The Intelligence Review | vol. 1 | iss. 1 |

This volume is the product of a collaboration between the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) and the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), a student-run initiative supported by the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, United States. Eleven CIB analysts tackle some of the most pressing and timely questions confronting intelligence observers today. Topics range from the price of oil to political stability in Venezuela, from the territorial cohesion of Iraq to the future of the Islamic State, and many other pressing subjects that feature daily in news headlines. CIB analysts propose carefully crafted and informed forecasts that outline future developments in some of the world's most unpredictable hot spots.

This volume is the product of a collaboration between the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) and the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), a student-run initiative supported by the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, United States. Eleven CIB analysts tackle some of the most pressing and timely questions confronting intelligence observers today. Topics range from the price of oil to political stability in Venezuela, from the territorial cohesion of Iraq to the future of the Islamic State, and many other pressing subjects that feature daily in news headlines. CIB analysts propose carefully crafted and informed forecasts that outline future developments in some of the world's most unpredictable hot spots.

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• Will ISIS be defeated or grow stronger in


• Will there be a peace treaty between the

Taliban and the Afghan government?

• How likely is the possibility of a military

coup in North Korea?

• How likely is the outbreak of a full-scale

civil war in Burundi in 2016?

• Will the European Union’s Schengen Treaty

be abolished?

• Will the per-barrel price of oil continue to

fall in 2016?

• How will Russia’s presence in Syria affect

the strength of Hezbollah?

• Will Iraq edge closer to territorial breakup

in 2016?

• Will there be a change of government in


• Will there be major pro-Russian unrest in

the Baltics, similar to Ukraine’s?

• How will the Oregon standoff affect the US

anti-federal government movement?




• Will ISIS be defeated or grow stronger in


• Will there be a peace treaty between the

Taliban and the Afghan government?

• How likely is the possibility of a military

coup in North Korea?

• How likely is the outbreak of a full-scale

civil war in Burundi in 2016?

• Will the European Union’s Schengen Treaty

be abolished?

• Will the per-barrel price of oil continue to

fall in 2016?

• How will Russia’s presence in Syria affect

the strength of Hezbollah?








• Will Iraq edge closer to territorial breakup

in 2016?

• Will there be a change of government in


• Will there be major pro-Russian unrest in

the Baltics, similar to Ukraine’s?

• How will the Oregon standoff affect the US

anti-federal government movement?


European Intelligence Academy www.euintelligenceacademy.eu

The European Intelligence Academy (EIA) was established in 2013 as an international network of

intelligence studies scholars, specialists and students, who are dedicated to promoting research and

scholarship across the European Union (EU), as well as between the EU and other parts of the world.

One of the primary aims of the EIA network is to highlight the work of emerging graduate and

undergraduate scholars in the intelligence studies field, while encouraging cooperation in research and

scholarship between students of intelligence. The EIA is an initiative of the Research Institute for

European and American Studies (RIEAS).

Chanticleer Intelligence Brief www.cibrief.org

The Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB) was established in 2015 as a student-run initiative supported

by the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) in Conway, South Carolina, United

States. It operates as an ancillary practicum for students in the National Security and Intelligence

Studies program who wish to cultivate and refine their ability to gather, present, and analyze

information in accordance with techniques used in the analytical profession. The goal of the CIB is to

train aspiring intelligence professionals in the art of producing well-researched, impartial and factual

analytical products.

The European Intelligence Academy

11 Kalavryton Street,

Alimos, 17456, Athens, Greece

Tel/Fax: +30-210-991-1214 (Europe)

++1-423-742-1627 (United States)

Email: rieasinfo@gmail.com

ISBN-13: 978-1535402842

ISBN-10: 1535402849

Copyright © 2016 The European Intelligence Academy (EIA)

All rights reserved, Published in North Charleston, SC, United States, in July 2016.

Cover Design: insspirito, CC0 Public Domain. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/en/abstract-geometric-world-map-1278000/

No parts of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the

prior permission in writing of the European Intelligence Academy (EIA), or expressly permitted by law, by license, or under terms agreed

with the appropriate reproduction rights organization. You are not permitted to circulate this work in any other form and you must

impose this same condition on any acquirer of this volume.




Table of Contents

Foreword page 09

Dr. John Nomikos

Introduction page 11

Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis

Will There be Major Pro-Russian Unrest in the Baltics, Similar to Ukraine’s, in 2016? page 15

Emily Clingenpeel

Will the United Socialist Party of Venezuela Come Closer to Losing Power in 2016? page 19

Sarah Harvey

Will the Per-Barrel Price of Oil Continue to Fall in 2016? page 23

Connor Kilgore

How Likely is a Military Coup in North Korea in 2016? page 27

Ryan Haag

Will ISIS be Defeated or Grow Stronger in 2016? page 31

Grant Barratt

Will There Be a Peace Treaty Between the Taliban and the Afghan Government in 2016? page 35

Amy Thomas

Will Iraq Edge Closer to Official Territorial Breakup in 2016? page 39

Amanda Corona

Will Russia’s Military Involvement in Syria Increase the Strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon? page 43

Benjamin Malone

Will a Full-Scale Civil War Erupt in Burundi in 2016? page 47

Matt Hayes

Will the European Union’s Schengen Treaty be Abolished in 2016? page 51

Jeremy Lee

Will the US Anti-Federal Government Movement Gain in Popularity Due to the Oregon Standoff? page 55

Diana Evans

Biographical notes on contributors page 59




The Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS) was founded in 2006

with the aim of promoting the understanding of international affairs. Special attention is

devoted to transatlantic relations, intelligence studies and terrorism, European integration,

international security, Balkan and Mediterranean studies, Russian foreign policy as well as

policy-making on national and international markets.

In 2013, RIEAS initiated the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) project in order to promote

the field of intelligence studies in European academic institutions. The EIA aims to advance

the intelligence profession by setting standards, building resources, sharing knowledge within

the intelligence field, and promoting a strong intelligence culture in European Union member

states. It also promotes cross-border research and scholarship cooperation between intelligence

scholars in the EU and scholars in other parts of the world. Furthermore, the EIA highlights

the work of emerging postgraduate and undergraduate scholars in the intelligence studies field

and provides a forum for them to exchange ideas and pursue relevant research. Ultimately,

one of the main goals of the EIA is to connect young scholars who focus their undergraduate

and postgraduate studies on intelligence in Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world.

With that in mind, I welcome the first copy of The Intelligence Review, Vol.1, No.1, July 2016,

edited by Professor Joseph Fitsanakis of Coastal Carolina University’s Intelligence and National

Security Studies program, and published by the EIA in association with the Chanticleer

Intelligence Brief. Well done to all the young scholars whose work has been included in this


Dr. John Nomikos

Director, European Intelligence Academy




Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis

Assistant Professor, Intelligence and National Security Studies, Coastal Carolina University

Deputy Director, European Intelligence Academy

In the opening lines of his 1966 book Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy, Sherman

Kent proclaims that “intelligence means knowledge”. He goes on to explain that all intelligence

activity “consists basically of two sorts of operation: [...] the surveillance operation, [namely] the

many ways by which the contemporary world is put under close and systematic observation;

and the research operation, [which describes] attempts to establish meaningful patterns out of

what was observed in the past and attempts to get meaning out of what appears to be going

on now”. The analytical pioneer of the Central Intelligence Agency proposes that the two

operations “are virtually inseparable [and] closely bound together by their common devotion

to the production of knowledge” (Kent 2015:3-4).

Kent’s description of the intelligence process forms the methodological basis of the Chanticleer

Intelligence Brief (CIB). The CIB is a student-led effort supported by the Department of Politics

at Coastal Carolina University, which operates as an ancillary practicum for students in Coastal’s

National Security and Intelligence Studies (INSS) program. The CIB was founded in early

2015 because students in the INSS program asked for it. In the words of Benjamin Malone,

the CIB’s founder and first executive director, the “original vision was for CIB to be designed

for exceptional, dedicated intelligence students who wanted to […] show, at an undergraduate

level, that they are capable of doing more than just graduating with a degree”. In doing so,

students would gain “a better understanding of cultures and bring their regional familiarity to

a whole new level”, he adds (Harvey 2016).

The CIB, then, is an effort to implement Kent’s two-fold understanding of the intelligence process

in the undergraduate environment. The central idea is that students who aspire to master


intelligence analysis must develop the analytical confidence that comes with region- or topicbased

specialization. They must be, in the classical Greek sense, philomaths, lovers of studying

and learning in depth about their chosen area of expertise. At the same time, and with the

same degree of vigor, CIB analysts must seek to be polymaths. That is, they must develop their

personal method of amassing expertise on a large number of varied subject areas, so that they

can draw on complex bodies of knowledge to answer, with precision, specific questions and

solve specific problems. In the words of Kent, they must be able to “establish meaningful

patterns” so as to “get meaning out of what appears to be going on now” (Kent 2015:4).

Upon joining the CIB, student analysts join ‘Sections’, that is, groups of other analysts who

specialize in a common geographical region. They work collaboratively to issue measurable

periodic forecasts on current topics that relate to their region. Additionally, each analyst is

given the task of answering a specific question concerning an ongoing development that relates

to his or her area of expertise. The following is an example of a question posed to a student

analyst: “what is the likelihood of a military coup taking place in North Korea by the end of

April of this year?”; or, “will Catalonia edge significantly closer to gaining independence from

Spain by June of this year?”. Analysts occupy themselves with their question for an entire

semester. Throughout that time, they are expected to brief the entire CIB analytical team on a

weekly basis, sometimes in the presence of inquisitive veterans of the Defense Intelligence

Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other agencies of the United States Intelligence

Community. In the process, student analysts are asked questions and are evaluated on their

written and oral-presentation skills. At the end of the semester, each analyst produces a brief

—though dense— analytical product that aims to provide an informed and accurate forecast

in response to their analytical question.

Long before they reach the end of the semester, CIB analysts begin to see themselves —and,

crucially, to be seen by their peers and even by their professors— as knowledgeable specialists

in their area. They display an unmistakable aura of confidence that only comes with in-depth

mastery of one’s field. This is something that the students carry with them to class, at academic

conferences, in discussions with peers, mentors, graduate school committees, and job

interviewers in the public and private sectors. Since its establishment, the CIB has seen its

current and former members present their research at regional and national conferences,

publish their work in academic journals, perform intelligence task at embassies, private companies

and government agencies, and enter prestigious graduate schools in the United States and

abroad. It is my belief that this volume, which represents a small sample of the CIB’s recent and

timely output, displays the analytical strength and intellectual precision that Sherman Kent had

in mind when he so eloquently outlined the connection between intelligence and knowledge.

References Cited

Harvey, S. (2016) “Innovation, Preparation, Dedication: The Brains Behind Chanticleer Intelligence

Brief”, The Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, 6 February

accessed on 28 June 2016.

Kent, S. (2015) Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.




Will There be Major Pro-Russian Unrest in the

Baltics, Similar to Ukraine’s, in 2016?

Emily Clingenpeel

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and accusations of Russian involvement in the Ukraine

crisis in 2014, the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have voiced concerns of a

potential Russian invasion on their eastern borders. There has been no substantial evidence of

pro-Russian unrest coming directly from within these countries, something that can be

attributed to their broad acceptance of a Western-style democracy and membership in the

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Ukraine’s government has been relatively

inefficient since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, because it has broadly reflected the

pro-Russian and pro-Western division among the population. The high level of Russian

influence and anti-Western sentiment in the eastern regions of Ukraine are believed to have

been the main factors that have resulted in the pro-Russian unrest within the country. These

factors are not apparent in the Baltic region, and will likely not result in the same pro-Russian

unrest seen in Ukraine. The perceived aggression that the Baltics see coming from Russia is

likely a result of NATO’s expansion, not the activities of the Baltic countries themselves.


