Category Archives: Events

Upcoming Lectures, Meet-ups, Happy Hours, Discussions, Symposia, Conferences

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CIMSEC DC Chapter August Meet-Up

(F48)_Shivalik_class_frigates_or_Project_17_class_frigates_are_multi-role_frigates_with_stealth_features_being_built_for_the_Indian_Navy_(1)Join our DC chapter for its August meet-up with food, drinks, and conversation at Fuel Pizza (Farragut Square location). At 1800 we will be joined by CIMSEC member Nilanthi Samaranayake, CNA, to spend a few minutes discussing her article “The Indian Ocean: A Great-Power Danger Zone,” followed by a short Q&A and our traditional discussions over drinks. Nilanthi’s article in The National Interest is an analysis of Robert Kaplan’s book Monsoon, and the predictions therein, on the 5th anniversary of its publication.

Time: Wednesday, 20 August 1730-2030 (Discussion with Nilanthi Samarayanake will begin at 1800)
PlaceFuel Pizza (Upstairs)
1606 K St NW, Washington DC
Farragut North / Farragut West metro stops

Additional suggested reading material:
- Robert Kaplan:  “China’s Budding Ocean Empire

All are welcome and we ask both presenters and questioners alike to be mindful of our diverse audience so as to avoid acronym-talk and speaking in obscure terms of reference. We reserve the right to enforce this in a comical and distracting manner. Please RSVP at director@cimsec.org.

September Meet-up: September 10th or 11th with CDR Chris Rawley, USNR, location TBD.

Please also let me know If you’re a CIMSEC member who would like to discuss a recent/on-going project or writing you’ve done at a future meet-up.

sneakycontestpart

Time to Win Some Books!

Between 28 July and 3 August 2014, Offiziere.ch, the Facebook pages “Sicherheitspolitik” and Army HQ will hold another security policy contest with the support of KOG Schaffhausen, “Seidlers Sicherheitspolitik“, “Aussen- und Sicherheitspolitik“, #carbine and CIMSEC.

Ipsa scientia potestas est!” – “knowledge (itself) is power!“. This English saying can be traced back to the philosoph Francis Bacon and alludes to the importance of (scientific) knowledge in the age of enlightenment. In another connection, this statement has grown in importance over time. Anyone with superior knowledge, who knows the intentions of others, has a clear advantage. Yet there are different methods of intelligence gathering. The least harmful form of intelligence gathering is also used on websites like the Next War blog or offiziere.ch: OSINT or Open Source Intelligence – the gathering of intelligence from publicly available sources. At the other end of the scale lies the comprehensive monitoring and retention of the communication streams of every citizen (data retention).

sneakycontestpartThis edition of our security policy contest is less about data collection mania and more about strategic intelligence gathering. This can, of course, also be done through the targeted interception of communications data (COMINT), but a variety of gathering methods may also be used. Thus, for example, even aircraft are loaded with high resolution cameras and other sensors. Such “spy aircraft” are still employed today. In 2005 one of these planes, which was probably operating in Iranian airspace, crashed. It could fly at a height of over 21,000 m (70,000 feet), which was originally supposed to protect it from detection and shooting down by air defence missiles.

Questions
• What spy plane is referred to?
• What is the technical term which refers to the gathering of information
from images and/or video recordings?
• In the image on the right, an important part of this aircraft can be seen.
What is it?

The (hopefully correct) answers should be sent to einsatz@offiziere.ch. The preferred prize can also be specified in the e-mail, although we cannot guarantee this.

Prizes
The prizes will be drawn from among the correct entries. They will first be drawn from among the entries for which all three questions have been answered correctly. If nobody manages this (hey! don’t disappoint me!), the draw will be made from the entries that have two correct answers.

2 x “Demokratie und Islam” von Cavuldak, Hidalgo, Hildmann und Zapf (gesponsert von Springer VS).
2 x The Lieutenant Don’t Know: One Marine’s Story of Warfare and Combat Logistics in Afghanistan by Jeffrey Clement.
2 x Jahrbuch Terrorismus 2013/2014 von Stefan Hansen und Joachim Krause.
1 x Die Wehrmacht im Stadtkampf 1939-1942 von Adrian E. Wettstein (gesponsert von Lukas Hegi).
1 x “Shadow Wars: Chasing Conflict in an Era of Peace” by David Axe.
1 x “Life Begins at Incoporation” by Matt Bors.
1 x “Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It” by Morten Jerven.
1 x “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety ” by Eric Schlosser.
1 x “Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition” by Ben Schott.
1 x Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror by Erik Prince (siehe auch “Sea Control 29 – Interview with Erik Prince“).

