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Sheehan Moderates National Geographic TV Film Premiere on ISIS in Washington, D.C.

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FILM PREMIERE | Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria & the Rise of ISIS | National Geographic Channel

On June 6, 2017, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan – Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs – served as the Moderator for the National Geographic Channel premiere of Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria & the Rise of ISIS in Washington, D.C. The documentary – by Academy-Award nominated filmmaker and New York Times #1 best-selling author Sebastian Junger and Emmy award winner Nick Quested – traces the origins of the Syrian crisis and the rise of Islamic State.

Learn more http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/hell-on-earth/

Time Magazine notes that the film “traces how the bloody crackdown on youth dissent in March 2011 metastasized into the intractable conflict that today has left an estimated 500,000 dead and millions uprooted.”

“Syria became a civil war in response to the violence of the government; eventually Iran got involved through Hezbollah to support the Assad regime. The Kurds got involved. Turkey got involved. The Arab Gulf states got involved. Eventually all the world powers and all the regional powers had some investment in the war in Syria and in many cases were actively involved in the fighting.” 

Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria & the Rise of ISIS – which featured at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival has been screened to wide acclaim by critics and audiences around the world – debuts on National Geographic Channel on Sunday, 11 June at 9 PM EST.

About the Film Co-Directors:

Sebastian Junger is an Academy-Award nominated filmmaker and New York Times No. 1 best-selling author of books including War and Tribe. As an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world and has received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Nick Quested is executive director and owner of Goldcrest Films, one of the world’s premiere documentary brands. He has earned two Emmys for his work.

This is the second film premiere for which Dr. Sheehan has been commissioned by National Geographic Channel. To contact him with media inquries or book him for special events, please visit

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan is the Director of the graduate programs in Negotiations & Conflict Management and Global Affairs & Human Security in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore. For additional research or media related updates or to learn more about Dr. Sheehan, follow him at @ProfSheehan or link to his research profiles.

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Sheehan Speaks in U.S. Congress

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On November 5, 2015, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs, spoke in the U.S. Congress alongside prominent U.S. officials including the first Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Amb. PJ Crowley, Former White House National Security Council Senior Staffer and Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan Raymond Tanter, Former Executive Director of Freedom House Bruce McColm.

The briefing, held in the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building, came just one week after a terrorist attack on Iranian dissidents killed 24 individuals and wounded dozens more. The briefing featured assessments of U.S. Iran policy in the the context of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and bipartisan condemnations of recent violence directed at the Iranian opposition detained in Iraq. The missile attack received widespread coverage in U.S. media including articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, The Associated Press, and FOXnews.com.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) issued a strong statement describing the attack as an “outrage” which “represents a betrayal of the civilians the United States committed to protect.”

In his remarks Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan issued an assessment of the realities facing U.S. policymakers:

“The world’s shift to a pro-engagement policy with Tehran facilitated the decision to crack down on those individuals promoting freedom, democracy, human rights, gender equality, the rule of law, and a non-nuclear Iran.

The attack is just the most recent example of the Iranian regime’s continued state sponsorship of terrorism, in spite of the nuclear agreement.

In the week’s ahead, Congress must build the bipartisanship necessary to demand accountability and action from the Iraqi Government. Congress must also independently use its leverage to only allow funds, arms, and training to the Iraqi Government after it has ensured – in a transparent way and credible way – the protection of the residents of Camp Liberty. In the wake of the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action with Iran, Congress must act more resolutely than ever before.”

Dr. Sheehan is the Director of the graduate programs in Negotiations & Conflict Management and Global Affairs & Human Security in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore.

For additional research or media related updates or to learn more about Dr. Sheehan, follow him on Twitter @ProfSheehan or link to his research profiles.

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Sheehan Interviewed on Iran Policy from Paris

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Live Interview | Iran’s Regional Conduct, The Gulf Summit, & Obama Administration Policy | May 14, 2015 | 

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, participated in a live online interview from Paris with journalists from around the world on May 14, 2015. The program with Professor Sheehan came one day after a similar question and answer session with Ambassador Robert Joseph, who formerly served as United States Special Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation.

Dr. Sheehan is the Director of the graduate programs in Negotiations and Conflict Management and Global Affairs and Human Security in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore.

For additional research or media related updates or to learn more about Dr. Sheehan, follow him on Twitter @ProfSheehan or link to his research profiles.

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Sheehan Speaks at Rally Outside White House

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Hundreds of Iranian-Americans rallied outside the White House on April 14 as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with President Obama.

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, addressed the crowds by discussing the destructive role played by the Iranian regime’s interference in Iraq and called for the prompt eviction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force and its commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, from Iraq noting that these were prerequisites for a durable solution to the Iraqi crisis.

Also speaking at the event were Col. Wesley Martin, formerly stationed at Camp Ashraf as Senior Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection Officer for Coalition Forces in Iraq; Professor Raymond Tanter, a Senior National Security Council staffer in the Reagan White House; Mr. Bruce McColm, former Executive Director of the prominent human rights organization Freedom House; and Mr. Steven Schneebaum, international lawyer and Professorial Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. The speakers pointed to ongoing detention of the Iranian resistance in Iraq and called on the international community to do more to protect the Iranian dissidents from Iraqi forces acting as proxies for Tehran.

Dr. Sheehan is the Director of the graduate programs in Negotiations and Conflict Management and Global Affairs and Human Security in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore.