After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Baltic States transitioned toward a Western-style

democracy more quickly than the remaining twelve newly independent states. They became

members of NATO in 2004, and were therefore granted the military security that came with

Article 5 of the alliance. At the same time, Russia’s loss of the Baltics was not necessarily a

major concern in terms of protecting its national interest. The first post-Soviet Russian

Foreign Ministry assigned the Baltic States to their department that dealt with Scandinavia, not

the department that dealt with the former Soviet Union —a clear indicator of acceptance of


the Baltics’ Western orientation (Drobhizeva 1993:2833). The expansion of NATO is much

more publicly scrutinized by Russian leadership than the fact that the Baltic States became

members. NATO has consistently been denounced by the Russian leadership, as they perceive

its expansion to be a threat to their country’s national interests and security (De Luce 2016).

A 1987 verbal agreement between Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and United States (US)

President George H.W. Bush stating that NATO would not expand into central Europe or

place military infrastructure close to Russia’s eastern border has been frequently used by the

Russian leadership to justify their disapproval. However, the successive leaders of either party

were not bound to uphold this agreement (Bender 2016). NATO has since expanded into

Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Baltic States.

Ukraine had a much different transition toward independence after the Soviet Union

dissolved. Russians believe that they and the Ukrainians are essentially the same narod, meaning

they are bearers of the same national culture (Solchanyk 1998:539). There are substantial

numbers of ethnic Russians that were integrated into eastern Ukraine, likely providing the

basis for the pro-Russian separatist movements that have made the country unstable since

2014. The government was heavily influenced by Russian political figures and oligarchs, and

was unable to transition toward a Western-style democracy due to Russian opposition

(McMahon 2014). However, the Orange Revolution in 2004 was the first prominent pro-

Western uprising against the pro-Russian government that hinted toward a change. In 2008,

NATO declared that an independent and stable Ukraine was the key to Euro-Atlantic security

and promised the country future membership. In 2010, Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian

politician, was elected as the Ukrainian president and terminated the Euro-Atlantic security

talks. He was ousted by the parliament and fled to Russia in 2014, sparking a number of pro-

Russian separatist movements against the Ukrainian government. The events that followed led

to an armed conflict between Ukrainian nationalists and the separatists, with accusations of

clandestine Russian and Western support for the two factions.


The territory of Crimea, originally given to Ukraine by then Russian President Nikita Khrushchev

in 1954, was formally annexed by Russia in March of 2014, although the act was considered

illegal by the United Nations. This led to the notion that Russia’s perceived aggression was

becoming more of a threat to some of the countries in Eastern Europe, namely the Baltic

States and Poland. They essentially called on NATO to provide an increased military presence

in the region to deter the threat that they perceived as coming from Russia. In early 2016, the

US Department of Defense made plans to request $3.4 billion in 2017 to reinforce its military

presence closer to Russia’s western border (Anon. 2016b). Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

stated that NATO welcomed these plans because the eastern part of the alliance would be

more secure with an increased troop presence (Bender 2016). However, Russian Foreign

Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that these moves would create grounds to

implement military plans against Russia and practical steps to push Western military

infrastructure closer to Russia’s border. She also noted that these initiatives were “aggressive”

and NATO was using a non-existent threat from Russia as a pretext. Moscow has consistently

let it be known that any such moves by NATO will be reciprocated (Anon. 2016a).



The NATO status of the Baltic States automatically categorizes them as an independent and

politically stable state. Russia, already under sanctions for its involvement in eastern Ukraine

and Crimea, has experienced a drastic decline in the ruble and is not economically in a strategic

position to be involved in a major conflict with an alliance of the size of NATO. Without an

organized pro-Russian movement arising from within the Baltics, there is little that Russia will

be able to gain from involving itself in that region. In contrast, Ukraine has had substantial

Russian influence throughout its existence, dating back to the establishment of the Kievan

Rus in the late 9 th century. There are also two major Russian oil pipelines running through

Ukraine that supply Europe with 16 percent of the its natural gas needs (Metelitsa 2014).

Russia does have a major oil pipeline running through the Baltic Sea, but these are declared

international waters and have little impact on the people of the Baltic region. The relative

instability experienced in Ukraine also makes it more likely for grievances —meaning a real or

imagined cause for complaint— to arise among its people. It was far more probable for pro-

Russian unrest to arise in the Baltic States before 2004, when they were not yet NATO

members, than in the present. With no current evidence of an organized pro-Russian

movement in the Baltics, it can be stated with high confidence that there is no prospect of

pro-Russian unrest arising in the region in 2016.

References Cited

Anonymous (2016a) “NATO Allegedly Plans to Approve Military Expansion in Eastern Europe”,

Sputnik International, 6 February

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016b) “Russia Ramping up Military Drills to Cold War Levels, NATO Says”, Fox News,

5 February

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Bender, J. (2016) “NATO is Planning its Largest Military Build-up in Eastern Europe since the Cold

War”, The Business Insider, 6 February < http://www.businessinsider.com/nato-is-planning-its-biggestmilitary-build-up-in-eastern-europe-since-the-cold-war-2016-2>

accessed on 30 April 2016.

De Luce, D. (2016) “If Russia Started a War in the Baltics, NATO Would Lose Quickly”, Foreign Policy,

3 February

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Drobizheva, L. (1993) “Russian Ethnic Attitudes in Changing Political Situation”, Economic and Political

Weekly, 28(51), pp2833-2836.

McMahon, R. (2014) “Ukraine in Crisis”, Council on Foreign Relations, 25 August accessed on 30 April 2016.

Metelitsa, A. (2014) “16% of Natural Gas Consumed in Europe Runs Through Ukraine”, US Energy

Information Administration, 14 March accessed

on 30 April 2016.

Solchanyk, R. (1998) “Russians in Ukraine: Problems and Prospects”, Harvard Ukrainian Studies, 22,




Will the United Socialist Party of Venezuela

Come Closer to Losing Power in 2016?

Sarah Harvey

Venezuela has fallen victim to an economic crisis, energy crisis and, most importantly, political

instability. The recent change in power at the National Assembly has posed the question if the

United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will continue to have a presence in Miraflores, or

will the right wing continue to sweep the government as it has the legislative branch? Due to

the strong polarization within the current government, it can be stated with high confidence

that the opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), will successfully topple

the government only with a recall referendum.


For the past 17 years, Venezuela has been under Chavista control. This term refers to the

strong electoral support for the late President Hugo Chavez, a leader of the left-wing PSUV,

who took office in 1999. The PSUV is the socialist political party that resulted from the fusion

of social forces supporting the Bolivarian Revolution. In 2013, Chavez died from cancer, but

not before endorsing the country’s current President, Nicolas Maduro, also a leading member

of the PSUV.

Since the election of Chavez, the National Assembly, comparable to the United States Congress,

has been under PSUV control. However, in the elections of 2015, the opposition coalition,

the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), seized a super majority within the Assembly.

Despite protestations by the pro-Maduro government, the Supreme Court of Venezuela (TSJ)

took matters into its own hands. On January 2, 2016, the TSJ “officially suspended the

swearing in of four incoming legislators [...] pending investigations of voting irregularities in


Amazonas state” (Rojas 2016). The Amazonas is one of the largest, but sparsely populated,

states within the country. This move prevented the MUD from obtaining a super majority in

the National Assembly.

Efforts by the TSJ and Maduro to maintain control of the Assembly have not stopped there.

During the election campaigns for the Assembly, one of the key campaigning points of the

MUD was passing an Amnesty Law. The law “would benefit high-profile government adversaries

including Leopoldo Lopez, who was arrested in 2014 on accusations that he helped spur a

wave of demonstrations that ultimately left more than 40 people dead” (Ellsworth 2016). The

Assembly indeed approved an amnesty law; however, Maduro can seek to have the law

reviewed by the TSJ, which has repeatedly sided with the President against the Assembly.

Accordingly, the TSJ ruled that the piece of legislature was unconstitutional, stating that it

allowed for impunity.

Recent Developments

According to the Venezuelan Constitution, there are only six ways the President can be

removed from office. The last of these is the most discussed: a recall referendum, which relies

solely on the opinion of the citizens. This process has been started by the opposition members

in the Assembly, attempting to uphold the promises made during their campaign. After

collecting the signatures of over 1 percent of registered voters, the opposition then has to

collect signatures of over 20 percent of the registered voters in order to trigger a referendum.

Lastly, in order to be successful, the referendum has 72 hours to collect more than 7.5 million

supporters. In order for the referendum to succeed, the opposition must collect more

supporters than the voters who backed Maduro in the 2013 presidential election (Anon.


The first step in this process has already been taken, and succeeded in collecting three times

the amount of signatures needed in order to initiate the referendum. The National Electoral

Board will then verify the signatures and approve the next step. For the opposition, the most

crucial aspect of this process is time. If the recall is successful within the first four years of the

term, new elections will be held. On the other hand, if Maduro is recalled within the last two

years of his term, the vice president would then act as the serving president, postponing the

change of government for another two years (Anon. 2016b).

Allegedly, the second step within the recall process has been achieved. On June 20, it was

reported by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE), that the recall has collected

1.97 million signatures. However, the CNE had already disregarded 600,000 signatures during

the validation process (Anon. 2016c). Although this would still account for the necessary number

of signatures, the opposition continues to face its biggest challenge with time constraints.


Due to the worsening economic situation in Venezuela, the opposition coalition is gaining support.

Venezuelans across the nation have disputed the Amnesty law, but there is widespread despair

as the country has faced shortages of basic food items, medicine, staple goods, work,

education, and even electricity. Venezuela is also home to one of the highest inflation rates in

the world, a factor that has pushed some to support the MUD simply because they want


change (Anon. 2016b). The country currently lacks items such as bread, toilet paper, and

medicine, creating difficulties for daily life. Bread is one of the more prominent examples: it

can take hours of waiting in line just for a single loaf, and even that is usually purchased at an

inflated price. Additionally, the country sits on some of the largest energy reserves in the world;

however, Venezuela choses to rely heavily on hydropower. Unfortunately, it is facing a serious

drought caused by tropical storm El Niño that has cut the Venezuelan work week from five

days down to two days in order to conserve energy. It is possible that the desperate conditions

of the country may drive those with diverging opinions on President Maduro to side with the

opposition MUD.

The recall referendum may be a historic turnaround for Venezuela. If the MUD is successful

in ousting the PSUV, the nature of the country, and the daily lives of its citizens, may well be

transformed. The current administration has taken numerous steps to silence the opposition

press. An example of this can be seen in the involvement of pro-Maduro business groups that

have reportedly been involved in the purchase of the television station Globovision, and daily

newspapers El Universal, El Mundo, and Ultimas Noticias. As the state-owned media has grown,

the private media has disappeared. The late Hugo Chavez took the same actions in shutting

down RCTV, which challenged Chavez’s popularity, as that was the first year Chavez had lost

the popular vote on constitutional reform. Maduro may follow in suit with a decrease in

popularity due to the growing numbers of private media that are being closed. That will prove

significant in determining if a recall referendum will be successful.

According to the Election Guide produced by USAID, there was an approximate 70 percent

voter turnout in the December elections for the National Assembly. Of the 13.6 million votes

cast, 7.72 million were in favor of the MUD (USAID 2016). If this is repeated in the recall

referendum, it will be 200,000 votes more than needed in order for the effort to be successful.


President Maduro won the 2013 election by a small margin, which deems the recall referendum

slightly closer in reach. It can be stated with high confidence that the recall referendum will

achieve the appropriate number of votes in order to oust Maduro. However, it can also be

stated with high confidence that the current administration will do whatever is necessary to

slow down the process, and increase the likelihood of keeping the PSUV in Miraflores.

References Cited

Anonymous (2016a) “7 Key Facts About Venezuela’s Presidential Recall Referendum”, TeleSur, 28

April accessed on 28 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016b) “Venezuela Crisis: Opposition Claims Big Win in Push to Recall Maduro”, BBC

News, 28 April accessed on 28 April


Anonymous (2016c) “Venezuela Begins Validating Recall Referendum Signatures”, Telesur, 20 June

accessed on 20 June 2016.

Ellsworth, B. (2016) “Venezuela Parliament Approves Amnesty Law, Maduro Vows to Veto”, Reuters,

30 March accessed

on 25 April 2016.


Rojas, R.B. (2016) “Venezuelan Supreme Court Suspends Swearing in of 4 Incoming Legislators”,

Venezuelanalysis, 2 January accessed on 25 April 2016.

USAID (2016) “Election for National Assembly”, Election Guide accessed on 28 April 2016.