SO SAN while boarded by Spanish Marines in 2003

The Current State of Maritime Global Counter-Proliferation

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PRINTED ON JUL 17, 2013 AND IS BEING RE-PRINTED FOR “CHALLENGES OF INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION WEEK.”

Spanish Marines Board SO SAN in 2002
Spanish Marines Board SO SAN in 2002

Authorities in Panama detained a North Korean-flagged ship on Monday after apparently discovering onboard what has been described by Jane’s as a Fire Control Radar for use with the SA-2 Surface-to-Air Missile system. CHONG CHON GANG was stopped on suspicion of carrying drugs near Manzanillo before entering the Panama Canal after a port call in Cuba (where it purportedly on-loaded its cargo).  What may be most interesting about this case is what did not happen, however, and what illicit proliferation of weapons by states like North Korea currently looks like.

While Panama was involved in this case, it was not in its role as a major provider of flags-of-convenience to international shipping.  A U.S.-led system known as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) was announced in 2003 in order to establish a framework in which states worldwide “that have a stake in nonproliferation and the ability and willingness to take steps to stop the flow of such items at sea, in the air, or on land” are able to take action to do so.  The event generally attributed to spurring the creation of PSI was the interdiction of a ship named SO SAN in 2002 while it was carrying SCUD missiles from North Korea to Yemen.  SO SAN was ultimately released after “the Yemeni government insisted the missile shipment was the product of a legitimate transaction in accordance with international law,” with the diplomatic wrangling associated with it being stopped complicated by the fact that it was flying no flag at the time of the boarding.

The United States attempted to fix the problem of boarding a ship flying a flag-of-conveniance through the PSI and an accompanying series of “bilateral boarding agreements” with the major providers of registries (such as Panama, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Croatia, Cyprus, Liberia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).  However, this is not an instance of the United States (or another interdicting state) asking for permission to board a ship flying the Panamanian flag, but rather Panama exercising its sovereignty and ability to regulate shipping in its territorial waters.

This instance provides something of a surprise regarding expectations of how North Korea uses flags-of-convenience, with initial reports indicating that CHONG CHON GANG was registered in North Korea, rather than its commonly used flags-of-convenience such as Cambodia, Tuvalu, and Mongolia.

It also shines on light on current global counter-proliferation efforts, with Arms Control Now arguing it demonstrates that:

“most PSI interdictions occur while vessels suspected of transporting WMD related materials are in port, rather than on the high seas in international waters. This is in contrast to the popular perception that most PSI operations involve commandos in black masks storming freighters filled with centrifuges. As much as that captures the imagination, it does not reflect the “operational reality” of PSI, at least not most of the time.”

Despite its prominence, it remains unclear whether PSI has proved to be a successful tool for the global counter-proliferation regime.  This is in large part due to U.S. secrecy, “since so very few interdictions are ever made public.”  Critics have claimed that “the overall lack of transparency makes it difficult for open source analysts and think tanks to assess the overall success of” PSI.  Both the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department have refrained from offering “details about actual interdiction operations and WMD seizures” because they “often involve intelligence information and foreign partner sensitivities.”

Lieutenant Commander Mark Munson is a Naval Intelligence officer currently serving on the OPNAV staff.  He has previously served at Naval Special Warfare Group FOUR, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and onboard USS Essex (LHD 2).  The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official viewpoints or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

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Introduction: Challenges to Intelligence Collection

“Intelligence remains our basic national instrument for anticipating danger—military, political, and economic.”—President George H.W. Bush

In preparation for our first “Challenges to Intelligence Collection” week, our CIMSEC editors observed a surprising lack of published information on intelligence collection, both in the general world of scholarship and here at CIMSEC, despite intelligence collection being one of the most controversial topics in the media in the past year. Furthermore, few organizations have adapted as drastically to institutional and operational changes since September 11th as the intelligence community. Yet the body of knowledge on this subject remains conspicuously sparse.

Recently, John O. Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, delivered the keynote address at the first annual “Ethos and Profession of Intelligence” conference. In his address, Director Brennan admitted “the Central Intelligence Agency does not hold a lot of public conferences. Our foreign counterparts tend to hold even fewer—as in zero”. [2]  Subsequently, our valiant contributors will attempt to address this uncharted academic terrain. We will publish new articles that address and identify possible operational, procedural, and cultural impediments to efficient intelligence operations.

