The Jamestown Foundation’s 15th Annual Terrorism Conference was held virtually on Wednesday, Dec. 8 – Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, and featured a week-long series of webinars on the most pressing terrorism-related threats to U.S. national security since the pullout from Afghanistan. Jamestown was honored to host some of the world’s foremost terrorism experts and counter-terrorism practitioners. The complete agenda of Terrorism Watch Week events along with the full videos of each day’s panel can be found below.
*Watch the videos of the events below.
Islamic State and the Regional Security Environment”
Senior Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute
Senior Correspondent, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s “Gandhara”
President, The Jamestown Foundation
Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program, Center for a New American Security
Professor, Georgetown University and Visiting Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
President, The Jamestown Foundation
Wednesday, December 15
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“After the U.S. Withdrawal: China and Afghanistan”
Welcome and Introduction
Glen E. Howard
President, The Jamestown Foundation
Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), and
Author, Sinostan: China’s Inadvertent Empire (Oxford University Press, forthcoming, April 2022)
Senior Researcher, OSCE Academy, and
Fellow, Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute
David R. Stilwell
Former Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP)
Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University Security Studies Program (SSP); Editor, Terrorism Monitor, and Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation
John S. Van Oudenaren
China Brief Editor-in-Chief, The Jamestown Foundation
Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She is a foreign policy and national security expert with over 20 years of service in the U.S. government, including at the NSC, CIA, State Department, and Capitol Hill. Her work has centered on U.S. policy toward the Indo-Pacific and South Asia, with a particular focus on U.S.- India strategic relations; Quad (U.S., Australia, India, and Japan) cooperation; counterterrorism strategy in South and Central Asia; and China’s role in the region.
Ms. Curtis served as Deputy Assistant to the President and NSC Senior Director for South and Central Asia from 2017 to 2021 under three successive National Security Advisors. During her tenure at the NSC, she coordinated U.S. policy development and implementation of the South Asia Strategy approved by the President in 2017 and was a key contributor to the Indo-Pacific Strategic Framework, which included expanding Quad security cooperation. She coordinated policies designed to strengthen the U.S.-India defense, diplomatic, and trade partnership, resulting in a widely recognized elevation of the relationship. Ms. Curtis also coordinated development of the U.S. Strategy toward Central Asia, to include facilitating new partnerships with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. From 2006 to 2017, Ms. Curtis was Senior Fellow on South Asia at The Heritage Foundation, where her responsibilities included research, writing, regular media appearances, and frequent Congressional testimony. She also served as Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, handling the South Asia portfolio for former Chairman of the Committee, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) from 2003–2006. Before that, she worked as a Senior Advisor in the South Asia Bureau at the State Department, where she developed and coordinated U.S. policy on India-Pakistan relations. In the late 1990s, she worked as a senior analyst on South Asia at the CIA, and from 1994–1998 served at the U.S. Embassies in Pakistan and India.
Ms. Curtis has published commentary in Foreign Policy, The National Interest, CNN.com, NPR.org, and other media outlets and made multiple appearances on CNN, Fox News, BBC, PBS, MSNBC, and CSPAN. Ms. Curtis received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Indiana University in December 1990.
Dr. Antonio Giustozzi is an independent researcher born in Ravenna, Italy, who took his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is the author of several articles and papers on Afghanistan, as well as of seven books, War, politics and society in Afghanistan, 1978-1992 (Georgetown University Press), Koran, Kalashnikov and laptop: the Neo-Taliban insurgency, 2002-7 (Columbia University Press), Empires of mud: war and warlords in Afghanistan (Columbia University Press), Policing Afghanistan (with M. Ishaqzada, Columbia University Press, 2013), The army of Afghanistan (Hurst, 2016), the Islamic State in Khorasan (Hurst, 2018) and Taliban at war (OUP USA, 2019). He also authored a volume on the role of coercion and violence in state-building, The Art of Coercion (Columbia University Press, 2011), one on advisory missions (Missionaries of modernity, Hurst, 2016) and edited a volume on the Taliban, Decoding the New Taliban (Columbia University Press, 2009), featuring contributions by specialists from different backgrounds. He is currently senior research fellow at RUSI.
Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service where he directs the Center for Jewish Civilization. Hoffman is also the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the George H. Gilmore Senior Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and co-founded and was the first director of St Andrews University’s Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, where he is currently visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies. Hoffman was appointed a commissioner on the 9/11 Review Commission by the U.S. Congress and has been Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency; adviser on counterterrorism to the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq; and, adviser on counterinsurgency to Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad, Iraq. He is a recipient of the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, the highest level of commendation given to a non-government employee, and the author of the award-winning book, Anonymous Soldiers (2015).
