Pros: Ability to work remotely is a huge plus. Matrix structure allows you to take on work you find appealing. Brilliant staff. Excellent President. Great reputation.
Cons: Too much work that should be handled by finance or contracts support is pushed to research project staff.
In this workshop, we demonstrate how to elicit human knowledge for developing a high-dimensional computational model of an underlying problem domain in the form of a Bayesian network. This type of "Artificial Intelligence" allows us reason formally—and quantitatively, despite the absence of numerical data—about the given issue.
As our case study topic, we examine a hypothetical—but quite realistic—geopolitical conflict. More specifically, we utilize the web-based Bayesia Expert Knowledge Elicitation Environment (BEKEE) and develop a Bayesian network model for simulating the outcomes of potential economic, diplomatic, and military interventions in this particular situation.
In this day and age of "Big Data," we may be led to believe that truth can only be established from data, especially in the context of a scientific inquiry. This is a misconception. Even without data, humans do possess knowledge, qualitative or quantitative, tacit or explicit, about many aspects of the world. We believe that a useful amount of knowledge exists regarding the conflict under study. Also, there is one particular type of knowledge that data on its own can never yield, and that is causality. For that, we always have to rely on human expertise.
Although there may not be a single expert among our seminar participants who can fully comprehend all the complexities of our case study topic, there may be several individuals who are more or less knowledgeable about different aspects of the conflict. It is our objective to break down the overall problem into numerous simpler questions, which are perhaps more easily "knowable," at least to some.
So, we are not looking for a single authoritative opinion. Rather, we are looking to collect and consolidate the full spectrum of thought, including causal relationships, from the seminar's participants. This is where the idea of the "wisdom of crowds" comes into play. We want attendees to provide their individual and independent assessments of different elements and relationships within the problem domain.
While the objective of collecting multiple opinions is straightforward, there are many technical and practical challenges in terms of implementing such a process. In the early days of the Cold War, the RAND Corporation proposed the so-called Delphi Method, which facilitated expert knowledge elicitation by iteratively querying stakeholders through a series of questionnaires that were distributed and collected by mail. After each round of questioning, the aggregated results were circulated for review and discussion, and all participating experts could further adjust their assessments based on the collective feedback. Needless to say, prior to the availability of electronic means of communication, such a process was tedious, bordering on the impractical.
Today, we propose an entirely new, web-based approach, the Bayesia Expert Knowledge Elicitation Environment (BEKEE), which has the same objective as the original Delphi Method. In this seminar, we plan to use BEKEE for collecting the opinions of the participants in real-time from their own devices via a convenient web interface.
We shall see that systematically eliciting and encoding numerous pieces of (admittedly imperfect) knowledge into a Bayesian network can produce a remarkably useful approximation of the underlying domain, which provides us with a common framework for reasoning about policy options and evaluating their consequences.
Furthermore, by using a Bayesian network model, we can preserve all the uncertainty that exists in our collective knowledge and perform inference by consciously taking into account all the uncertainty. Thus, we manage to avoid two common and problematic extremes in reasoning, i.e., (i) suppressing uncertainty by calculating with the fake precision of single-point estimates, or (ii) being overwhelmed by uncertainty and abandoning quantitative reasoning altogether. A Bayesian network, however, can explicitly represent the uncertainty from the diversity of opinions captured via BEKEE.
On the basis of the newly-generated Bayesian network, we can use BayesiaLab to reason probabilistically about the implications of various hypothetical interventions and simulate the outcomes of different policies.
This seminar is intended primarily for the intelligence community, members of the military, defense contractors and consultants, e.g.:
Students and teachers in related fields are welcome to join.
The Jamestown Foundation is proud to announce its Twelfth Annual Terrorism Conference, to be held Wednesday, December 12th.
Jamestown is honored to host some of the world's top terrorism experts at this year's conference, which will feature discussion about the most pressing terrorism-related threats to U.S. national security. This conference willl feature panels discussions on the situation in Syria, the competition between regional powers, trends of militant movements, the prospect for terrorism in 2019, and more.
8:15 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
* * *
Glen E. Howard
President, The Jamestown Foundation
* * *
9:00 A.M.–10:15 A.M.
"The Evolving Terrorist Threat Landscape"
Director, Center for Security Studies,
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University &
Board Member, The Jamestown Foundation
“Saudi Arabia’s Polarizing Effect on Regional Stability: Khashoggi, Yemen and Beyond”
Director of the Intelligence Project Brookings Institution
Michael W. S. Ryan
“The Future of AQ and ISIS: The Jihadist Grey Zone”
Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation
Q & A
* * *
10:15 A.M.–10:45 A.M.