Will the Per-Barrel Price of Oil Continue to Fall in


Connor Kilgore

In January of 2016, the world saw the price of oil diminish to $27.10, the lowest in over 12

years (Hudson 2016). The oversupplied market was a result of increased production by United

States shale companies, as well as increased production by some of the member states of the

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). In a global market where oil reigns

supreme, no country in the world has prospered from the abundance of oil. Today, the price

of oil is just above $47 a barrel. This rise in price can be primarily attributed to members of

OPEC and Russia attempting to maneuver a freeze in output.

Background and Discussion

In February of 2016, Eulogio Del Pino, the Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum, traveled to

several countries in an effort to move up OPEC’s meeting, which was scheduled to occur in

June. Some of the countries he visited included Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These

visits were focused on a single topic: freezing oil output at January levels in order to help

stabilize the global price of oil. Initially, these countries informally agreed to a production

freeze, with the exception of Iran, whose Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, described the

deal as “ridiculous” (Kalantari 2016). Del Pino sought after Russia since, despite not being a

member of OPEC, it is the largest producer of oil in the world. Alexander Novak, the Russian

Energy Minister, agreed to attend the meeting, with the intention to participate in an output

freeze. Saudi Arabia was the most obvious candidate to participate, since it is the largest oil

producer in OPEC. Ali al Naimi, the Saudi Oil Minister, agreed to participate in a freeze talk,

citing a single condition: all other members of OPEC must participate. Qatar was included in

Del Pino’s global itinerary because the Qatar Minister of Energy, Mohammed Saleh al Sada,

is also the current President of OPEC.


Russia, Qatar and Venezuela were all willing to participate in a freeze; objections came from

Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran had Western nuclear sanctions, many of which targeted its oil

sector, lifted in January. On September 1, 2015 Minister Zanganeh said that Iran was

outputting 2.8 million barrels of oil a day and had the intention of reaching 4.2 million in

output by the end of 2016 (Defterios 2015). Since the sanctions have been lifted, Iran’s oil

output has increased to around 3.4 million barrels a day (Lawler 2016). Iran said that they

should be “left alone,” and would not consider joining freeze talks until their oil output

reached four million barrels a day (Nasseri 2016). This unwillingness to work with Saudi Arabia

led to increased tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which ultimately loomed over the

freeze talks.

On April 17, 2016, 18 countries met in Doha, Qatar with the purported intent of freezing oil

output at January levels until October of 2016 (Anon. 2016b). However, the meeting was to

no avail, as no freeze deal was struck. The cause of this failure can be directly attributed to the

dysfunctional relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Leading up to the meeting, both

the Saudis and the Iranians attempted strategic maneuvers in order to deceive or force the

other into acting uniformly with their wishes. Initially, Saudi Arabia simply asked that Iran sit

in on the freeze talks. Iran agreed to that, but still held firm that they would not participate in

the discussion. Saudi Arabia then went on to say that they would not participate in the freeze

unless Iran did as well. At the beginning of April, Saudi Arabia proceeded to block Iranian oil

tankers from entering Saudi ports, as well as block them from accessing a number of Saudiowned

storage units in Egypt (Anon. 2016a). This attempt at slowing Iranian output failed,

and thus the Saudis agreed to participate in the freeze deal with or without Iran’s consent.

Iran’s lack of eagerness to participate incited Saudi Arabia to ask OPEC that Iran’s invitation

be revoked a week before the meeting, which Iran reacted to apathetically (Anon 2016b), as

they were only attending to appease Saudi Arabia and the international community.

However, on April 16, one day before the meeting in Doha, the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince,

Mohammed bin Salman, said that the Kingdom could increase its output from 10.5 million to

11.5 barrels a day on a day’s notice, and that it could increase daily output to 12.5 million

barrels within six months (Holodny 2016). That was a direct threat of the use of oil as power

in terms of Saudi foreign policy, primarily directed toward Iran. The numerous deliberate

attacks and bluffs executed by Saudi Arabia with the aim to force Iran into the freeze deal

ultimately failed, as Iran decided not to sit in on the talks on the morning of the meeting in

Qatar. Saudi Arabia said they walked into the meeting with the intention of reaching a deal,

but decided that the deal needed to be scrapped and that they would not participate in the

current deal.


Although the deal fell through, the discussion and looming possibility of a freeze has caused

the oil price to rise, as consumers scramble to store cheap oil in bulk. The oil price has risen

recently due to Canada and Africa suffering disruptions in production and pipelines in May.

This caused a decrease in world oil output close to 3.4 million barrels (Puko 2016). Any cut in

oil production from major outputting countries may have an effect on the global price of oil.

It can be stated with high confidence that foreign officials who represent oil exporting

countries have hidden agendas, and that what they say cannot always be assumed to be true.


Every country has its own interest in mind first and foremost. It is highly unlikely that the

price of oil will return to $30 a barrel; however, Saudi Arabia and other major oil producing

countries do have the power to make this happen, should they decide that doing so serves

their national interests.

References Cited

Anonymous (2016a) “Saudi Arabia Tries to Slow Iran Oil Exports, Without Much Success”, OilPrice,

4 April accessed on 1 May 2016.

Anonymous (2016b) “Key Facts About the Doha Oil Meeting Collapse”, BBC, 18 April accessed on 1 May 2016.

Defterios, J., and Thompson, M. (2016) “Exclusive: Sanctions Deal will Unleash Iran’s Oil

Production, official says”, CNN, 1 September accessed on 1 May 2016.

Holodny, E. (2016) “Saudi Arabia Says it Can Flood the Oil Market with Over 1 Million Extra Barrels

Right Away”, Business Insider, 16 April accessed on May 1 2016.

Hudson, D. (2016) “Venezuela Proposes OPEC, Non-OPEC Producers Freeze Oil Supply”, Reuters,

11 February accessed on 1 May 2016.

Kalantari, H., and Dipaola, A. (2016) “Iran Calls Proposed Saudi-Russian Oil-output Freeze

‘Ridiculous”, World Oil, 23 February

accessed on 1 May 2016.

Lawler, A. (2016) “OPEC Oil Output Near Record High in April as Iran, Iraq Growth Offsets

Outages: Reuters Survey”, Reuters, 29 April

accessed on 1 May 2016.

Nasseri, L. (2016) “Iran on Oil Freeze: ‘Leave Us Alone’ Until Production Higher”, Bloomberg, 13


accessed on 1 May 2016.

Puko, T., Kantchev, E., and Malek, M. (2016) “Oil Prices Slip After Hitting $50 a Barrel”, The Wall

Street Journal, 26 May

accessed on 16 June 2016.



How Likely is a Military Coup in North Korea in


Ryan Haag

Based upon historical and contemporary events, regional geopolitics, and the leadership

dynamics inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), it can be stated with

moderate confidence that a military coup in the DPRK is unlikely through 2016. A military

coup refers to the peaceful or violent removal of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un by military

personnel of the DPRK.


Pioneered by Kim Il-sung and established as the official ideology of the DPRK in 1972, the

key driver of domestic affairs in the country is juche philosophy (Lee 2003:105). North Korean

citizens living under juche are “from an early age [...] subject to race-based nationalist

indoctrination and taught that however arduous life is inside of [the DPRK], the outside world

is all the more perilous” (Kourdi 2012:30). The concept of self-sufficiency is also pervasive

and supported through constant propaganda. This mentality carries over into the military,

particularly among the non-elites in the military, who receive little outside information to

contradict juche. Since every male is required to serve in the military, their social classification,

or songbun, determines their specific post. The lower echelon of songbun in the military, known

as the ‘hostile’ class, constantly deals with malnutrition while working on construction and

agricultural projects (Collins 2012:59-65). Consequently, without the energy, resources, or

organization that allows them to mobilize, those within the hostile class are highly unlikely to

stage a coup.


However, the current threat Kim Jong-un is facing is within the highest echelon of songbun,

known as the ‘core class’, which is supposed to consist of those most loyal to him. This class

reaches the highest positions in the military and the Korean Workers Party (KWP). There was

reported discontent among this class before the strictest United Nations (UN) sanctions took

place in early March (Mi-jing 2016). However, there are no indications that this discontent will

equal action against Kim Jong-un, considering that ‘core class’ members still receive better

treatment under the military-first politics of the country.

Nevertheless, the defection of 13 DPRK restaurant workers from China, on April 6, 2016,

highlights some dysfunction (Botelho 2016). Workers abroad are supposed to be the most

loyal to the regime, because of their increased chance of being exposed to outside information.

They also often have hereditary connections to the KWP and/or the military. Therefore, a

defection of this magnitude is rare and possibly points to a weakness within the regime. But the

defection of the restaurant workers also highlights a simple pattern: individuals who become

disillusioned with the state would rather defect than rebel. The thousands of DPRK citizens

who have defected over the last few years emphasize this pattern. It was further accentuated

when South Korea announced on April 10 that a DPRK Colonel in the General

Reconnaissance Bureau defected last year (Gale 2016). A particular caveat, though, consists of

the two failed military coups, in 1991 and 1995. In both cases, a single individual that was

supposed to be part of the coups betrayed their co-conspirators and revealed the plots (Ryall


The defection and discontent is occurring while Kim Jong-un is still trying to solidify his

power. When he first became Supreme Leader in 2011 after the death of his father and

predecessor Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un gradually demoted individuals that had connections

with his father. He clearly did not trust those who had worked closely with his father (Gause

2015:27-33). On December 12, 2013, he furthered proved this by executing his uncle, Jang Sangtaek

(Gause 2015:234). These executions were not unusual as both Kim Il-sung and Kim Jongil

used precisely such a method to maintain control. Consequently, the reported demotion of

General Ri Yong-gil in May is important, but not surprising or damaging to Kim Jong-un’s

power, as he is still developing his relatively young leadership. As a result, present conditions

do not deviate significantly from the status quo.

Furthermore, in October 2015, Kim Jong-un announced that the Seventh Workers’ Party

Congress would occur in May. This is the highest political event in the country and the first

time it has been held in 36 years. It also offered a chance for Kim Jong-un to set the tone of

his leadership for at least the next couple years. It is possible that Kim Jong-un’s overt show

of toughness over the last few months may have been his way of preparing for the event. In

essence, the DPRK’s fourth nuclear test and intercontinental ballistic missile tests could be

skewed to enhance the most important high-level meeting in North Korea in decades, and to

uphold Kim Jong-un’s byungjin policy of simultaneous nuclear and economic development,

which was adopted in March 2013. The timing of the Seventh Workers’ Party Congress could

possibly coincide with the tests in order for Kim Jong-un to take credit for the progress. One

noteworthy outcome of the Party Congress was the announcement of a five-year economic

plan, from 2016 to 2020. However, there were few details on implementation. Kim Jong-un

also highlighted the need for global denuclearization and non-proliferation and emphasized

the defensive nature of the DPRK’s nuclear program.


At the same time, current international conditions do not significantly threaten Kim Jong-un.

The DPRK sees annual military drills between South Korea and the United States (US) as one

of the reasons why it must maintain nuclear weapons. Even though China has economic and

political influence (more so the former than the latter), the DPRK knows that China does not

want instability on its doorstep. Therefore, Kim Jong-un tries to maintain and increase his

country’s military capabilities to deter any external aggression and legitimize his domestic

status, while simultaneously playing the US and regional countries against one another —a

method Kim Il-sung used quite effectively against the Soviet Union and China during the Cold


When times get tough, juche attempts to explain the situation. One significant part of juche

includes short-term sacrifice for the long-term benefit of the nation. Essentially, “long-term

growth is strengthened as a guiding principle of the economy and people are asked to defer

personal gratification in the present to build for the future” (French 2014:58). Consequently,

the most vital tool that can threaten Kim Jong-un’s power is information that contradicts

juche. Right now this information is gradually making its way through all levels of society, but

not at a rate that threatens his power. Kim Jong-un will continue to ruthlessly crack down on

smuggled contraband and information without retribution from society.


