November 4, 2016

Conference: “After ISIL: Stability and Spillover”

After ISIL: Stability and Spillover

The purpose of this one-day conference is to help the Special Operation Forces (SOF) community’s strategic planning and forward posturing by accessing academic expertise. The underlying premise of this event is that defeating ISIS militarily, retaking Mosul, Raqqa, and other territory in Iraq and Syria, will not completely eliminate them as a threat. Therefore, the intellectual motivation for this conference is this question: what are the greatest challenges and opportunities to peace and stability after the military defeat of ISIS? To further focus this question we propose one panel on the after effects in Iraq and Syria, a second panel on the impact of foreign fighter flow from Iraq/Syria through Turkey into Europe, with a focus on Southeastern Europe (the Balkans), and lastly a panel focused on the effects of these scenarios on U.S.-Russia relations.

Sponsored by:

U.S. Army Special Operations Command


The Laboratory for Unconventional Conflict & Simulation


This program is based upon work funded by, or in part by, the Office of the Secretary of Defense with additional support from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the U.S. Army Research Office under grant number W911NF-15-1-0291.

After ISIL: Stability and Spillover, December 2nd, Richard White Lecture Hall, East Campus

Panel Questions:

Panel 1: After ISIS: The Search for Peace and Stability in Iraq and Syria, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Given the multi-cultural make-up of both countries, with various language groups, religious sects, ethnicities, and tribal affiliations, how can U.S. DoD and other entities help guarantee cultural security? Generally, what role are these cultural differences likely to play? What type of cultural violence was done by ISIS? What opportunities does cultural security provide?

What role will NGOs likely play in the stability of these two countries, given the damage of war, the exacerbation of cultural conflicts, and the like? How can stakeholders best vet NGOs to ensure that stability and security are their goals? Is it likely that nefarious actors will use NGOs as covers to exacerbate conflict and degrade security?

What will nefarious actors do to oppose stability and security in Iraq and Syria? What are the most likely information operations goals and techniques that these actors are likely to deploy? What do we really know about their messaging capabilities and what opportunities do they present to U.S. policymakers?

Panel 2: After ISIS spillover in the Balkans, 10:45 to 1:00 p.m.

What do we know/need to know about the Balkans as a throughway for former ISIS fighters returning or migrating to Europe? How viable is this threat? How likely is this path? What are the economic, political, social and other variables that present opportunities and challenges for ISIS fighters and those trying to control the flow of foreign fighters to Europe? What is the landscape of transnational criminal organizations in the Balkans? What opportunities and challenges does this present to ISIS? What should U.S. policy be to stem the flow of foreign fighters into this region? With whom should the U.S. be partnering? What are the best opportunities to thwart ISIS from penetrating Europe through this corridor?

Lunch 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Panel 3: After ISIS: U.S. – Russia Relations, 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Given the complex nature of current U.S. – Russia relations, what would the quest for stability in Iraq and Syria and potential intervention in the Balkans portend for this relationship? Does the foreign fighter flow to the Balkans present a challenge, an opportunity, or both to deepen cooperation between these two actors? What are these challenges and opportunities? How can the U.S. best position itself to operate effectively against ISIS, while constructively engaging Russia? What is the best way to characterize Russian interests/policy in the problem sets identified here?

Keynote Speaker: To be announced, 4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Unhosted social: location to be announced, 5:30 p.m.


Panel 1:

Matthew S. Weinert, PhD, of the University of Delaware, teaches courses in global governance, international organizations, and international law. Professor Weinert works in English School theory and normative international political theory. In particular, he is interested the development of architectures of (global) governance that emerge at the intersection of state interests and human well-being, and has published with respect to R2P, human security, human rights, and the emergence of an operative conception of ‘humanity’ in world politics. He is currently working on a project regarding the protection of the cultural heritage of humankind.

Ibrahim al-Assil is a Syrian political analyst and civil society activist who serves as a resident fellow at the Middle East Institute. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Orient Research Center in Dubai. His work focuses on the Syrian conflict with an emphasis on different aspects of security, civil society, political Islam, and political economy.

Cori E. Dauber, PhD is Professor of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is also a Research Fellow at the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS.) She is co-editor of Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment, (US Army War College Press, 2014) and the author of You Tube WarFighting in a World of Cameras in Every Cell Phone, Photoshop on Every Computer, (US Army War College Press, 2010.) She has been the Visiting Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College. Her research focus is the communication strategies of terrorist groups, with a particular focus on their use of visual imagery. Her work has been published in journals such as Military ReviewArmed Forces and Society, and Rhetoric and Public Affairs, and she has presented her research to the Canadian Forces College, the John Kennedy School for Special Warfare, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies of the National Defense University among others. Dr. Dauber holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an M.A. from Chapel Hill, all in Communication Studies. Dauber holds a PhD and BS from Northwestern University, and an MA from Chapel Hill, all in Communication Studies.


