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Dr. Phil Williams

Visiting Research Professor
Area(s) of Expertise: Transnational Crime

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Photo Dr. Phil Williams is the Wesley W. Posvar Professor and Director of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. His previous assignments included Visiting Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College; and Visiting Scientist at CERT Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked on cyber-crime and infrastructure protection. Dr. Williams has worked extensively on transnational criminal networks, terrorist networks, terrorist finances, and has focused most recently on the rise of drug trafficking violence in Mexico. He has published extensively in the field of international security. He has written many books on the field of international security including: Crisis Management (1976); The Senate and U.S. Troops in Europe (1986); and, (with Mike Bowker) Superpower Detente: A Reappraisal (1987); along with a number of edited volumes on Russian organized crime, trafficking in women, and combating transnational crime. Dr. Williams is also the author of From the New Middle Ages to a New Dark Age: The Decline of the State and U.S. Strategy (Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2008) and Criminals, Militias and Insurgents: Organized Crime in Iraq (Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2009). He also co-authored (with James Cockayne) The Invisible Tide: Towards an International Strategy to Deal with Drug Trafficking Through West Africa (International Peace Institute, 2009). VANDA FELBAB-BROWN is a Fellow in the Latin America Initiative and in the 21st Century Defense Initiative in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. She is

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SSI books and monographs by Dr. Phil Williams

  • Drug Trafficking, Violence, and Instability

    April 19, 2012

    Authored by Dr. Phil Williams, Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown.
    The world of armed groups has changed and is continuing to change. What impact will these changes have on the threats and challenges to national and global security in the world today? This monograph focuses on the complex relationship between human security, crime, illicit economies, and law enforcement. It also seeks to disentangle the linkages between insurgency on the one hand and drug trafficking and organized crime on the other, suggesting that criminal activities help sustain an insurgency, but also carry certain risks for the insurgency.

  • Criminals, Militias, and Insurgents: Organized Crime in Iraq

    August 26, 2009

    Authored by Dr. Phil Williams.
    Criminal enterprises and activities had a debilitating impact and made the attainment of U.S. objectives in Iraq much more difficult. Organized crime inhibited reconstruction and development and became a major obstacle to state-building; the insurgency was strengthened and sustained by criminal activities; sectarian conflict was funded by criminal activities and motivated by the desire to control criminal markets; and more traditional criminal enterprises created pervasive insecurity through kidnapping and extortion. Organized crime also acted as an economic and political spoiler in an oil industry expected to be the dynamo for growth and reconstruction in post Ba’athist Iraq.

  • From the New Middle Ages to a New Dark Age: The Decline of the State and U.S. Strategy

    June 03, 2008

    Authored by Dr. Phil Williams.
    The author contends that the long-term decline of the state will move the world into a New Dark Age in which the forces of chaos and disorder will be almost overwhelming. Alternative options for the U.S. response to the security challenges posed by such an environment are examined.

SSI articles, editorial, and briefs by Dr. Phil Williams