From aspiring priest, to atheist, to Muslim
I spent most of my life intending to be a Catholic priest and preparing for that vocation through rigorous study of Christian theology, scriptural exegesis and “higher criticism” of the Bible. However, following a crisis of faith, I abandoned this calling.
The next several years were spent wandering—managing enterprises in the private sector, attending community college off and on. Throughout this period, I continued to explore the questions raised by theology—albeit in a secular context—through an intensive private study in continental philosophy and critical theory.
At the time, I considered myself an atheist. And I zealously tried to prove my unbelief through my lifestyle. However, I struggled to truly internalize atheism: fundamentally, I was a believer. This insight was the beginning of a journey which culminated with my conversion to Islam, and a renewed sense of purpose.
From anti-philosophy to experimental philosophy
Attempting to capitalize on my now-deep background in philosophy, I enrolled in a program at the University of Arizona—at the time, ranked among the best in the world in the discipline. Initially, I was an odd fit: my intellectual foundations were theology and continental philosophy; towards the end of my studies I had developed a deep affinity with the anti-philosophies of Lev Shestov, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. The U of A, meanwhile, is rooted firmly in the American analytic tradition.
I felt uncomfortable in the academic realm overall: I came from a military family and a military community, I had years of private-sector experience under my belt, I was a good decade older than most students, I had started a family, I came from a community college, I was black, Muslim and allergic to idealism, utopianism, and positivism. These life experiences and perspectives were alien to most in the Ivory Tower, and they were certainly not well-represented in my department.
Nonetheless, my tenure at the U of A was transformative: while I remain deeply skeptical of many of the methods and axioms of analytic philosophy, I evolved into a pragmatist, inspired by William James, Michael Polanyi, Thomas Kuhn and Richard Rorty. Then, under the tutelage of my thesis chair, I emerged from the program as an experimental philosopher.
The “ex-phi” movement is premised on the idea that many philosophical questions can be explored through empirical investigation rather than relying primarily (or exclusively) on logical arguments, counterfactuals, abstract models, or intuitions. Those theories which are testable should be tested—and at the very least, philosophical positions should be informed and constrained by empirical realities. In pursuit of this ideal, experimental philosophers establish a firm foundation in, and try to remain current on, scientific literature and social science research relevant for the questions they want to explore.
From theory to practice
I was also shaped by the death of my twin brother–killed in June 2010 while deployed with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. This was devastating in its own right, but compounded by the reality that the military campaign which claimed his life has been an abject failure relative to its initial goals.
Up until that time, I had been largely removed from politics, gravitating towards what I perceived as “higher” pursuits (questions related to teleology, phenomenology, metaphysics, etc.). However, this tragedy drove home the profound impact that policy decisions can have on people, and I resolved that regardless of the outcome of the particular war he fought in, my brother’s sacrifice would not be in vain. My lifelong desire for service, which I initially planned on realizing through the vocation of priesthood, was turned towards the ends of improving U.S. national security and foreign policy–particularly through the study of epistemology:
Both of my parents had been involved in military intelligence–and indeed, I was raised in the community surrounding the U.S. Army’s principal intelligence base. As a result, I had long been sensitive to problems related to knowledge and uncertainty in the political and tactical spheres. The work of F.A. Hayek and Nassim Nicholas Taleb both underscored the practical significance of these issues and pointed towards viable adaptations.
However, in order to better understand the particular challenges faced with regards to national security and foreign policy, I pursued a simultaneous B.A. in Near Eastern Studies, and became involved with an academic consortium (SISMEC) which united academics, combat veterans and refugees/ expatriates from war-affected areas for the sake of fostering greater public understanding and community engagement on issues related to war, terrorism and social unrest in the greater Middle East. Upon graduation, I began teaching courses on national security policy and foreign relations for the Department of Government and Public Service at the University of Arizona’s South Campus. And now, I am continuing my applied research as a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in Sociology at Columbia University.
From treatises to op-eds
Over the course of this journey, I have come to believe that theory gains value primarily through its implications and applications for real-world contexts—in particular, by addressing the problems ordinary people struggle with in their daily lives, and the issues they care about. As a result, my academic research is collaborative and interdisciplinary, with an eye towards application, published near-exclusively in open-access and policy journals.