Overall, lower echelons in the military cannot stage a coup due to their songbun classification

level and subsequent treatment by the regime. Even if they become disillusioned, most will

elect to defect or flee, rather than show explicit discontent and risk death, something which

also applies to the higher echelons of the military. Simultaneously, executions and demotions

at the highest level have become the status quo in North Korea, with little resistance from all

levels of society. The timing of the Seventh Workers’ Party Congress seems to be a move by

Kim Jong-un to better his image and possibly institute beneficial policy and economic

directives. As a result, it can be stated with moderate confidence that a military coup in the

DPRK is unlikely through 2016.

References Cited

Botelho, G. and Kwon, K.J. (2016) “13 North Korean Restaurant Workers Defect”, CNN, 13 April.

Collins, R. (2012) “Marked for Life: Songbun, North Korea’s Social Classification System”, The

Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, Washington DC, 6 June.

French, P. (2014) North Korea: State of Paranoia, Zed Books, London, England.

Gale, A. (2016) “Highly Ranked North Korean Spy Defects to South”, The Wall Street Journal, 11 April.

Gause, K. (2015) “North Korean House of Cards: Leadership Dynamics under Kim Jong-un”, The

Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, Washington DC, 30 October.

Kourdi, J. (2012) The Answers: North Korea, Marshall Cavendish, Singapore.

Lee, G. (2003) “The Political Philosophy of Juche”, Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, 3(1), pp105-


Mi-jing K. (2016) “‘Fight or Flight’ For Growing Number of Cadres”, Daily NK, 05 January.

Ryall, J. (2015) “North Korea’s Kim Dynasty Survived ‘Series of Coups’, Says CIA Agent”, The Daily

Telegraph, 08 May.



Will ISIS be Defeated or Grow Stronger in 2016?

Grant Barratt

It is stated with moderate confidence that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will not be

defeated in 2016. However, ISIS’s strength will become diminished as the group continues to

lose its ability to gain and control territory throughout Iraq and Syria. ISIS’s strength is

measured primarily by the amount of territory the group controls, and the territory it loses.

The group’s goal as a revolutionary state is to create a caliphate, a land governed under sharia

law, in the Middle East. In 2013, ISIS began a military campaign, forcefully taking swaths of

land across Iraq and Syria. As of late 2015 and currently in 2016, their strength continues to

decrease as they lose control of key territories in the region. It is difficult to estimate a specific

span of time in which ISIS will be defeated as a state, as they continue to remain a prominent

fighting force in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan. It is stated with high confidence, however,

that ISIS will not become stronger in 2016.


ISIS is becoming weaker throughout Iraq and Syria due to a variety of factors. First, the introduction

of Russian military forces into Syria after September of 2015 has heavily deteriorated the ISIS

presence in the country. Russian forces deployed after an official request from Bashar al-

Assad, the president of Syria, who called for help to combat militant jihadist groups that are

fighting against the Syrian regime. Since that time, Russian fighter jets and bombers have

continuously targeted ISIS throughout Syria to allow Syrian ground forces to regain key strongholds,

such as the ancient city of Palmyra. Russia also has deployed helicopters, tanks, naval assets,

and ground forces into Syria.

Another factor that is contributing to ISIS’s weakening is the international coalition led by the

United States (US) through Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). OIR is an air campaign tasked

with destroying ISIS, and in recent months has rapidly increased the number of airstrikes


conducted against ISIS targets (US Department of Defense). Along with an increased number

of airstrikes, the US and its coalition appear to be shifting targeting strategies in order to heavily

impact ISIS’s infrastructure. These targets include sources of oil revenue, cash houses, and

water supply facilities (Gordon and Schmitt 2015). In addition, the US has deployed a special

operations outfit, Army Delta, to Iraq and Syria to conduct kill or capture missions against

ISIS leadership (Starr 2016).

So far, these strategies seem to directly impact ISIS’s strength. In 2015 and 2016, ISIS lost a

large portion of its territory in Iraq and Syria, which evidently led to loss of income. On a caseby-case

basis, these territories were taken from ISIS by Syrian-Russian alliance forces, Kurdish

Peshmerga forces, or Iraqi Security Forces with the help of US air support. Cities and territories

gained back from ISIS include: Kobane, Ramadi, parts of Fallujah, al-Qaryatain, and Palmyra.

The loss of these territories resulted in ISIS only holding on to two strategic strongholds which

are Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria (Dearden 2015).

In addition to losing a large portion of its territory, ISIS’s leadership has been effectively

targeted by the international military effort. This has impacted ISIS’s ability to organize and

command forces. In 2015, ISIS’s leadership was heavily targeted through US drone strikes, as

well as by Special Forces raids aiming to kill or capture leaders ranging from military

commanders to chemical weapons engineers (Hall 2015). One example of such high-profile

targeting is the killing of Abu Muslim Al-Turkmani, who was considered ISIS’s second in

command and governor of ISIS controlled territories. The US confirmed he was killed by an

airstrike in 2015 somewhere near the city of Mosul (Sanchez 2015). Another ISIS leader and

trusted member of the ISIS cabinet, Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi, was also killed outside of

Mosul from an airstrike in 2015 (Tomson 2016).

It is estimated that, due to the massive loss of territory, ISIS will revert to committing

international attacks against soft targets in order to maintain their legitimacy. Examples of ISIS

lashing out directly after losing territory include the downing of a Russian jet liner in October

of 2015 and the Paris attacks carried out in November of 2015, following the loss of Ramadi

in Iraq. This could result in ISIS adopting an al-Qaeda-like strategy that includes large-scale

international attacks over time (Hashim 2014). This seems to be ironic as the al-Qaeda strategy

was originally denounced by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current leader and commander of

ISIS, as leading to the split between the two groups. However, this comes as a direct result of

ISIS losing its ability to hold ground against the mounting offenses launched by Russia, the

US, Iraq forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, and Syrian troops.

As ISIS continues to lose territory and infrastructure, more defectors are reaching out to

describe what life is actually like inside ISIS’s caliphate. Multiple defectors have stated that

ISIS’s strength is diminished and fighter morale is at a minimum. This is heavily due to

increased pressure on their sources of revenue, including oil infrastructure, cash houses, and

weapons storage. As of April 2016, it is estimated that ISIS has lost over $800 million in cash

just from targeted airstrikes of their treasury warehouses (Anon. 2016). In the beginning, ISIS

fighters were offered a salary and benefits. Defectors now claim that the group is unable to

pay for basic necessities, such as food and water. In addition, they claim it is now extremely

difficult for ISIS to have recruits gain access to Syria and Iraq due to increased border security

in surrounding countries. This has led ISIS to encourage recruits to travel to Libya, or carry

out attacks in their home countries. (Freytas-Tamura 2015).



Over the past few months, my forecast on weather ISIS will be defeated or grow stronger in

2016 has varied. However, I currently estimate that ISIS will not be defeated by the end of the

year. Its strength will continue to be diminished as it loses its ability to launch offenses to gain

and govern additional territory in Iraq and Syria. As its leadership continues to be targeted by

OIR and the international community, fighter morale will continue to decrease and in turn

take the fight out of the forces that remain. As offenses begin to mount against Mosul and

Raqqa, ISIS will hold on to a minimal amount of territory in Iraq and Syria. But with the walls

closing in around ISIS, I estimate that it will revert to an al-Qaeda-like strategy of committing

international attacks to maintain its reputation. This type of strategy will put Russia, as well as

the US and other Western nations, at a higher risk of terrorist attacks.

As of July 2016, this new strategy appears to be unfolding. Through media propaganda, ISIS

called for global Jihad attacks against soft targets during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,

taking place from June 5 to July 5 of 2016. In June, ISIS was responsible for suicide attacks

across the globe, but mainly in Middle Eastern nations like Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Saudi

Arabia. After ISIS lost a key stronghold in Iraq, Fallujah, suicide attacks increased dramatically

throughout the nation, killing hundreds of civilians. The group has been linked to attacks in

France, Belgium, Turkey, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and many other countries.

(Jennings 2016). In addition, it is believed that the Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting that

left more than fifty people dead was inspired by ISIS.

This author has previously recommended that the US continues to target ISIS leadership as

well as combat recruitment efforts in order to avoid attacks on the homeland. Regardless, it is

stated with moderate confidence that ISIS will not be defeated in 2016. I believe the fight

against ISIS will last at a minimum to mid-2017. It is also stated with high confidence that ISIS

will not grow stronger in 2016, as it loses its ability to gain and govern additional territory in

Iraq and Syria.

References Cited

Anonymous (2016) “Islamic State: Up to $800m of Funds Destroyed by Strikes”, BBC News, 26 April

2016 accessed on 19 June 2016.

Dearden, L. (2015) “ISIS Loses 40% of Territory in Iraq and 20% of Territory in Syria as International

Airstrikes Support Ground Operations”, The Independent, 5 January accessed on 22 April 2016.

Freytas-Tamura, K. (2015) “ISIS Defectors Reveal Disillusionment”, The New York Times, 20

September accessed on 21 April 2016.

Gordon, M., and Schmitt, E. (2015) “US Steps up its Attacks on ISIS-Controlled Oil Fields in Syria”,

The New York Times, 12 November ,

accessed on 21 April 2016.

Hall, J. (2015) “The Kill List: Half of ISIS Top Commanders Believed to be Dead”, The Daily Mail, 2


accessed on 20

April 2016.

Hashim, A. (2014) “The Islamic State: From al-Qaeda Affiliate to Caliphate”, Middle East Policy, 4(21),



Jennings, R. (2016) “Why Malaysia, Known for Moderate Islam, Should Expect More ISIS Attacks”,

Forbes, 6 June

accessed on 9 July 2016.

Sanchez, R. (2015) “Islamic State Deputy Leader Killed in US Airstrike White House Says”, The Daily

Telegraph, 21 August accessed on 21 April


Starr, B. (2016) “Army’s Delta Force Begins to Target ISIS in Iraq”, CNN, 29 February accessed on 20 April 2016.

Tomson, C. (2016) “ISIS Denies Death of Top Commander, Posts New Picture of Omar al-Shishani”,

Almasdar News, 28 March

accessed on 20 April 2016.

United States Department of Defense (n.d) “Special Report: Operation Inherent Resolve”,

Department of Defense, Washington DC, United States accessed on 20 April 2016.


Will There Be a Peace Treaty Between the Taliban

and the Afghan Government in 2016?

Amy Thomas

How close are we to the agreement of an official peace treaty between the Afghan government

and the Taliban? This is a complex question that is directly affected by the current political

instability in Afghanistan, the historical context of the tribal entities, and the governance

vacuum, which pre-dates Afghanistan’s official recognition as a state in 1919. The current

resurgence of the Taliban’s operational strength, leading to their growing political strength in

the past few months, and the growing dissatisfaction with the Kabul government among the

general populace, lend to a complex and multifaceted environment. Due to these conditions I

find it highly unlikely that we will see an official peace treaty agreement between the Afghan

government and the Taliban within the next six months. Instead, I am moderately confident

that we are more likely to see a multilateral agreement between the Taliban and the seven

ethnic groups within Afghanistan. This assessment is due to a number of reasons that include

the death of Mullah Mansour and the current conditions that are unfavorable for either the

Afghan government or the Taliban to rise to and/or maintain power unilaterally.

Recent Developments

In terms of this writing, a peace treaty is understood in its traditional meaning of an agreement

between two or more hostile parties stating that the war between them is over. An official

peace treaty between the Taliban and the Afghan government would mean an end to the armed

attacks by the Taliban on both military and/or government-related targets and against civilian

targets. Additionally it would mean that the Afghan government would cease their attacks

against the Taliban.


It is unlikely that the next six months will see a revival of the peace treaty process, which has

been stalled since July of 2015. Back then, the process collapsed after the Afghan government

announced that the Taliban leader Mullah Omar had died in April of 2013. Two days later, the

Taliban confirmed this and announced that Mullah Akhtar Mansour would be their new leader,

(Rasmussen 2015). This in turn led to the breakdown of the peace talks, with Pakistan’s

Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that the talks would be held at a later date, due to Omar’s

death, (Popalzai 2015).

On May 21, 2016 Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US drone strike (Anon. 2016b). The

strike occurred in the Dalbandi area of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, without the

authorization of Pakistan, which stated that its sovereignty was violated during the attack.

Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada was named the new Taliban Emir on May 25, 2016 (Mashal

et al. 2016). He is a cleric by training, similar to the late Mullah Omar, and is said to have been

the one issuing the religious statements, or fatwas, supporting the military actions of the late

Mullah Mansour. This change in leadership has a high likelihood of inhibiting the peace

process, as it did in July 2015.

In September 2015, the Taliban successfully took over Kunduz, the capital of northern

Afghanistan’s Kunduz province. The takeover lasted two weeks, during which the Taliban

were able to damage and destroy government offices, free Taliban prisoners kept in the city’s

two jails, and defeat the 7,000-strong government forces with just a “few hundred fighters”

(Norland 2015). This takeover is of importance for the prospect of an official peace treaty

between the Afghan government and the Taliban, as it was the first time since their official

overthrow by US forces that the Taliban had been able to attack, take over, and hold territory.

After the takeover of Kunduz, the Taliban continued to increase their operational capabilities

under the leadership of Mullah Mansour. Despite a leadership split in late October, when

Mullah Rasool left with a splinter group, the Taliban conducted attacks in Kabul and gained

substantial territory in Helmand, pushing back government forces (Walsh 2016). These actions

demonstrated the operational capabilities of the Taliban and helped solidify the Taliban under

Mullah Mansour. Similar attacks have continued under Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, as

the Taliban’s annual spring offensive is continuing.

In January 2016, Pakistan, China, the US and the Afghan government formed the Quadrilateral

Coordination Council (QCG) to restart the process of holding official talks between the

Afghan government and the Taliban (Gady 2016). These talks were arranged to create the

conditions for possible peace treaty negotiations between the Afghan government and the

Taliban, which were ostensibly set to take place before the end of February. However, as of June

2016, there has not been a meeting between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives.

On March 5, 2016, the Taliban issued an official statement on their website, the “Islamic

Emirate of Afghanistan”, which stated that they were not participating in peace talks with the

Afghan government. The statement said that “the esteemed leader of Islamic Emirate has not

authorized anyone to participate in this meeting and neither has the Leadership Council of

Islamic Emirate decided to partake in it” (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 2016a). This has in

turn stalled the peace treaty process, as has Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s refusal to

negotiate with anyone who kills civilians and engages in terrorist activities. However, as

President Ghani is refusing to talk, his disapproval rate among the Afghan people is at 76

percent, while and the disapproval rating of the entire Afghan government is at 81 percent

(Hakim 2016).


On April 12, 2016, the Taliban issued the official declaration of the start of their annual spring

offensive (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 2016b). They followed up this announcement with

a suicide attack on a military compound in Kabul that killed 64 and injured around 300. The

attack, which was one of the largest on Kabul since 2011 (Pearson et al. 2016), was aimed at

the Afghan government. Such attacks have continued under Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada,

who has been targeting major roads leading to Kabul. The Taliban has formally stated that

they “do not care if Kabul attends peace talks or not”, as they are currently winning

operationally (Anon 2016a).


Due to these statements, the stalled peace treaty process, and the recent switch from a militarybased

leader to that of a clerical leader at the Taliban’s helm, it can be stated with high

confidence that it is unlikely that we will see a peace treaty between the Afghan government

and the Taliban during the next six months. The Taliban is seeing increasing operational

success and a switch in leadership once more, as noted above, and the Afghan government is

facing declining public support. These two factors are important when considering the question

of whether or not we will see an agreement on an official peace treaty process, because they

are the indicators of the intentions and motives of the Afghan government and the Taliban.

With these factors in mind, and the historical success of multilateral agreements among the

seven tribal groups within Afghanistan dating back centuries, it is more likely that there would

be an agreement through a multilateral process between the ethnic groups of Afghanistan,

than between the Taliban and the Afghan government. I am moderately confident in this.

References Cited

Anonymous (2016a) “Taliban: We Don’t Care if Kabul Attends Peace Talks”, Al Jazeera, 26 April

accessed 1 May 2016.

Anonymous (2016b). “Taliban Leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour Killed, Afghans Confirm”, BBC, 22

May accessed on 8 June 2016.

Gady, F. (2016) “Afghanistan to Start Peace Talks with Taliban by the End of February”, The Diplomat,

8 February

1 May 2016.

Hakim, Y. (2016) “President Ghani Calls for Afghans to Remain in Country”, BBC, 31 March 01 May 2016.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (2016a) “Statement of Islamic Emirate Concerning Non-

Participation By Delegates Of Islamic Emirate In Upcoming QCG Meetings”, Shahamat Islamic

Emirate of Afghanistan, 5 March

accessed 01 May 2016.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (2016b). “Statement By Leadership Council Of Islamic Emirate

Regarding Inauguration Of Spring Offensive Entitled ‘Operation Omari’”, Shahamat Islamic Emirate

of Afghanistan, 12 April accessed

1 May 2016.

Mashal, M., Shah, T., and Nader, Z. (2016) “Taliban Name Lesser-Known Cleric as Their New

Leader”, The New York Times, 25 May accessed on 08 June 2016.


Pearson, M., Popalzai, M., and Ullah, Z. (2016) “Death Toll Rises after Taliban Attack in Kabul”,

CNN, 20 April accessed 1

May 2016.

Popalzai, M. (2015) “Taliban Confirm Mullah Omar’s Death, Name New Leader”, CNN, 31 July

accessed 1 May 2016.

Rasmussen, S.E. (2015) “Taliban Officially Announce Death of Mullah Omar”, The Guardian, 30 July

accessed 01 May 2016.

Walsh, N.P. (2016) “Afghan Soldier’s Desert as Taliban Push”, CNN, 11 April accessed on 1 May



Will Iraq Edge Closer to Official Territorial Breakup

in 2016?

Amanda Corona

The Daesh insurgency, the Kurdish push for independence, the discontent with the central

government, and the collapsing economic system in Iraq have all prompted questions over the

long-term unity of the state. These sources of tension appear to indicate the possibility of

separate Kurdish, Sunni, and Shia states, as a result of which modern-day Iraq could cease to

exist. However, when assessed individually and in their totality, the tensions are not substantial

enough to pose an existential threat to Iraq’s existence.


In the past few months, there have been developments both in support and in opposition to the

idea of a fragmented Iraq. On February 3, 2016, President Massoud Barzani of the autonomous

Kurdistan Regional government in the north of Iraq, once again called for Kurdish independence

(Al-Marashi 2016). President Barzani has also set a date for a referendum in October of 2016

to discuss the “will and opinion” (Lashkari 2016) of the Kurdish people and its leadership.

The opinion of other Kurdish groups, like those in the rival parties of Gorran and Komal,

strongly oppose President Barzani and have openly criticized him (Salih 2016). The biggest

factor in the discontent aimed at Barzani, concerns his extended presidential term. Barzani’s

term ended in August of 2015. However, legal provisions introduced in June of 2013 have

allowed him to remain in power for two more years (Salih 2015). The provisions of 2013 are

not accepted by Kurdish parties, aside from the Kurdistan Democratic Party to which Barzani

belongs. The extended rule of Barzani is viewed as anti-democratic and has been the motivator

behind the second and third largest political parties’ refusal to hold meetings with the KDP to

discuss the worsening economic situation in Iraqi Kurdistan (Salih 2016).


It is true that the Kurdish push for independence is the most serious factor putting strain on

the unity of Iraq. There is no doubt that the Kurds have had a desire for an independent state

even before the fall of the Ottoman Empire. However their intent does not match their

capabilities. Moreover, there are two factors that are crucial, if a Kurdish state is to become a

reality, namely consistent international support and economic capabilities (Chulov 2016). Starting

with the former, not only do the Kurds lack international support, but their secondary source

of income, second only to the central government in Baghdad, is Turkey. The Kurdistan

Regional Government has been involved in the illegal sale of crude oil from Kirkuk to Turkey

(Ansary 2016). Turkey, however, is not only an unviable prospect as an international supporter

for a Kurdish state, but is in fact known for its hostility towards the Kurdish presence within

its borders, and has condemned the idea of a formation of a Kurdish state countless times.

The economic capabilities also pose a problem for Kurdistan, because an oil driven economy

can only function if the government controls the oil reserves, which the Kurds do not. It is

true that Iraqi Kurdistan possesses oil-rich lands within its borders that are rich enough to

sustain it as a nation. Currently, as part of the Iraqi constitution of 2005, the Kurdistan region

has autonomous control, but it cannot collect revenues made from the sales of oil reserves in

the region (Jawad 2013:13).

Iraqi lands are also threatened militarily by Daesh, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and

Syria. Despite being on the rise in the past few years, Daesh lost 40 percent of its territory

since January 2016 and continues to be on the defensive (Dearden 2016). Much of the land

loss by Daesh is a result of the Kurdish fighting force, known as the Peshmerga. In addition

to being known as the supreme ground force, the Peshmerga is also known to have “bulldozed,

blown up and burned down thousands of homes in Arab villages” (Jalal 2016) following their

successes over Daesh. This has increased Arab animosity toward the Kurds.

Another recent development occurred in April, when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s

idea for the formation of a technocratic cabinet gained parliamentary approval in Baghdad.

The technocratic cabinet came as a result of large-scale protest led by Shia Cleric Muqtada al-

Sadr against government corruption. The goal of the technocratic government is to appoint

ministers based on their experience, expertise and merit, as opposed to the previous system of

party representation. The Kurds, although adamant that their ministerial representation be

maintained at 20 percent in the new cabinet, have been actively involved in the process. The

Kurdish regional government has conducted meetings in Baghdad with other Kurdish parties

to strategize and discuss the matter (Salih 2016).

Implications and Conclusion

The cry for independence by president Barzani is likely a rallying tactic to gain support for his

extended —and what some view as illegitimate— presidency. The infighting between the

Kurdish parties, in addition to their impasse in negotiations with the regional government,

indicates a weak, politically fragmented Kurdistan. The current, broken, Kurdistan is incapable

of successfully attaining or even pursuing independence. The loss of land by the Islamic State

indicates a stronger central government in Baghdad, more so however a stronger Kurdish

influence. The actions of the Peshmerga mimic demographic engineering as they are spreading

their influence through occupation of formerly Arab lands following the defeats of Daesh. In


conclusion, despite the Peshmerga taking strides to expand Kurdish lands and spread Kurdish

influence, the inability of the Kurdish government to unite makes independence a distant

dream. Meanwhile, Daesh is weakening and the central administration in Baghdad is becoming

stronger, while galvanizing public support. The successful appointment of minsters for Abadi’s

technocratic cabinet, and the Kurds’ desire to play a role, shows their practical commitment

to the central government in Iraq.

As the primary force pulling Iraq apart, the Kurds do not have the capabilities, and one could

argue that their president does not have the intent, to pursue independence. Therefore, I can

say with high confidence that the lack of resources, the lack of unity between the Kurds, the

decreased presence of Daesh, and the strengthening of the central government, specifically

with the implementation of the technocratic cabinet, ultimately supports the notion that Iraq

is not edging closer to breaking up in the year 2016.

References Cited

Al-Marashi, I. (2016) “The Kurdish Referendum and Barzani’s Political Survival”, Al-Jazeera, 04 February

accessed on 6 February 2016.

Ansary, K.A. and Stanley, B. (2016) “Kurds tighten Grip on North Iraq Oil Fields With Kirkuk”,

Bloomberg, 3 March

accessed on 2 April 2016.

Chulov, M. (2016) “Iraqi Kurdistan President: time has come to redraw Middle East boundaries”, The

Guardian, 22 January

accessed on 30 March 2016.

Dearden, L. (2016) “ISIS ‘Loses 40% of Iraq Territory and 20% in Syria’ as International Air Strikes

Support Ground Operations”, The Independent, 05 January

accessed on 20 March 2016.

Jalal, A. (2016) “Amnesty Says Kurds Now Waging Campaign to Uproot Arabs in North Iraq”,

Reuters, 20 January accessed on 15 March 2016.

Jawad, S.N. (2013) “The Iraqi Constitution, Structural Flaws and Political Implications”, London

School of Economics, Middle East Centre, November, accessed on 20 April 2016.

