Humanities & Social Sciences – The Citadel Today Thu, 24 Sep 2020 21:22:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Humanities & Social Sciences – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 My ring story: an active duty Marine’s journey Thu, 24 Sep 2020 17:17:44 +0000 Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21"My time here at The Citadel has been crucial to my personal leadership development."]]> Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21

Meet Staff Sgt. Lyndsay Danielle Pires, MECEP, ’21, Beaufort, South Carolina

Photo above: Staff Sgt. Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program active duty student, ’21, with son JJ

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

In addition to wanting to live in the Charleston area, The Citadel appealed to me for its prestigious reputation and alumni. This institution stands out for its unique educational experience, and opportunities within the Cadet and Veteran community to lead and learn from others within your four years here.

What was the most difficult obstacle you conquered that made you feel you earned the honor of wearing the Citadel Graduate College band of gold?

Being a dual major, a single mother, and an active duty Marine is demanding, but being entrusted with the responsibility to help mentor the future military leaders of America is just as heavy. The small part I had in these young men and women’s lives makes me feel most honored to wear the ring.

In what ways has this institution impacted your life?

My time here at The Citadel has been crucial to my personal leadership development. Not only has college given me the necessary critical thinking skills needed to succeed moving forward as a commissioned officer, but also the exposure and training within the Navy ROTC program has allowed me to network and continue to thrive in a military environment.

When you put your ring on your finger, what memories about The Citadel will you be thinking about?

Putting the ring on is the culmination of four years of opportunity. The opportunity to develop as an individual and a Marine, the opportunity to earn a valuable education, the opportunity to spend quality time raising my son, and most importantly, the opportunity to serve next to, and learn from some of the greatest men and women this country has to offer.

Like ranks in the military, the ring is a representation of past achievements and future responsibilities. In addition to the affiliation of honor and history within this great institution, the ring symbolizes that you are an individual of commendable moral character.

You are connected to thousands of alumni, not only through your Citadel experience but through the ring. How does that make you feel?

Empowered. I’m grateful to all those who paved the way before me, and hopeful for all those who will follow.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

Next to being a mom, being a Marine is the most meaningful work I’ve ever done. The inside of my ring says both Semper Fidelis, signifying my commitment and gratitude to the Marine Corps – and JJ, my sons name and my ultimate reason why.

SSgt Pires is a Criminal Justice and English double major and an active duty Marine enrolled in the MECEP program. She will commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation.

Citadel Class of 2021 MECEP student, Staff Sgt. Lindsay Danielle Pires with her son, JJ.
My ring story: Self discipline and accountability Wed, 23 Sep 2020 21:15:33 +0000 Regina-Amber-Mills-and-other-cadets-2Regina-Amber-Mills-and-other-cadets-2To “wear the ring” means that The Citadel is a unique and shared experience...that we have earned our right to be in the Long Grey Line.]]> Regina-Amber-Mills-and-other-cadets-2Regina-Amber-Mills-and-other-cadets-2

Meet Regina Amber Miles, Aiken, South Carolina, ’21

Photo above: Cadets in order of appearance are Thorne, Miles, Engel and Reen. This picture was taken right after they graduated from Marine Officer Candidate School.

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

I read Pat Conroy’s Lords of Discipline and In the Company of Men, by Nancy Mace, and that was what initially intrigued me. I also knew people who went here. But, the real selling point was when I attended a pre-knob overnight and just had this overwhelming feeling that this is where I belonged.

What was the most difficult obstacle you conquered that made you feel you earned the honor of wearing the ring?

I’d say just having the endurance to uphold your commitment to this school, no matter what personal hardships you’re going through, is reason enough to wear the ring. It can be very tempting to give into an easier alternative, especially after knob year, but this institution was not made to be easy or to become easier; that in itself is the whole point of The Citadel.

No one can better themselves by being complacent. There should never be a point in anyone’s life where they can say they “have made it.” One should always seek self-improvement whether they are a private or a general. That is the mindset The Citadel instills within us.

In what ways has this institution impacted your life?

This institution forces you to grow up in some ways, and I mean that in the best way possible. Self discipline and accountability are drilled into our heads from the start. If we fail, it is completely on us. We have to take responsibility for it, learn from it, and move on.

Why do you think it is important that cadets and/or people in general understand the symbolism and weight that the ring holds?

I don’t think that people outside of the Citadel – other than the alumni, will ever truly understand the magnitude of what the ring means to us because they have not experienced what we have endured. The ring symbolizes four years of pure sacrifice, I hope they understand that, at least.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt. I live my life by this quote. Essentially, it just means your worth does not come from others nor should you let it be influenced by others.

What is a song that describes your emotions leading up to Ring Day?

