CISAC - Publications Page
Our 2015 survey experiment—reported in the 2017 International Security article “Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran”—asked a representative sample of Americans to choose between continuing a ground invasion of Iran that would kill an estimated 20,000 U.S. soldiers or launching a nuclear attack on an Iranian city that would kill an estimated 100,000 civilians.1 Fifty-six percent of the respondents preferred the nuclear strike.
Where is nuclear arms control—negotiated restraints on the deadliest weapons of mass destruction—headed? This 50-year tool of US national security policy is currently under attack. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the last remaining nuclear arms agreement with the Russian Federation, will go out of force in February 2021 unless it is extended for an additional five years as the treaty permits. At this moment, nothing is on the horizon to replace it, though the Trump administration has promised a new and more extensive agreement that includes China as well as Russia.
Nineteen years after 9/11, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has yet to achieve the household notoriety evoked by his immediate predecessor, Osama bin Laden. In part that’s because the United States hasn’t cared enough to focus attention on him. Aside from massive financial overtures for intelligence on his whereabouts—there’s currently a $25 million bounty offered for his head, higher than the reward for any other terrorist in the world—the U.S. government has been relatively blasé about al Qaeda since Zawahiri took over in 2011.
Nineteen years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, does al Qaeda still pose a significant threat to U.S. national security? Among researchers, military and intelligence officials, and policymakers who study the group, there is little consensus. But very few experts on Salafi-jihadi movements would dismiss the group outright. So when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confidently declared in a March interview on Fox & Friends that “al Qaeda is a shadow of its former self,” we were startled and concerned.
Polls in the United States and nine allied countries in Europe and Asia show that public support for a nuclear test is very low. If the Trump administration conducts a test, then it shouldn’t expect backing from Americans or its closest U.S. partners.
Read more at The National Interest
A new shadow war is underway within the International Telecommunication Union, one of the obscure organizations that sets global technical standards.
International standard-setting is a morass of positive intentions and poor execution. When the process works well, it selects the best technologies based on merit and, for example, allows people to use their personal cellphone numbers anywhere on Earth. When the system fails, we end up with different electrical outlets in each country and scramble for adapters.
A Research Agenda for Cyber Risk and Cyber Insurance
By: Gregory Falco, Stanford University
Martin Eling, University of St. Gallen
Danielle Jablanski, Stanford University
Virginia Miller, Stanford University
Lawrence A. Gordon, University of Maryland
Shaun Shuxun Wang, Nanyang Technological University
Joan Schmit, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Russell Thomas, RMS and George Mason University
At the end of July, Dan Coats, the U.S. director of national intelligence (DNI), announced his resignation. When he leaves office on August 15, the U.S. intelligence community will be left with two crises to confront. One is obvious and immediate: how to protect the objectivity and professionalism of the intelligence agencies against the rising tide of politicization by the White House.
Corruption of the information ecosystem is not just a multiplier of two long-acknowledged existential threats to the future of humanity—climate change and nuclear weapons. Cyber-enabled information warfare has also become an existential threat in its own right, its increased use posing the realistic possibility of a global information dystopia, in which the pillars of modern democratic self-government—logic, truth, and reality—are shattered, and anti-Enlightenment values undermine civilization around the world.
For U.S. intelligence agencies, the twenty-first century began with a shock, when 19 al Qaeda operatives hijacked four planes and perpetrated the deadliest attack ever on U.S. soil. In the wake of the attack, the intelligence community mobilized with one overriding goal: preventing another 9/11. The CIA, the National Security Agency, and the 15 other components of the U.S. intelligence community restructured, reformed, and retooled. Congress appropriated billions of dollars to support the transformation.
What are the effects of international intervention on the rule of law after civil war? Rule of law requires not only that state authorities abide by legal limits on their power, but also that citizens rely on state laws and institutions to adjudicate disputes.
Abstract: This chapter reviews the evolution of Martha Crenshaw’s interests in and approaches to researching terrorism, a trajectory that begins in the 1960s and extends to the present. The story is necessarily partial and incomplete as well as personal. Her first research project concentrated on the use of terrorism by the FLN during the Algerian War, and her current research deals with patterns of cooperation and competition among militant groups and with the relationship between jihadist-oriented transnational terrorism and civil war.
Abstract: Technical tools dominate the cyber risk management market. Social cybersecurity tools are severely underutilised in helping organisations defend themselves against cyberattacks. We investigate a class of non-technical risk mitigation strategies and tools that might be particularly effective in managing and mitigating the effects of certain cyberattacks. We call these social-science-grounded methods Defensive Social Engineering (DSE) tools.