Hoffman’s most recent books include Inside Terrorism (3rd edition, 2017), cited as one of the 25 most notable books published by Columbia University Press on the occasion of its 125th anniversary; and, The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat (2014). He holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University.
Dr. Sudha Ramachandran is an independent analyst based in Bangalore, India. She has written extensively on South Asian peace and conflict, political and security issues for The Diplomat, Asia Times, World Politics Review and Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor, Militant Leadership Monitor and China Brief. She has also reported from several conflict zones, including Kashmir, India’s Maoist areas, Sri Lanka and Fiji. Ramachandran is adjunct faculty at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai. She has a doctoral degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Her thesis was on the Sri Lankan militant group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Abubakar Siddique is a journalist specializing in coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the editor of RFE/RL’s “Gandhara” website. He has spent the two decades researching and writing about security, political, humanitarian, and cultural issues in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Pashtun heartland where he was born. In addition to his reporting, Siddique speaks frequently at prominent think tanks in several countries and has contributed articles, chapters, and research papers to a range of publications. Siddique’s unique expertise is brought to bear in The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan book. (London: Hurst and Company, 2014). Abubakar Siddique has been cited by the international press, including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the American Interest.
David R. Stilwell served as the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs between 2019-2021. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary, he served in the Air Force for 35 years, beginning as an enlisted Korean linguist in 1980, and retiring in 2015 with the rank of Brigadier General as the Asia advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served multiple tours of duty in Japan and Korea as a linguist, a fighter pilot, and a commander. He also served as the Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, People’s Republic of China from 2011-2013. Mr. Stilwell directed the China Strategic Focus Group at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii from 2017- 2019 and was an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu from 2016-2019. He earned a B.S. in History from the U.S. Air Force Academy (1987), and a Master’s Degree in Asian Studies and Chinese language from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (1988). He is a 2009 graduate of the Executive Leadership program at the Darden School, University of Virginia. He was awarded the Department of Defense Superior Service Award in 2015. He speaks Korean, Chinese and limited Japanese.
Dr. Michael Vickers is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top national security professionals, with unprecedented senior tenure across Republican and Democratic administrations. He was a key operational strategist for the two great wars of our time: the operation in the 1980s to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan that helped bring an end to the Cold War – the largest and most successful covert action program in the history of the CIA – and the ongoing war with al-Qa’ida. He played a major policy and planning role in the operation that killed Usama bin Ladin.
From January 2011 to May 2015, Vickers served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Chief Executive Officer of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise, an $80 billion, 180,000-person, global operation that includes the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Security Service, and the intelligence components of the Military Services and Combatant Commands. As the USD(I), he conceived and led a comprehensive transformation of defense intelligence capabilities. From 2007 to 2011, he served as the first and only Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low-Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities. As the ASD SO/LIC&IC, Vickers served as the “Service” Secretary for all Special Operations Forces – a 70,000-person, $10 billion enterprise with personnel deployed in 90 countries – and had policy oversight of all of DoD’s core operational capabilities – strategic forces (nuclear forces, missile defense, space, cyber), conventional forces (air, ground and maritime), and Special Operations Forces. He conceived and led the largest expansion of Special Operations Forces in our nation’s history. Earlier, during the nearly decade and a half that spanned the operational phase of his career, he served as a Special Forces Non-Commissioned Officer, Special Forces Officer and CIA Operations Officer, and had operational and combat experience in Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia. As the principal strategist for the multi-billion-dollar effort that defeated the Red Army in Afghanistan, Vickers oversaw the policy, operations, training, and logistics of a covert enterprise that spanned several continents.
Dr. Vickers has received the nation’s highest awards in the fields of intelligence and defense, including the Presidential National Security Medal. He holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, an MBA from the Wharton School, and a B.A. from the University of Alabama.
Niva Yau is a Senior Researcher at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and a Fellow at the Eurasia Program of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. Her work focuses on Global China affairs, particularly on China’s foreign policy, trade and security in its western neighborhood, including Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Jacob Zenn is an adjunct assistant professor on African Armed Movements and Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics at the Georgetown University Security Studies Program (SSP) and editor of Terrorism Monitor and senior fellow on African and Eurasian Affairs for The Jamestown Foundation in Washington DC. He authored the book, Unmasking Boko Haram: Exploring Global Jihad in Nigeria, which was published in April 2020 by Lynne Rienner in association with the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews. Zenn has also written on international security for academic journals such as Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, Small Wars and Insurgencies, African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal for De-Radicalization, African Security, and the Internationa