However, in order to ensure that my work was not only useful in principle, but impactful in practice, I also recognized a need to connect directly with the public and policymakers. I honed my abilities to convey important ideas in a concise, accessible and compelling manner—and eventually, began to publish in popular outlets across the political spectrum including The Atlantic, Al-Jazeera, The Conversation, Times Higher Education, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Quartz, The Observer, Salon, AlterNet, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, The National Interest, MarketWatch and The American Conservative.
My research has subsequently been highlighted in dossiers by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. Army War College, the Combatting Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point, and Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education. Work has been cited in textbooks and journal articles, and featured by the Woodrow Wilson Institute, the Brookings Institute, the New America Foundation, RAND Corporation, and in popular outlets such as Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine. I am also regularly tapped for print, radio and television interviews–both in the U.S. and abroad–to include spots with China’s Global Times, Egypt’s Al-Ahram, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Voice of Russia, RT America, Newsmax, Voice of America, and Agence France-Presse (AFP).
2017 Master of Arts: Sociology (Columbia University)
2013 Master of Arts: Philosophy (University of Arizona)
- Thesis: “Building on Nietzsche’s Prelude: Reforming Epistemology for the Philosophy of the Future”
(Chair: Dr. Jonathan Weinberg; Advisors: Dr. Marga Reimer, Dr. Stewart Cohen).
2012 Bachelor of Arts: Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy (University of Arizona)
- Distinctions: Magna Cum Laude, Honors
- Capstone Thesis NES: “The Fundamentals of Fundamentalism: A Deconstruction”
(Advisor: Dr. Yaseen Noorani)
- Capstone Thesis PHIL: “Beyond Will & Representation: The Incoherence of the Philoveritors”
(Advisor: Dr. Marga Reimer)
2009 Associate of Arts: Philosophy (Cochise College)
- Distinctions: Honors
- Capstone Thesis: “Philosophical Reflections on Christ & America”
(Advisor: Myron Jaworsky)
2017-Present Teaching Assistant: Sociology (Columbia University)
- SOCI UN3324: Global Urbanism
2014-5 Instructor: Government & Public Service (University of Arizona South)
- GPSV 314: National Security Policy
- GPSV 341: International Organizations
- GPSV 397A: Negotiation Workshop (T.A.)
2011-3 Teaching Assistant: Philosophy (University of Arizona)
- PHIL 160D: Mind, Matter & God
- PHIL 233: Philosophy of Religion
- PHIL 263: Medieval Philosophy
- PHIL 344: Issues and Methods in Analytic Philosophy
- PHIL 347: Neuroethics
- PHIL 463/ 563: Philosophy of Language
2016-Present Research Associate: Heterodox Academy (HxA)
2012-6 Managing Editor: Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts (SISMEC)
2012-3 Outreach Scholar: UA Center for Mideast Studies (CMES)
2008-9 President: Cochise College Philosophy Club
2007-8 Vice-President: Cochise College Cineaste Film Circle
2016-21 Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellowship (Columbia University)
2016-7 Provost Diversity Fellowship (Columbia University)
2012-3 Graduate Access Fellowship (University of Arizona)
2011-2 FLAS Fellowship (Arabic, Modern Middle East)
2017 Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) Advanced Studies Summer Scholarship
2012-3 AZ Scholars Graduate Tuition Award
2011-2 Fred & Ida McCormick Scholarship
2010-2 Pell Grant
2010-1 Magellan Circle Scholarship
2008-9 CC Faculty-Student Research Scholarship
2005-6 CC Division Study Grant
2004-5 CC Honor’s Program Scholarship
2003-4 CC Division Study Grant
Scholars Strategy Network (SSN)
American Sociological Association (ASA)
National Communication Association (NCA)
Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
- “From Political Liberalism to Para-Liberalism.” Comparative Philosophy, Vol. VII, No. 2 (Fall 2016).
- “The Case for an Unprincipled Foreign Policy.” The Wilson Quarterly, Vol. XXXIX, No. 3 (Summer 2015).
- “Syria, Contextualized: The Numbers Game.” Middle East Policy, Vol. XX, No. 4 (Spring 2013).
- Building on Nietzsche’s Prelude: Reforming Epistemology for the Philosophy of the Future. Universal Publishers, 2013.
Citations: Textbooks & Journals
“There is No Social Change Without Coercion” cited in:
Alpert, Avram. “Philosophy Against and in Praise of Violence: Kant, Thoreau and the Revolutionary Spectator.” Theory, Culture & Society. DOI:10.1177/0263276416651976 (see page 16).
