Three Dangerous Men: Russia, China, Iran and the Rise of Irregular Warfare

Recorded the day before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, CHDS instructor and defense expert Dr. Seth Jones discusses the irregular threats to the United States that come from current Russian, Chinese, and Iranian foreign policy. Dr. Jones explains the various types of competition we are experiencing with these three nations and how those nations view the United States as their primary competitor. He goes into depth on Russian past operations in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and Syria and its current military posture around the world leading up to the recent Ukrainian invasion.

More from Seth Jones on this Topic:

Dr. Jones explores in depth the threat the U.S. homeland faces from China, Iran, and Russia in a new CHDS Self-study course, Threats from Nation States. The course is free, and access is granted to local, tribal, territorial, state, and federal U.S. government officials; members of the U.S. military; corporate homeland security managers or contractors; homeland security researchers or educators; and students currently enrolled in homeland security degree programs.

About the Speaker

Seth G. Jones is senior vice president, Harold Brown Chair, and director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He leads a bipartisan team of over 50 resident staff and an extensive network of non-resident affiliates dedicated to providing independent strategic insights and policy solutions that shape national security. He also teaches Comparative Government for Homeland Security at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Prior to joining CSIS, Dr. Jones was the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. He also served as representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the assistant secretary of defense for special operations. Before that, he was a plans officer and adviser to the commanding general, U.S. Special Operations Forces, in Afghanistan (Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command–Afghanistan). In 2014, he served on a congressionally mandated panel that reviewed the FBI’s implementation of counterterrorism recommendations contained in the 9/11 Commission Report. He specializes in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, and covert action, including a focus on al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. He has done field research and deployed with U.S. forces in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

Seth Jones is the author of Three Dangerous Men: Russia, China, Iran and the Rise of Irregular Warfare (W.W. Norton, 2021), A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland (W.W. Norton, 2018), Waging Insurgent Warfare: Lessons from the Vietcong to the Islamic State (Oxford University Press, 2016), Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa’ida after 9/11 (W.W. Norton, 2012), and In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (W.W. Norton, 2009). He has published articles in a range of journals, such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and International Security, as well as newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Jones is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

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