SEST-671 National Security Critical Issue Task Force
Spring for 2017-2018
Rollie Flynn, Jeffrey Connor
This third iteration of the SSP National Security Critical Issue Task Force (NSCITF) will be a
joint effort with the Department of State’s Global Engagement Center and the School of Foreign
Service’s Security Studies Program. The purpose of the NSCITF is to bring together the talents
of a group of graduate students to develop an actionable report that has real world value and to
deliver that report to senior DoS leaders.
If you are interested in the work of the 2015 Task Force on Lone Wolf Terrorism, the findings
were published by the Georgetown Security Studies Review. The 2016 Task Force report on
Countering Violent Extremism is currently in the process of being finalized for publication by
From the perspective of the student participant in the Task Force the value is to have an intensive
opportunity to work within a Task Force structure, to analyze a current critical national
security issue for the DoS, and to produce a report that can have real effect. This year the Task
Force will focus on ISIL and the Digital Caliphate. Specifically we will address the question:
How can the Department of State - Global Engagement Center prepare for a possible emergence
of a “Digital Caliphate?"
From the technology perspective - which platforms and communication channels
are going to be crucial? Are there technical counter-messaging solutions?
What makes a messenger and the message credible?
Who are the credible online counter-violent extremism voices and how do we engage
them to win the fight against violent extremism?
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: