Security

Benjamin, "Torture Needs to Be Illegal"

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin responded to the debate on the use of torture following the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  In a piece for Politico Magazine on December 22, 2014,  Benjamin asserted, "...it is not just that US hypocrisy has been on display in the last week, undermining this broad-based effort. More damagingly, we have not persuaded partners around the world that this episode was an aberration borne of extreme circumstances that is now in our past. To do that, the United States must quickly legislate clear prohibitions on the “enhanced interrogation techniques” that have caused so much controversy." 

Read the full op-ed.

Dickey Director on the Hacking of Sony

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin was interviewed by Politico Magazine for his response to the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, purportedly by North Korean agents, and Sony's initial decision to not release the movie "The Interview". Benjamin noted, "I guess I would consider this a little less of a national security issue than having one country wipe out most of Saudi Aramco’s computers in an afternoon, because that’s a grave threat to international trade. But, yeah, it’s a significant deal.” Benjamin also noted that the incident would likely prompt calls from members of Congress to put North Korea back on the State Department's list of official state sponsors of terrorism.

Read the full article on Politico's website.

 

 

U.S. Saw Little to Lose in Yemen Rescue Attempt

Dartmouth Now, 12/9/14

In a Bloomberg story about the recent failed U.S. attempt to rescue two hostages from Al-Qaeda in Yemen, Dartmouth’s Daniel Benjamin, Director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding, says the U.S. has greater capability for such actions in Yemen than in the parts of Iraq and Syria controlled by the terrorist group ISIS.

“The willingness to take on a bit of risk is probably greater in Yemen simply because intelligence collection has been going on so much longer there and because we have a positive relationship, and at this point a fairly deep relationship, with the Yemeni authorities who we have found to be committed to countering AQAP,” Benjamin tells Bloomberg. “In Syria, we really are just still in the early stages of collecting the necessary intelligence to operate effectively there.”

Benjamin is director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding.

Read the full story, published 12/7/14 by Bloomberg.

Phil Klay '05 Wins National Book Award

Phil Klay '05 has won the National Book Award for his collection of short stories on soldiers' experiences in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Redeployment. Klay was on campus on October 23rd and 24th. He gave a reading for the English Department's Poetry and Prose series on the 23rd. On the 24th, Klay participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Dickey Center's War and Peace Studies program, "America and Iraq: Past, Present and Future." Joining Klay on the panel were the Government Department's Professor Bill Wohlforth and Visiting Professor Steven Simon. Professor Ben Valentino, Faculty Coordinator for the War and Peace Studies program, moderated.  The video of the panel is available for viewing on the Center's YouTube channel

Read more about Klay's award on Dartmouth Now.

 

Daniel Benjamin on the Threat from ISIS

Update (10/21/14). Read in Dartmouth Now how Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin has become a regular contributor with the international news media, and his ability to draw visiting experts to Dartmouth.  

As discussion of the threat from the so-called Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, became a critical topic of concern in Washington, DC, it was also discussed by the news media. As former counter terrorism coordinator for the Obama Administration, Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin has been a reliable source about threats in the region as well as the level of threat posed to the US. 

Atrocities Early Warning System

October 3, 2014  |  Dartmouth Now

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., plans to unveil a first-of-its-kind Atrocities Early Warning System early next year. The system is a public web project organized in collaboration with Dartmouth government professor Benjamin Valentino and designed by students in the College’s DALI Lab.

Valentino, coordinator of the War and Peace Studies Program at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, has focused his research on genocide and mass killing since the time of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. His work includes the 2004 publication of the book Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th Century.

Ex-CIA Official Talks Security

October 1, 2014

The Valley News reported today on a discussion last night in Cook Auditorium at Dartmouth between Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin and Michael Morell, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. They covered a number of international issues from the complexities of the Syrian conflict to the threat of ebola. 

Read the entire article in the Valley News.  A video of the discussion will be available soon. 

What Threat Does ISIS Pose to the Homeland?

In interviews with several major news organizations, Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin questioned the rhetoric of the media and some politicians and members of President Obama's administration regarding the threat posed by the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to the U.S. homeland.  

In the September 10th New York Times Benjamin noted, "It’s hard to imagine a better indication of the ability of elected officials and TV talking heads to spin the public into a panic, with claims that the nation is honeycombed with sleeper cells, that operatives are streaming across the border into Texas or that the group will soon be spraying Ebola virus on mass transit systems — all on the basis of no corroborated information."

How Should the US Respond to Sotloff's Killing?

September 3, 2014

In an interview with Judy Woodruff of the PBS Newshour Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin talks about the appropriate response to the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff.  

"I think that the key thing right now is not to react instantly to try to get some retaliation for this really barbaric attack, but rather to get the strategy right, to get the partners brought in, and to ensure, of course, that the Iraqis themselves continue to move towards inclusiveness and towards working together against a common threat,” says Benjamin, who is a former counter terrorism official in the Obama administration.

Listen to the entire interview on PBS with former National Security Council staff Lt. Col. Douglas Ollivant (Ret.), former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Benjamin.

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