IASC is a "think-tank" focused on medium and long-term security issues and their impact on the security of the United States and her key interests and allies. IASC is supported by foundations, corporations and private donors, and by contract work performed for the U.S. Government. Work is performed at both open-source and classified levels and includes specialized investigative work.
IASC believes US policies and a strong national defense posture are best advanced by strategies based on a vigorous examination of fact-based scenarios, accurate understanding of the historical, cultural, scientific and other topical contexts, and by challenging all assumptions. IASC adapts assessment, risk and scenario methods pioneered by Shell Oil and the Office of Net Assessment in the Department of Defense with which IASC experts have worked. "Net Assessment" weighs all factors impinging, one way or another, on a nation’s security, and arrives at judgments that provide an accurate indication of the current situation. By identifying strengths, weaknesses, emerging challenges, technologies, threats, and indicators and warnings, it is possible to consider how American capabilities will compare with those of possible competitors over time -- and to suggest guidelines for future diplomacy, economic policies, military strategies, force structures, and informational, scientific, educational and infrastructure investments and the like.
IASC’s goal is to provide policymakers with strategic advice looking ahead 10-20 years and more -- well beyond the current horizon of headlines, budget cycles and legislative/electoral calendars. Advice is based on academically-sound multidisciplinary comparisons of current and future trends and scenarios – considering everything from energy, climatology and demographics to strategic culture, economics and radically new approaches to warfare. Variables are placed in global context, and viewed as "three dimensional" rather than as static. The process often helps policymakers and program managers to identify the right questions and frameworks and avoid costly pursuit of the wrong ones and of lowest-common denominator consensus approaches often based on straight-line projections, weak science, or narrow or time-bound considerations of broad and iterative effects.
IASC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation founded in Washington in 2004. It is independent, non-partisan and research-based. Its operating model is based on collaborative relationships with a network of over 100 experts in academia, government and the private sector, both in the U.S. and abroad. IASC is not an advocacy or lobbying entity but rather a trusted independent provider of research. IASC is advised, staffed and supported by experienced senior national security practitioners who have decades of service in virtually all aspects of security policy and intelligence including Executive Branch and Military, Congress, Commissions, think-tanks and academia, and as government, corporate, foundation and NGO consultants and advisors. This experience, network and range of perspectives brings an uncommon wealth of knowledge about both topical issues and the policy process.
IASC’s competitive advantage lies in its application of this knowledge and skill set to problems not yet being considered in-depth, if at all, by the conventional policy community; and, its ability to inform senior policymakers, thought leaders and the media about new, emerging or likely threats. IASC further fulfills its public education mandate by ensuring that its work informs the public debate through appearances in leading media, collaboration with other research institutions, participation in high-level discussions with Congressional and Executive Branch policymakers, as well as in overseas governmental and nongovernmental forums.
IASC experts testify before Congress regularly and advise various congressional offices, caucuses and initiatives. Another key educational role is our consistent coverage of international airshows and armshows, reported in summary form on our website. IASC participates in defense and international policy forums with other research organizations such as: National Defense University, Center for Strategic and International Studies, American Enterprise Institute, Hudson Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, Heritage Foundation, Center for New American Security, Council on Foreign Relations, National Endowment for Democracy, U.S. Peace Institute, Naval War College, American Foreign Policy Council, Aspen Institute-Berlin, FBI Academy-Quantico, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response (ISTAR).
IASC provides policy briefings, research support and expert testimony to various U.S. Congressional and Executive branch consumers including: the Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, National Security Council, the Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, CIA, DNI, FBI, DEA and other agencies and Commissions, as well as to NGO's such as the World Bank, Global Witness and the United Nations Criminal Investigative Unit, and in terrorism trials.
IASC understands the importance of training a new generation of national security practitioners capable of developing broadly gauged long-range analysis. Accordingly, IASC identifies, mentors and works collaboratively to support their development and placement in relevant security policy positions. Graduates involved with IASC work have gone on to work in the FBI, DHS, DOD and similar organizations. IASC supports university-level courses, strategy seminars, wargames and guest lecturers addressing security related topics. Many IASC team members train U.S. law enforcement, intelligence, military and security policy personnel in addition to teaching and lecturing in several leading universities, including defense and intelligence community graduate schools and combatant command centers.