“Humble Beginnings by Bazzi.” The chorus reflects how I imagine I’ll feel when I get my ring. We have been looking forward to this day for so long and it’s going to feel surreal when we have finally earned it: “Can’t believe that we made it, can’t believe that we made it. We was broke, we was breakin’…now I’m here and I’m stayin’…”

“We wear the ring” is a repeated phrase amongst Alumni. What does it mean?

It’s a really moving concept, honestly.

To “wear the ring” means that The Citadel is a unique and shared experience. The Ring also means that we have earned our right to be alumni in the Long Grey Line when we graduate. Historically speaking, every cadet does not undergo the exact same Citadel experience, but we are all connected in having been part of the Corps of Cadets. We will always have each other’s backs because we have that mutual respect.

Miles is a part of the mascot cadet handing team. She is the senior dog handler and team captain. Miles will commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation. She was included in this local news story about the mascot handlers.

Department of Intelligence and Security Studies launches lecture series on national security Tue, 22 Sep 2020 20:27:43 +0000 one of The Citadel's fastest-growing programs is launching a new, virtual lecture series to cover topics related to national security.]]>

The Citadel’s Department of Intelligence and Security Studies, one of the fastest-growing programs on campus, is launching a new, virtual lecture series to cover a wide range of topics related to national security.

The Emerging Topics Lecture Series is open to the public, and is especially designed for Citadel cadets and students, and others interested in hearing national security issues by Citadel faculty members, alongside other international experts.

Due to the COVID-19 environment, the Emerging Topics Lecture Series will be held virtually, via Zoom.

The first three forums will be held on different days — and at different times — in October.

The lecture names, panelists and Zoom links can all be found below.

Foreign adversarial election interference: Where do we go from here?

Date: October 1, 2020
Time: 6:00 pm EST
Where: Zoom

Moderator: Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Ph.D., Department of Intelligence and Security Studies

Join Zoom Meeting

Domestic terrorism, Violent Extremism and Rehabilitation: How to provide programs that are effective to prevent and intervene against all forms of extremist activity in the US and globally

Date: October 20, 2020
Time: 4:00 pm EST
Where: Zoom

  • Mubin Shaikh, Professor of Public Safety, Seneca College and Counter Extremism Specialist
  • Brandon Blackburn, Former CIA Officer and Media Producer
  • Myrieme Churchill, Executive Director, Parents for Peace
  • Haras Rafiq, Quilliam International

Moderator – Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Ph.D., The Citadel, Department of Intelligence and Security Studies

Join Zoom Meeting

Emerging threats and topics in Africa

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: 10:00 am
Where: Zoom

  • Pat Hendrix, Ph.D., The Citadel, Department of Intelligence and Security Studies
  • Dr. Yusuf Abu Bakar, Deputy Director, Nigerian Defense College
  • Fauizya Abdi, Lecturer, Yale University and President of Women in International Security, Horn of Africa Chapter
  • Fatma Ahmed, Senior Advisor, UNDP, Africa
  • Audra Grant, Ph.D., NORC, University of Chicago

Moderator: Dr. Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, The Citadel, Department of Intelligence and Security Studies

Join Zoom Meeting

The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences introduces new faculty for the 2020-2021 academic year Mon, 24 Aug 2020 17:41:04 +0000 The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,Almost 75 professors strong, the school welcomes five new faculty members for the 2020-21 academic year. ]]> The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,

The School of Humanities & Social Sciences (SHSS) is the largest of the college’s five academic schools. SHSS is the foundation of a liberal arts education at The Citadel and every cadet takes courses through the school at some point as part of the traditional academic disciplines of English, Foreign Language, History, Literature and Social Science.

The school is led by Brian Madison Jones, Ph.D., who joined The Citadel in July of 2020 from Johnson C. Smith University. Jones holds a Ph.D. in History from Kansas State University, a Master of Arts in History from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Bachelor of Arts in history form Appalachian State University.

SHSS is comprised of seven departments: Criminal Justice; Intelligence and Security Studies; English Fine Arts and Communications; History; Modern Languages, Literature and Cultures; Political Science, and Psychology. Almost 1,000 undergraduate cadets and students major in an area under the SHSS umbrella. The school also serves more than 200 graduate students in seven masters programs and an Ed.S. program.

Almost 75 professors strong, the school welcomes five new faculty members for the 2020-21 academic year.

Department of History

Jacob Hagstrom, Ph.D.

Hagstrom graduated from the United States Military Academy West Point and served in the Army for five years before going on to earn a Ph.D. in History from Indiana University.

Hagstrom teaches Leadership in Military History and History of the U.S. Military as a member of The Citadel history faculty. His research focuses on the history of asymmetric wars, battles in which the means and meanings of conflict are radically different for opposing forces. Hagstrom is also interested in transnational military exchange.