For additional research or media related updates or to learn more about Dr. Sheehan, follow him on Twitter @ProfSheehan or link to his research profiles.

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SHEEHAN: Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence

Posted in 9-11, afghanistan, analysis, CIA, counterterrorism, databases, deterrence, evidence-based, foreign policy, foreign policy analysis, fundamentalism, global, homicidality scale, intelligence, international relations, international security studies, iran, irgc, ISIS, killing, martyrdom operations, media, MI6, middle east, military, murder, policy, politics, preemptive, research, scholarly, security studies, sheehan, social science, state department, suicide, suicide attacks, suicide missions, suicide terrorism, tehran, terrorism, threat, war, weapons with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2014 by Professor Sheehan

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SHEEHAN: Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence | Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience | Sept-Oct 2014

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan has published a new peer-reviewed study titled Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence in the journal Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience.

The literature on suicide terrorism, the most lethal form of terrorist violence, is largely dominated by the fields of Political Science and International Relations where the prevailing wisdom is that suicide terrorists are without mental illness. Individuals who commit acts of suicide terrorism are believed to do so for religious, cultural, strategic, political, or sociological reasons, or because they are driven by hopelessness, revenge, love, hate, despair, or a desire for attention. Whether suicide terrorists suffer from psychopathology, exhibit clinical signs of suicidality/ homicidality, or are otherwise without mental illness and motivated by purely strategic, religious, or political agendas, however, is a matter of contention. Knowing whether suicide terrorists are in fact suicidal has policy implications for prevention, rehabilitation, and the “softer” side of counterterrorism designed to win hearts and minds. This study examines the history of suicide terrorism and the theoretical arguments, as well as empirical evidence, for and against the possibility that suicide terrorists may be suicidal with the goal of placing these arguments in the context of a broader range of explanations for suicide violence. The paper also highlights the need for more systematic data collection using structured diagnostic tools to accurately frame the problem of suicide violence.

#PDF – Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence | Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience | Sept-Oct 2014

#WEB – Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence | Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience | Sept-Oct 2014

Sheehan Homicidality Tracking Scale (S-HTS) – Dec 14 Updates

Dr. Sheehan is scheduled to present at several international conferences in 2015. For additional research or media related updates and to learn more, follow Dr. Sheehan on Twitter @ProfSheehan.

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Sheehan to Speak at 2015 Middle East Dialogue

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Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan has been invited to speak at the 2015 Middle East Dialogue, a conference hosted by the Policy Studies Organization on February 26, 2015. The annual meeting — held at the historic Whittemore House in Washington, D.C. — attracts academics, analysts, and government officials with an interest in policy issues impacting the Middle East.

Dr. Sheehan’s presentation – “Suicide Terrorism: Competing Explanations and Policy Implications for the Middle East” – will feature the results of his forthcoming study in a special issue of the journal Clinical Innovations in Neuroscience (“Suicide Terrorism: A Critical Assessment of the Evidence”). The presentation will challenge the conventional thinking on suicide terrorism in the Political Science and International Relations literatures by examining the theoretical and empirical evidence for and against the possibility that suicide terrorists may suffer from psychopathology.

This is Dr. Sheehan’s third time presenting at the Middle East Dialogue (2013, 2014, 2015). He has also twice published in the peer-reviewed journal Digest of Middle East Studies (2013, 2014) and also in a Policy Studies Organization edited volume (2014).

In February 2015, Dr. Sheehan is also scheduled to speak at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association in New Orleans where he will discuss his latest study on regime change in Iran, as well as serve as a chair and discussant for other panels related to his scholarship.

Stay tuned for updates and follow Dr. Sheehan on Twitter @ProfSheehan

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SHEEHAN: Iran is the Real Middle East Threat | The Hill | Commentary

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Press Release -- International Affairs Professor: U.S. Must Keep an Eye on Iran

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SHEEHAN: Iran is the Real Middle East Threat | The Hill | Commentary

While presenting at the World Congress of Middle East Studies in Turkey on August 19, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan published an article in the congressional newspaper The Hill on Iraq, Iran, ISIS and the growing unrest on the Iraqi street. In the article, he questioned whether White House officials have a plan to counter the larger threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“…U.S. policy on Iran must ensure significant consequence for continued Iranian interference in Iraq. The failure to act against Assad by enforcing the red line in Syria or push back on Putin’s adventures in Ukraine diminished U.S. credibility and squandered valuable influence. But Congress can correct these missteps by insisting that the White House lean in on Iran by giving the ayatollahs a new problem to keep them busy.

Since Tehran fears internal threats more than external ones, U.S. legislators should embrace a policy of regime change from within via Iran’s organized opposition.

Obama’s declaration that there is no military solution to Iraq’s troubles and that a legitimate Iraqi government must be established is an accurate diagnosis insofar as it goes. But the intoxication resulting from a combination of U.S. impotence, Iranian interference, and Iraqi frustration will only lead to continued regional instability.

Solving the Iraq puzzle requires that U.S. officials double down on the real threat in the Middle East and increase the prospect of collapse in Tehran.” #PDF

You can learn more about Dr. Sheehan’s recent media appearances in a University of Baltimore press release.

Please also stay tuned for forthcoming publications in fall 2014 on topics related to regime change in Iran and suicide terrorism.

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