In addition to their academic research, policy papers, and books, IASC and its experts appear regularly in such media as: CNN, C-SPAN, PBS Lehrer News Hours, National Public Radio, Voice of America, BBC, The Economist, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal Asia, Los Angeles Times, Armed Forces Journal, Washington Times, Financial Times, U.S. News, Newsweek, International Herald Tribune, Defense News, Congressional Quarterly, Aviation Week, The Banker, Associated Press, Agence France Press, Defense Technology International, Air Forces Monthly, JANE'S, Commentary Magazine, NROnline, Popular Mechanics, Kyodo News, Apple Daily-Hong Kong, Taipei Times, China Daily Online, Senkai Shinbum, U.S. Air Force "Aimpoints," National Defense University’s PRISM, Air Power Australia, WIRED, Pravda, Manila Times, the leading overseas Chinese newspaper, Shijie erbao (World Journal), KBS Korean Television, and Channel News Asia, among many others. IASC's work is also followed on a number of business, military and policy websites and blogs around the world, including: TerroristFinancing.com, Counterterrorismblog.com, EUBusiness.org (official EU website); IIIS.org, SLD.info.com, PakistanDefenseForum, MiddleEastNewsWire, AUSAirpower (Australia), Military.com, SpaceDaily, ChannelNewsAsia, China-defense.com, TaiwanSecurity.org, World News Bulletin, Global Security.org, Nuclear Threat Initiative; DefenseTalk.com, and, OpenFlows.com, among others.
IASC works to build and maintain an international network of scholars and research experts in areas of common strategic interest. These include institutes and universities in India, Taiwan, Russia, Australia, Japan, Israel, Canada, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom, among others.
IASC’s corporate collaborations include Booz-Allen-Hamilton; Computer Sciences Corporation, Alutiqq Technology and Security, LLC, Centra Technologies, TASC, Bayfirst Solutions, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.
Selected areas of support to the U.S. government, and representative study and briefing topics include (agency/client as indicated):
Critical US Infrastructure
Near Earth Objects/DHS
Water Management v. Water Wars/DHS
Rare Earth Elements and U.S. Policy /DHS
Weathering Solar Storms/DHS
Design and support of a unique intelligence fusion center within the Department of Homeland Security to assess and counter threats against U.S. critical infrastructure
U.S. global positioning satellite (GPS) & emergency communications policy options/DHS
Incentives for private sector risk mitigation investment in the U.S. telecommunications sector (jointly with Wharton Business School)/DHS
Analysis of Space-based Radar (SBR) applications for U.S. homeland security/DHS
Analytical and program support related to foreign ownership, control and influence over U.S. critical infrastructure for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)/DHS
China’s Information Warfare Threat to U.S. Critical Infrastructure/DHS
Assessment of sovereign state funding for the global spread of radical Islam / State Dept.
Briefing: Tablighi Jamaat: Gateway Group to Radical Islam /Department of Justice
Briefing on Muslim Brotherhood: Networks, Denial & Deception /FBI & DOJ
Analytic and Investigative support re Emerging Trends & International Terrorism/DHS
Support relating to various terror finance networks and investigations/ DHS, DOJ, DOD and others
Biosurveillance and pandemics
Support & design for various bio-surveillance & modeling initiatives /DHS
Support of U.S. strategy and response for Avian flu pandemic and other bio-threats/DHS
Future Global Shocks: Pandemics/DHS&OECD
East Asian Security
Cyber Warfare Challenges and the Increasing Use of American and European Dual-Use Technology for Military Purposes by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) /US Congress
Studies, briefings and training materials relating to East Asian security issues/CIA, DNI
Open-source analysis of PRC military modernizations /House Armed Services Committee
PRC Foreign Military Acquisitions & Military–Technical Cooperation/US China Economic & Security Review Commission
Global Issues: Transnational Organized Crime, Terrorism, State Failure
Iran in Latin America/various US agencies
Terrorist-Criminal Pipelines and Criminalized States: Emerging Alliances/NDU, DOD, DOS
Organized Crime in El Salvador: The Homegrown and Transnational Dimensions/Wilson Center
Transnational Crime, Social Networks and Forests: Using natural resources to finance conflicts and post-conflict violence/ World Bank
Ungoverned Spaces/various US agencies
Wargames addressing various regions and topics for: Asymmetrical Warfare Operations Group, Office of Net Assessment, SOCOM/Southcom/USMC, National Defense University, and others
Study on Mexican Bulk Cash Shipments/Homeland Security Institute/CNE
FARC and Insurgencies in Latin America/US Air Force Special Operations School
Briefing on Victor Bout network/DEA
Briefing on Cooperative Border Security Program/National Nuclear Security Administration
Panelist and peer review on Transnational Criminal Organization/USDOJ