Lashkari, A. (2016) “Iraqi Kurdish Leader Calls for Non-Binding Independence Referendum”, Reuters,

02 February accessed on 06

February 2016.

Salih, M.A. (2015) “Fate of Kurdish Presidency Divides Iraqi Kurds”, Al-Monitor, 22 May

accessed on 20 April 2016.

Salih, M.A. (2016) “Why Iraq’s Kurds are United in Baghdad and Divided in Erbil”, Al-Monitor, 8


accessed on 18 April 2016.



Will Russia’s Military Involvement in Syria Increase

the Strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon?

Benjamin Malone

For nearly a year, Russian and Hezbollah forces have been working closely to fight armed

rebel groups and militias inside Syria. However, Russia’s involvement in Syria will not have an

effect on Hezbollah’s power in Lebanon. Hezbollah is a militant group that has been labeled

a terrorist organization by the United States (US) and other Western countries, ever since 1983,

when it bombed the US Embassy and Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Emerging

out of the Lebanese Civil war, Hezbollah has evolved into a more legitimate power in Lebanon

over the past twenty years. Hezbollah’s strength can be categorized into two distinct parts:

political and military. Inside Lebanon, Hezbollah’s political wing is a recognized party in the

Lebanese parliament. This intensive involvement in Lebanese politics has allowed the group

to have a substantial amount of influence in recent elections. An example of this is Hezbollah’s

ongoing boycott of the presidential election in parliament, which has resulted in the absence

of a Lebanese president for over two years. Hezbollah’s armed wing works closely with the

Lebanese government and is seen by many as deterrence to Israeli aggression along the

southern border of Lebanon, where the militant group is most prevalent.


Since Hezbollah entered the Syrian conflict in 2013, they have progressed from an advisory

position to direct action, and then on to a leadership role. Responsible for training Syrian

forces and planning operations, Hezbollah has made no secret of their involvement and

support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (Sullivan 2014:4). One of the main

reasons for their support, which is aimed at ensuring the survival of the Assad regime, is that

his government has played an important part in the transfer of money, weapons and equipment


from Iran to Hezbollah (Sullivan 2014:10). There is evidence that the close relationship

between Hezbollah and Assad has enabled the Lebanese militant group to add thousands of

missiles to its arsenal (Entous et al. 2014). After Russia entered the conflict in September of

2015, many countries, including Israel, were concerned about Russia arming Hezbollah with

weapons. Israel has been at odds with Hezbollah since its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which

created the circumstances that led to the formation of Hezbollah.

However, looking at the amount of weapons that Hezbollah acquired before Russia entered

the conflict, refutes the view that Russia is a primary supplier of weapons to Hezbollah. An

even more crucial indicator is the increasingly close relationship between Russian President

Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This relationship became

apparent after the first meeting between the two leaders, which took place soon after Russia

announced its entrance into the Syrian conflict. That initial meeting lead to the establishment

of a direct ‘hotline’ between the two nations’ military forces (Williams 2016). The hotline

established a method of communication and coordination between the two militaries, giving

the impression that Russia and Israel had come to an agreement about the limits of Russia’s

involvement in Syria.

If there is one thing that can be a major factor in Russia’s influence on Hezbollah’s military

power, it would be the experience that the Hezbollah troops will gain from fighting alongside

Russian forces, combined with the knowledge and training provided by the Russians (Corbeil

2016). However, when it comes to combat experience, Hezbollah has been fighting against

various military forces, including Israel’s, for several years before Russia officially entered the

ongoing conflict in Syria.

As stated before, the main reason behind Hezbollah’s inception was to respond to what many

Arabs consider Israeli aggression toward Lebanon. In doing this, Hezbollah has created a

reputation for itself in the region as a defender of Lebanon (Solomon 2015). This view began

to change when Hezbollah became more involved in Syria and began suffering casualties as a

result. As recently as December 2015, reports and interviews indicated that Lebanese citizens

were growing tired of the conflict in Syria (Rosenfeld 2015). Other Lebanese parties and groups

have spoken out strongly against Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria. One such voice has come

from the Future Movement Party, a Sunni group lead by Saad Hariri, who served as Lebanon’s

prime minister from 2009 to 2014. Additionally, many regional powers have come out as vocal

opponents of Hezbollah. One such power is Saudi Arabia, which halted its supply of over 3

billion dollars in military aid to Lebanon in protest for Hezbollah’s influence on the Lebanese

government (Azakir 2016). Recently, the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes six Middle

Eastern countries, voted to officially label Hezbollah a terrorist group (Anon. 2016a).

It is clear that Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria has created problems for their political power

in Lebanon. Moreover, Russia’s continued efforts to build relationships in the Middle East,

especially with the Lebanese government and Israel, could be seen as an indicator of Russian

influence over Hezbollah. After Russian President Putin’s unexpected March 15, 2016,

announcement of a withdrawal of the main Russian forces from Syria, the international

community appeared caught off guard. Israel was no exception. Within 24 hours of the

announcement, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin flew in Moscow to voice Israel’s concerns to

President Putin about the sudden withdrawal of Russia’s presence Syria (Keinon 2016). A little

over a month later, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Russian President Putin. Going


into the meeting, Netanyahu said his goal was to ensure that Russia would not create a vacuum

in Syria for Hezbollah and Iran to fill. Wanting to continue to carry out operations against

Hezbollah, Netanyahu stressed the need to maintain communication with Russia’s Air Force

to avoid “mishaps”. At the end of the meeting, Netanyahu stated that it was “very successful”

(Anon. 2016b). This relationship between Israel and Russia could be interpreted as Russia

giving Israel a form of assurance that Hezbollah will not pose a serious threat to Israel.

However, Russia has defended Hezbollah on a number of occasions, refusing to label them a

terrorist group in spite of other countries’ insistence that they should.


Russia and Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria has been based on the mutual goal of keeping an

allied regime in charge of Syria. The two cohorts will continue to rely on each other throughout

the Syrian conflict, unless and until their goals change. Having been given substantial amount

of training from Russia, and having gained the experience of conducting full-scale combat

operations in Syria, Hezbollah’s military wing has been strengthened significantly. However,

the political aspect of Hezbollah’s power can be viewed as though it is at a standstill. In

conclusion, I can state with moderate confidence that, while there are many factors that affect

Hezbollah’s political and military power in Lebanon, Russia is not a major influence, neither

negative nor positive.

References Cited

Anonymous (2016a) “GCC declares Lebanon’s Hezbollah a ‘terrorist’ group”, Al Jazeera, 2 March

, accessed 1 May 2016

Anonymous (2016b) “Netanyahu hails ‘very successful’ meeting with Putin” The Times of Israel, 21 April

accessed May

1 2016.

Azakir, M. (2016) “Saudi Arabia halts $3 billion package to Lebanese army, security aid”, Reuters, 19

February accessed 1 May 2016.

Corbiel, A. (2016) “Hezbollah is learning Russian”, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 26

February , accessed on 1 May 2016.

Entous, A., Levenson, C., and Barnes, J.E. (2014) “Hezbollah upgrades missile threat to Israel”,

The Wall Street Journal, 2 January accessed on 1 May 2016.

Keinon, H. (2016) “In Moscow, Rivlin to sound out Putin about Russian pullout from Syria”, The

Jerusalem Post, 15 March accessed on 20 June 2016.

Rosenfeld, J. (2015) “Hezbollah fighters are fed up with fighting Syria’s war”, The Daily Beast, 30


accessed 1 May 2016

Solomon, A.B. (2015) “As minorities come under attack, Hezbollah portrays itself as their defender”,

The Jerusalem Post, 19 June , accessed on 1 May 2016.

Sullivan, M. (2014) “Hezbollah in Syria”, The Institute for the Study of War, Washington D.C., April.

Williams, D. (2015) “Israel Quiet over ‘hotline’ with Russia”, Reuters, 22 October accessed on

1 May 2016.



Will a Full-Scale Civil War Erupt in Burundi in


Matt Hayes

Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been immersed in an ongoing conflict

since April of 2015, after its President, Pierre Nkurunziza, announced his bid for a third term.

Opposition parties in Burundi argued that Nkurunziza’s third consecutive term as president

would be unconstitutional and thus illegal. Despite criticism from opposition parties, the

African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the United States (US) Department of

State, President Nkurunziza continued his campaign for re-election (Anon. 2015a). When

Nkurunziza announced his bid for a third term, protests and riots erupted throughout

Burundi. Along with the chaos that was taking place in the streets, an attempted coup led by

the former head of the Burundi Intelligence Service, Major General Godefroid Niyombare,

was foiled in May of 2015. President Nkurunziza eventually secured his position as President,

after winning a disputed election in July of 2015.

It has now been over a year since political unrest unfolded throughout Burundi following

President Nkurunziza’s announcement of a third consecutive term. Since then, over 250,000

Burundians have fled to neighboring countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo,

Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia (Anon. 2016e). Along with over a quarter million people

fleeing the country, over 400 have died in the crisis, 31 of them in April of 2016 alone (Anon.

2016a). Burundi has been subjected to severe criticism from the international community

regarding reports of torture, rape, arbitrary arrests, and extra-judicial killings, and is now being

investigated for these reports of human rights violations (Anon. 2016a). Government security

forces, rebel groups, and opposition parties have blamed each other for the continuing

politically motivated violence that plagues Burundi. The increase in assassinations and

assassination attempts against high-level Burundian officials (Anon. 2016b), combined with


the ongoing violence and instability throughout the country, and the United Nations’ (UN)

inability to cope with the conflict due to ill-equipped peacekeepers (Anon. 2016d), have many

worried about a potential full-scale civil war breaking out in Burundi.


When assessing the possibility of a full-scale civil war, it is important to define some relevant

terms. Although there is no consensus by scholars in defining the term ‘civil war,’ the Concise

Oxford Dictionary of Politics defines it as “a military conflict centered on territory within a state,

involving combatants from that state, over the political right to control that territory” (McLean

and Alistair 2009). Civil wars usually involve fighting between government forces and between

civilians. Some studies, such as the Correlates of War studies, have tried to quantify a civil war

by the number of deaths or casualties that have occurred from directly related violence. The

study determined that the number of deaths due to related violence would need to be greater

than 1,000 (McLean and Alistair 2009). The next term that needs to be defined is ‘full-scale’. I

have defined a full-scale civil war as one in which both government forces and rebel groups

are equally organized and devoted to fighting one another. Moreover, during the fighting,

peacetime activities are curtailed or significantly reduced to give priority to military objectives.


Since the failed coup against Nkurunziza’s government, the president has authorized security

forces to use lethal force against protestors and rebels, in an attempt to retain power. As a

result, hundreds have been killed. Along with giving security forces the ability to exercise lethal

force, President Nkurunziza has also shut down four of the most popular radio stations in

Burundi, making first-hand information difficult to obtain. This action was clearly taken to

deter news of protests and acts of rebellion from spreading in the country (Anon. 2015b).

Arbitrary arrests and disappearances have also been a regular occurrence since the crisis

erupted. There are reports of torture and ill-treatment of individuals under arrest by the

authorities. A recent report by the UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, showed

that there were over 345 cases of torture and ill-treatment in Burundi. The Burundi Intelligence

Service, Service National de Renseignements, was said to have 67 prisoners in their facility when

the UN Human Rights team visited it. The prisoners were reportedly there for offenses such

as espionage, undermining state security, and illegal possession of arms. Of those, 30 showed

signs of physical torture. Police personnel and the army have also reportedly been using torture

methods, but on a smaller scale (Anon. 2016g).

Along with violence on the citizens of Burundi, officials from the ruling party, the National

Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD),

and military officials have been targeted by rebel groups. On March 22, Lieutenant Colonel

Darius Ikurakure was killed inside of the Defense Ministry in the state capital, Bujumbura. He

was said to be close to the president and has also been accused of arbitrary arrests and killings

by opponents of the ruling party. The gunman was reported to have fled the scene and his

whereabouts remain unknown (Nichols 2016). After a few days, a rebel group known as FOREBU

(Burundian Republican Forces), which was formed with the goal of ousting the president,

claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that “this is just the beginning” (Anon. 2016).