David A Siegel, PhD is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Duke University’s Department of Political Science. His research addresses the theoretical determinants of collective action in the contexts of political violence and terrorism, elections, and opinion and identity formation. He has published in journals such as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Politics, and is the coauthor of A Behavioral Theory of Elections and A Mathematics Course for Political and Social Research, both from Princeton University Press. Prior to coming to Duke, he was on faculty at Florida State University.

Captain Todd Veazie was born in Washington D.C. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina and was commissioned in 1986. After commissioning he reported to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training and graduated in Class 140. He is the former Executive Director of Joining Forces in the Office of the First Lady at the White House.

Panel 2:

Jytte Klausen. Ph.D., is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of International Cooperation at Brandeis University and an Affiliate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. She is the recipient of the Carnegie Scholars Fellowship and will be a scholar in residence at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington D.C. in 2016-17. Her most recent books are The Cartoons That Shook the World (Yale University Press 2009), which is about the worldwide protests against the Danish cartoons of the Muslim Prophet, and The Islamic Challenge: Politics and Religion in Western Europe (Oxford University Press 2005, pb. 2007 (translated into German and Turkish; Arabic translation in progress). In 2006, Klausen founded the Western Jihadism Project, which studies Western violent extremists associated with Al Qaeda. She is currently writing a book about the Western adherents of Bin Laden’s movement. Klausen is a commentator on international terrorism on national and international television and radio. She is a regular contributor to Foreign Affairs. She has been a subject matter expert for the United Kingdom’s Home Office, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Intelligence Council, and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and other government agencies. Her research on jihadism in Western states has been funded by the U.K. Home Office and the National Institute for Justice in Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice, and by The U.S. Army Research Office and The Minerva Initiative, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Jasmin Mujanović, PhD, is a political scientist and analyst of southeast European and international affairs, with a particular interest in the politics of post-conflict and post-authoritarian democratization. Presently, he is a policy consultant for the Sarajevo-based regional office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and the primary analyst for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia for Freedom House’s annual “Freedom in the World” reports. His first book, Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans, will be published by Hurst Publishers and Oxford University Press in 2017.

Besir Ceka, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Davidson College. He received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to Davidson, he was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute. Broadly speaking, his research and teaching interests lay in the fields of public opinion, political behavior, post-communist politics, European integration, and international organizations. More recently, he has become interested in studying the individual and contextual factors that contribute to religious extremism and radicalization in the Balkans. Dr. Ceka is originally from Macedonia, and received his BA from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Silvana Tosca, PhD, has lived and researched in many countries in the Middle East, and studied various topics from medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy to contemporary social movements. Her most recent research looks at the spread of revolutions from one country to another and the role of emotions for collective mobilization. I have published several book chapters on the Arab uprisings and spent a considerable amount of time interviewing protesters in Egypt, Syria, and Yemen. Tosca has also done work on the transnational criminal networks that operate in and out of the Balkans.


Arolda Elbasani, PhD is Jean Monnet Fellow at Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies, EUI Florence. Previously, she held research and teaching fellowships at Columbia University; Social Science Research Center, Berlin; European University of Tirana; and Free University, Berlin. She received her PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the European University Institute, Florence. Her research interests lay at the intersection of Islamic politics, role of European enlargement, Institutional change and comparative democratization with a focus on Southeast Europe and Turkey. She is working on a series of articles and a book length project on Muslim communities’ support for democratic regimes, particularly in Albania, Turkey and Kosovo. The aim is to trace and explain development of their position towards democratization under varying institutional contexts and ideological frameworks.

Ambassador (ret) W. Robert Pearson is a Scholar at The Middle East Institute in Washington.  He is a retired career Foreign Service Officer who served as U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 2000 to 2003.  He was Director General of the U.S. Foreign Service from 2003 to 2006, repositioning the American Foreign Service to meet the new challenges of the 21st century and winning two national awards.  In 2008, he became President of IREX, an international development NGO based in Washington with an annual budget of $75 million, spearheading its expansion to more than 125 countries, touching the lives of more than 1 million people.  In 2014, he retired after six years at IREX to pursue his additional interests in international affairs.  He has published numerous articles, blogs and opinion pieces on diplomacy, foreign policy, Turkey, NGOs and development.  He is a frequent speaker on issues concerning Turkey, international development and the role of diplomacy in American engagement abroad.   Education:  B.A. Vanderbilt University, J.D. University of Virginia School of Law.

