Kacper Rękawek, PISM analyst in the international security programme, has been awarded a NATO grant from the Science for Peace and Security Programme (SPS) to organise the Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) “Not Only Syria? Foreign Fighters: A Threat To NATO Allies And Their Neighbours.” The workshop will be held on 18-20 May 2015 in Chisinau, Moldova. PISM is administering the grant and the Foreign Policy Association (APE) is PISM’s partner in the project. Kacper Rękawek will serve as co-director of the ARW along with Viktor Chirila of APE.
PISM’s involvement with NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme continues Poland’s cooperation with NATO in the field of science. This is a third NATO ARW event which PISM administers.
The proposed activity addresses the SPS Key Priority 1a), i.e. facilitation of mutually beneficial cooperation on issues of common interest, including international efforts to meet emerging security challenges like counter-terrorism, ii) Human factors in the defence against terrorism. It is closely connected with NATO’s core task of cooperative security, and the Alliance’s intentions of enhancing international security beyond its borders.
The ARW will:
- Contextualise the issue of and the threat emanating from foreign fighters – a phenomenon which is not new to Alliance members, but its current scale surpasses all previous waves of this phenomenon
- Comparatively assess the sets of foreign fighters present in both conflicts (Syria and Ukraine) and establish differences and similarities between them
- Disseminate and exchange knowledge and expertise on each set of fighters by involving experts focussed on different cases, nations, regions, and conflicts
- Bring to light the underappreciated but equally worrying cases of foreign fighters, originating from far-left or far-right European “scenes,” present in Ukraine, and simultaneously – Shia foreign fighters fighting in Syria
- Assess the extent to which such fighters could be utilised in hybrid or conventional conflicts by non-NATO states
- Debate policy oriented measures which could unite NATO’s response to all sets of fighters, and discuss what national, regional, Atlantic or European measures would prove most useful, while organising the Alliance for the eventuality of addressing threats posed by returning fighters on an unprecedented scale
- Advertise the workshop amongst expert audiences in NATO member states, and raise awareness of the nature of this security threat and also of NATO SPS and the opportunities it provides
- Produce a scholarly and rigorous pre-conference journal publication that will be followed by a timely and policy oriented post-conference publication in NATO series.
If you wish to participate in the workshop download the application form and send it Kacper Rekawek at firstname.lastname@example.org
More about the Science for Peace and Security Programme (SPS)
ARW Application Form