- Extraordinary Threats and Opportunities: A Conversation with LTG (Ret.) H.R. McMaster and The Hon. Elaine Luria
China is sprinting to field military might that can defeat U.S. forces and conquer Taiwan. Putin continues to wage his brutal war against Ukraine – the largest invasion Europe has witnessed since World War II. The regime in Tehran continues to oppress the Iranian people, export terrorism, and inch toward a nuclear weapon capability, while building closer relationships with Moscow and Beijing. Nuclear-armed North Korea is strengthening its missile arsenal to threaten the United States, South Korea, and Japan. In Afghanistan, the Taliban has rolled back many gains of Afghan women and girls and has deepened its partnership with al-Qaeda.
While this list of threats and challenges is extraordinary, the United States enjoys unparalleled advantages, including a resilient democratic system, a large and innovative economy, a powerful military, and a strong network of allies and partners. So, what is the security situation in East Asia, Europe, and the wider Middle East? What is the Biden administration doing to address threats in these vital regions? And how can the US and its allies better secure national security interests while deterring aggression?
FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power (CMPP) hosts a conversation with CMPP Chairman LTG (Ret.) H.R. McMaster, 34-year-veteran of the U.S. Army and former U.S. National Security Advisor, and The Hon. Elaine Luria, 20-year-veteran of the U.S. Navy and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and its Committee on Armed Services. The panel is moderated by CMPP Senior Director Bradley Bowman.1h 1m | Sep 21, 2023
- Assessing America’s 2023 Cyber Resiliency: A Conversation with the CSC 2.0 Co-Chairs
Authoritarian regimes, cybercriminals, and state-backed hackers prey on American individuals and businesses to sow chaos, reap financial gain, and carry out ideological agendas. Three years ago, the congressionally mandated Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) offered a new strategic approach to combat these threats and defend U.S. national security and economic interests in cyberspace
The Commission’s groundbreaking report and white papers provided more than 116 concrete recommendations to reform U.S. government structures, strengthen norms, promote national resilience, operationalize public-private collaboration, and preserve military instruments of national power. Congress and the White House have adopted many of these recommendations, but cyber threats continue to evolve. How effective is public-private collaboration today? Is the U.S. government effectively organized to defend our national security in cyberspace? What more should the federal government be doing to promote national resilience?
FDD and CSC 2.0 host a conversation with Commission Co-Chairs Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), former National Cyber Director Chris Inglis, and former Executive Director RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, who leads CSC 2.0 and serves as senior director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation (CCTI). The conversation will be moderated by Maggie Miller, a cybersecurity reporter for Politico. The event will coincide with the release of the third annual assessment report, evaluating the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations.1h 1m | Sep 19, 2023
- Maximum Support for the People of Iran: Honoring Mahsa Amini One Year After Her Murder
There is an authentic Iranian revolution underway targeting the Islamic Republic that clings to power in Tehran. Iranians, especially courageous young women, have taken to the streets to speak out against the radical Islamist dictatorship that has ruled — and ruined — their lives. In the year since the murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by Iran’s morality police for alleged improper headscarf wear, FDD has tracked more than 4,000 protests in Iran. The regime has responded brutally, resulting in more than 635 Iranians killed, including 79 minors, and nearly 22,000 arrested. Deliberate and sophisticated chemical attacks have been carried out against schoolgirls at nearly 500 schools.
As the protests continue to rage, Americans must not turn a blind eye to the Iranian people’s courageous demands for dignity, justice, and fundamental rights. What can the United States do to support the Iranian people? What bipartisan steps can be taken to amplify the voices of freedom-seeking Iranians and counter those who seek to silence them?
