Islamism and Jihadism: The view of one Muslim — and former CIA analyst

September 21, 2018

Yaya Fanusie is the director of analysis at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF). He spent seven years as both an economic and counterterrorism analyst in the CIA, where he regularly briefed White House policy makers, U.S. military personnel, and federal law enforcement. In 2009, he spent three months in Afghanistan providing analytic support to senior military officials.

He joins FDD president and Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May for a discussion of the Long War, terrorism, ideology, religion and other issues.

IFrameEpisode resources:
What it’s like to be a Muslim in the CIA — Yaya J. Fanusie; Vox
How to Neutralize the Violent Jihadist Pull — Yaya J. Fanusie; Muslim Matters
Anwar Al-Awlaki’s American Journey — Clifford D. May; Scripps Howard News Service

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), host of FDD's Foreign Podicy, and the foreign desk columnist for the Washington Times. Follow him on twitter @CliffordDMayYaya J. Fanusie is the director of analysis at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF). Follow him on Twitter @signcurve and follow CSIF @FDD_CSIF.

FDD is a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy. Follow the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Twitter @FDD, and follow Foreign Podicy @Foreign_Podicy.

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Extremism and Fragile States

September 11, 2018

If the attacks of September 11, 2001 were a second Pearl Harbor, where are we in the war that began on that day? Are we winning, losing or stalemated? Last year there were more than 10,000 terrorist attacks worldwide—about five times the number in 2001. So what have we learned—or, more importantly—what do we still need to learn? Are there policies and strategies that ought to be put in place?

Today, on the 17th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in America's history, U.S. Institute for Peace has released a new report on “protecting America from extremism in fragile states.” To discuss its analysis and recommendations, FDD president and Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May is joined by Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, and now the chair of the U.S. Institute for Peace—a congressionally founded and funded policy institute; Nancy Lindborg, president of the U.S.I.P.; and Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at FDD and a former Middle East specialist in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), host of FDD's Foreign Podicy, and the foreign desk columnist for the Washington Times. Follow him on twitter @CliffordDMay.

FDD is a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy. Follow the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Twitter @FDD, and follow Foreign Podicy @Foreign_Podicy.

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The Wars of the Jews

September 4, 2018

Israel is a tiny country: its land area about a fourth the size of the United Arab Emirates, its population less than that of Tehran—capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet Israel is the subject of constant comment and controversy, and is frequently attacked—both kinetically and rhetorically—by its enemies, its adversaries, and too often even by those who should be its allies.
To help make sense of Israel's most recent conflicts and controversies —including over sovereignty of the Golan Heights, the Nation-State law, and the anti-Israeli sentiments expressed by many of the UN's agencies—FDD president and Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May is joined by Eugene Kontorovich, Director of the Kohelet Policy Forum, an Israeli think tank, and Professor at George Mason University’s Scalia School of Law, whose areas of expertise include constitutional law, federal courts, international law, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

International Law and the Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty in the Golan Heights — Eugene Kontorovich; Written testimony for House Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on National Security (http://bit.ly/2wGrjXb)
Get Over It—Israel Is the Jewish State — Eugene Kontorovich; The Wall Street Journal (https://on.wsj.com/2LUo4QX)
Stop funding UN agencies that welcome the PLO — Eugene Kontorovich; New York Post (https://nyp.st/2Ch8qzA)

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A Conversation with Ambassador Nikki Haley

August 31, 2018
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick was one of the visionaries who helped create the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies soon after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Six years ago, FDD inaugurated an award in honor of the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations — a statesman who vehemently opposed totalitarianism and resolutely defended American values.
 
This year, FDD’s Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Statesmanship Award was presented to Ambassador Nikki R. Haley who has brought a precise moral compass and a distinctly American voice to the United Nations. She sat down with FDD president and Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May to discuss human rights, U.N. reform and other consequential national security issues we face today.
 