Read more about Hagstrom here.

Department of Intelligence and Security Studies

Larry Valero, Ph.D

Valero will lead the Intelligence and Security Studies team as department head and professor.

Valero’s research and teaching interests focus on U.S. intelligence and national security, strategy and modern warfare. He holds a Ph.D. in International History from University of Cambridge, an M.A. in War Studies from King’s College London and a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.

In addition, Valero serves as an American Council on Education faculty evaluator for military programs in the field of intelligence studies. He was the president for the Association for Intelligence Education from 2014 – 2019. Additionally, Valero was Scholar in Residence at the National Security Agency, Ft. Meade, Maryland and served on the faculty of the Department of International Security and Military Studies at the U.S. Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He was honored with the 2011 Outstanding Instructor Award by the International Association for Intelligence Education.

Read more about Valero here.

Department of Political Science

William Patterson, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor, John C. West Professor of American Government and International Politics

Patterson is an experienced U.S. diplomat with more than 25 years experience in international development and humanitarian assistance. His work has included assignments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Patterson speaks English, French and Spanish. His long-term positions were in Egypt, El Salvador, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan and Senegal. Most recently, Patterson served as the USAID economic growth advisor for in Libya. From 2016 – 2018, he provided the overall strategic vision for U.S. government priorities in Iraq, including assistance to stabilization of areas liberated from ISIS, economic reform, and citizen-responsive governance.

Patterson holds a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University, an M.S. in Rural Sociology and a B.A. in Sociology from The Ohio State University.

Department of Psychology

Jillian Dawes, Ph.D.

Dawes holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Educational Psychology from Oklahoma State University. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.

Most recently, Dawes served on the faculty in the School of Psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University. Her specialties include applied behavior analysis and psychometrics.

Dawes is a licensed specialist in school psychology, a nationally certified school psychologist, and a board certified behavior analyst.

Laura Eddy, Ph.D.

Eddy joins The Citadel from University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she completed her postdoctoral fellowship with the ADHD Clinic. She earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Child and Adolescent Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. Eddy attended Appalachian State University to earn an M.A. in Clinical Psychology and graduated magna cum laude from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a B.A. in Classics.

Eddy teaches History of Psychology, Social Psychology and Psychology of the Abnormal, among other subjects. In 2018 she earned a grant in the amount of $23,000 from the Kleberg Foundation in partnership with the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at University of Texas Health Science Center. The project provided training for community health workers along the South Texas/Mexico border on intervention to prevent and manage suicidal behaviors.

With new members, Charleston’s Equity, Inclusion and Racial Conciliation committee takes shape Fri, 14 Aug 2020 15:30:32 +0000 Felice Knight, Ph.D., a Citadel professor, specializing in African American History and slavery, and serves on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation team.]]>

Photo: Michael Better speaks at the press conference announcing a resolution to remove the Calhoun monument on June 17 (Courtesy: Sam Spence, Charleston City Paper)

Note: Felice Knight, Ph.D., is a history professor at The Citadel who specializes in African American History with an emphasis on slavery during the early national and antebellum periods. Additionally, Knight is director of The Citadel’s Universities Studying Slavery Committee and serves on The Citadel Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation team. Knight was recently appointed to the City of Charleston Special Commission on Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Conciliation, which was formed to review City policies, practices, budget and other matters related to addressing racism and racial inequities and to make recommendations to City Council on ways to promote racial justice and racial equity in the City.

As seen in Charleston City Paper, by Heath Ellison

Charleston leaders added seven new members to the city’s new Special Commission on Equity, Inclusion and Racial Conciliation in a unanimous vote Tuesday. The commission, headed by Councilmen William Dudley Gregorie and Jason Sakran, plans to look at structural racism within the city and will conduct an internal review of city departments.

Felice Knight, Ph.D.

Tracy Doran, Alvin Johnson, David Rivers, Michael Better, Crystal Rouse, Felice Knight and Daron Lee Calhoun were appointed to the commission. Gregorie told the City Paper that the committee chose this group to avoid “the usual faces” and to get a “good mix of age, ideas, cultures.”

Each commission member will focus on a specific subcommittee such as history, housing and economic empowerment.

Daron Lee Calhoun, programming and social justice initiative coordinator at Avery Research Center, was appointed as a commissioner of the city’s internal review. “We will definitely be looking at all the city departments and seeing how we can use the racial equity lens to bring true equity and inclusion to these departments,” he said.

Calhoun singled out hiring and longterm systemic changes as something he wants to focus on. He hopes a full audit of the city’s departments will be conducted, similar to the racial bias audit of the Charleston Police Department. “It’s going to take money and we can’t just say we’re going to do this,” Calhoun added. “They have to be able to put something behind it.”

