Muhammad Umer Bashir, Pakistan Army
Shawn Diniz ’18, Dickinson College
Margee Ensign, Dickinson College
Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob, Dickinson College
Casey Miner, United States Army
Yssouf Traore, Mali Army
ISIS and its affiliate organizations have recently suffered significant military losses in Syria, Iraq, North and West Africa as well as the broader Lake Chad Region. As important as these military achievements are, they signal neither the end of ISIS and its affiliates nor the defeat of their extremist ideologies. Instead, they usher in an increasingly diffuse and unpredictable phase in the global war on terror. This panel discussion explores how the United States, Pakistan, Mali and Nigeria have experienced and learned from the changing phases of extremism, focusing mainly on what has worked and what hasn’t.
This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues in collaboration with the Carlisle Scholars Program at the U.S. Army War College.
Biographies from our Panelists
Brigadier Muhammad Umer Bashir is an artillery officer in the Army of Pakistan. He has commanded at the Regiment and Brigade levels, and performed as an instructor at the Pakistan National Defence University and Command and Staff College. Brigadier Bashir deployed to Morocco as an United Nations peace keeper. He has completed the National Security and Warfare Course and Command and Staff Course. He has earned a master of philosophy in public policy and governance and a master of science in art and science of warfare. His recent deployments include planning, coordinating and conducting operations against terrorists, as well as rehabilitation of internally displaced persons and de-radicalization initiatives of Pakistan Army and affiliates.
Shawn Diniz ’18 is a senior at Dickinson College majoring in international studies (security studies concentration) and a minor in Spanish. This entails courses in national/international security, business management, and pressing world issues. Diniz is a member of the men’s varsity tennis team, of which he has been captain for the past two years. Diniz obtained two internships while at Dickinson; the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and Creative Associates International, a development contractor, in Washington D.C. These experiences coupled with his studies abroad at the University of Malaga, in southern Spain, help to enhance his worldview and aid in his assessment of geopolitical hotspots.
Margee Ensign became Dickinson’s 29th president on July 1, 2017. Prior to Dickinson she served for seven years as the president of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), a young, private university based on the U.S model of university education. There she oversaw the building of the sustainable campus, the creation of the finest digital library on the continent, the establishment of a law school as well as a graduate school, and a very active program of community engagement and humanitarian assistance. Pres. Ensign also co-founded the Adamawa Peace Initiative, a locally based response to the threat from Boko Haram violence, which successfully promoted peace in the area, and assisted close to 300,000 refugees for three years.
Pres. Ensign left her California home for New College in Florida where she received her B.A. in peace studies and international relations. She went on to earn her master’s and Ph.D. in international political economy from the University of Maryland. From there she proceeded to teach at Columbia University where she was an assistant professor of both economics and political science while serving as the director of the International Political Economy program. Moving to Washington DC, she assumed the role of director of the USAID’s development program through Tulane University, then diving into full-time university administration at the University of the Pacific where she was dean of the School of International Studies and associate provost for international initiatives.
The author and editor of four books, including Rwanda: History and Hope and Doing Good or Doing Well? Japan’s Foreign Aid Program, she has presented at the World Economic Forum, been interviewed multiple times by the BBC and CNN, written for The Washington Post, is a blogger for The Huffington Post, and has testified before Congress on international affairs, defense and foreign assistance.
Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob is a visiting international scholar in the international studies program of Dickinson College. His teaching and research interest is located at the intersection between communications, conflicts and peace building with particular reference to the Lake Chad Basin, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jacob visits Dickinson from the American University of Nigeria where he was chair of the Communications & Multimedia Design Program and interim dean in the School of Arts & Science. He has led the implementation of some very important donor-funded projects in support of peace building in North-East Nigeria and the Lake Chad region including a U.S. State Department-funded CVE project on peace journalism, involving training and working with a network of journalists, editors and influencers to facilitate a more nuanced media coverage of the Boko Haram insurgency. He is the author of Convincing Rebel Fighters to Disarm: UN Information Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DeGruyter 2017). Jacob earned his Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
Lieutenant Colonel Casey Miner, Ed.D., is an Army officer from Manhattan Beach, California, with over 27 years of service. He is currently a student at the Army War College in the Carlisle Scholars Program focusing on preventing violent extremism and youth identity. He recently completed an interagency fellowship with USAID where he served as the Kyrgyzstan desk officer, helped develop the Asia CVE strategy, and collaborated with the youth coordinator on the Strategic Youth security issues. Along with assignments in intelligence, logistics and strategic communications, he served as a command inspector general in Afghanistan where he developed a senior level resiliency program to prevent at-risk behavior and a strategy for organizational leaders to address negative deployment trends. His assignment as the aide-de-camp to the chief of the Army Reserve took him to 30 countries for security cooperation and capacity building engagements, strategic meetings with heads of armed forces and meetings on Capitol Hill. He deployed as part of the United Nations Protection Force in 1994 to the Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia. Casey’s doctoral research at UCLA focused on connecting conceptual knowledge to practical application to better prepare youth for adulthood. He speaks at national education conferences and advises school districts. Casey graduated from the University of Southern California with an undergraduate degree in Political Science with minors in History and Peace and Conflict Studies. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and his awards include two bronze star medals.
Lieutenant Colonel Yssouf Traore is an international fellow of the United States Army War College. He received his commission as an infantry officer from the French Military Academy of Saint-cyr in 2001. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, The Airborne School, Commando School of Montlouis, Command and General Staff College. Prior to his arrival at Carlisle Barracks, he was assigned to Malian 33rd Airborne Regiment, where among other jobs he served as the company commander, operations officer and regiment commander. He also served as a operations officer in the Tuareg battalion and the commanding officer of the Malian airborne taskforce during the Sabre, Serval and Maliba operations with allied forces from 2013 to 2015 in northern Mali. Colonel Traore holds a master of international security studies from the Pierre Mendes France University. His awards and decorations include the Medaille de campagne Djiguitougou, Medaille de campagne Badinko, Medaille de campagne Maliba, Medaille des blesses, Medaille d’or de la defense nationale, the Parachutist Badge, the jumpmaster badge, the commando Badge Tab.
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Video of the Discussion