To answer these questions, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) will join FDD Chief Executive Mark Dubowitz for an on-the-record discussion. FDD Senior Fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu will deliver remarks.1h 0m | Sep 14, 2023
- Cyber Catastrophe Recovery: A Critique of U.S. Continuity of the Economy Planning
The smooth function of America’s economy is critical for national security, military readiness, and geopolitical influence, making it a likely target for an adversary during a conflict. To quickly recover in the event of a widespread cyberattack on multiple industries, Congress directed the president to establish a Continuity of the Economy (COTE) plan. The Biden administration delivered its response to Congress in August 2023, but the final product provides no plan to ensure rapid economic recovery. It asserts that COTE is sufficiently covered by other emergency response plans, and as a result, fails to grapple with important questions: Does the federal government have the information it needs to determine the order of recovery in the wake of a crisis? Can emergency response plans focused primarily on public health and safety work effectively to restart the economy? Who should be responsible for ensuring existing government plans actually get updated to incorporate COTE? And, critically, what role should the private sector – the owners and operators of the U.S. economy – play in COTE planning and implementation?
To address these shortcomings and provide recommendations on how to remedy them, FDD is hosting a virtual discussion with Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection; Tom Fanning, executive chairman of Southern Company; Mark Harvey, former senior director for resilience policy on the National Security Council staff, and RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, former executive director of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. This panel will be moderated by Dr. Samantha Ravich, chair of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation (CCTI).58m | Sep 13, 2023
- Confronting Beijing’s Weaponized Economy
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has undertaken a decades-long quest for global dominance, leveraging a multi-faceted strategy to supplant the current world order. In the economic realm, the CCP bullies companies and governments to follow Beijing’s rules – which benefit China to the detriment of all others. To safeguard U.S. national security interests, global prosperity, and an international system that promises free trade, the West must find ways to resist their illiberal influence.
Axios China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian recently published a new book, Beijing Rules: How China Weaponized Its Economy to Confront the World, which includes headline-making stories of Western institutions bowing to Beijing’s pressure – and a glimpse of what America’s future may look like should liberal democracy come firmly under the thumb of authoritarian capitalism. To discuss her investigative reporting and the broader policy implications, FDD’s China Program hosts a conversation with Bethany as well as Liza Tobin, Senior Director for Economy at the Special Competitive Studies Project, and F. Scott Kieff, former Commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission. The discussion will be moderated by FDD Senior Fellow Craig Singleton.1h 13m | Sep 8, 2023
- Afghanistan in Peril: Two Years After the U.S. Withdrawal
Nearly two years after the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban regime has reconstituted its Islamic Emirate and returned to draconian policies that are in grave violation of fundamental human rights. While President Biden and the Taliban alike claim al-Qaeda is not active in Afghanistan, recent United Nations monitoring shows al-Qaeda leaders are embedded in key Afghan ministries, with the group running training camps, safe houses, and media operations across multiple Afghan provinces. Terror groups such as the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan enjoy free reign, while threats from the Islamic State persist.
To prevent Afghanistan from further collapsing into a hub for terrorism, the West must pursue a clear-eyed security strategy that imposes due costs on the Taliban and eliminates safe havens for Islamic extremists.
To discuss the situation on the ground, barriers to security, and the best path forward for policymakers, FDD will host a live, virtual panel featuring Kathy Gannon, former news director and chief correspondent for the Associated Press, who has covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for 35 years; Edmund Fitton-Brown, former British diplomat and coordinator of the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban; and Bill Roggio, FDD senior fellow and editor of FDD’s Long War Journal. The discussion will be moderated by NBC News national security and global affairs reporter, Dan De Luce.1h 9m | Aug 15, 2023
- Safety in Numbers: Improving Cyber Capacity Building
Ukraine’s effective cyber resilience – withstanding thousands of Russian attacks – is thanks in part to years-long cyber defense capacity building programs backed by both the U.S. government and industry. Washington’s robust efforts – if somewhat ad-hoc – help partners build cyber resilience, mature their law enforcement tools and techniques, improve information sharing, train cyber workforces, and deploy more secure and resilient information and communications technology networks. As attacks by criminal and state-backed hackers on America and its allies grow, is Washington organized and resourced to meet the needs of tomorrow? How can the U.S. government better organize to help partners improve their cyber resilience? Why is partner capacity building important for U.S. national security?