Crystal Rouse, who was elected to the subcommittee on youth and education, said she is excited to bring experience in education and anti-racism to the commission. “I look forward to working with fellow commission members and local citizens to continue the dismantling of systemic racism and racial inequities that have plagued our city and nation for centuries,” she said.

Sakran said there is no formal plan for the commission at this point.

In 2018, Charleston City Council passed a resolution issuing an official apology for its role in enabling chattel slavery by a 7-5 vote. The measure was spearheaded by Gregorie in partnership with the Sophia Institute’s Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative. Earlier this year, the city voted unanimously to bring down a controversial monument to slavery advocate John C. Calhoun in Marion Square.

The racial conciliation commission was created June 4, soon after protests hit downtown May 30 over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Some organizers and leaders in the black community have voiced concern that the commission is just another panel instead of a move toward change and action.

“We do need more action, but it’s a step in the right direction,” said Marcus McDonald, a local Black Lives Matter organizer.

McDonald said he can’t be too critical of the group before anything has happened, but he acknowledges he wants more transparency from the city on the commission. McDonald said he wished the commission was announced with each member’s power and responsibilities.

One of The Citadel’s most in-demand programs gains a new leader Tue, 21 Jul 2020 17:46:59 +0000 The newest faculty member is Larry Valero, Ph.D., who is now head of the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies.]]>

Intelligence and Security Studies now headed by Dr. Larry Valero

Protecting America is a relentless pursuit, requiring continually expanding teams of highly trained intelligence and security professionals.

For example, the Department of Homeland Security says it is fighting COVID-19 fraud on several fronts, including by transnational criminal organizations shipping prohibited medical supplies. 

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center says the areas where “foreign intelligence entities are hitting us the hardest and where we need to devote greater attention” include: critical infrastructure, key U.S. supply chains, the U.S. economy, American democratic institutions, and cyber and technical operations. 

And, when speaking at The Citadel during an Intelligence and Cyber Security conference, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said, “China and Russia are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s and the relationships is likely to strengthen,” a statement that appeared in the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Dan Coats, former Director of National Intelligence, speaking at the 2018 Intelligence and Cybersecurity Conference at The Citadel

The Citadel is helping meet the need through its burgeoning Intelligence and Security Studies undergraduate and master’s degrees, supported by a growing department. The newest faculty member is Larry Valero, Ph.D., who is now head of the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies.

“As a nation, we face challenges ranging from infectious diseases and other natural hazards, to terrorism, to peer-to-peer conflict on the global stage,” said Valero. “I am delighted to be a part of The Citadel and the talented Department of Intelligence and Security Studies team, educating the next generation of intelligence leaders who will analyze these threats effectively to provide for the security of the United States.”

Valero’s research and teaching interests focus upon U.S. intelligence and national security, strategy, and modern warfare. He holds a Ph.D. in International History from University of Cambridge, an M.A. in War Studies from King’s College London, and a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA

Valero currently serves as an American Council on Education faculty evaluator for military programs in the field of intelligence studies. He was the president for the Association for Intelligence Education from 2014-2019. Additionally, Valero was Scholar in Residence at the National Security Agency, Ft. Meade, Maryland and served on the faculty of the Department of International Security and Military Studies at the U.S. Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He was honored with the 2011 Outstanding Instructor Award by the International Association for Intelligence Education.

“Professional, educated, and principled intelligence and security experts are critical for the future safety of the United States, and we are confident in the training such future leaders will receive under the skilled direction of Dr. Larry Valero and the rest of the department,” said Brian Madison Jones, Ph.D., dean for The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Larry’s distinguished pedigree, relevant scholarship, and practical experience in program development and funding will be critical assets as we advance our vision for our rapidly growing intelligence and security studies program.” 

Valero moves into the department head role following the retirement of the founder of The Citadel Intelligence and Security Studies programs and department, Carl Jensen, Ph.D. Jensen becomes a professor emeritus for the college as he retires from a career that, in addition to his leadership at The Citadel, included service in the Navy and 22 years of service in the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he was a field agent, supervisory special agent for the Behavior Science Unit, and lead instructor for the FBI National Academy’s terrorism course.

About 315 cadets and evening undergraduates (non-cadets) are currently pursuing a B.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies and approximately 50 graduate students are pursuing an M.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies. For more information, or to apply, visit this website, or call (843) 953-6886.