Georgetown University and the CIA hosted the “Ethos and Profession of Intelligence” conference on June 11th, 2014 in Georgetown’s historic Gaston Hall. Despite the overt anachronism of discussing cyber attacks and geospatial intelligence under Gaston’s neo-Gothic paneling, the elaborate setting emphasized the role of intelligence as a historically significant aspect—and perennial fixture—of the United States’ national defense organization. Conversely, panelists’ discussions addressed pressing concerns for the future of the intelligence community, such as evolutions in cyber technology, the emerging importance of public sector involvement, and the precarious balancing act between domestic transparency and community integrity. [2]

Ultimately, the conference emphasized the irrevocable tension between meeting the demands of the future while still maintaining the core tenants of the intelligence profession. The mere fact that the CIA was willing to participate in a public conference represents exactly how far the intelligence community has evolved in the past decade. The joint CIA-Georgetown University conference marked the CIA’s first-ever public national security conference, suggesting that as the intelligence community rises to meet the demands of the future, the CIA intends to lead this evolution. At the same time, the careful and intentional inclusion of the word “Ethos” in the conference title involuntarily invokes the Aristotelian appeal for credibility and the enduring need for trustworthy intelligence professionals. [3] It is also reminiscent of the gravity of the intelligence mission; in the domain of intelligence, the ability to persuade is often a matter of life and death.

In a similar vein, CIMSEC will feature articles this week that connect the intelligence community’s past to its demands for the future. Our contributors will demonstrate how far intelligence collection has evolved since the end of World War II and portend the challenges that will threaten specific intelligence communities in the future. Likewise, form will follow (editorial) function; we will feature previously published articles on Naval intelligence, cryptology, and emerging technology, highlighting the need for continued discourse on this subject and CIMSEC contributors’ willingness to address this significant knowledge gap.

Jillian Danback McGhan is a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a former instructor at the United States Naval Academy. She is currently a student at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and a research assistant for the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorist Events (CREATE). The views expressed here are her own and do not represent those of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, Georgetown University, or CREATE.

[1] “Remarks for Central Intelligence Agency Director John O. Brennan as Prepared for Delivery at the Conference on the Ethos and Profession of Intelligence, Georgetown University”, 11 June 2014. https://www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/2014-speeches-testimony/remarks-for-cia-director-brennan-at-georgetown-conference.html.

[2] Video footage of the conference, including all panel discussions and remarks by CIA Director John O. Brennan and former FBI Director Robert Muller, can be found on the CIA’s website: https://www.cia.gov/news-information/blog/2014/cia-georgetown-conference-livestream.html

[3] For a refresher on Classic rhetorical appeals, see the Purdue Online Writing Laboratory’s summary “Aristotle’s Rhetorical Situation”,   https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/625/03/.

 

Pirate Usque Ad Mortem

Central Florida Chapter

Greetings from the Central Florida Chapter President! Please forgive my late post in introducing myself, but as with yourselves and all of us volunteers, time is a luxury.  My background is PSC Maritime Security, and I have the pleasure to be a part of Trident Group.  I plan on quite a few meetings throughout the year and would be grateful for any suggestions you might have.   Articles are always encouraged so please make an effort to contribute.  I look forward to working with you all. Please feel free to contact me at centralfl@cimsec.org if only to introduce yourselves and let me know when/where you might be able to get together for discussions.

Regards,

Erek Sanchez, Central Florida Chapter President

 

Pirate Usque Ad Mortem
Pirate Usque Ad Mortem
TastingRoom_580_400_85_c1

CIMSEC’s San Diego June Meet-Up

The west coast is the best coast! Join CIMSEC’s San Diego chapter at Modern Times Beer near Point Loma for our June  gathering. We’ll bring lively discussion on all things maritime and beyond, Modern Times will bring the fancy craft beer. TastingRoom_580_400_85_c1

When: Tuesday, June 24, 4:00pm
Where: Modern Times Beer
3725 Greenwood St, San Diego, California
RSVP requested, but not required.
Right

DC Chapter June Meet-Up

Right

Join our DC Chapter for our June DC-area informal meet-up/happy hour. We will be meeting at the Right Proper Brewing Company near the Shaw metro stop to enjoy discussing the events of the day and meeting new folk.

Time: Thursday, 26 June 5:00-9pm
Place: Right Proper Brewing Company (Bar in the back - ask up front if you can’t find us)
624 T St NW, Washington DC
Shaw/Howard (Yellow/Green Lines)

All are welcome – RSVPs not required, but appreciated: director@cimsec.org