|NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
IDIS hosted a NATO Advanced Research Workshop in Budapest, March 7-9th on the radicalization of indigenous populations and how to prevent terrorist recruitment. A selection of the presentations and papers, including Peter Probst's analysis of the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood within the US, are availble on the NATO website.
|IEA - Institute of Economic Affairs
part of ITDIS' ongoing project on transitional democracy and the role
of external actors, Katharine C. Gorka's latest work: 'Homo Democraticus:
or why Democracy should not be the object of US Foreign Policy' was recently
published in Economic Affairs, the journal of the UK Institute of Economic
The Royal Elcano Institute of Madrid has just published Sebestyen Gorka's
study on whether or not the new US Counterinsurgency doctrine that debuted
last year is the best tool to fight al Qaeda.
View his previous paper 'Al Qaeda and von
Clausewitz: Rediscovering the Art of War', which was presented to the US Joint Special Operations University.
A brief BBC-PRI interview was conducted with Sebestyen on Iraq and General Petraeus' Congressional testimony.
Founding Director Sebestyen Gorka recently spoke to the Hudson
Institute's New York Briefing Council. You can order a transcript of the
talk entitled "Terrorism: The View from in Europe," from the Hudson Institute.
November Sebestyen Gorka also spoke at the Beacon Hill Institute
in Boston on the Legacy of President Ronald Reagan in Central Europe,
and how the values the "Gipper" fought for have been forgotten
in recent years. His PowerPoint presentation can be accessed here.
JOINS INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
an initial invitation and several months of negotiations, the INSTITUTE
FOR TRANSITIONAL DEMOCRACY AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY has agreed to join
the Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe (EICEE). EICEE
is a Washington-based international not-for-profit organization that has
a presence in Vienna - The Neuwaldegg Institute, and in Prague - the Civic
Institute (CI). Its mission is to help promote and strengthen free, just
and democratic societies in the region. It does this through training,
publications and policy input on issues of great relevance to how nations
recover from decades of Communist oppression; for details visit www.eicee.org
for Neuwaldegg and www.obcinst.cz/en/
for CI. The founders of ITDIS believe that being part of an international
network will help the institute further both its goals within Hungary
and in the broader region and are very enthusiastic about being part of
what will become a unique structure in the CEE region.
KGB-TRAINED SECURITY CHIEF
According to one of the foremost providers of corporate and political
intelligence in the UK, recent decisions by the Hungarian government
may endanger not only the national security of the Central European
state, but also of the NATO alliance. According to the Strategic Intelligence
Review : "The Hungarian government is making a concerted effort to play
down concern over the controversial background of the nomination of
a Soviet-era KGB trained intelligence officer as director-general of
Hungary's National Security Office (NBH). However, we believe that the
case raises serious questions about the wisdom of the appointment to
sensitive security posts of individuals whose past links with Moscow
may leave them open to blackmail or other forms of covert pressure,
particularly at a time when Russia is pursuing an increasingly aggressive
policy of espionage activity aimed at NATO member states.
The nomination of Col. Sandor Laborc to Hungary's key intelligence
post has already attracted criticism from opposition parliamentarians
belonging to Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union (the governing party from
1998 until 2002) - who have expressed concern over the risk they claim
is inherent in appointing a man who spent over six years training as
an intelligence officer at the Soviet KGB's Dzerzhinsky Academy in Moscow.
Centre-right politicians have condemned the decision by Prime Minister
Ferenc Gyurcsany - a professed admirer of Vladimir Putin's "Russian
model of democracy" - to push ahead with Laborc's nomination, and one
member of the European Parliament told SIR this week that "the appointment
of a man trained by the Soviet KGB to this post is utterly inappropriate..."
HUNGARY RANKS HIGH IN WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
a report by several domestic Hungarian dailies as well as the weekly English-language
Budapest Business Journal (BBJ), shocking figures were released on the
proliferation of fraud and corruption in what was formerly the economic
tiger of Central Europe: "As much as 62% of national companies were subject
to felony or other financial crime in the past two years, according to
an international survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers
(PwC)." As a result, according to the BBJ "s morning news, Hungary A.M.,
the number of afflicted companies rose drastically within the last measured
period (two and half fold), making Hungary rank above the CEE and global
averages (50% and 42%, respectively).
This is the fourth time PwC published its bi-annual report entitled "Global
VIOLENCE: IS RELIGION THE ISSUE?
30th Radio Free Europe - Radio Liberty and the Prague Civic Institute
hosted the one-day conference "Islam and the West: What Unites and What
Divides Us?" at its headquarters in Prague. In an usually candid event
senior diplomats and experts on Islam and political violence from the
United States, Iraq, Turkey, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic met
to discuss whether there are common values amongst our two cultures which
can be leveraged to combat those who would kill civilians in the name
of God or politics. Please visit Radio Free Europe - Radio Liberty
for more information. ITDIS Founder Sebestyen Gorka addressed the gathering
in panel one: "The View from the West: are Muslim Values Compatible with
those Of the West?"
For those interested in Iraq, we highly recommend they visit RFE and
download the report discussed in Prague compiled by Daniel Kimmage and
Kathleen Ridolfo entitled: "Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War Of Images
EXPERTS EVALUATE THE GLOBAL THREAT
10-11th ITDIS co-sponsored the 2nd International Counter-Terrorism Working
Group hosted in Orlando by the University of Central Florida's (UCF).
In collaboration with the Swedish Defence College and under the stewardship
of the world's foremost authority, Brian Jenkins of the RAND Corporation,
the event challenged 40 interdisciplinary experts and officials to answer
20 seminal questions on how we are doing since September the 11th 2001,
how the threat has evolved and what can be done better. UCF will publish
the answers to these questions by in December in the form of a White Paper.
ITDIS Director Sebestyen Gorka (centre) at the UCF event with (from
left) Keith Mines, former CPA Governor for the al Anbar Province of
Iraq, Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish Defence College, Brian Jenkins,
special adviser to the President of the RAND Corporation and co-host
Prof. Stephen Sloan, UCF
AT THE FOURTH EUROPEAN RESOURCE BANK
the great tradition of the Heritage Foundation's annual Resource Bank,
between September 13th and 16th Bucharest hosted the Fourth European Resource
Bank for free market think-tanks and pro-democracy organisations. The
title of this year's conference was "Europe: Institutions for Liberty
in the Global Context". All the institutions of the EICEE network were
present with papers delivered by Father Marcel Guarnizo (EICEE Washington)
on "First Principles", Chris Briggs (EICEE DC) on "Democracy and the Ethics
of Freedom" and Roman Joch (Civic Institute Prague) on "Family and Education
- The Basic Unit of Democracy". ITDIS's own Katharine Gorka spoke on her
experiences establishing and running one of the only independent policy
think-tanks in Hungary, whilst Sebestyen Gorka gave a presentation on
the legacy of Communism in the region. For all the information on the
various panels as well as audio files of the presentations please visit
the Centre for Institutional Analysis and Development (CADI) website.