Citadel professor published in Foreign Policy Sat, 18 Jul 2020 10:00:27 +0000 Muhammad-Fraser-Rahim, NPRMuhammad-Fraser-Rahim, NPRMuhammad Fraser-Rahim, Ph.D., is the executive director of Quilliam North America and an Intelligence and Security Studies professor at The Citadel.]]> Muhammad-Fraser-Rahim, NPRMuhammad-Fraser-Rahim, NPR

As seen in Foreign Policy, by Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Ph.D., an Intelligence and Security Studies professor, and Mo Fatah

In Somalia, Iran Is Replicating Russia’s Afghan Strategy

Iranian forces are supporting al-Shabab and allegedly offering bounties. The U.S. government must stop Tehran before it further destabilizes the Horn of Africa.

Iran has established covert ties with the Somalia-based al-Shabab terrorist group well known for its attacks in the Horn of Africa. Following Russia’s playbook in Afghanistan and the surrounding regions, Tehran is allegedly using al-Shabab to attack the U.S. military and other foreign forces in Somalia and in the region, according to senior Somali government and security officials familiar with intelligence and briefed on the matter.

Using financial inducements as their means for recruitment, Iran has a proxy network in Somalia and uses facilitators to provide support to violent extremist organizations to counter the influence of the United States and Persian Gulf states, including using Somalia to funnel weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen and to transit weapons to other countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Mozambique, and Central African Republic.

Iranian engagement on the African continent is not new. In particular, Iranian religious groups and intelligence agencies have worked for decades to establish missionary and influence operations on the African continent. These include providing religious scholarship opportunities throughout sub-Saharan Africa and in the Horn region competing and countering Gulf states’ influences.

Furthermore, these educational efforts have allowed Africans to study in Shiite religious centers such as Qom in Iran, and then go back to their countries to engage in both direct and indirect proselytizing in favor of Tehran’s activities, making many of them witting or unwitting accomplices to those pursuing Tehran’s intelligence objectives in the region.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the main Iranian organization in Somalia, and its Quds Force has established relations with extremist groups and criminal networks, according to Somali officials. Somali police and finance ministry officials claim the Quds Force uses these networks to smuggle Iranian oil into Somalia and then sell cheap oil across Africa to subvert U.S. sanctions, with some of the proceeds used to support militants in Yemen and Somalia.

Somali military officials maintain that Iran has been running secret operations to undermine the United States in Somalia, providing sophisticated weapons, improvised explosive devices, mortars, and chemicals used to make bombs. The military officials allege that Iran and its proxies are complicit in al-Shabab attacks on the U.S. military, Somali forces, and the African Union Mission in Somalia. A senior military official involved in operations against al-Shabab in south-central Somalia alleges that al-Shabab has received financial and material support from Iran and may have paid bounties to militants to attack U.S. forces in Somalia and the region.

According to Somali defense ministry and security officials, Iranian money, weapons, and ammunition may have been used in 2019 and 2020 al-Shabab attacks on U.S. military bases in Somalia and northern Kenya, as well as the European Union military convoy in Mogadishu.

Security forces involved in operations against al-Shabab in south-central Somalia discovered weapons as well as bomb-making materials and chemicals from Iran. These officials claim that al-Shabab attacks since 2017 have become more lethal and attribute the group’s increased capabilities to foreign-sourced weapons, with the majority coming from Iran and Yemen.

On Jan. 5, al-Shabab carried out a pre-dawn attack at Manda Airstrip on Camp Simba in northern Kenya. The attack killed three Americans (one soldier and two contractors) and destroyed U.S. military equipment, including surveillance equipment used to support intelligence operations in the region.

Al-Shabab attacked Camp Simba two days after a U.S. drone strike killed Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior Iraqi politician and the deputy chairman of Popular Mobilization Units, an Iraqi paramilitary force. (Although the group claimed there was no link between Suleimani’s killing and its attack, the timing and al-Shabab’s history of opportunistic strikes suggests that the two events may have been linked.)

On Sept. 30, 2019, al-Shabab carried out a large car bomb and gun attack on the Baledogle facility, wounding a U.S. service member at the base, according to news reports. The Baledogle base, about 60 miles northwest of Mogadishu, hosts hundreds of U.S. military and civilian personnel supporting Somali government operations against al-Shabab. The U.S.-trained Somali forces and U.S. military repelled the coordinated attack and inflicted heavy casualties on al-Shabab.

Also on Sept. 30, an al-Shabab car bomb hit the European Union military convoy in Mogadishu. The Italian military convoy was part of the European Union Training Mission in Somalia. The attack damaged convoy vehicles, but did not result in any injuries.

Despite U.S. and Somali counterterrorism operations, al-Shabab remains the largest active al Qaeda network in the world, and the Iranian Quds Force’s financial and material support to the militant group represents a new escalation and a morphing threat to U.S. and Western interests in Somalia and the region.