President Nkurunziza has operationalized his army and security forces by allowing the use of

lethal force, arrests, and torture to secure his power throughout the nation. While reports of

torture and ill-treatment continue to occur throughout Burundi on a large scale, so do the

politically motivated killings by rebel groups. Both government and rebel groups have taken

steps to try to gain power, creating more instability in the region. Along with the rise of

violence in April, peace talks between the ruling and opposing parties have been delayed

(Anon. 2016c). The signs of a full-scale civil war are all there. Both rebel and government

forces have begun organizing in order to achieve their goals. Government forces have begun

to take action against those who openly oppose the government or are seen as undermining

state security. On the other hand, rebel groups, such as FOREBU, have targeted and killed

high-ranking Burundi officials. Peace talks have been postponed while killings in April have

spiked. With that being said, if a civil war is quantified by how many casualties have occurred,

then the crisis is short by roughly 500 casualties. It can be stated with moderate confidence

that Burundi will not erupt in a full-scale civil war in 2016.

References Cited

Anonymous (2015a) “Burundi anti-President Nkurunziza protests in Bujumbura”, BBC, 28 April

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2015b) “Failed Burundi coup plotters arrested as president returns from Tanzania”, The

Guardian, 28 May 15

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2015c) “Pierre Nkurunziza sworn in as president for third term”, Al Jazeera, 20 August

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016a) “Burundi death toll jumps to 31 in April: UN rights chief”, Reuters, 28 April

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016b) “Burundi: UN rights chief condemns spate of assassinations in Burundi”, All

Africa, 27 April accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016c) “Burundi’s crisis talks postponed”, Africa News, 29 April accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016d) “ICC to investigate past year’s deadly violence in Burundi”, The Washington Post,

25 April

accessed on 30 April


Anonymous (2016e) “Number of Burundian refugees tops 250,000 since April”, The UN Refugee

Agency, 4 March

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016f) “Rebel group claims responsibility for killing of senior Burundi army officer”,

Africa News, 27 March

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016g) “Torture and illegal detention on the rise in Burundi – UN rights chief”, UN

News Centre, April 18

accessed on 30 April 2016

McLean, I., and McMillan, A. (2009) “The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics”, Oxford

University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Muhumuza, R. (2016) “Burundi: Activist group says hundreds of people have recently disappeared

at hands of police as country reels from unrest”, US News & World Report, 13 April

accessed on 30 April 2016.

Nichols, M. (2016) “Senior Burundi pro-government army officer shot dead”, Reuters, 22 March

accessed on 30 April



Will the European Union’s Schengen Treaty be

Abolished in 2016?

Jeremy Lee

Over the course of the last four months I have been researching all developments that directly

or indirectly affect the Schengen Area, in order to answer the question, “will the Schengen

Treaty of the European Union (EU) be abolished in 2016”? First, it is essential to break down

that question to fully understand what I will be addressing, beginning with the EU. The EU

was formed after the World War II to encourage economic cooperation between European

countries, in an effort to prevent future military conflicts (Europa 2016). Today, the EU has

28 member states, with several more prospective members applying to join. The Schengen

Treaty, signed in 1985, is one of the most significant accomplishments of the EU (European

Commission 2008:4). The Schengen Area is a part of Europe, led by the EU, that has abolished

border controls and the need for passports where there is a mutual border between two

Schengen Area member states. It essentially acts as a single country for international travel

purposes, with a common visa policy (European Commission 2008:16). With the exception of

Ireland and the United Kingdom, every member state is required to eventually join the

Schengen Area. There are four states that are not currently in the EU but are still a part of the

Schengen Area: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein (European Commission 2008:18).

It is with high confidence that I can state that the Schengen Area will not be abolished in 2016

and below I will analyze why I believe that.


The Schengen Area has seen considerable success since its introduction, but today it is

threatened on two fronts. Terrorist attacks in Europe and the migrant crisis are both causing

countries to issue temporary border controls. These controls are completely legal when

implemented for a short amount of time, but the more countries that issue these border


controls, the more the Schengen Area is at risk of failing. France issued temporary border

controls after the November 2015 Paris attacks. Other Schengen Treaty member states who

have recently closed their borders due to the migrant crisis include Austria, Belgium, Denmark,

Germany, Norway, and Sweden (Migration and Home Affairs 2016). These temporary border

controls pose considerable threats to the future of the Schengen Area. That being said, I do

not believe these threats will warrant the abolishment of the Schengen Treaty.

The Schengen Area was originally created to improve economic cooperation and profitability

for European countries. Abolishing the passport free travel area would hit Europe with a

massive economic blow. France Strategie, a think-tank directly attached to Office of the

French Prime Minister, stated this year that “a permanent return to frontier controls in Europe

would cost countries in the Schengen open-borders area about 110 billion euros over the next

decade” (Rose 2016). The report goes on to describe how the reintroduction of full border

controls would be equivalent to a 3 percent tax on trade between countries in the Schengen

area, which would lead to a structural decline in trade of 10 to 20 percent (Rose 2016). The

costs would mainly come from the tourism sector, cross-border workers, and freight transport.

This report was clearly issued to show the long-term economic consequences of abolishing

the Schengen Area. Schengen member-state leaders will look at the numbers and realize that

closing the Schengen Area is not an economically smart solution. The economic impact is

definitely a main reason why the Schengen Area will not be abolished in 2016.

The bigger of the two problems threatening the Schengen Area is the migrant crisis. Greece

has been hit particularly hard by this. The majority of migrants from Syria, Iran, Afghanistan,

and elsewhere, travel by sea from Turkey to Greece, where they attempt to continue on their

journey to countries further into Europe. Over 800,000 migrants arrived in Greece in 2015,

many of them arrived illegally (Anon. 2015). For a long time, Greece was not completely

fulfilling its duties in securing the external border of the Schengen Area, causing other

members to close their borders. The European Commission told Athens in February of this

year that it needed to: improve screening and disembarkation procedures; increase its capacity

to document and house asylum-seekers; and build detention facilities (European Commission

2016). In April, an EU executive said Greece had made significant progress in securing its

border (Anon. 2016a). Greece has been working to improve on all the areas the EU has

indicated, and its borders are becoming more secure. These steps are only increasing the safety

of the Schengen Area, as a crucial external border becomes increasingly safe, thus ensuring the

survival of the treaty.

The biggest step taken so far in resolving the migrant crisis, which would in turn help save the

Schengen Area, has been the EU-Turkey deal. Under the deal, migrants arriving illegally in

Greece after March 20, 2016, are expected to be sent back to Turkey if they do not apply for

asylum or if their claim is rejected. For each Syrian migrant returned to Turkey, the EU is due

to take in another Syrian who has made a legitimate request (Anon. 2016b). Turkey also gets

many other benefits from this agreement, and so far it has had a major impact in slowing down

migrants entering Europe. This deal, along with the western Balkan route effectively being

shut down due to temporary border controls, has reduced significantly the amount of migrants

entering Europe. This gives the EU more time to come up with a permanent solution for the

migrant crisis, and essentially saves the Schengen Area from collapsing from the migrant crisis

for now.



Throughout the last four months my forecast that the Schengen Area would not collapse has

persisted. When looking at the economic consequences of a potential abolition of the treaty,

Greece securing their external border, and the success of the EU-Turkey deal, it can still be

stated with high confidence that the Schengen Treaty will not be abolished in 2016. It would

not be entirely surprising to start seeing the gradual lifting of some of the current temporary

border controls, sometime towards the end of this year. The Schengen Treaty will survive for

the immediate future, as it is too beneficial to fail. I believe that it will only become stronger

in the coming years, and that a new member or two may even be joining the passport-free

travel area soon.

References Cited

Anonymous (2015) “Migrant crisis: Over one million reach Europe by sea”, BBC, 30 December

accessed on 29 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016a) “EU: Greece made progress on borders, but more needed”, Times of Change, 12


accessed on 29 April 2016.

Anonymous (2016b) “Migrant crisis: EU-Turkey deal comes into effect”, BBC, 20 March

accessed on 29 April 2016.

Europa (n.d) “The EU in Brief”, The EU, Brussels, Belgium ,

accessed on 29 April 2016.

European Commission (2008) “The Schengen Area”, EU, Brussels, Belgium.

European Commission (2016) “Back to Schengen – A Roadmap”, EU, Brussels, Belgium.

Migration and Home Affairs (2016) “Temporary Reintroduction of Border Controls”, The EU,

Brussels, Belgium , accessed on 29 April 2016.

Rose, M. (2016) “End to Schengen deal would cost Europe 110 billion euros - French adviser”, Reuters,

3 February accessed on 29 April 2016.



Will the US Anti-Federal Government Movement

Gain in Popularity Due to the Oregon Standoff?

Diana Evans

The group calling itself “Sovereign Citizens” is part of the broader far-right antigovernment

movement in the United States. Members of the Sovereign Citizens hold the view that they

alone, not any government authority —such as police, elected officials and judges— have the

right to decide what is lawful or unlawful. Even though they reside in the United States, members

of the group see themselves as separate, or “sovereign” from the power of the federal

government (Anon. 2010). Notably, many Sovereign Citizens members do not believe that

they should have to pay taxes (Anon. 2015). The movement is notorious for violent crimes, as

well as for crimes involving what some have called “paper terrorism”, namely systematically

using forged documents, filing frivolous lawsuits, or resorting to tax evasion and having

unreported income (Anon. n.d.).


The history of the Sovereign Citizens movement extents as far back as the 1970s. More recently,

however, there have been increasing acts of violence by members of the group, directed mostly

against government officials (Anon. n.d.). One such incident took place in May 2010 in West

Memphis, Arkansas, where a self-proclaimed Sovereign Citizen father-and-son team murdered

two police officers with an assault rifle during a traffic stop. Similarly, in 2014, Cliven Bundy,

a Nevada rancher and leader of the Sovereign Citizens-affiliated group Citizens for Constitutional

Freedom, took up arms along with hundreds of other supporters and aimed them at uniformed

officers of the United States Bureau of Land Management, who were planning to indict him

for illegally grazing his cattle (Dobuzinskis 2016).


During the early stages of the group’s existence, the beliefs of its members focused on anti-

Semitism and racism, of which many current African-American members of the Sovereign

Citizens movement appear to be unaware. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in

the 1980s the movement attracted large numbers of anti-Semites and white supremacists because

“sovereign theories originated in groups that saw Jews as working behind the scenes to manipulate

financial institutions and control the government” (Anon. n.d.). Today the movement propagates

the erroneous theory that a type of “common law” was put in place by America’s founding

fathers, but was subsequently replaced by a different legal code through a secret conspiracy of

government bureaucrats. The latter, claim the Sovereign Citizens, has turned what used to be

free people into slaves, and is enabling “secret government forces [that] have a vested interest

in keeping them that way” (Anon. n.d.).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has classified the Sovereign Citizens as a “domestic

terrorist movement”. According to the Bureau, its members “operate as individuals without

established leadership and only come together in loosely affiliated groups to train, help each

other with paperwork, or socialize and talk about their ideology” (FBI 2011). Moreover, the

group serves as an umbrella movement that has given birth to a host of smaller far-right groups

in recent years. Examples of such groups are the Oath Keepers, the Pacific Patriots Network,

the 3 Percenters, and the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom —also referred to as the “Bundy

Group”. These groups do not share the same degree of extremist beliefs, and have been known

to disagree with each other’s views and tactics.

The Oregon Standoff

On January 2, 2016, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy (sons of Cliven Bundy and leaders in

the Bundy Group) started the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney

Country, Oregon. It has been reported that the brothers found a ring of keys that they used

to break into the federal facility when it was not staffed during the New Year holidays. The

occupation was aimed to protest the case of a father and son who had received a jail sentence

for committing arson on public lands adjoining their ranch (Morlin 2016). Heavily armed

supporters of the Bundy Group, many of them members of other militia groups (Anon. 2016c),

arrived from all corners of the country including Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma

and New Hampshire, to participate in the occupation (Tuohy and Ritter 2016). The Oath

Keepers were also directly involved in the occupation and subsequent standoff. However, unlike

the Bundy group and the Pacific Patriots Network, they did not join the protests, nor did they

take up arms against law enforcement and federal officials. Instead, they facilitated a partial

evacuation of the women and children from the scene of the occupation following news of an

armed confrontation with police on January 26 (Anon. 2016b).