* * *
10:45 A.M.–11:45 A.M.
Andrew F. Knaggs
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations
and Combating Terrorism
Q & A
* * *
11:45 P.M.–12:30 P.M.
* * *
Syria, Islamic State and the Regional Powers
12:30 P.M.–1:30 P.M.
“IS Way of Warfare in Iraq and Syria: From Origins to Post-Caliphate”
Associate Professor of Strategic Studies, RSIS, Nanyang Technological University
Nicholas A. Heras
“Extremism in Syria and the Coming Battle for Idlib”
Middle East Security Fellow, Center for a New American Strategy (CNAS)
“Russia’s Future Role in Syria”
Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Q & A
* * *
1:30 P.M.– 1:45 P.M.
* * *
2018 Trend Lines in Militant Movements
1:45 P.M.–3:00 P.M.
“The Future of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood”
Senior Visiting Fellow at the School of Security Studies at Kings College London and a Senior Research Associate at RUSI
“The State of Islamist Militancy in the Trans-Sahel”
Fellow of African and Eurasian Affairs, The Jamestown Foundation
“Too Many Enemies: AQAP Struggles in Yemen's Crowded Battlefield"
Editor in Chief, Terrorism Monitor
Panelist & Moderator
Q & A
* * *
2018 in Review and the Prospects for Terrorism in 2019
3:00 P.M.–4:15 P.M.
Sir John Scarlett
Former Head of MI6
General Michael V. Hayden, USAF (Ret.)
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency &
Dr. Nadia Schadlow
Senior Fellow, The Hudson Institute
Q & A
* * *
Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE
Sir John Scarlett served as Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) from 2004 to 2009. Sir John joined the SIS in 1971 and over the next 20 years served in Nairobi, Paris and twice in Moscow as well as several assignments in London covering the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. His second time in Moscow (1991-1994) coincided with the end of the USSR and the early years of the Russian Federation. In early September 2001, he retired from SIS on appointment as Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) in the Cabinet Office. During the following three years, he was responsible for the co-ordination and presentation of intelligence advice to the Prime Minister and senior members of the Government. On the 1st of August 2004, Sir John rejoined SIS as its Chief. Sir John retired on 31st October 2009 after 38 years in Government Service.
Sir John was born in 1948 in London and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where, in 1970, he was awarded First Class Honours in Modern History. Since leaving SIS, he has become a Senior Advisor at Morgan Stanley. Sir John is Chairman of the Strategy Advisory Council at Statoil ASA. He is an Advisor to Swiss Re and Chairman of SC Strategy Ltd. He is a Director of Times Newspaper Holdings, Vice Chairman at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and as Co-Chair of the Global Advisory Council at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC. He is Chairman of the Bletchley Park Trust. Other Trusteeships include the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College and Friends of the French Institute in the United Kingdom. In 2017, Sir John was appointed a member of the State Honours Committee.
He was appointed OBE (Officer of the British Empire) in 1987, CMG (Commander of St Michael and St George) in 2001, KCMG in 2007 and Officier of the Legion D’Honneur in 2011.
Andrew F. Knaggs
Andrew F. Knaggs is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism. In this capacity, Mr. Knaggs leads the Department's policies, plans, authorities and resources related to special operations and irregular warfare, with special emphasis on counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, information operations and sensitive special operations. He represents the Secretary of Defense on various interagency working groups with other departments responsible for national security policy. He reports to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and assists him in his statutory responsibilities regarding the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Knaggs was the founder and managing partner of Knaggs Law PLLC, based in Washington, D.C., where he advised business leaders and investors on various corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, government contracting, and regulatory compliance.
Before reentering the private sector, Mr. Knaggs served as the Deputy Director for Special Operations and Irregular Warfare in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC). In this role, he advised the ASD SO/LIC in the planning, review and research of DoD special operations policies.
Prior to his policy role at the Pentagon, Mr. Knaggs served at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), first as the Chief of Operations Support Branch, then as the Chief of Research & Engineering Division. As division chief, Mr. Knaggs was the principal for technology development and industry engagement, managed a portfolio with over 100 programs, deployed a $300 million budget and led a staff of scientists, engineers, financial analysts and technology scouts.
Before joining JIEDDO, Mr. Knaggs worked as a legal associate at a regional law firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. He served in the business law section, where he facilitated the representation of middle-market clients in M&A, private equity transactions, and the formation of new corporate entities.
Prior to law school, Mr. Knaggs served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He commanded an Operational Detachment-A in 5th Special Forces Group, where he specialized in High-Altitude Low-Opening (HALO) airborne operations, sensitive site exploitation, and time-sensitive targeting. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Mr. Knaggs conducted joint special operations in western Iraq in collaboration with multiple interagency and indigenous elements. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for combat actions directly contributing to the international coalition's success.
