Syrian Diaspora in the Gulf

Elizabeth Dickinson comes back on the show to discuss the Syrian diaspora in the Gulf. We also talked about the current refugee crisis, and accusations that Gulf states aren't helping as much as they could. Topics covered include:

  • The scale of the support Syrians in the Gulf provided to opposition groups in Syria
  • Internal debate within the diaspora about whether or not to provide weapons
  • How the diaspora's resources are being exhausted
  • The current focus on providing long-term assistance
  • The reasons why NGO's can't do what the diaspora can as an informal network
  • The growing sense of hopelessness amongst the people and groups


Thanks to Melissa, Andrew, Alex, Scott, and David for their continued support of the show. You can help upport the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!

Child Soldiers of the Islamic State

John Horgan comes back on the show to discuss his work studying the Islamic State's use of child soldiers. Topics we covered include:

  • How IS recruits children
  • The training pipeline children go through
  • Comparing the use of child soldiers in various conflicts
  • Existing research on rehabilitating child soldiers
  • John's work studying child soldier rehabilitation & reintegration in Pakistan


Thanks to Andrew and David for their support of the show! You can support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!

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Libya Peace Talks Continue

Mary Fitzgerald comes back on the show to talk about the recent UN talks in Geneva and the ongoing effort to end the civil war in Libya. Topics we covered include:

  • The problem of what to do with Gen. Khalifa Hiftar
  • Potential for small, local agreements to build to a national agreement
  • Why the Islamic State, and their growth in Libya, is not a focus of the ongoing talks
  • Economic issues Libya is facing, now and in the near future
  • Importance and relevance of local militias to the potential of success of a national agreement


Thanks to Alex & Scott for their continued support of the show. You can support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon.

Islamic State's Propaganda Strategy

Charlie Winter comes on the show to talk about Islamic State propaganda. The basis for our discussion is Charlie's recent paper "The Virtual Caliphate: Understanding Islamic State's Propaganda Strategy" (PDF). The topics we covered include:

  • Islamic State propaganda that doesn't focus on brutality
  • How IS propaganda strategy has evolved
  • The ability of Islamic State to control their message
  • Efforts to counter Islamic State propaganda


Yemen: Not on the Brink, in Free Fall

Adam Baron comes back on the show to discuss the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Topics we covered include:

  • Background on the events that lead to the current situation
  • The problems Yemen was facing prior to the past few months of fighting
  • Recent failures to establish a humanitarian cease fire
  • Realistic chances that a cease fire could happen soon
  • AQAP taking advantage of the chaos and controlling territory
  • Lack of urgency in the international community to solving the conflict
  • Who in the international community could have a positive influence on the situation
  • How the Yemeni public views the conflict


Thanks to patrons of the podcast Andrew, Alex, Scott, David, and Melissa. You can support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!

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