Although the number of U.S. forces in Somalia has increased over the past three years, there has been a steady increase in attacks by al-Shabab and the Islamic State in Somalia in south-central Somalia, Puntland, and increasingly in northern Kenya. According to Gen. Stephen Townsend, “After a series of complex attacks targeting Somali and U.S. bases last year,” the leaders of al-Shabab “publicly identified Americans and U.S. interests worldwide as priority targets,” a stance similar to Osama bin Laden’s 1996 declaration of war against the United States.

In addition to Iran, Russia has expanded its contact and influence in Somalia, sending an ambassador for the first time in 30 years and establishing ties with extremist groups in the fragile state to pressure and bleed U.S. forces and Western allies in the region.

According to senior defense ministry and national and regional security officials in Somalia, Russia’s intelligence service and the Wagner Group—a paramilitary mercenary company with ties to the Kremlin—are active in Somalia, where have they established ties with al-Shabab while also trying to offer the Somali government and regional governments training and equipment, without oversight or accountability and avoiding compliance with U.N. sanctions.

Over the past two years, Russia and Iran have shown renewed interest in the Horn of Africa, and, according to a senior Somali military official, Russia has been working with Iran to push the United States out of Somalia—especially Baledogle, a base built by the Soviet Union that formerly served as Moscow’s main hub in the region.

According to officials, Russians have expressed interest in Baledogle and the port of Berbera. The officials are concerned that the 2019 attack on Baledogle was influenced and supported by Iranian or Russian proxies seeking to force the U.S. military out of the base.

Given that Iran has engaged with and supported violent extremist groups in Somalia and across the region, it’s not surprising that Tehran and its proxy agents are supporting al-Shabab. The reality is that Tehran has on countless occasions in recent years engaged with a wide range of Islamist elements in Somalia. Iran uses these actors in Africa to project its influence and spread its extremist doctrine wherever and however it can. Tehran continues to use proxy allies and violent extremist groups in Somalia, undermining the U.S. administration’s counterterrorism strategy in Somalia and international efforts to stabilize the country.

To counter this threat, the U.S. government should first focus on reducing al-Shabab’s access to financial and material support from foreign sources such as Iran. This can be done by expanding the use of sanctions to identify and target individuals or groups in Somalia and the region facilitating Iranian proxy activities in Somalia, as well as identifying how violent extremist organizations in Somalia procure weapons and chemicals used to attack civilians, government institutions, and security forces in Somalia and the region.

It should then use the Combined Task Force 150 and the European Union Capacity Building Mission to focus on disrupting the flow of weapons and chemicals to Somalia, while helping the federal government of Somalia and federal member states to build naval, coast guard, and other maritime capabilities to protect Africa’s second-longest coast.

Second, the U.S. government should work toward reducing Iranian influence in the Horn of Africa, making it challenging for Iran and its proxies to operate. The U.S. government can reduce Iranian influence by increasing intelligence collection on proxy allies of Tehran, their facilitators, and support structures, as well as by monitoring Iranian trade with countries in the region. Additionally, the United States can use sanctions to go after individuals and organizations engaging with sanctioned elements of the Iranian regime.

Finally, to counter Iran, Russia, and other rogue states, the U.S. government should increase military, security, and economic assistance to Somalia, supporting the Somali government’s efforts to increase the size and capabilities of Somalia’s security forces as they wage counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations to dislodge al-Shabab and other violent extremist groups from areas they control .

Al-Shabab’s aspiration to attack the United States in the region and beyond poses a direct threat to the United States’ national-security and foreign-policy interests. To defeat al-Shabab and limit Iran’s and other foreign agents’ involvement in Somalia requires the U.S. government to use all instruments of national power—including economic, military, security, and financial tools, to defeat the world’s most active, effective, and enduring al Qaeda affiliate.

Muhammad Fraser-Rahim is the executive director of Quilliam North America and an assistant professor at The Citadel. Twitter: @mfraserrahim

Mo Fatah is the CEO of the Horn Security Group and a senior fellow at Quilliam International.

A dubious distinction? Hardly! Meet The Citadel’s 80-year-old, Class of 2020 graduate Tue, 16 Jun 2020 14:00:56 +0000 "I worked as many as three part-time jobs at once to get by. Still, I always regretted not being able to finish my degree at The Citadel with my class in 1961."]]>

Photo above: Thomas Dewey Wise on his Citadel graduation day celebrating with his triplet grandchildren, (left to right) Hannah, John Dewey “J.D.” and Katlin.

When Thomas Dewey Wise was first contacted about his most recent accomplishment — being the oldest person to earn a degree from The Citadel — he responded, saying that perhaps it was “a dubious distinction.”

“One of my granddaughters asked my wife, Pat, ‘Why is he doing this? Doesn’t he know he will be too old to get a job when he graduates?’ Wise joked in an email.

