The Journey Begins

Experts bring to the table skills that balance on years of experience, but also face the daunting task of keeping up with new generations, new technologies, and a rapidly changing environment. Students bring to the table fresh ideas that intercorrelate with revolutionary technologies, a fast-paced lifestyle, and social experiences in a global environment.

I have an Associates Degree in Graphic Design, and am now majoring in National Security and Intelligence, and Political-Science, and minoring in Criminal Justice at Fairmont State University. I have  experience in research and analysis, and some experience with Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT), Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT), and Image Intelligence (IMINT)–mostly through classes I have taken, but also through my own projects. My research papers have included the Skripal spy poisoning, the layout of the Dawa party, and ideas on how to improve security in the D.C. area (specifically the White House, WMATA Metro System, and the BWI Airport). National Security and homeland defense are critical aspects that often need to be reviewed and corrected in the face of evolving threats.

My education has covered broad spectrums–from art and foreign languages, to psychology and sociology, to security and international relations. Some of the classes I have taken over the past 12 years include Intelligence Research, Propaganda and Politics, Defense Intelligence, National Security Law, Russian Intelligence, Homeland Security, and International Law. I will be graduating in December 2018, and will be merging into the Intelligence Community. Even as I learn and grow as a student now and a some-day member of the IC, I hope this blog gives you a new perspective on world events and politics–from the student point of view.

America needs a new generation of leaders to address the big issues facing the country: alleviating the middle class squeeze and promoting economic opportunity, confronting the significant national security challenges threatening the safety of our people, and reforming the culture of Washington, D.C. — Ron DeSantis



Featured post

Missions of the FSB and SVR


The Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) operates mostly in the U.S. and Western Europe, whereas the Federal Security Service (FSB) operates mostly in the former Soviet Republics, as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both agencies compete for Putin’s attention, often interrupting the other’s operations.

The SVR, which was known as the KGB until 1991, takes on the role of “Big Brother” in multilateral meetings or bilateral talks. Putin served as an agent for the SVR in East Germany in the 1980s, and is one of their best-known graduates. The SVR, which employs 13,000 people, is the the Russian equivalent of the CIA, and today it works parallel with the Russian Military Intelligence (GRU). According to the SVR mission statement, it is a “modern special service employing talented, ambitious people devoted to the Motherland and their military duty.1 Like the SVR, the FSB operates in tactical missions, against foreign and domestic enemies.2 Due to the competitive nature of the two, their Area of Operations sometimes overlaps and they trip over each other. Both operate domestically and internationally, and have trained with the U.S. in the past.3 The SVR operates to ensure the security of individuals, state, and society from external threats, and it carries out intelligence operations in support of Russia’s president, the Federal Assembly, and the government.4

The Federal Security Services (FSB)—sometimes also referred to as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)—is the Russian counterpart to the American FBI, and operates as Putin’s “right-hand” agency. On June 30, 2003, an amendment was added to the “Law on the Organs of the Federal Security Service,” allowing the FSB to deal with foreign intelligence. The SVR operates through three types of foreign agents: deep cover assignments, where the agents take on false identities, work ‘normal’ jobs, and take measures to conceal their connections to Russia; assignments where agents are sent abroad to conceal their links to Russia and pretend to be representatives of Russia in positions like diplomats or trade officials; and agents who operate under non-official cover (NOCs) status.5 The FSB answers only to Putin and conducts operations that include assassinations of political opponents. The Institute of Cryptography and Protection of Information (IKSI), which is the FSB’s own institution, originally used to work with code breaking but now is primarily focused on information security. Security services expert Andrei Soldatov estimates that there are at least 200,000 working for the FSB.6

The more that the Kremlin turned to the FSB, the more the FSB became Russia’s most powerful secret service. While the SVR had signed an agreement not to spy within the territories, the FSB had not, and was free of any such agreement. The FSB was permitted to create a new directorate that would focus on Russia’s near-abroad in late 1999, and the new Directorate of Operative Information (UKOI) was established inside the Department of Analysis, Forecasting, and Strategic Planning. Its structure was designed on geographical lines, and the officers were given the ability to travel throughout the near-abroad.7

1 “Profile: Russia’s SVR Intelligence Agency.” BBC News. June 29, 2010. Accessed April 03, 2018.

2“Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation – CSN FSB.” YouTube. August 06, 2017. Accessed April 08, 2018.

3 TheGlobeandMail. “What You Need to Know about the Three Main Arms of Russia’s Intelligence Apparatus.” YouTube. April 03, 2017. Accessed April 07, 2018.

4“Russian Special Forces – Foreign Intelligence.” YouTube. July 15, 2017. Accessed April 07, 2018.

5 Bender, Jeremy. “FBI Agent Explains How Russia’s Foreign Spy Operations Work.” Business Insider. January 26, 2015. Accessed April 04, 2018.

6Walker, Shaun. “FSB: Vladimir Putin’s Immensely Powerful Modern-day KGB.” The Guardian. October 06, 2013. Accessed April 08, 2018.

7“Russia’s Very Secret Services.” World Policy. February 23, 2018. Accessed April 04, 2018.

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