over the globe.