At one time, from 1957-1959, Wise was a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. Then, it got complicated. Now, 61 years later, he graduated as a member of The Citadel Class of 2020, earning a Master of Arts in International Politics and Military Affairs, from The Citadel Graduate College in May.

Perhaps for Wise, after a lifetime of hefty accomplishments, earning a master’s degree (with honors) at the age of 80 isn’t a huge deal. But he did come a long way from his modest beginnings in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Thomas Dewey Wise celebrating his Citadel Class of 2020 commencement virtually on May 9, 2020. He graduate with honors, as a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

According to Wise, his father left school after the ninth grade. His mother passed away when he was 13 and he had to start working 40 hours a week to help. Attending The Citadel was just a dream until his uncle offered to pay his tuition. But, after his uncle became ill, Wise had to leave the Military College of South Carolina.

Wise went back to Orangeburg, worked and saved, and graduated from the University of South Carolina. He kept going, earning a law degree from the George Washington University School of Law. (He is a member of the South Carolina Bar, the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, and a member of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Fourth Circuit.)

“I worked as many as three part-time jobs at once to get by. Still, I always regretted not being able to finish my degree at The Citadel with my class in 1961.”

In 1964, Wise entered the Army, completed Airborne School — having made more than 15 parachute jumps at Fort Campbell, Kentucky — and was sent to the war in Vietnam, before being sent to Washington D.C. as an appellate attorney for the Army Judiciary. As a captain, and after being awarded numerous medals, Wise returned to Charleston. Then, he built a law firm that eventually employed 23 attorneys. He was appointed Assistant County Attorney for Charleston County, and then was elected to the South Carolina Senate where he served for 12 years, focused on environmental conservation and children’s legislation.

Then-Senator Wise served on The Citadel Board of Visitors (the college’s governing body) from 1976 – 1984. He went on to found First Trident Savings Bank, serving on the bank’s board for years. Next, Wise left the practice of law and founded an international telecommunications company in Atlanta, Georgia.

An avid runner for much of his life, Wise was instrumental in organizing the first Cooper River Bridge Run in 1977, was named to the Cooper River Bridge Run Hall of Fame, and awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Nikki Haley for his years of service to the state.

And during all of that, Wise and his wife Pat had sons Timothy and David (who graduated from the Citadel in 1994) and four cherished grandchildren.

In 2001, Wise “retired” and returned to South Carolina. He continued his education and passion for conservation through Clemson University, becoming a Master Wildlifer, a Master Gardener, a Master Tree Farmer and a Master Naturalist, devoting more than 500 hours of volunteer service to the Charleston county Master Gardner Program. He purchased 1,400 acres of barren pine land, which he converted into an award- winning wildlife habitat.

He credits his mother for fostering his love of learning. “We did not have many possessions, but somehow my mother bought a 26 volume set of the World Book Encyclopedia.” Wise said he read every volume.

But, why the master’s degree now?

“I was at a meeting with some Citadel friends in 2016, including Maj. Gen. Cliff Poole, Class of ’59. I said at one point I had thought about going back to The Citadel to get a master’s degree, but that I’d be 80 by the time I completed it. Cliff did not say anything for a while, but finally looked at me and asked, ‘How old will you be in three years if you don’t go back for the degree?’ Wow. Of course, I would rather be 80 years old with the degree than 80 years old without it. That was my ‘Carpe Diem’ moment.”

(Left) Thomas Dewey Wise, Citadel Class of 2020 with his son and his son, David, Citadel Class of 1994, showing off their bands of gold.

Now, in addition to admiring his band of gold next to his son’s, Wise offers thanks to two women who helped him:

“Dr. Sarah Tenney Sharman. She was my faculty advisor as well as a professor. She is a great credit to her profession and The Citadel and is a wonderful person. And my wife Pat earned this degree as much as I did. We live about two hours from campus, so she accompanied me to school and, while I was in class, she’d wait in the library. Then, she’d drive us home late at night. My Citadel ring has her name and the date of our marriage inscribed inside.”

What’s next for Thomas Dewey Wise?

I am writing my autobiography now. I want to somehow convey to my grandchildren what life was like before the digital revolution. I am writing a history book about the area of Colleton County we live in and a book about a distant relative by marriage, George Yarborough (Citadel Class of 1916) who earned the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I and whose portrait hangs in Daniel Library. I am publishing my master’s thesis which I expanded into a book entitled Hubris and The American Experience in Vietnam. Then, I want to find a position, doing analytical writing from home, perhaps with some think tank.

But truly, I felt greatly honored to learn I would be the oldest person to earn a Citadel degree. Surely someone will come along soon and break that record.

Thomas Dewey Wise
Citadel Class of 2020

Click on the box below to view Wise’s commencement video thanking his friends and family.