Panel 3:

Dimitar Bechev, PhD, is Adjunct Professor at the University of Sofia where he teaches European Studies and International Relations. He is also affiliated with the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom. Previously, he headed the Sofia office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he had been a Senior Policy Fellow. Bechev has written extensively on the politics and history of modern Turkey and the Balkans, EU external affairs and Russian foreign policy. He is a frequent contributor to Al Jazeera, CNN, Foreign Policy and openDemocracy. Bechev received his D.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University in 2005. At CES, Bechev will investigate how Russia’s foreign policy and the EU’s enlargement policy are impacting the energy sector in Southeast Europe, specifically Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece and Romania.

Steven Rosefielde, PhD, Steven Rosefielde received an AM degree in Soviet Regional Studies (1967) and PhD in Economics from Harvard University (1972). His special areas were Soviet economy and comparative systems theory including Asian economic systems, labor managed firms and international trade. He was trained by Abram Bergson, working as well with Wassily Leontief, Alexander Gerschenkron, Simon Kuznets, Gottfried von Haberler and Evsei Domar. He is Professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has served simultaneously as Adjunct Professor at various universities including the US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey. He has taught widely across the globe in Russia, Japan, China, and Thailand, and has been a visiting research scholar at the Stockholm School of Economics, Bank of Finland, Trento University, Central Economics and Mathematics Institute (Moscow). During the Soviet era, he was an advisor to the Office of the American Secretary of Defense and FOI (Swedish Defense Institute), also serving as Coordinator of the US–USSR Joint Cooperative Research Program on Science and Technology (between the National Science Foundation and the Soviet Academy of Sciences), Topic 1, subtopic 3, “enterprise modeling,” 1977–1981. In 1997, he was inducted into the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences [Rossiiskaia Akademiia Estestvennykh Nauk (RAEN)]. After the Soviet Union collapsed, he refocused his attention on Asia and the European Union while remaining actively engaged with Russia and Eastern Europe. Throughout his career he has striven to integrate the lessons learned in high level government service with advanced economic theory.

Stuart J. Kaufman is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware and Associate Editor of Journal of Global Security Studies.  Dr. Kaufman previously taught at the University of Kentucky from 1990 to 2004.  He specializes in ethnic conflict, international security affairs and international relations history.  He is the author of Nationalist Passions (2015), Modern Hatreds (2001), and co-editor of The Balance of Power in World History (2007).  The winner of a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship for 1998-99, Dr. Kaufman spent 1999 working as Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the U.S. National Security Council staff.  He also won the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order in 2004 for Modern Hatreds.  Dr. Kaufman earned his B.A. (1983) from Harvard University, and his M.A. (1985) and Ph.D. (1991) from the University of Michigan.


David Schanzer, JD, is an associate professor of the practice at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy University and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, a research consortium between Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and RTI International. In these capacities, he teaches courses, conducts research and engages in public dialogue on counterterrorism strategy, counterterrorism law and homeland security. Schanzer is the lead author of a widely cited National Institute of Justice study on domestic radicalization – “Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim Americans” (2010) – and a report on “Improving Strategic Risk Management at the Department of Homeland Security,” published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.  He is a member of the Countering Violent Extremism Leadership Forum and has been a Research Fellow for the National Intelligence Council.

Jack Matlock, Jr. PhD, was U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union 1987-91, Special Assistant to the President for National Security (1983-86), and Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1981-83). During his 35-year Foreign Service career he served four tours in Moscow between 1961 and 1991, seven years in Africa (Ghana and Tanzania), five years in Central and Eastern Europe (Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia) two years as Deputy Director of the Foreign Service Institute, and several years in Washington dealing with Soviet and European affairs. Since retiring from the Foreign Service in 1991, Matlock has held academic positions at Columbia (1991-1996 and 2007-2012), the Institute for Advanced Study (1996- 2001), Princeton, 2001-2004, Hamilton College (2006 and 2009) and Mount Holyoke College (2007), and Duke University (Rubenstein Fellow, 2015-17).

He received an AB summa cum laude from Duke University in 1950, an MA and Certificate of the Russian Institute at Columbia University in 1952, and a PhD (Slavic Languages) from Columbia in 2013, as well as four honorary doctorates. He is the author of numerous articles on foreign policy and international relations and of the following books: Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray–And How to Return to Reality (2010), Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended (2004); Autopsy on an Empire (1995), as well as a handbook to the Russian edition of Stalin’s Collected Works (1955, 2nd edition, 1971). He maintains a website and blog at