Earlier during the occupation, one of the Bundy brothers, Ryan Bundy, told The Oregonian

newspaper that he and other armed self-described “patriots” were “willing to kill and be killed

if necessary” (Morlin 2016) in defense of their beliefs. The standoff did result in one death.

On February 26, Citizens for Constitutional Freedom member Robert Finicum was shot dead

at a traffic stop while attempting to pull a weapon out of his coat jacket in the presence of

Oregon State Police and FBI officers who had surrounded him. Along with the Bundy brothers,

Finicum was part of a group of occupiers that was headed to a community meeting in a nearby

town. During the stop, Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested. Ten other members of the


occupation group were arrested on that day (Anon. 2016c). Eventually, a message issued through

Ammon Bundy’s attorney urged other occupiers to stand down. Some members, including

Ammon Bundy’s father, Cliven Bundy, told the supporters otherwise. Some of them, such as

David Fry, insisted that they were willing to die for their cause, saying, “I’ll pass on and move

on to the next life. I don’t know [how it will end], but I’m willing to go that far” (Anon. 2016c).

Eventually, however, the occupation and standoff ended without further casualties. The occupation

lasted for 41 days. Everyone involved was arrested. The Bundy brothers are currently sitting

in jail, facing conspiracy and weapons charges. Ammon and Ryan Bundy also face charges for

participating in the 2014 standoff at the ranch of their father, Cliven Bundy. The latter was

arrested for the 2014 standoff while on his way to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to

participate in the occupation. Recently, the Bundy brothers unsuccessfully asked the court to

“dismiss the indictments, arguing that the federal government lacks jurisdiction over the land

that includes the wildlife sanctuary in eastern Oregon’s Harney County” (Bernstein 2016).


Following the arrest of the occupation’s leaders and the death of Finicum, outrage poured out

among the supporters of the movement. In the minds of some supporters, the occupation and

Finicum’s murder, which they saw as unjustified, strengthened the status and credibility of the

Sovereign Citizens movement by proving that that they were indeed at war with the federal

government (Hatewatch 2016). In the eyes of the movement’s supporters, Finicum has

become a martyr for their cause (ibid.). However, these feelings are far from universal within

the anti-federal government movement. For instance, the Oath Keepers have denounced the

Citizens for Constitutional Freedom and opposed the occupation of the Malheur Refuge

because, according to one of their communiqués, “it harms the Movement. [The Bundy

Group] has become the aggressors and, by doing so, loses the moral high ground” (Anon.

2016a). The Bundy group has also been criticized by rightwing activists for hindering the antifederal

government movement by resorting to extremely radical actions. Similarly, even

though a number of mainstream Republican Party supporters share some beliefs with the

broader anti-government movement, such as limiting federal government regulations, the

2016 presidential candidates did not support the movement’s methods. Characteristically,

Texas Senator and 2016 Presidential candidate Ted Cruz said he hoped for a peaceful

resolution to the standoff (Natour and Barajas 2016). The leading candidate in the race for the

candidacy, Donald Trump, said: “you have to maintain law and order, no matter what” and

“you cannot let people take over federal property” (Krueger 2016).


If the goal of the Oregon occupation and subsequent standoff was to unite the anti-federal

government right, and to increase the appeal of Sovereign Citizens among Republican Party

voters, then it clearly failed. Even though the standoff itself was marked by the participation

of numerous far-right militants from across the country, much of the broader movement

viewed it as ultimately damaging. Therefore, it can be stated with high confidence that the

Oregon standoff will not in itself galvanize the ranks of the Sovereign Citizens and its satellite

groups. However, the Sovereign Citizens movement has been around for decades and is today

far from dissipating. Recent events, such as the killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas,


in July 2016, will continue to radicalize adherents of far-right ideologies and supply the

Sovereign Citizens with sufficient membership to keep the organization alive, and maybe even

growing. Therefore, it can be stated with high confidence that the Sovereign Citizens

movement will remain a staple domestic terrorist group for the foreseeable future and will

continue to pose a threat to federal, state and local law enforcement personnel.

References Cited

Anonymous (2010) “Domestic Terrorism: The Sovereign Citizen Movement”, The Federal Bureau

of Investigation, Washington, DC, 13 April 2010 .

Anonymous (2015) “Incident List: ‘Sovereigns’ and the Law”, Southern Poverty Law Center .

Anonymous (2016a) “Ammon Bundy: Martyr or Revolutionary?”, Oath Keepers, 3 January 2016 < https:


Anonymous (2016b) “Finding Keepers”, The Economist, 27 February 2016, .

Anonymous (2016c) “Oregon Standoff: A Chronicle of an Occupation”, The Oregonian, 14 February

2016 .

Anonymous (n.d.) “Sovereign Citizens Movement”, Southern Poverty Law Center .

Bernstein, M. (2016) “Ammon Bundy Had Intended Refuge Occupation to End up in Civil Court,

Lawyers Say”, The Oregonian, 09 May 2016 .

Dobuzinskis, A. (2016) “Cliven Bundy Standoff Brews over Cattle on Federal Land”, The Huffington

Post, 10 May 2016 .

FBI Counterterrorism Analysis Section (2011) “Sovereign Citizens: A Growing Domestic Threat

to Law Enforcement”, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2011 .

Hatewatch Staff (2016) “In the Aftermath of LaVoy Finicum’s Death, Growing Number of Rallies

Push Martyrdom Narrative”, Southern Poverty Law Center, 3 May 2016 .

Krueger, K. (2016) “Trump Campaign Official Praises ‘Great Success’ Of Bundy Standoff”, TPM

LiveWire, 14 January 2016 .

Morlin, B. (2016) “Bundy Sons Lead Antigovernment Extremists, Militia in Takeover of Federal

Wildlife Headquarters in Oregon”, Southern Poverty Law Center, 04 January 2016 .

Natour, R. and Barajas, J. (2016) “What Do the Presidential Candidates Think About the Militia Takeover

in Oregon?”, PBS Newshour, 4 January 2016 .

Tuohy, L. and Ritter, K. (2016)”Federal Authorities Rounded Up 12 People in Five States Thursday”,

U.S. News & World Report, 04 March 2016 .


Biographical Notes on Contributors

GRANT BARRATT, from Monroe, Connecticut, is a recent graduate from the Intelligence and

National Security Studies program at Coastal Carolina University. In 2016 he served as an analyst

in the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief’s Middle East Section, specializing in militant groups and

counter-terrorist operations in the region. He also served as the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief’s

Chief Recruitment Officer. His other interests include counter-terrorism, law enforcement intelligence

and weaponry capabilities. In addition to his undergraduate degree, Grant received a certificate

in Intelligence Analysis from the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center in Ohio.

EMILY CLINGENPEEL is a senior from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, majoring in Intelligence and National

Security Studies with a minor in Global Studies at Coastal Carolina University. She specializes in Eastern

European and Russian affairs and in 2016 served as an analyst in the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief’s

Europe Section. In the fall of 2016 she will be attending the American Institute for Foreign Study

at the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in St. Petersburg, Russia.

AMANDA CORONA is from Houston, Texas. She recently received her bachelor’s degree in Intelligence

and National Security Studies with a minor in Geographic Information Systems from Coastal Carolina

University. She is currently a graduate student at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George

Washington University, pursuing a master’s degree in Security Policy Studies. In 2016, she was the

Middle East Section chief for the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, specializing in Iraq with a focus on

domestic ethnic politics and inter-governmental relations. Her research interests include regional

security, non-state actors, and international relations.

DIANA EVANS, from Sandwich, Massachusetts, is a recent graduate of Coastal Carolina University’s

Intelligence and National Security Studies program. In 2016 she held the post of Communication

Officer in the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, where she also headed the Americas Section. She has

an interest in human intelligence and intelligence collection and has conducted research on the

impact of biometric security measures on operational travel. She has presented papers at several

conferences and symposia. Her paper entitled “Defending Against Cyber Espionage: The US Office

of Personnel Management Hack as a Case Study in Information Assurance” (co-authored with Sarah

Harvey) will be included in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the 30th National Conference on

Undergraduate Research, which will be published by the University of North Carolina in 2016.

RYAN HAAG is a senior from Frederick, Maryland. He is a major in Intelligence and National Security

Studies and a minor in Geographic Information Systems at Coastal Carolina University. In 2016 he

served as Quality Assurance Officer in the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, where he was also an

analyst and head of the Asia and Africa Section, specializing in North Korean politics. His interests

include geospatial intelligence, human intelligence and psychological operations.

SARAH HARVEY, from Cumberland, Maryland, is a recent graduate of Coastal Carolina University’s

Intelligence and National Security Studies program. She specializes in Venezuelan politics and political

corruption, and has a strong interest in information assurance. Her paper entitled “Defending Against

Cyber Espionage: The US Office of Personnel Management Hack as a Case Study in Information

Assurance” (co-authored with Diana Evans), was recently accepted for publication in the Proceedings

of the 30th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, which will be published by the University

of North Carolina in November of 2016.


MATT HAYES is a senior from Union, New Jersey, majoring in Intelligence and National Security

Studies at Coastal Carolina University. In 2016 he was an analyst in the Chanticleer Intelligence

Brief’s Asia and Africa Section, specializing in Central Africa. His research interests include law

enforcement intelligence, counterterrorism, and geospatial intelligence.

CONNOR KILGORE, from Reading, Pennsylvania, is in his junior year at Coastal Carolina University,

where he is majoring in Intelligence and National Security Studies with a minor in Global Studies.

In 2016 he was an analyst in the Americas Section of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, specializing

in energy security and international relations. In May 2016 he was appointed to serve as an officer

in the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief’s Executive Team.

JEREMY LEE is a senior from Geneva, Illinois, majoring in Intelligence and National Security Studies

at Coastal Carolina University. He is an analyst in the Europe Section of the Chanticleer Intelligence

Brief and also serves as the organization’s Chief Operations Officer. Jeremy specializes in the European

Union with an emphasis on Schengen Area security issues. He has also worked as an intelligence

and security analyst for the Exelon Corporation, which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

BENJAMIN MALONE is majoring in Intelligence and National Security Studies and minoring in Middle

East Studies at Coastal Carolina University. In 2015 he founded and served as the first Executive

Director of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, a flagship student-run initiative at Coastal Carolina

University that utilizes multiple open-source collection platforms to improve students’ ability to

gather, analyze, and present information. Ben has also served on numerous student leadership

committees and advised student organizations and initiatives relating to intelligence and national


AMY THOMAS, from New Holland, Ohio, is a recent graduate from Coastal Carolina University,

where she received a degree in Intelligence and National Security Studies. As part of the Chanticleer

Intelligence Brief, she was an analyst for the Asia and Africa Section, with a focus on Afghanistan

and the Afghan Taliban. Her interests lie in counter-terrorism with a focus on the sociology and

generational change in leaders of non-state actors, especially the Afghan Taliban.

JOSEPH FITSANAKIS, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Politics in the Intelligence and National Security

Studies program at Coastal Carolina University. Before joining Coastal, Dr. Fitsanakis founded the

Security and Intelligence Studies program at King University, where he also directed the King

Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies. He has written extensively on subjects such as international

espionage, intelligence tradecraft, counterintelligence, wiretapping, cyberespionage, transnational

crime and intelligence reform. He is a frequent contributor to television and radio and senior editor

at intelNews.org, an ACI-indexed scholarly blog that is cataloged through the US Library of Congress.

JOHN NOMIKOS, PhD, is Director at the Research Institute for European and American Studies

(RIEAS), Chairman of the Mediterranean Council for Intelligence Studies (MCIS), Chairman of the

Greek Intelligence Studies Association (GISA), Chairman of the European Intelligence Academy (EIA),

and Founding Editor of the Journal of Mediterranean and Balkan Intelligence (JMBI). He is Assistant

Professor at Webster University (Athens Campus), and Visiting Scholar at the John Naisbitt

University in Serbia and the University of Rome (Tre) in Italy. He was previously Adjunct Professor

at the Department of International Relations at the University of Indianapolis (Athens Campus).




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