“Why America Lacks Credibility in the Middle East” cited in:
Hoehn, Andrew R. et al. Strategic Choices for a Turbulent World: In Pursuit of Security and Opportunity. RAND Corporation, 2017 (see note 18).
Al-Majdhoub, Fatima M. & Azizah Hamzah. “Framing the Islamic State: A Content Analysis of News Coverage by CNN & Al-Jazeera.” Malaysian Journal of Communication. Vol. 32, No. 1 (see page 356).
Sourgens, Frederic G. “The End of Law: The ISIL Case Study for a Comprehensive Theory of Lawlessness.” Fordham International Law Journal. Vol. 39, No. 2 (see note 247).
Ghanem, As’ad & Dan A. Bavly. “Seeking an Egalitarian State in Palestine/Israel: The Recent Debate about Binationalism.” Constellations. Vol. 23, No. 3 (see note 53).
de Martino, Claudia. The New Israeli Order: Beyond the Two-State Paradigm. Castelvecchi, 2017 (see note 49).
“Mexican Drug Cartels Are Worse Than ISIL” cited in:
Bellal, Annyssa. “Beyond the Pale? Engaging the Islamic State on International Humanitarian Law.” Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. Vol. 18 (see note 112).
Braham, Persephone. “True-Crime, Crime Fiction and Journalism in Mexico.” In Globalization and the State in Contemporary Crime Fiction. Palgrave MacMillan, 2016 (see page 122).
Garcia, Jose A. “Review: Robert J. Bunker & John P. Sullivan (Eds.), Studies in Gangs and Cartels.” Journal of International Relations Research. Vol. 5 (see note 55).
McNeal, Kelley. “Contextualizing Global Media Literacy in the Standards-Based Classroom: Moving Beyond the Culture of the Dichotomous ‘Like.’” In Global Media Literacy in the Digital Age: Teaching Beyond the Borders (16). Peter Lang Publishing Inc., 2015 (see p. 135-6).
Zelizer, Barbie. “Cold War Redux and the News: Islamic State and the U.S. Through Each-Other’s Eyes.” Critical Studies in Media Communication. Vol. 35, No. 1 (see page 18).
ibid. “Journalism’s Deep Memory: Cold War Mindedness and Coverage of Islamic State.” International Journal of Communication. Vol. 10 (see p. 6077).
“The Myth and Reality of Sectarianism in Iraq” cited in:
Blatt, Charlotte. “Operational Success, Strategic Failure: Assessing the 2007 Iraq Troop Surge.” Parameters (the U.S. Army War College Quarterly). Vol. 47, No. 1 (see note 20).
DeBrabander, Ludo. “Violent Jihadism and the International Chessboard.” In The Lure of I.S.: Syrian Fighters and (de) Radicalization. Pelckmans, 2015 (see page 79).
Fernando, Alberto M. “Here to Stay and Growing: Combatting ISIS Propaganda Networks.” Brookings Project on U.S. Relations in the Islamic World (see note 26).
Karagiannis, Emmanuel. The New Political Islam: Human Rights, Democracy and Justice. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017 (see Chapter 5, note 9 & Chapter 6, note 14).
Proctor, Keith & Beza Tesfaye. “Investing in Iraq’s Peace: How Good Governance Can Diminish Support for Violent Extremism.” Mercy Corps, December 2015 (see notes 19, 20).
Gray, Gavin. “The Manichaean Worldview: Japanese Foreign Policy and the Danger of Dualistic Interpretations of International Affairs.” Journal of Osaka Jogakuin University. Vol. 11 : pp. 81-102 (see note 66).
Robinson, Glenn E. “Gaza 2014: Hamas’ Strategic Calculus.” Parameters (the U.S. Army War College Quarterly). Vol. 44, No. 4 (see note 29).
“Red Lines Drawn with Syrian Blood” cited in:
Ryan, David & David Fitzgerald. Obama, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Dilemmas of Intervention. Palgrave Pivot, 2014 (see pg. 125).
Khalifa, Sherif. Egypt’s Lost Spring: Causes and Consequences. Prager, 2014 (see chapter 19, note 22).
Movkebayeva, A. & А. Reshetnyak. “The Middle East Democratization Policy of the U.S.: from the Suez Crisis to the Arab Spring.” Bulletin of Kyrgyz National University: Series on International Relations & International Law. Vol. 69, No. 1 (see note 10).
“Syria Contextualized: The Numbers Game” cited in:
Barany, Zoltan. “General Failure in Syria.” Foreign Affairs, 17 July 2013.
ibid. How Armies Respond to Revolutions and Why. Princeton University Press, 2016 (see Chapter 5, notes 105 & 109).
Demir, Imran. Overconfidence and Risk Taking in Foreign Policy Decision Making. Palgrave MacMillan, 2017 (see chapter 5, note 90).
Dixon, Paul. “‘Endless Wars of Altruism?’ Human Rights, Humanitarianism and the Syrian War.” International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 21 (see note 80).
Hastings, Tom H. A New Era of Non-Violence: The Power of Civil Society Over War. McFarland, 2014 (see pp. 24, 25, 65, 76).
Lee, Jong-Taek. “The Prospect of Resolving the Syrian Civil War.” Middle East Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2: pp. 1-34 (see p. 27).
Monshipouri, Mahmood & Erich Weiger. “Syria: The Hopes and Challenges of Mediation.” Insight Turkey. Vol. 16, No. 2: pp. 149-65 (see note 11).
Rodriguez, Enrique. “The Use of Chemical Weapons in Ghouta and the Geopolitics of the Syrian Conflict.” Syria in the Whirlwind: Insurrection, War and Geopolitics. El Colegio de Mexico Press, 2017.
Ruggiero, Luca. “Renewable Energy and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership after the ‘Arab Spring.’” Bollettino Della Societa Geographica Italiana. Series 13, Vol. 7: pp. 359-73 (see p. 360).
ibid. “The Role of Hydrocarbons in the Geopolitical Scenarios of Euro-Mediterranean Energy Security after the ‘Arab Spring.’” Revista Geografica Italiana. Vol. 122, No. 1: pp. 51-66
Scholz, Norbert. “Literature on Arab and Middle Eastern Politics.” Journal of Palestine Studies. Vol. 43, No. 1: pp. 1-16 (see page 6).
Simons, Greg. “The Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations in Knowledge Management of Conflicts.” Journal of Public Administration (Russia). Vol. 64: pp. 362-76 (see note 33).
Sorenson, David S. Introduction to the Modern Middle East: History, Religion, Political Economy, Politics. Westview Press, 2013 (see chapter 12, note 32, p. 491).
Stenge, Csaba B. “Radical Islamic Foreign Fighters in the Syrian Civil War.” Defense Review (the journal of the Hungarian Army). Vol. 142, No.5: pp. 26-44 (see p. 44; English-language abstract available on p. 162).
Tasopoulos, Ilias. “Religious Minorities in Turbulent Periods: The Recurring Dilemma for Christians in the Middle East.” Hemispheres. Vol. 29, No. 3: pp. 71-84 (see note 20).
Tinnes, Judith. “Literature on the Conflict in Syria: 2011- November 2013.” Perspectives on Terrorism. Vol. 7, No. 6: pp. 137-165 (see p. 140).
Zambelis, Chris. “Syria’s Sunnis and the Regime’s Resilience.” CTC Sentinel (a publication of the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point). Vol. 8, Issue 5 (see note 24, p.8).
February 22: “Want to Change Attitudes About Affirmative Action? Look to Cultural Cognition and Moral Psychology” (to be) presented at the 2018 Eastern Sociological Society (ESS) conference.
January 20: “Al-Qaeda and ISIS as Mirrors to the West” (to be) presented at the workshop, “Is there an After 9/11? Terrorism, Threats, Challenges and Responses” hosted by the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UC Santa Barbara.
November 21: “Interpreting Narratives of ISIS’ Western Sympathizers” presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).
October 14: “Social Research in the Age of Trump” presented at the 2017 Institute for Humane Studies Fall Research Colloquium.
September 27: “A Lack of Ideological Diversity is Killing Social Research” presented at the Times Higher Education U.S. Student Success Forum 2017.
November 12: “Al-Qaeda in the American Consciousness” presented at the 102nd Annual Conference for the National Communication Association.
February 26: “Who Joins ISIS (and Why)?” delivered at “Security Populisms & Insecure Transmissions: Global Security Workshop,” hosted by the Orfalea Center for Global Studies at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).
March 28: “Five U.S. Policies That Contributed to the Rise of ISIS (And are now being rehashed to combat them)” delivered at the 15th Annual Conference in Middle East and North African Studies, hosted by UA MENA Graduate Student Organization.