To answer these questions and discuss how to enhance partner capacity building, FDD hosts a conversation with the inaugural U.S. Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy Nathaniel C. Fick; RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, senior director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation (CCTI); and Annie Fixler, director of CCTI and research fellow at FDD. The discussion is moderated by John Sakellariadis, cybersecurity reporter at Politico.59m | Jul 27, 2023
- Iran’s Terror Proxies on Israel’s Borders
The Islamic Republic of Iran has spent the last four decades building a network of armed groups on Israel’s borders to create instability and foment terrorism. Thanks to funding, arms, training, and coordination from Tehran, a mosaic of at least nineteen terrorist organizations in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and Syria continue to strike at Israel, blunting any hope for calm, let alone peace. What are the tactical and strategic trends exhibited by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, and what might a future multi-front conflict entail? What challenges does the beleaguered Palestinian Authority and its security forces in the West Bank face, particularly as Iranian surrogates gain strength? What can Israel, Washington, and allied nations do to counter the Islamic Republic’s proxies and prevent a regional war?
To explore these questions, FDD will host a panel discussion with Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jonathan Conricus, former international spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces and a member of the Israel Defense and Security Forum; Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at FDD and former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; and Joe Truzman, research analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal focused on Palestinian militant groups and Hezbollah. The conversation will be moderated by Enia Krivine, senior director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network.1h 13m | Jul 18, 2023
- The United States and Palau’s Strategic Partnership: A Conversation with President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr.
The Republic of Palau, in the central pacific, is a core strategic partner of the United States. The deep and close relationship, born in the blood of World War II battles, is formalized in the Compact of Free Association (COFA). The agreement means Palauans can serve in the U.S. military and live and work in the United States. The COFA also grants the U.S. extensive and unique defense oversight in Palauan territory, including the right of strategic denial: access that is an imperative part of the U.S. defense architecture in the Pacific. Additionally, Palau recognizes Taiwan. All this combines to make Palau a major target of Beijing’s influence operations as they aim to force a derecognition of Taiwan and pressure them to move away from the United States.
With the sensitive COFA renegotiation underway, Palauan President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. is in Washington and has agreed to sit down with FDD Non-Resident Senior Fellow Cleo Paskal and FDD Senior Vice President Jonathan Schanzer to discuss the U.S.-Palau relationship and details on the great power battle taking place in the Pacific Islands.1h 8m | Jul 17, 2023
- Building Deterrence: Security Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond
The People’s Republic of China is undertaking a massive military buildup and wielding its growing might more aggressively, including in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. At the same time, Beijing is deepening its security cooperation with Moscow and Tehran. To deter aggression in regions that are vital to American interests, Washington needs capable forward-positioned military forces. It also needs defense partners with cutting edge capabilities that can operate effectively alongside American forces and help carry the security burden. Thankfully, the United States already enjoys an impressive network of allies and partners — but growing threats require Washington to redouble efforts to build partner capacity and deepen their integration with U.S. forces. That’s easier said than done, requiring hard work on basing agreements, defense trade, contingency planning, and military exercises.
FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power (CMPP) hosts a conversation with Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Jessica Lewis on the Biden administration’s ongoing security cooperation efforts in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. Drawing on Assistant Secretary Lewis’s recent visit to the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, the conversation – moderated by CMPP Senior Director Bradley Bowman – will discuss priorities, opportunities, and challenges going forward.1h 25m | Jun 29, 2023
- Turkey’s Elections: A Contested and Uncertain Outcome
Turkey held its scheduled elections on May 14, with mixed results. While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development-led “People’s Alliance” has likely held its parliamentary majority, the presidential election results are still unclear. The polls accurately depicted a close race between President Erdogan and his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. At present, neither candidate appears to have crossed the 50% threshold necessary to clinch the presidency, and thereby triggering a runoff election on May 28.
To discuss what lies ahead, FDD will host a panel featuring Steven Cook, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies and director of the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); Howard Eissenstat, associate professor of Middle East history at St. Lawrence University; and Sibel Oktay, non-resident senior fellow of Public Opinion and Foreign Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The panel will be moderated by Sinan Ciddi, non-resident senior fellow at FDD and associate professor of national security studies at Marine Corps University.1h 13m | May 19, 2023
- Russia’s War on Ukraine: A Conversation with Amb. Oksana Markarova
Brave Ukrainians continue to defend their homeland from the unprovoked, blatantly illegal, and imperialist war being waged by invading Russian troops under the command of Vladimir Putin. Where does the conflict stand? What resources do Ukrainians most need for the expected counteroffensive? Why is support for Ukraine in America’s national interest? What impact will the outcome of this war have on other expansionist regimes?