Mr. Knaggs earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Juris Doctorate from the William & Mary School of Law. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Pavel Baev is a Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings. He specializes in Russian military reform, Russia’s conflict management in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and energy interests in Russia’s foreign and security policies, as well as Russia’s relations with Europe and NATO.
Baev graduated from the Moscow State University in 1979 with a master’s degree in political geography, and worked in a research institute in the former USSR Ministry of Defense. After receiving a doctorate in international relations from the Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies, Moscow in 1988, he worked with the Institute of Europe in Moscow until October 1992, when he joined PRIO. From 1995 to 2001 he was a co-editor of Security Dialogue, a quarterly policy-oriented journal produced at PRIO. From 2000 to 2004, Pavel was the head of the Foreign and Security Policies program. He held the NATO Democratic Institutions Fellowship from 1994 to 1996.
Baev’s articles on the Russian military posture, Russian-European relations, and peacekeeping and conflict management in Europe have appeared in Armed Forces & Society, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Contemporary Security Policy, European Security, International Peacekeeping, Jane’s Intelligence Review, The Journal of Peace Research, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, Security Dialogue, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, and The World Today. He also has a weekly column published in the Eurasia Daily Monitor and is the author of the blog, Arctic Politics and Russia's Ambitions.
Ahmed S. Hashim is Associate Professor of Strategic Studies in the Military Studies Program at RSIS, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He specializes in warfare issues and strategic matters spanning Southwest Asia to Southeast Asia. He received his B.A. in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick, Great Britain and his M.Sc and Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He worked for the U.S. Defense Department for over twenty years before taking up his academic position at NTU. He is the author of several published books: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Iraq (Cornell University Press, 2006); When Counterinsurgency Wins: Sri Lanka's Defeat of the LTTE (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013); and The Caliphate at War (Oxford University Press, 2018). His forthcoming books include: Iranian Ways of War: From Cyrus the Great to Qassem Soleimani (Oxford University Press, 2019); God, Greed, and Guns: State-Formation and Nation-Building in Iraq (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020). He has also published numerous articles in major journals. Among his most recent are "Iranian Civil-Military Relations: Between Internal and External Pressures," Middle East Policy Journal, (Summer 2018); "The Rise and Fall of the LTTE," in Andrew Silke (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism (London, 2018).
Gen. Michael V. Hayden, USAF (Ret.)
General Michael V. Hayden (USAF Ret.) served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 and was responsible for overseeing the collection of information concerning the plans, intentions and capabilities of America’s adversaries, producing timely analysis for decision makers and conducting covert operations to thwart terrorists and other enemies of the United States. Before becoming Director of the CIA, General Hayden served as the country’s first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence—and was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the armed forces. Earlier, he served as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency, Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and Chief of the Central Security Service. General Hayden graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1967 and a master’s degree in modern American history in 1969. He was a distinguished graduate of the university’s ROTC program and began his active military service in 1969. General Hayden is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group in Washington, D.C., and a Board Member at The Jamestown Foundation.
Nicholas A. Heras
Nicholas A. Heras is the Middle East Security Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and a Senior Analyst at The Jamestown Foundation. Previously, he received the Bacevich Fellowship at CNAS (2016-2017). From 2013 to 2014, he served as a Research Associate at the National Defense University (NDU) where he worked on a project that studied the impact of the Syrian conflict on the greater Middle East region. He has over two years in-depth field research experience in all regions of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan and has also conducted substantive research in Turkey.
He has presented on the topic of armed groups in the Syrian civil war, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), at the annual U.S. Naval War College, Center for Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (USNWC-CIWAG) Symposium; he also presented a lecture on ISIL’s state formation strategy to the U.S. SOCOM J3I. As a regular contributor to The Jamestown Foundation’s Militant Leadership Monitor and Terrorism Monitor, Mr. Heras is a prolific author of analytical works focusing on security issues in the greater Middle East region. He has also authored a monograph, Policy Focus #132, The Potential for an Assad Statelet in Syria, through the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP)’s Soref Fellowship program.
Professor Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a tenured professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Visiting Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations. Professor Hoffman co-founded and was the first director of St Andrews University’s Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, where he is also visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies. He is currently the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Visiting Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations. Professor Hoffman previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and was appointed by the U.S. Congress as a commissioner on the 9/11 Review Commission. He 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. His most recent books include Inside Terrorism (3rdedition, 2017); Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 (2015), which was named Jewish Book of the Year for 2015 and also won the Washington Institute’s Gold Medal for the best book on Middle East politics, history, and culture published in 2015; and, The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat (2014).
