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. Four CIB analysts tackle some of the most pressing and timely questions confronting intelligence observers today. Topics in this volume include the possibility of a war with North Korea, and the rise of far-right militancy in the United States. The volume also includes an assessment of the impact of the Islamic State in the relations between Russia and the United States, and a discussion of Turkish politics and its effect on NATO's cohesion.
The far-right have come to the realization that the future of the US is in the hands of the younger generations. By spreading their ideologies, they are hoping to recruit more young members. Targeting college campuses is, therefore, seen as an ideal recruitment tactic, whether it is activists posting the flyers themselves, getting a student or faculty member to do it, or by hacking into school computer systems to print them out. This development is extremely important because students now have a platform to launch their own rallies from. The use of the Internet makes spreading propaganda that much easier; it can be seen and shared by people not only all over the United States, but all over the world as well. This, plus the decentralization of the movement, should be considered dangerous. In the past, government security agencies were able to pinpoint a certain area where these groups operated. For instance, the KKK was known to mainly operate in rural areas of the South and Midwest. However, these small group-like cells are appearing all over the country, and sometimes all it takes is the click of a button to make their presence known. The majority of these groups will not be publicly visible until they organize a high-profile event such as the Charlottesville rally. It is entirely possible that these newly established far-right college groups will collaborate with groups on other campuses across the US to organize an event with some form of meaningful structure. This event could show up as a series of rallies taking place in succession, one on a new campus every day, or several distinct rallies held on different campuses on the same day. It is also possible that a large rally could be organized in the US, such as the recent one in Poland, which, according to a Washington Post article, was attended by an estimated 60,000 farright supporters from dozens of countries, including Italy and Britain (Selk 2017). Ideally, for the American far-right, supporters will come to attend such an event from all over the world, which will, by definition, elevate the threat to US national security. Concerns over the collaboration between homegrown far-right groups in the United States and similar groups abroad are not alarmist. One can argue that it is currently happening, as there were reports from the Charlottesville rally that far-right supporters from Canada were in attendance (Marquis 2017). Ultimately, the more public support the far-right gains, even if it is perceived support via hacked computers to create visual propaganda, the more violence will occur. It can be stated with high confidence that the American far-right is a national security threat. This is primarily due to two things: first, the fact that farright groups have recently acquired the information necessary to build and detonate large-scale IEDs; second, the fact that they are sharing that information with other far-right actors online. Broadly speaking, there is substantial and deepening collaboration and support among these groups. Additionally, the farright feel more emboldened. It can be stated with moderate confidence that there will be a large-scale attack on US soil, perpetrated by the far-right, within 2018. 32
Implications for the Trump Administration President Trump, along with senior members of his administration, have a perceived controversy surrounding them when it comes to the far-right. The president has been accused by the Southern Poverty Law Center and The New York Times of being a sympathizer and supporter of the far-right, and even of being a white supremacist himself (SPLC n.d. and Blow 2017). During his presidency, there have been several attacks on US soil by far-right actors. According to his critics, his comments regarding those attacks have not clarified his position on the matter. Since his 2016 campaign launch, President Trump has used the slogan “Make America Great Again”. However, some far-right supporters have interpreted that slogan to mean “Make America White Again”, and have been chanting this at far-right rallies throughout the past year. Far-right groups are becoming more emboldened through their actions, because they feel that they have the support of the president; they believe that he is a tacit sympathizer and supporter of their ideologies because he has not given them clear reasons to think otherwise. Given the current state of affairs regarding the homegrown far-right in America, the Trump administration should take the steps necessary to make clear its position on the far-right and denounce President Trump’s right-wing supporters. It is logical to assume that if President Trump denounces his far-right supporters, the national security threat from the far-right will deflate. 33