April 11: “From the Numbers Game to the End Game in Syria,” delivered at the 14th Annual Conference in Middle East and North African Studies, hosted by UA MENA Graduate Student Organization.
September 27: “Contextualizing Justice and the Good,” delivered at the 2nd Annual Saguaro Symposium on Governance hosted by the UA School of Government and Public Policy.
September 25: “Obstacles to a Negotiated End to the Crisis in Syria” delivered to a community discussion group at Trinity Presbyterian Church on behalf of the UA Center for Middle East Studies.
February 28: “A Primer on Mali” presented at the Cinema Africa Village of Nations Culture Celebration hosted by the US Army Culture Center in conjunction with UA South, Cochise College, and the Sierra Vista Public Library.
February 14: “Getting to the Facts of the Syrian Civil War,” delivered to a Voyager RV Senior Citizen Community on behalf of the UA Center for Middle East Studies.
November 9: “Hume& Kierkegaard: The Limitations of Rationalism and Empiricism & the Nature of Faith,” a guest lecture for PHIL 233: Philosophy of Religion
November 3: “Introduction to the Arab Spring” delivered as part of the workshop, “War, Conflict Resolution, and Reconstruction in the Modern Middle East,” on behalf of the UA Center for Middle East Studies.
October 27:“A Survey of the People, Languages, Religions, and Cultures of the Greater Middle East” delivered as part of the workshop, “War, Conflict Resolution, and Reconstruction in the Modern Middle East,” on behalf of the UA Center for Middle East Studies.
October 26: “Diplomacy, Geopolitics, and the Syrian Civil War” presented at the “Syria Bleeds” panel hosted by UA STAND.
October 12: “Inductive v. Deductive Reasoning: Terms & Methods,” a series of guest-lectures for three discussion-sections of PHIL 110: Logic and Critical Thinking
September 28: “Against Ethics,” presented at the 1st Annual Saguaro Symposium on Institutions hosted by the UA School of Government and Public Policy.
April 23: “The Arab SpringTM: All Rights Reserved” presented at the “Ripple Effects of the Arab Spring” panel, hosted by SISMEC and the UA School of Mideast& North Africa Studies.
November 4: “Philosophical Reflections on Christ and America: How Would Jesus Vote?” presented in the 2011 Student Showcase at the University of Arizona.
October 21: “Four Iterations of the Problem of Evil,” a guest lecture for PHIL 233: Philosophy of Religion
Citations: Mainstream Media Outlets/ Books
“Trump Will Likely Win Reelection in 2020” cited in:
Brady, Conor. “A Rough Ride Ahead with Trump as Default Driver.” The Times of London, 5 November 2017.
Lewis, Kevin. “Any Given Tuesday.” National Affairs, 3 November 2017.
Gill, John. “Does the Academy Risk Being Left Behind?” Times Higher Education, 27 April 2017.
Tuccille, J.D. “College Isn’t Higher Education and May No Longer Be the Best Way to Deliver the Goods.” Reason, 26 September 2017.
Edsall, Thomas. “Donald Trump’s Political Stew.” New York Times, 9 March 2017.
Sainato, Michael. “Election Exit Polls: Democrats Have Been Losing Support in Every Voter Demographic.” The Observer, 7 March 2017.
“Why Aren’t There More Black Republicans?” cited in:
King, Colbert. “The Decline of the Black Republican.” The Washington Post, 2 September 2016.
“There Is No Social Change Without Coercion” cited in:
Taranto, James. “Free Speech Aside.” Wall Street Journal, 5 May 2015.
Allemand, Andres. “La barbarie sans limite, arme tactique de Daech.” Tribune de Geneve, 6 March 2015.
Werleman, C.J. The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremism. Dangerous Little Books, 2015 (see chapter 11, note 5).
“Mexican Drug Cartels Are Worse Than ISIL” cited in:
“Los carteles narcotraficantes mexicanos son peores que el Estado Islámico.” RT Actualidad, 21 October 2014.
Haltiwanger, John. “The Mexican Drug War Has Killed More Americans Than ISIS or Ebola Ever Could.” Elite Daily, 21 October 2014.
Huck, Peter. “The Heart of Darkness of Mexico’s Drug War.” New Zealand Herald, 21 March 2015.
José, Coleen. “What the U.S. Should Be Fighting Instead of ISIS.” Mic, 5 November 2014.
Paulmarthoz, Jean. “La danse macabre des caciques et des califes.” Le Soir, 10 November 2014.
Porter, Tom. “Figures Show That Mexican Drug Cartels Eclipse ISIS in Violence.” International Business Times, 24 October 2014.
Pugliese, David. “Are Mexican Drug Cartels Worse Than ISIL?” Ottawa Citizen, 17 November 2014.
Schut, Bart. “Mexicaanse drugskartels: erger dan IS.” Jalta, 15 November 2014.
Sullivan, Andrew. “ISIS on the Rio Grande?” The Dish, 29 October 2014.
Wilson, Michael. “Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Violence in Mexico.” Buzzfeed, 27 October 2014.
Webb, Brandon with Jack Murphy & Peter Nealen. The ISIS Solution: How Unconventional Thinking and Special Operations Can Eliminate Radical Islam. St. Martin’s Press, 2014 (see note 33).
“The Myth and Reality of Sectarianism in Iraq” cited in:
Khatlani, Sameer. “In defeat of I.S., a significant compliment for Iraq national unity.” Indian Express, 11 August 2017.
Research on failed efforts to support Syrian rebels cited in:
Lenz, Devin. “Syrian Rebels in Dire Need of Support.” Duluth News Tribune, 26 January 2016.
Husein, Harun. “Alasan Ini yang Jadikan Israel Serang Jalur Gaza.” Republika Online, 12 August 2014.
Vion-Dury, Philippe. “Le Hamas responsable de la mort des trois ados israéliens ? Plus si sûr.” Rue 89, 27 July 2014.
Zavadski, Katie. “It Turns Out Hamas May Not Have Kidnapped and Killed the 3 Israeli Teens After All.” New York Magazine, 25 July 2014.
“The Ill-Considered Debate About Drones” cited in:
Saeed, Sana. “6 Victims of US Drone Attacks The Government Thinks Aren’t Really Worth Talking About.” Buzzfeed, 16 January 2014.
“The Endgame in Syria/ Ending the Games in Syria” cited in:
Hirthler, Jason. The Sins of Empire: Unmasking American Imperialism. CreateSpace, 2015 (see page 70).
12/13/2015 interviewed by Cecily Hillary for Voice of America, “Experts Mull Options for Dealing with I.S.“
9/21/2015 quoted in Newsmax article, “CAIR Official on Carson: ‘Most Anti-American Statement I’ve Ever Heard,” by Joe Schaeffer.
6/11/2015 interviewed by Chantal Valery for Agence France-Presse (AFP) articles, “La policía de EEUU, cuestionada por múltiples casos de agresiones a negros” & “Etats-Unis: avec la multiplication des bavures, le pays a mal à sa police“
4/23/2015 interviewed by Jordan Olmstead for Your Middle East article, “What Iraqi and Western leaders are neglecting in the fight against ISIL.”
3/11/2015 interviewed by Sarah Olsson for the Swedish newspaper Fria Tidningnar, “Pressade terrorgrupper ingår allians“
12/22/2014 interviewed by Sarah Olsson for the Swedish newspaper Fria Tidningnar, “Forskare: IS spelar på Västs paranoida rädsla“
10/4/2014 interviewed by Cecily Hilleary for Voice of America, “The ISIS/ISIL Debate: What’s in a Name?“
7/26/2015 interviewed about the New America Foundation report on right-wing terror on “The Deen Show” w/ Eddie Redzovic
5/13/2015 interviewed about Pamela Gellar and attacks in Garland, TX on “The Hard Line w/ Ed Berliner,” Newsmax TV.
3/26/2015 interviewed about the crisis in Yemen on RT America newscast; 1PM MST
11/14/2014 interviewed about Al-Jazeera article, “Obama Must Abandon Failed Strategies in Syria and Ukraine” on RT (Russia Today) newscast; 2pm MST
5/22/2017 Analysis of Donald Trump’s reelection prospects featured in the “Got Your Attention” podcast, Episode 21 (ATTN:)
5/15/2017 “World In Focus” w/ Jack Foster & Carolyn Scott (Sputnik UK): On the prospects of Donald Trump getting impeached.
4/19/2017 “The Matt Townsend Show” w/ Matt Townsend (Sirus XM): On the Democratic Party’s potential demographic crisis.
