Conflict Studies Articles of the Month: August 2019

Michael Lortz
5 min readSep 5, 2019

The most interesting articles I read this month on conflicts. As usual, I am dividing conflict into Military, Economic, Diplomatic, Information, and Cyber (MEDIC).

Military Conflict

China’s Spies Are on the Offensive — The Atlantic, 8/26/2019

Good article on how the Chinese are recruiting American spies in person and online. The article goes in depth on Chinese strategy and methodologies in gaining information and intelligence.

Coercive Disclosure: Israel’s Weaponization of Intelligence — War on the Rocks, 8/30/2019

Interesting article on how Israel is using intelligence disclosures to influence the actions of Iran and Hezbollah. Israel is risking the long term effect of losing intelligence to the short term gain of getting their rivals’ attention. I really liked this line:

With states becoming ever more risk-averse, shying away from military use of force, coercive intelligence disclosures are demonstrating an ability to walk a tight rope between coercion and conflict.

Return and Expand? — The Finances and Prospects of the Islamic State After the Caliphate — RAND Studies, 7/2019

RAND reports are always informative and always well-written. This report covers the possibility of ISIS to reform and reengage their financial means to again become a threat to the Middle East and international norms. Stopping ISIS will require a blend of financial defenses and military operations.

Economic Conflict

“Crypto rogue” nations want to use blockchains to undermine the US dollar — MIT Technology Review, 8/1/2019

Great article on the efforts of Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and China to develop and establish alternative crypto currencies to avoid markets that use the US dollar. These nations are hoping to maintain their economies independent of the US system that has been established for over 70 years. If successful, they would operate outside of US jurisdiction and be able to make their own rules.

New global cryptocurrency system set to fight money laundering — Nikkei Asian Review, 8/9/2019

Michael Lortz

Writer. Analyst. Trainer. Author, Curveball at the Crossroads. Writing on Medium is a waste of time. Don't do it.