Iran in Latin America: Threat or Axis of Annoyance?

Senior Fellow Douglas Farah's analysis of the debate over the level of threat posed by Iran's expanding diplomatic, trade and military presence in Latin America, and its stated ambition to continue to broaden these ties.read more

Chinese Naval Modernization: Altering the Balance of Power

Richard Fisher details China's naval modernization program and the potential impacts on U.S. interests in the Western Pacific.read more

Testimony

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A Dangerous Nexus: Terrorism, Crime and Corruption
Testimony Before the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing
by Douglas Farah

Published on May 21st, 2015
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the important issue of the dangerous nexus among terrorism, crime and corruption. I speak only for IBI Consultants and myself at this hearing, and not on behalf of the other institutions I am affiliated with. While I and others, including my distinguished colleagues on this panel, have discussed the nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorist networks, the explicit role of corruption is often assumed but not explained or understood as an integral part of the threat. I am going to focus my remarks on Latin America where we are seeing the convergence of these three factors in new and dangerous forms. The long-held assumption undergirding traditional analytical frameworks – that criminal networks seldom if ever overlap with terrorist groups – has been shown to overtaken by events in the past decade. However, the debate over whether such a nexus exits continues in the policy and intelligence communities.read more
Deepening Political and Economic Crisis in Venezuela: Implications for U.S. Interests and the Western Hemisphere
Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
by Douglas Farah

Published on March 17th, 2015
There is little doubt that Venezuela has for a decade now posed a significant threat not only to U.S. security interests in the Western Hemisphere, but to the survival of democracy and the rule of law in the region. A recent investigation by Veja, a respected Brazilian magazine, shows that Venezuela, with the help of Argentina, actively tried to help Iran's nuclear program in violation of international sanctions. More than a dozen senior Venezuelan officials have been publicly identified by U.S. officials as being directly involved in supporting and participating in drug trafficking and support of designated terrorist groups.read more
China's Military Ambitions in Space and America's Response
Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
by Richard Fisher, Jr.

Published on February 18th, 2015
While China pursues a growing commercial, deep space and space science agenda, the foundation of its space program remains the pursuit of military advantage for the People's Liberation Army (PLA). China's space endeavors are subordinate to the PLA. While the PLA does not offer public briefings or budget information about its space combat programs, there is a considerable body of "secondary" literature presumably based on strategy or doctrine, which has long appeared to justify the development of a PLA capability to wage war in space.read more
China’s Maritime and Other Geographic Threats
Testimony Before the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats
by Richard Fisher, Jr.

Published on October 30th, 2013
The People’s Republic of China has active and/or dormant territorial disputes with practically all of its neighbors.  China is today using paramilitary or military force to assert its territorial or economic zone claims against Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam and India. China also continues its more than two-decade long preparations for war against democratic Taiwan. Despite a relative peace that exists between them today, there is sufficient indication that China could in the future opt to pursue latent territorial claims against Russia, Mongolia and Korea.  China’s key goal in the pursuit of its claims is to improve its geostrategic position in order to strengthen the dictatorship of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).   But as the Party’s insecurity increases, it cannot be determined how much it will “externalize” its internal contradictions by pursuing aggression, which then further justifies internal repression.  read more
Military Technology Competition In Asia: Some Recent Trends
Presentation to the 59th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
by Richard Fisher, Jr.

Published on October 13th, 2013
China’s military modernization and rapid build-up has sparked an arms race with Asian states that can afford it and various arms races will continue even if the U.S. “Rebalance” to Asia is a success.  Degree of U.S. success will pace Asian demand for advanced military technology. China’s support that allows North Korea to exist, plus its military assistance, is making worse longstanding latent interest in nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan. NATO’s interests are strengthened when Asia is stable and it is best not to help those who are promoting instability.  read more
China’s Rapid Political and Economic Advances in Central Asia and Russia
Testimony Before the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats
by John Tkacik

