The Evolution of ISIS and Its Challenge for U.S. Foreign Policy

The Evolution of ISIS and Its Challenge for U.S. Foreign Policy

Virtual Briefing Series

Thursday, June 13th, 2024 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

The ISIS attacks on the Crocus City Hall theater in Russia this past March brought Islamic jihadism back to the headlines. Following the decimation of the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq, ISIS affiliates around the world have continued acts of terrorism through asymmetric warfare. One such group – the Islamic State Khorasan Province or ISIS-K – claimed responsibility for the attack in Moscow and ISIS affiliates are surging in the Sahel. What is the status of global terrorism? How has ISIS transformed since 2019? Where does ISIS-K fit in? What are its objectives and how is it pursuing them? What is the U.S. doing to counter the threats from global terrorism and how successful have its policies been?
Join us on Thursday, June 13 from 12 PM to 1 PM ET for a conversation with Michael Collins, Executive Director Americas of the Institute for Economics & Peace; Dr. Kim Cragin, Director of the national Defense University’s Center for Strategic Research and Distinguished Research Fellow for Special Operations and Counterterrorism; and Dr. Asfandyar Mir, Senior Expert in South Asia program at the United States Institute for Peace where they will discuss these questions and more.

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Michael Collins

Michael Collins is Executive Director Americas of the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), the world’s leading think tank dedicated to developing metrics to analyze peace and to quantify its economic value. IEP has pioneered the empirical study of peace, most notably through the annual Global Peace Index, and its research is used extensively by governments, academic institutions, NGOs and multilateral agencies around the world.
In his role, Michael cultivates and develops new institutional and grass-roots partnerships and has been responsible for significantly expanding IEP’s impact across the United States, the Americas and the United Nations since 2019.
Before joining IEP Michael oversaw educational, job creation and economic development programs in emerging nations affected by or prone to disaster, where, as a practitioner, he frequently worked with communities affected by poverty and gang violence.
As an expert trainer he has partnered with governments to develop disaster-risk reduction curricula, opened training centers and supervised training courses for vulnerable youth and adults with low literacy levels.
Michael grew up in Spain where he studied electro-mechanical engineering before founding and managing a construction company dedicated to the restoration of historical buildings, many of which were over 300 years old.
He speaks English, Spanish and French and lives in the New York area with his wife and three young children.


Dr. Kim Cragin

Dr. Kim Cragin is the Director of the National Defense University’s Center for Strategic Research (CSR) and Distinguished Research Fellow for Counterterrorism. AsCSR Director, Kim oversees approximately 25 studies annually conducted by CSR Fellows for senior leaders in the Joint Staff, Office of Secretary of Defense, Services and/or Combatant Commands. These studies range in topic from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine to U.S. military force development to Iran’s nuclear program.
Dr. Cragin also has responsibility for the counterterrorism research portfolio. Kim’s mixed methods approach to research has allowed her to gain extensive experience in conducting field studies in conflict zones, including Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and China. She is an internationally-recognized expert on foreign fighters and violent extremism generally and has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. Kim is a recipient of the Sherman Emerging Scholar Award, Boren Fellowship, and the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. She received her undergraduate degree (honors) from Oklahoma Baptist University, a Masters in Public Policy from Duke University, and a PhD in cultural history from the University of Cambridge (Clare College) in the United Kingdom.


Dr. Asfandyar Mir

Dr. Asfandyar Mir is a senior expert in the South Asia program at the United States Institute of Peace.
Dr. Mir’s research interests include the international relations of South Asia, U.S. counterterrorism policy and political violence — with a regional focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Previously, Dr. Mir taught in the political science department and held various fellowships at the Center for International Security and Cooperation of Stanford University.
Dr. Mir has written extensively on the international relations of South Asia and U.S. counterterrorism policy. His analysis has been published by major media outlets and research institutions, such as the CTC Sentinel, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Middle East Institute, War on the Rocks, Washington Post among others. Dr. Mir’s research has also appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals, such as International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics and Security Studies.
Dr. Mir received his doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s and bachelor’s from Stanford University.




*Image Credit: DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro/released


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