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Michael Dworman

Dissecting Russian Organized Crime and the State

The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia by Mark Galeotti Yale University Press, 2018 The discovery of more than 850 pounds of cocaine on the grounds of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires and the 2018 arrests of multiple people involved in the trafficking organization that operated from Argentina to Germany to Russia made headlines around the…

The Human Element Of Cybersecurity Requires Greater Government Intervention

Massive breaches, “hacked” elections, and worldwide outages make headlines on a weekly basis. The mere notion of cyberspace and the unending cry for people with “technical” skills to fill cybersecurity roles present a problem that seemingly demands a technical solution. Some of the most prominent breaches and hacks have been the result of mildly-skilled hackers…

A Powerful Message Delivered With Nerve Toxins

Polonium-laced tea. An ice axe to the head. A ricin-pill fired from an umbrella. Defectors and dissidents have long met their demise uniquely at the hands of Soviet- and Russian-linked security services. Two people were found slumped last week on a bench in Salisbury, United Kingdom. It seems the newest method of choice is a…

The Army Cannot Stop Violence in Brazil

In an emergency decree, the Brazilian army was ordered to take over security in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian leaders seemed to believe that this was the only option given a homicide rate that has steadily increased year after year. With criminal elements fighting both among themselves and with the police, Rio and…

A Post-Putin Russia Begins with the 2018 Elections

When Russians go to the polls in March, the outcome is all but certain: Vladimir Putin will retain his position as president. Ever since his rise to power, Putin and his allied United Russia party have ruled Russia with elections used mainly as window dressing to preserve a veneer of democracy. March promises more of…

Egypt’s Counterterrorism Strategy Is a Repeat of Failed Policies

On November 25th, militants detonated a bomb inside a Sinai Peninsula mosque and gunned down those trying to flee. More than 300 people were killed in what is now described as the worst terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi promised a “brute force” response. Within 24 hours military planes bombed militant…

ISIS’s Threat to the 2018 World Cup

Since the early days of the Islamic State (ISIS) there has been a preoccupation with the risk posed by foreign fighters returning home. With the attacks in Paris and Brussels, the world has seen how much damage these fighters can do. Recently, ISIS-linked media groups threatened the World Cup, which will be held in 2018…

Peace Treaties In Colombia Are Threatened On Multiple Fronts

In 1964, in response to an attack by the Colombian military against left-wing insurgents, a group of guerillas formed into a unified bloc that would soon become the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The FARC and another leftist group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), would go on to battle the Colombian government and right-wing…

Strategic Stalemate Guarantees the Conflict Will Continue In Ukraine

The Harvest Ceasefire in Ukraine failed almost as soon as it began. Implemented to provide locals with the opportunity to gather crops, it was just another one of the many ceasefires to have failed since the conflict began in 2014. None provided more than a brief respite from the fighting that has killed more than…

Do Not Lift the Arms Embargo on Libya

The conflict in Libya is intensifying. Battles between rival militias are unceasing and deadly. As I wrote last month, the conflict is unlikely to resolve quickly. Amid this chaos, Egypt recently called for an end to a United Nations-supported arms embargo on Libya. Government officials in Libya previously floated the idea of a lift. Lifting…

Dissecting Russian Organized Crime and the State

The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia by Mark Galeotti Yale University Press, 2018 The discovery of more than 850 pounds of cocaine on the grounds of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires and the 2018 arrests of multiple people involved in the trafficking organization that operated from Argentina to Germany to Russia made headlines around the…

The Human Element Of Cybersecurity Requires Greater Government Intervention

Massive breaches, “hacked” elections, and worldwide outages make headlines on a weekly basis. The mere notion of cyberspace and the unending cry for people with “technical” skills to fill cybersecurity roles present a problem that seemingly demands a technical solution. Some of the most prominent breaches and hacks have been the result of mildly-skilled hackers…

A Powerful Message Delivered With Nerve Toxins

Polonium-laced tea. An ice axe to the head. A ricin-pill fired from an umbrella. Defectors and dissidents have long met their demise uniquely at the hands of Soviet- and Russian-linked security services. Two people were found slumped last week on a bench in Salisbury, United Kingdom. It seems the newest method of choice is a…

The Army Cannot Stop Violence in Brazil

In an emergency decree, the Brazilian army was ordered to take over security in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian leaders seemed to believe that this was the only option given a homicide rate that has steadily increased year after year. With criminal elements fighting both among themselves and with the police, Rio and…

A Post-Putin Russia Begins with the 2018 Elections

When Russians go to the polls in March, the outcome is all but certain: Vladimir Putin will retain his position as president. Ever since his rise to power, Putin and his allied United Russia party have ruled Russia with elections used mainly as window dressing to preserve a veneer of democracy. March promises more of…

Egypt’s Counterterrorism Strategy Is a Repeat of Failed Policies

On November 25th, militants detonated a bomb inside a Sinai Peninsula mosque and gunned down those trying to flee. More than 300 people were killed in what is now described as the worst terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi promised a “brute force” response. Within 24 hours military planes bombed militant…

ISIS’s Threat to the 2018 World Cup

Since the early days of the Islamic State (ISIS) there has been a preoccupation with the risk posed by foreign fighters returning home. With the attacks in Paris and Brussels, the world has seen how much damage these fighters can do. Recently, ISIS-linked media groups threatened the World Cup, which will be held in 2018…

Peace Treaties In Colombia Are Threatened On Multiple Fronts

In 1964, in response to an attack by the Colombian military against left-wing insurgents, a group of guerillas formed into a unified bloc that would soon become the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The FARC and another leftist group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), would go on to battle the Colombian government and right-wing…

Strategic Stalemate Guarantees the Conflict Will Continue In Ukraine

The Harvest Ceasefire in Ukraine failed almost as soon as it began. Implemented to provide locals with the opportunity to gather crops, it was just another one of the many ceasefires to have failed since the conflict began in 2014. None provided more than a brief respite from the fighting that has killed more than…

Do Not Lift the Arms Embargo on Libya

The conflict in Libya is intensifying. Battles between rival militias are unceasing and deadly. As I wrote last month, the conflict is unlikely to resolve quickly. Amid this chaos, Egypt recently called for an end to a United Nations-supported arms embargo on Libya. Government officials in Libya previously floated the idea of a lift. Lifting…