Published on April 16th, 2013
Future Asia will not look like today’s Asia. Eurasia in ten years -- by 2023 -- is on a trajectory toward Chinese preeminence, and China is now being helped along that trajectory by a strategic alignment with the Russian Federation. Why does Russia side with China in a relationship that makes little apparent geopolitical sense in 2013? Might it be a prudent strategy for the United States to tip the scales in the Russia-China relationship once again, as we did 44 years ago, to prevent the emergence of a new hegemonic power in Eurasia?read more
A Line in the Sand: Assessing Dangerous Threats to Our Nation’s Borders
Testimony Before the House Committee on Homeland Security
by Douglas Farah

Published on November 16th, 2012
What we are seeing today is the emergence of multiple criminalized state actors in Latin America, primarily grouped into the self-identified Bolivarian Alliance led by Venezuela, now operating in conjunction with Transnational Organized Crime groups (TOCs), extra regional actors such as Iran, and terrorist groups. In recent months there has been increased awareness of the flow of South American cocaine through Venezuela to West Africa, particularly through Mali, Guinea Bissau and other fragile states -- possibly benefitting not only the traditional regional TOC structures and their Colombian and Mexican allies, but several terrorist entities including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Hezbollah, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-FARC).read more
Cuba’s Global Network of Terrorism, Intelligence and Warfare
Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs
by Michelle Van Cleave

Published on May 17th, 2012
As the United States considers future policy and strategy in relation to Cuba, Cuban intelligence activities directed against the United States ando our interests, as well as our efforts to counter them, warrant careful review and debate. The growth and pervasiveness of hostile intelligence operations is a striking and largely unappreciated feature of the modern international security environment. Foreign adversaries including the Russians, the Chinese, the Cubans, and many others use intelligence as an effective instrument of asymmetric power to advance their strategic objectives, exploiting U.S. vulnerabilities to their collection and other intelligence activities. I think most Americans would be astonished by the extent to which foreign intelligence services have been able to steal our Nation’s national security secrets, often with impunity. The former Soviet Union was especially successful in stealing U.S. secrets, a tradition that continues unabated under Vladimir Putin’s Russia. But the Russians are far from alone, especially as other hostile services have literally gone to school on the practices of the old KGB.  Their star pupil is the DGI, Cuba’s General Directorate for Intelligence.read more
Investigating the Chinese Threat, Part One: Military and Economic Aggression
Testimony Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs
by John Tkacik

Published on March 28th, 2012
My job is to look out into the future, twenty years or so, and calculate what we’re likely to see in Asia.  The lazy way to do this is to follow straight-line trends over the past twenty years, project them into the next twenty and see what you get.  For populations, this is fairly reasonable, for other trends it is unsafe beyond five years or so.  Still, if one can project economic growth trends, together with populations and migration trends for five years, you can lay a baseline for longer-term trajectories. When you try to integrate multiple trend lines and aggregate the results, the margins for error grow and conclusions are necessarily speculative.  But if, twenty years ago, one had done a straight-line projection of China’s previous decade of economic and population growth, or for military spending growth, or even foreign exchange reserves growth, your figures for 2012 would be a bit low, but not really off the mark.  Many of the international threats that the United States faces are discrete and as such, analyzing them is more or less straightforward.  Not so with China.  China poses a multidimensional matrix of threats and approaches it with a strategy which I believe the Beijing leadership has thought through in great detail over the past two decades. The threats are economic, industrial, commercial, financial.  They are technological, scientific, territorial, political, diplomatic.  They involve transnational crime and environmental challenges.  There are colossal demographic challenges that, too, can turn into threats in very short order. The military threats posed by China are intensely more complicated by the non-military dimensions.  And all these threats can blow up in America’s face at a moment’s notice.read more
Iran’s Influence and Activity in Latin America
Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
by Douglas Farah

Published on February 16th, 2012
Iran and its Bolivarian allies (Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador) in Latin America are systematically engaged in a pattern of financial behavior, recruitment exercises and business activities that are not economically rational and could be used for the movement and/or production of WMD and the furthering of Iran’s stated aim of avoiding international sanctions on its nuclear program. As shown below, those Iranian financial institutions engaged in the region have been designated by the United States and/or the United Nations for their participation in Iran’s proliferation efforts or to support Hezbollah and other designated terrorist entities.read more
Total Records: 32
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