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The Global Counterterrorism Fight Since 2017

Tue, Jan 14, 2020, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

You are cordially invited to a presentation on the topic:
The Global Counterterrorism Fight Since 2017
Mr. Chris Costa, Executive Director for
the International Spy Museum

Tuesday, January 14th
4:00 – 5:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C.


This event is hosted by The Institute of World Politics.

About the lecture: The Trump administration quietly undertook a range of counterterrorism efforts during its first year, allowing President Trump to rightfully claim at the State of the Union address in January 2018 that, under his administration, ISIS suffered substantial territorial loss to its physical caliphate. But, that alone is not enough. This presentation aims to update the terrorism challenge going forward in light of policy choices, a new National Counterterrorism Strategy, and international pressure on terrorist actors. Going forward, the United States must also consider adapting its approach to counter a broader (and sometimes underground) jihadist movement by working with the right foreign partners to institutionalize better governance and support stabilization efforts. Failure to do so will risk yet another jihadist terrorist group rising to threaten the United States and its broader interests. In addition, senior leaders and policymakers must attain a better understanding of the complex “Grey Zone” dynamics ongoing in the Middle East, where the United States and its partners must be willing to invest in a long-term counter-strategy to contest the competing forces — both state and non-state in that vacuous space. This dynamic is now complicated by United States military forces essentially pulling out of Syria, as well as the continuance of a strained relationship with Iran. Lastly, we can’t ignore domestic terrorism or homegrown violent extremism (HVE) – those would-be terrorists that are at risk of radicalizing and mobilizing for violence. Effective measures to counter these threats require a range of capabilities — not solely those related to law enforcement, but also with the capabilities of the private sector and civil society.

About the speaker: Mr. Costa served as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism on the National Security Council (NSC). At the NSC, he was responsible for coordinating counterterrorism policy and strategy as well as U.S. hostage recovery activities. Mr. Costa had 34 years of progressive national security experience and well‐documented success in strategy, policy, special operations, counterintelligence, and human intelligence, deploying on multiple contingencies and to combat operations in the Republic of Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Mr. Costa’s last assignment with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) was as Program Director in the Operations Directorate. Preceding USSOCOM, Mr. Costa served as a Department of the Navy civilian at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group – with US Navy SEALs, and as a Senior Adjunct Instructor with Norwich University’s Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis Program; with Norwich University, he taught on topics related to national security, strategy, and counterterrorism. He holds an M.A. in Strategic Intelligence from American Military University; an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College; and a B.A. from Norwich University. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and two Bronze Stars. In May 2013, Mr. Costa was inducted into USSOCOM’s Commando Hall of Honor for extraordinary and enduring service to Special Operations Forces. Most recently, Mr. Costa joined the International Spy Museum as the Executive Director where he will play a leading role in building on its extraordinary success as a Washington attraction and speaking responsibly on current counterterrorism and intelligence issues.