3/27/2016 “No Lies Radio” w/ Dr. Kevin Barret (KPFK 90.7FM: Los Angeles, CA): On the 2016 election, Clinton v. Trump
1/11/2016 “The John McComb Show” w/ John McComb (CKNW 980: Vancouver, Canada): On the Oregon standoff and the definition of terrorism.
1/6/2016 “Prime Talk” w/ Hassen Seria (Radio 786: Cape Town, South Africa): On heightened tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran following the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
5/27/2015 “News, Reviews, Analysis” w/ Tashreeq Truebody (Radio 786: Cape Town, South Africa): On how U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia and Turkey contributed to the rise of ISIS.
5/24/2015 “Let Your Voice Be Heard” w/ Selena Hill (WHCR 90.3: NYC, New York): On how U.S. policies contributed to the rise of ISIS
3/29/2015 “Let Your Voice Be Heard” w/ Selena Hill (WHCR 90.3: NYC, New York): On the crisis in Yemen and the Saudi intervention
3/18/2015 “Prime Talk” w/ Hassen Seria (Radio 786: Cape Town, South Africa): On the Syrian Uprising’s 4th Anniversary
2/26/2015 “The Scott Horton Show” w/ Scott Horton (KPFK 90.7FM: Los Angeles, CA): On ISIS strategic logic (II)
10/2/2014 “The Scott Horton Show” w/ Scott Horton (KPFK 90.7FM: Los Angeles, CA): On ISIS’ strategic logic
6/2/2014 “News, Reviews, Analysis” w/ Tashreeq Truebody (Radio 786: Cape Town, South Africa): On the presidential elections in Syria
5/20/2014 “American Edition” w/ Crystal Park (Voice of Russia): On the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons and the trajectory of the conflict
4/5/2014 “Erskine Overnight” w/ Erskine (KFNN: Phoenix, AZ): The Erdogan Administration’s leaked plans for intervention in Syria
3/5/2014 “Prime Talk” w/ Hassen Seria (Radio 786: Cape Town, South Africa): On the revolutions in Venezuela, Ukraine and the Middle East.
2/24/2014 “News & Views” w/ Mehran Derakhshandeh (Iran English Radio, Tehran): On the dissolution of Egypt’s interim government and the future of democracy in Egypt.
2/5/2014 “Prime Talk” w/ Hassen Seria (Radio 786: Cape Town, South Africa): On the Geneva II peace conference on Syria.
1/27/2014 “News & Views” w/ Mehran Derakhshandeh (Iran English Radio, Tehran): On the Geneva II peace conference on Syria.
12/7/2013 “The Mike Feder Show” w/ Mike Feder (Sirius XM 127): On the efficacy of the U.S. drone program
10/2/2013 “News & Views” w/ Mehran Derakhshandeh (Iran English Radio, Tehran): On Israeli settlement expansion and the Israel-Palestine Peace Process
9/17/2013 “American Edition” w/ Crystal Park (Voice of Russia): On the U.N inquiry into the Ghouta chemical attacks in Syria
9/17/2013 “News & Views” w/ Mehran Derakhshandeh (Iran English Radio, Tehran): On the prospects of a U.S. strike on Syria
9/16/2013 “Stonybrook Radio” w/ Morton Mecklosky (WUSB: Long Island, NY): On the prospects of a U.S. strike on Syria
9/11/2013 “The Morning Mix” w/ Anthony Fest (KPFA: San Francisco, CA): On the prospects of a U.S. strike on Syria
9/10/2013 “American Edition” w/ Rob Sachs (Voice of Russia): On the prospects of a U.S. strike on Syria
9/9/2013 “Flashpoints” w/Kevin Pena (KPFA: Berkley, CA): On the prospects of a U.S. strike on Syria
9/8/2013 “Erskine Overnight” w/ Erskine (KFNN: Phoenix, AZ): On the prospects of a U.S. strike on Syria
9/4/2013 “Arab Voices” w/ Said Fattouh (KPFT: Houston, TX): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria
9/4/2013 “Up Front” w/ Brian Edwards-Tiekert (KPFA: Berkley, CA): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria
9/3/2013 “Uprising Radio” w/ Sonali Kolhatkar (KPFK: Los Angeles, CA): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria
9/2/2013 “Flashpoints” w/ Kevin Pena (KPFA: Berkley, CA): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria; on the political turmoil in Egypt.
