After the Islamic State: Consequences and Beneficiaries

March 7, 2017
11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Event Description

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies and FDD’s Long War Journal hosted a lunch conversation which looked at who gains from the defeat of the Islamic State (IS). The discussion featured FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross; investigative journalist and war correspondent for BuzzFeed News Mike Giglio; Senior Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal Thomas Joscelyn; and Margaret Thatcher Fellow at The Heritage Foundation Robin Simcox. The conversation was moderated by Nancy Youssef of BuzzFeed News.

On the heels of the Pentagon delivering its draft plan to destroy the Islamic State to the White House, an important question remains on who would benefit from such a defeat. How can the White House and Pentagon craft such a strategy without emboldening al-Qaeda? How will Iran and Syria benefit from the denigration of IS? How should the administration and others prevent other bad actors from filling the vacuum?

Read the event’s full transcript here. 

After the Islamic State: Consequences and Beneficiaries
A Conversation with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Mike Giglio, Thomas Joscelyn, and Robin Simcox,
Moderated by Nancy Youssef

Dr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. His professional focus is on understanding how violent non-state actors (VNSAs) are transforming the world, and how states are in turn trying to adapt to this challenge. Dr. Gartenstein-Ross has specialized in jihadist movements, including undertaking detailed research into al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS), Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, Boko Haram, and ISIS’s Wilayat Sinai. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Valens Global, a consulting firm focused on the challenges posed by VNSAs, as well as a Fellow with Google’s Jigsaw, an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. His latest FDD report is Islamic State 2021: Possible Futures in North and West Africa.

Mike Giglio is an investigative journalist and war correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in Istanbul. He covers the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and has also reported extensively from Turkey, Egypt, and Ukraine. He has been covering the Mosul offensive through embeds with Iraqi and Kurdish special forces. Mr. Giglio joined BuzzFeed from The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Prior to that, he was in London where he covered the phone hacking scandal and 2011 riots. He also worked the international desk for Newsweek in New York. Mr. Giglio also wrote for the Houston Press and Charlotte Magazine. As a journalist on the ground, Mr. Giglio was kidnapped in Ukraine in 2014, and detained, beaten, and ultimately released in Egypt in 2013.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and senior editor of FDD’s Long War Journal, a widely read publication dealing with counterterrorism and related issues. He is also a trainer for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, including before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Homeland Security Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and House Judiciary Committee.  Mr. Joscelyn is also a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard. His work has been published by a variety of other publications and cited by the Associated Press, Reuters, The Washington Post, USA Today, TIME, Foreign Policy, and many others, and he makes regular appearances on television and radio programs.

Robin Simcox specializes in terrorism and national security analysis as the Margaret Thatcher Fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. Prior to arriving at Heritage in January 2016, Mr. Simcox was a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank in London. While there, he authored several important works on the terrorist group al-Qaeda, including “Al-Qaeda in the United States,” a 728-page monograph profiling every known court conviction in America linked to al-Qaeda. Mr. Simcox has testified before Congress on multiple occasions and provided oral evidence to a committee of Parliament established to examine laws and governance related to Britain’s intelligence agencies. Mr. Simcox’s commentary has been published in newspapers such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The (London) Telegraph, and The Guardian.  It also has appeared in magazines and journals such as Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, West Point’s CTC Sentinel, and The Weekly Standard.

Nancy Youssef is a national security correspondent with BuzzFeed News. She was previously a Senior National Security Correspondent for The Daily Beast and National Security Correspondent and Middle East Bureau Chief based in Cairo with McClatchy Newspapers. Prior to that, she was McClatchy’s chief Pentagon correspondent, focusing on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before covering the Pentagon, she spent four years covering the Iraq war, including as Baghdad bureau chief. She reported from Iraq and Jordan, covering the Iraq war from the time leading up to it through the post-war period. She has won several awards for her work, including the University of Virginia’s Lawrence Hall Award for Distinguished Journalism covering the Middle East.

This event is made possible through a grant from The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.


Cyber Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare Islamic State Jihadism Syria