To discuss these questions and more, FDD hosts an on-the-record conversation with Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova led by FDD Founder and President Clifford D. May.1h 19m | May 6, 2023
- Securing Space: Addressing the Cyber Risk
Auburn University’s McCrary Institute, FDD, and CSC 2.0, hosted a virtual event on the cyber risks in space. The event features former Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Mike Rogers; former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon; Skycorp CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Steven L. Kwast; CSC 2.0 Executive Director and Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery. Moderated by McCrary Institute’s Frank Cilluffo, the conversation discusses the best path forward in addressing cybersecurity challenges unique to space systems, cybersecurity as a tool to support new and emerging space-based missions, and ways to enhance the public-private partnership model with genuinely shared risk management responsibilities.1h 14m | Apr 15, 2023
- Turkey After Erdogan
After twenty years of dominating Turkish politics, Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces an electoral challenge to his hold on power. Turkish law requires Erdogan to hold presidential and parliamentary elections no later than June of this year. Until recently, polls put Erdogan slightly behind his potential challengers. Economic conditions are dire. Complicating matters further, devastating earthquakes last month killed tens of thousands and displaced millions, resulting in public outrage over the government’s politicized response that prioritized limiting the damage to Erdogan’s reputation rather than saving lives.
FDD’s panel discussion explores these issues with Sinan Ciddi as well as Henri Barkey, Cohen professor in international relations at Lehigh University and adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Merve Tahiroglu, Turkey Program director at the Project on Middle East Democracy, with Nate Schenkkan, senior director of research for Freedom House’s work on countering authoritarianism, moderating.1h 19m | Mar 10, 2023
- Securing Contested Waters: A Conversation with NAVCENT Commander Vice Adm. Cooper
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command is responsible for securing 2.5 million square miles of water area across the wider Middle East. That includes the global chokepoints of the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal, and Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, which are vital to international commerce and security. The Islamic Republic of Iran uses many of these waters to smuggle illicit weapons to its terror proxies and undermine freedom of navigation by threatening, harassing, and attacking vessels sailing where international law permits.
FDD hosts NAVCENT Commander Vice Admiral Brad Cooper in conversation with CMPP Senior Director Bradley Bowman. They discuss threats and challenges in the region and how NAVCENT is seeking to leverage cutting-edge technology, partnerships, and expanded military exercises to build an effective combined regional security architecture that deters and defeats aggression.47m | Feb 25, 2023
- Towards a Greater Eastern Mediterranean: Opportunities for Strategic Integration in the Region
The Eastern Mediterranean has been an epicenter of great power competition for over two millennia. Located at the nexus of Africa, Asia, and Europe, the region’s strategic location, cultural significance, and vast natural resources require the United States to implement a coherent approach.
In what ways have recent developments, including the historic Abraham Accords normalization agreements and the launch of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, impacted the region? How does a more integrated Eastern Mediterranean advance U.S. interests and what can be done to support such efforts? What can the United States do to meet the rising challenges and take advantage of the emerging opportunities in region?
The event features introductory remarks from Hellenic American Leadership Council Executive Director Endy Zemenides with a panel discussion featuring Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power Bradley Bowman, FDD Senior Advisor Amb. Eric S. Edelman, Member of the Hellenic Parliament Dimitris Keridis, and FDD Senior Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer. The conversation is moderated by Washington Correspondent for Greek Public TV ERT Lena Argiri.
This event, hosted by FDD’s Turkey Program and Center on Military and Political Power, was a breakout session of the Delphi Economic Forum.1h 15m | Feb 7, 2023
- Rising Tensions in the West Bank
The security situation in the West Bank is volatile. A mosaic of terrorist groups — many backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran — have found the West Bank ripe ground for plotting violence and attacking Israelis. A major increase in terrorist attacks in Israel in early 2022 has made clear the Palestinian Authority has lost control of parts of the West Bank. What sparked the rising tensions? Can the Palestinian Authority regain control? What role does the Islamic Republic of Iran play in the violence? How has Israel been responding to the attacks? And what can Washington and allied nations do to deescalate the situation? To discuss these questions and more, FDD hosts an on-the-record event on the rising tensions in the West Bank.