Alison Pargeter is an expert in political and security issues in North Africa and the Middle East with a particular focus on Libya and on political Islamist movements in North Africa, including the Muslim Brotherhood. She is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the School of Security Studies at Kings College London and a Senior Research Associate at RUSI. Her previous posts have included Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, and Research Fellow at Kings College, London.
Alison has published widely in her field and her books include, Return to the Shadows: The Muslim Brotherhood after the Arab Spring (2016); Libya: The Rise and Fall of Gaddafi (2012); The Muslim Brotherhood: The Burden of Tradition (2010); and The New Frontiers of Jihad: Radical Islam in Europe (2008). Alison is also a Senior Associate at global consulting firm, Menas Associates, where she is the author of the monthly publications ‘Libya Focus’ and ‘Iraq Focus.’
Bruce Riedel is a Senior Fellow in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Center for Middle East Policy and Director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution. He retired in 2006 after 30 years of service at the Central Intelligence Agency including postings overseas. Riedel was a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to four Presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. He was a negotiator at several Arab-Israeli peace summits, including at Camp David and Wye River. He was also Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Near East and South Asia at the Pentagon and a senior advisor at NATO in Brussels. In January 2009, President Barack Obama asked Riedel to chair a review of American policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the President announced in a speech on March 27, 2009. In 2011, he served as an expert advisor to the prosecution of al-Qaeda terrorist Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab in Detroit. In December 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron asked Riedel to brief the United Kingdom’s National Security Council in London on Pakistan.
Riedel is the author of numerous books, his most recent book is Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR.He is also the author of The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future and Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad. He is a contributor to Which Path to Persia: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran, The Arab Awakening and Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979–1988. He teaches at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies. He is a graduate of Brown (B.A.), Harvard (M.A.) and the Royal College of Defense Studies in London.
Michael W. S. Ryan
Michael W. S. Ryan is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation in Washington, D.C. and an independent consultant on extremist groups in the Greater Middle East. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President at The Middle East Institute (2008-2009). The White House appointed him as Vice President in The Millennium Challenge Corporation (2006-2008). Dr. Ryan also held senior positions in the Departments of State, Defense, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after joining the U.S. federal government in 1979 as a Middle East/North Africa analyst for the Department of Defense. He is author of Decoding Al-Qaeda's Strategy: The Deep Battle against America (Columbia University Press, 2013) and in addition to numerous articles for the Jamestown Foundation, he has also authored two U.S. Naval War College Case Studies, Defeating ISIS and Al Qaeda on the Ideological Battlefield: The Case for the Corporation Against Ideological Violence and ISIS, The Terrorist Group That Would Be a State (both available to the public online). Ryan received his doctorate from Harvard University in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. His current research focus is jihadist ideology, doctrine, and strategy. Dr. Ryan is writing a book on the Heirs of Al-Qaeda.
Dr. Nadia Schadlow is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. Her recent government service experience includes senior leadership positions as the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy and Deputy Assistant to the President, National Security Strategy. In that position she was responsible for the delivery of the President’s National Security Strategy. Previously she served as a senior program officer at the Smith Richardson Foundation, where she focused on cultivating and investing in research and policy solutions to improve the security and strategic competitiveness of the United States.
Dr. Schadlow has written frequently on national security matters and her articles have appeared in Parameters, The American Interest, The Wall Street Journal, Armed Forces Journal, War on the Rocks, and several edited volumes. Her book, War and the Art of Governance: Consolidating Combat Success into Political Victory, (Georgetown University Press, 2017) examines fifteen cases of the U.S. Army's experiences with political and economic reconstruction in wartime. Dr. Schadlow received a B.A. degree in Government and Soviet Studies from Cornell University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the John Hopkins SAIS.
Jacob Zenn is a Fellow of African and Eurasian Affairs at The Jamestown Foundation. He is an expert on Boko Haram and a consultant on countering violent extremism for U.S think-tanks and international organizations in Nigeria and Central Asia. He is the author of “Northern Nigeria's Boko Haram: The Prize in al-Qaeda’s Africa Strategy,” published by The Jamestown Foundation in 2012 and based on his fieldwork in Boko Haram’s main area of operations in northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, Chad and southern Niger. Mr. Zenn also writes reports on Nigerian security for The Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor and West Point Combating Terrorism Center.
In February and November 2013, Mr. Zenn provided testimony on Islamist Militant Threats to Central Asia and the Threat of Boko Haram and Ansaru in Nigeria to the U.S. Congress. Mr. Zenn speaks Arabic, Swahili, Chinese, French and Spanish in addition to his native English. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown Law, where he earned the commendation of Global Law Scholar.