Intelligence Challenges in the 21st Century: Panel 2 on Current Intelligence Challenges

Join GSPIA’s Matthew B. Ridgway Center in presenting a conference on Intelligence Challenges in the 21st Century: Looking Back and Looking Forward. Panel 2 looks at the current challenges in dealing with strategic intelligence and security issues.

Erin Butkowski, GSPIA: The Unholy Trinity: An ACH on AQIM, Boko Haram, and al-Shabaab

Ted Masten, GSPIA: Shale Fracking, a catalyst for change in international security

GSPIA’s Ridgway Center for International Security Studies Presents a Roundtable Discussion on Syria

Join the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies for a roundtable discussion on the crisis in Syria, the US response, the agreement on chemical weapons, current trends and future developments on the ground, and the implications of the crisis for both regional stability and great power relations.

Roundtable participants include Ryan Grauer, Luke Condra, Faten Ghosn, Taylor Seybolt, and Dennis Gormley and will be chaired by Phil Williams.

The Potential of Rare Earth Elements for Strategic Leverage

Author: Sean Wolfgang


What are Rare Earth Elements?

Rare Earth Elements (REE), also known as Rare Earth Minerals and Rare Earths, are a group of 17 elements composed of the chemical category known as lanthanides and the elements yttrium and scandium1. REE have several unique properties that make them valuable in a variety of civilian and military high-technology applications. Small amounts of REE enable the miniaturization of a number of high technology components, especially permanent magnets. On the civilian side, REE are integral to LCD screens, fiber-optic cables, rechargeable batteries, various appliances, and are increasingly becoming valuable for their use in ‘green’ technologies such as wind power generation and hybrid motor vehicles. Their military utility is enormous and includes applications ranging from aircraft engines and precision-guided munitions to communication and tracking satellites2.

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Russia-Ukraine – Energy Conflict

Author: John Pino

The transportation of energy, such as oil and natural gas, is a source of contention between Russia and Ukraine. The energy relationship between Russia and Ukraine affects all states in the region, both directly and indirectly. However, the Russo-Ukrainian energy issue is a symptom, not a cause, of the tensions that stem from several underlying problems.

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Russia Regional Relations

Author: Matthew Regenbogen

Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union and the spread of democracy, market economies and civil society among former satellite states, Russia has not given up its aspirations for regional hegemony. The resulting conflict of interest between Moscow and its “near abroad,” has led many Eastern European nations to look to the West for security assurances. Currently, ten members of the now defunct Warsaw Pact have come under the protective umbrella of NATO, originally an exclusively Western institution.1 For Ukraine and Georgia, such an option is also appealing since Russian regional aspirations have threatened the security of both countries.2 For NATO these regional clashes raise concerns about energy security, instability and the overall relationship between the West and Russia.

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