The event features a panel discussion with Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jonathan Conricus, former international spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces and a member of the Israel Defense and Security Forum; Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at FDD and former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; and Enia Krivine, senior director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network. The conversation will be moderated by Bradley Bowman, senior director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power.1h 13m | Jan 13, 2023
- Rogue Proliferators: Nonproliferation Threats Posed by Iran, Syria, Russia, and North Korea
Experts from FDD’s Nonproliferation and Biodefense Program were scheduled to attend the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) annual conference at The Hague when they learned their attendance was blocked. Iran, Syria, and/or Russia – all known rogue proliferators—managed to veto the attendance of FDD observers. What are the chemical weapons and proliferation concerns associated with each of these rogue states and North Korea? What can Washington and allied nations do to hold them to account? FDD hosted an on-the-record event to discuss the state of global nonproliferation efforts, the role each of these proliferators play individually and in coordination with each other, and recommendations for addressing these issues.
The event featured keynote remarks by Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation C.S. Eliot Kang followed by a panel discussion with Michael Allen, former Special Assistant to the President and NSC Senior Director for Counterproliferation Strategy; Anthony Ruggiero, Senior Director of FDD’s Nonproliferation and Biodefense Program and former Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and NSC Senior Director for Counterproliferation and Biodefense; and Andrea Stricker, FDD Research Fellow and Deputy Director of FDD’s Nonproliferation and Biodefense Program. The conversation was moderated by Vivian Salama, national security reporter for The Wall Street Journal.1h 13m | Dec 1, 2022
- Assessing America’s Cyber Resiliency: A Conversation with the CSC 2.0 Co-Chairs
State-backed hackers and cybercriminals from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are stealing America’s technological edge and holding U.S. critical infrastructure at ransom. What are we doing to thwart or deter them?
Nearly four years ago, the congressionally mandated Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) was tasked with developing a strategic approach to defend U.S. national security and economic interests in cyberspace. The commission put forward more than 80 concrete recommendations (in a 2020 report and six subsequent white papers) for what it would take for the U.S. government to succeed.
More than 85 percent of these initial recommendations are fully or partially implemented or on track for implementation. Following the commission’s planned sunset, CSC 2.0 is continuing efforts to assess and implement its recommendations. How resilient are we in cyberspace today? What is still left to be addressed?
Commission co-chairs Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) will join a discussion hosted by CSC 2.0 and FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation to discuss outstanding congressional and executive actions in cyberspace and the path forward for national cyber policy. The conversation will be moderated by Tim Starks, author of the Cybersecurity 202 newsletter at The Washington Post.
The event will coincide with the release of the second annual implementation assessment report.52m | Sep 21, 2022
- Investing to Deter in the Pacific: A Conversation with INDOPACOM Commander Admiral John Aquilino
In the unclassified fact sheet that accompanied the Pentagon’s 2022 National Defense Strategy, the department’s priorities included “defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” and “deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary, prioritizing the PRC challenge in the Indo-Pacific.” That document describes the PRC as “the most consequential strategic competitor and the pacing challenge for the Department.”
If the United States hopes to field the modern and capable military forces urgently needed to deter and defeat aggression from the rapidly improving People’s Liberation Army (PLA), there is no time to waste. China is sprinting to field modern forces that can defeat the U.S. military, and absent urgent American efforts in coordination with allies and partners, Beijing may decide to use military force to accomplish its political objectives in the Pacific. INDOPACOM, the U.S. combatant command responsible for the Indo-Pacific region, is today’s most consequential frontline. To discuss the current threat from the PRC and what can be done to strengthen military deterrence in the vital INDOPACOM area of responsibility, FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power (CMPP) and China Program host a discussion with INDOPACOM Commander Admiral John Aquilino. The conversation was moderated by CMPP Senior Director Bradley Bowman.23m | Jun 24, 2022