Resources:
Woman of the world — Clifford D. May; The Washington Times
 
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The Iranian-Israeli Conflict Within the Syrian Civil War

August 8, 2018

For seven long years, Syria has been engulfed in civil war. The death toll now exceeds a half million. More than five million refugees have fled abroad, and millions more are internally displaced.

The dynastic dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad almost certainly would have fallen had it not been for the intervention of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, various Iranian-controlled Shia militias, and the Russian military.

Lately, Tehran also has been building a military machine in Syria aimed at Israel. And Israel is responding.

To examine how these conflicts are likely to evolve, FDD president and Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May is joined by FDD Research Fellow and Levant expert Tony Badran, Security Studies Group Senior Fellow Matt Brodsky, and FDD Senior Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer.

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Religion and Secularism in Central Asia

July 20, 2018

Kazakhstan is one of the ten largest countries in the world, yet most Americans couldn’t find it on a map. Today, the former Soviet Republic is an anti-Islamist, Muslim-majority nation, yet most Americans have no idea we have friends there. To learn more about this distant and intriguing corner of the world, host Clifford D. May is joined by Svante Cornell, Director of the Central Asian Caucasus Institute at the American Foreign Policy Council.

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Syria’s World War

July 3, 2018

Syria has been at war for seven long years. More than a half million people have been killed. More than 11 million – close to half Syria’s pre-war population – have been displaced either internally or as refugees in other countries. 

But Syrians are not the only ones involved in this fight.  The Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah – the Iranian regime’s foreign legion – and Russia have helped keep dictator Bashar al-Assad in power. Israel, Turkey and the U.S. also have been playing significant roles.

To discuss the conflict in Syria, where it is heading, what U.S. policy is and where it should be, host Clifford D. May is joined by FDD’s senior counselor John Hannah and director of research David Adesnik.

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Turkey’s Election, Erdogan’s Counterrevolution

July 1, 2018

Not so long ago, Turkey appeared to be the model: a Muslim-majority nation that was becoming free, democratic and prosperous; a NATO ally; a friend of America and Europe.

Today, all of that is very much in doubt. To discuss Turkey’s trajectory in the aftermath of elections that have strengthened the hand of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, FDD president and Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May is joined by former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman, FDD senior fellow Aykan Erdemir and FDD research analyst Merve Tahiroglu.

Episode resources:
Erdogan's Re-election Win Gives Him Vastly Expanded Powers in Turkey 
– Carlotta Gall; The New York Times

Turkish Elections: A Win That Cannot Be Stolen 
– Aykan Erdemir; FDD Policy Brief

Erdogan’s Hostage Diplomacy: Why We Need a Transatlantic Response 
– Aykan Erdemir and Eric S. Edelman; The Globalist

Erdogan’s Hostage Diplomacy: Western Nationals in Turkish Prisons 
– Aykan Erdemir and Eric S. Edelman; FDD Research

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Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran’s March Across the Middle East

June 13, 2018

Lebanon and Iraq both recently held elections, which is good news – or is it? Hezbollah, Iran's terrorist foreign legion, is now more firmly in control of Lebanon than ever before. Meanwhile, Iraq still faces many perils, not least from the Islamic Republic of Iran as it pursues its imperialist ambitions in the region.

In episode 14 of Foreign Podicy, host Clifford D. May discusses these developments with Tony Badran, an FDD research fellow born and raised in Lebanon who focuses on the Levant, and Zalmay Khalilzad, born and raised in Afghanistan who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the UN.

Episode resources:

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Nothing but Net: Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare

May 21, 2018

A peril that may not be on your radar screen: Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare (CEEW). Computers and the Internet have made our lives easier but they’ve also left us vulnerable to an arsenal of cyber weapons that threaten us as much as terrorists, guns and bombs.

Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May is joined by Dr. Samantha Ravich, a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies as well as a principal investigator for FDD’s Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare project, to discuss CEEW, and what must be done to combat it.

Episode resources:

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