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The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association.
During this episode, Amb. Roger Carstens discusses the United States hostage recovery enterprise and how his office helps bring U.S. citizens home. After explaining the legislative landscape, Roger explains the differences between kidnapping, wrongful detention, and hostage scenario, as well as engagement with state compared to non-state actors. Roger also discusses today’s media landscape, weaponization of the international rules-based system, geopolitical dynamics, maneuver warfare, and a tech research agenda.
- Amb. Roger Carstens, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA)
- Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell
- National Security Council
- FACT SHEET: U.S. Government Hostage Policy
- Presidential Policy Directive 30 (PPD 30)
- Executive Order — Hostage Recovery Activities
- Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act
- We Want to Negotiate: The Secret World of Kidnapping, Hostages and Ransom by Joel Simon
- Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison – Solitary Confinement, a Sham Trial, High-Stakes Diplomacy, and the Extraordinary Efforts It Took to Get Me Out by Jason Rezaian
- The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
Roger D. Carstens is the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA) at the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Carstens was the former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State, where he oversaw the Bureau’s work in Near Eastern Affairs, Western Hemisphere Affairs, and the Office of Security and Human Rights. Previously, he served in Amman, Jordan, as the Country Director for a U.S.-based INGO that provided humanitarian assistance and stability support to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. Prior positions include Senior Civilian Advisor on the Commander’s Advisory and Assistance Team (CAAT) in Afghanistan; Project Director for an INGO based in Somalia; Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security; and Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Carstens is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who served in Special Forces and the 1st Ranger Battalion. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and holds master’s degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and St. John’s College.
About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.
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