Future federal cyber warriors selected for Citadel’s CyberCorps program Mon, 15 Jun 2020 14:35:39 +0000 Citadel_Cyber_SecurityCitadel_Cyber_SecurityFirst S.C. CyberCorps Scholarship for Service cadets selected to begin program this fall Four cadets at The Citadel will complete their junior and senior years as South Carolina’s first CyberCorps®]]> Citadel_Cyber_SecurityCitadel_Cyber_Security

First S.C. CyberCorps Scholarship for Service cadets selected to begin program this fall

Four cadets at The Citadel will complete their junior and senior years as South Carolina’s first CyberCorps® scholars. Cadets Andrew Lindenmeyer, Shiloh Smiles, Philip Quinn and Ashley Ruiz were selected as the college’s first participants in The Citadel’s CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program.

“Being selected means that I will have a chance to apply my knowledge and passion for computer science and cybersecurity to a cause bigger than myself— national defense,” said Cadet Shiloh Smiles Smiles of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, upon learning she was selected. “I am honored and excited to be a part of the first cohort of this new program.”

Earlier this year, The Citadel was awarded a $2.8 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant – the largest federal grant in the college’s history – to create the state’s first CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program. It is intended to educate the next generation principled leaders who will protect America in cyberspace.

“These cadets were selected for their professionalism and commitment to the field of cybersecurity, as well as their passion to serve our nation,” said Shankar Banik, Ph.D., professor and head of the Department of Cyber and Computer Sciences and the principal investigator for The Citadel’s CyberCorps® project.

The program is designed to recruit and train cybersecurity professionals to meet the needs of federal, state, local, and tribal government organizations. The program provides scholarships for undergraduate students pursuing a major in Computer Science, Intelligence and Security Studies, or Criminal Justice with a minor in Cybersecurity. Scholarship recipients will then pursue employment with a government entity in a cybersecurity-related position.

“This grant is a recognition of The Citadel’s uniqueness where principled leadership education is blended with multi-disciplinary Cybersecurity education. The CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program at The Citadel will provide a steady supply of leaders for the government over the next several years, “said Banik. “A broader impact of the project includes the ability to recruit more diverse populations, women, and underrepresented groups to The Citadel and to cybersecurity professions.”

Banik will be assisted by an interdisciplinary team of professors representing the Department of Cyber and Computer Sciences, Department of Intelligence and Security Studies, Department of Criminal Justice and The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence.

While at The Citadel, the CyberCorps® scholars will receive or participate in:

  • Full tuition scholarship for junior and senior years.
  • An annual stipend (for living expenses): $25,000 per year.
  • A professional allowance of up to $6,000 per academic year to attend the Scholarship for Service Job Fair, and fund other travel, books, or professional activities.
  • Mentorship and extracurricular activities to prepare them for cyber-related opportunities in federal, state, or tribal organizations.
  • Learning from cyber operations professionals in South Carolina in places such as the Naval Information Warfare Center (Atlantic) is located.

In turn, the cadets agree to:

  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program.
  • Work in an executive federal agency post-graduation for the number of years of the scholarship award.
  • Complete one summer internship for at least 10 weeks, typically paid, with a government organization during the scholarship period.
  • Participate in the annual CyberCorps Job Fair, where they will engage with government recruiters.
  • Participate in cyber-related research and professional-development events, competitions and outreach activities.

New Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations begins this fall

For the past decade, The Citadel has invested in advancing cyber security education through new programs, a dedicated cyber center, and professional partnerships. As a result, The Citadel is designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security and has earned numerous awards.

The Citadel is also part of a collaboration that resulted in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that provides $10 million in federal funding to create U.S. Department of Defense cyber institutes at the six Senior Military Colleges in the U.S. In addition, plans are drafted to install a sensitive compartmented information facility or SCIF on campus in the next several years.

In the fall, The Citadel launches its first Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations. Previously, students could only minor in Cyber Security while majoring in Computer Science, Intelligence and Security Studies, or Criminal Justice.

“For some, combining cyber security with another major is still a good idea. But now, a fully dedicated major in Cyber Operations will allow cadets to focus more heavily on developing cyber defense skills,” said Banik. “The state and the nation need a highly educated cyber workforce to protect our interests in this burgeoning theater of cyber warfare.”

For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations, or about being considered for The Citadel’s CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program, please contact Dr. Shankar Banik at

The Citadel prepares to replace Capers Hall Sun, 17 May 2020 13:00:46 +0000 The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,The Citadel is planning to demolish Capers Hall, one of the most utilized academic buildings on campus, next year and replace it with a more modern facility.]]> The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,

As seen in Charleston Regional Business Journal by Patrick Hoff