9/2/2013 “This Morning” w/ Emily Crooks (Nationwide Radio, Jamaica): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria
9/1/2013 “Progressive News Talk” w/ Pat Thurston (KGO: San Francisco, CA): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria
8/31/2013 “Sounds of Dissent” w/ John Grebe (WZBC: Boston, MA): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria
8/30/2013 “Hard Knock Radio” w/ Anita Johnson (KPFA: Berkley, CA): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria
8/29/2013 “Cliff Kelley Show” w/ Cliff Kelley (WVON: Chicago, IL): On the chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria
Featured In: Policy Forums
Dingwall, Robert. “In Search of Conservative Sociology.” Social Science Space, 4 April 2017.
“Mexican Drug Cartels Are Worse Than ISIL” cited in:
Gusterson, Hugh. “ISIS vs. Ebola.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 23 October 2014.
“Syria Contextualized: The Numbers Game” cited in:
“United States Policy Towards Syria.” U.S. Department of State, 1 November 2013.
“United States Policy Towards the Middle East.” U.S. Department of State, 9 July 2013.
11/3/2017 “The Democratic Party is Facing a Demographic Crisis” featured in Bookforum’s Omnivore report, “The Democratic Civil War is Getting Nasty.”
3/15/2017 “The Democratic Party is Facing a Demographic Crisis” featured by the College Republican National Committee.
9/2/2015 “The Case for an Unprincipled Foreign Policy” featured in Bookforum‘s Omnivore report, “How to Speak Foreign Policy.”
5/1/2015 “The Iran Nuclear Threat is a Myth” featured in Just Security weekly news roundup.
3/24/2015 “Netanyahu’s Politics of Fear Have Worked” featured in CTBTO Preparatory Commission news roundup
3/14/2015 “CIA Drone Campaign Demonstrates Need for Greater Oversight, Accountability” featured by CAGE.
1/6/2015 “President Obama, Normalize Relations with Iran” featured in CTBTO Preparatory Commission news roundup
10/21/2014 “Mexican Drug Cartels Are Worse Than ISIL,” featured by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute.
10/21/2014 “Mexican Drug Cartels Are Worse Than ISIL,” featured by Truthdig.
8/19/2014 “Is Hamas Really to Blame for the Conflict in Gaza” featured by Hong Kong’s The Glocal.
8/18/2014 “The Myth and Reality of Sectarianism in Iraq” featured in The Daily Brief for Iraq Oil Report.
12/3/2013 “The Ill-Considered Debate on Drones” featured by the New America Foundation.
8/14/2013 “The Next Phase of the Egyptian Revolution” featured in a dossier on Islamic States by Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education
8/8/2013 “The Next Phase of the Egyptian Revolution” featured in news bulletin by The Observatory on Militarization (IMI)
7/29/2013 “Al-Qaeda’s Renaissance: The Arab Spring & the New Mujahadeen,” featured in a dossier on Terrorism by Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education.
7/27/2013 “Al-Qaeda’s Renaissance: The Arab Spring & the New Mujahadeen,” featured in From the Potomac to the Euphrates, by the US Council on Foreign Relations
12/5/2012 “Watch the Thrones: The Arab Spring’s Third Wave,” featured in a dossier on The Middle East & Maghreb by Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education.
Foreign Policy, ‘Democracy Lab’
Real Clear World
5/16/2017 “Trump Will Likely Win Reelection in 2020”
3/3/2017 “The Democratic Party is Facing a Demographic Crisis”
8/13/2015 “How America Failed Afghan Women”
6/4/2015 “The Case for an Unprincipled Foreign Policy”
3/10/2015 “Why We Reject Facts and Embrace Conflict”
1/6/2015 “President Obama, Normalize Relations with Iran”
10/26/2014 “Mexican Drug Cartels Are Worse Than ISIL”
4/8/2014 “Can Libya Stay Together?”
War on the Rocks
War in Context
12/9/2015 “To Defeat ISIS, Embrace Refugees”
8/13/2015 “How America Failed Afghan Women”
6/2/2015 “The Case for an Unprincipled Foreign Policy”
3/17/2015 “The Islamic State’s Supposed Theology”
9/23/2014 “Airstrikes in Syria: A Decisive Blow or an Ominous Precedent?”
7/22/2014 “Israel, Not Hamas, Orchestrated the Latest Round of Conflict”