Craig Albert, PhD
Professor of Political Science and Graduate Director of the Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies
- Augusta GA UNITED STATES
Dr. Craig Albert focuses on national security, cyberconflict, ethnic conflict, and political thought.Contact More Open options
February 24, 2023
September 15, 2022
Albert is the director of the Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies and an associate professor of political science at Augusta University. He received his PhD in international relations and American politics from the University of Connecticut in 2009. His research interests include ethnic conflict and terrorism, theology and modern politics, and political science education. His work has been published in journals including Politics, East European Politics, Iran and the Caucasus, and Journal of Political Science Education. He co-founded and directs Augusta University's Model United Nations Program and teaches courses on American politics, security studies and political philosophy, as well as topics of special interest, including zombies and international relations, hip hop and politics, and James Bond and terrorism.
Areas of Expertise
- Educational Testing Services Advanced Placement/Reader Certification
- Armatus Sexual Abuse Risk Management Certification
Russia's Social Media Propagandists Turning On The War—We Should Expect A Crackdown
Since the start of Russia's so-called "special military operation" in late February 2022, the pro-Kremlin "milbloggers" who regularly report on the war via the Telegram social messaging app have carried water for President Vladimir Putin without question. Their online posts—which had often put a positive spin on the war effort to boost support among their fellow countrymen, as well as to legitimize the conflict to an international audience—was rarely critical of Moscow. However, following the short-lived Wagner Group coup earlier this year, there have been cracks in the support that the propagandists have offered. As Ukraine's counteroffensive has picked up steam and made success in recent weeks, the milbloggers have become increasingly critical of the war effort—if not Putin directly. It now appears that Moscow may be forced to take action and reel in any dissent.
Rise Of The Machine Learning—Deep Fakes Could Threaten Our Democracy
For years, there have been warnings about the danger of AI, and most critics have suggested the machines could take over in a scenario similar to science fiction films such as The Terminator or The Matrix, where they literally rise up and enslave humanity. Yet, the clear and present danger could actually be AI used to deceive voters as we head into the next primary season. "Deep Fakes are almost certain to influence the 2024 elections," warned Dr. Craig Albert, professor of political science and graduate director of the Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies at Augusta University. "In fact, the U.S. Intelligence Community expected these types of social media influence operations to occur during the last major election cycle, 2022, but they did not occur to any substantial effect," Albert noted.
FLFLASHPOINT UKRAINE: The Aftermath Of Prigozhin’s Rebellion
Voices of America online
It was an unprecedented challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin by fighters from Wagner paramilitary forces. Analysts weigh in on the weekend’s events and what it may mean for Russia moving forward. Meanwhile, front-line Ukrainian fighters say their fight with Russia has not subsided.
Boston suspects "lone wolf" extremists?
Fox News tv
Fox News host Megyn Kelly interviews political scientist Craig Albert about the Boston Marathon suspects.
Young Americans prepare to vote
CTV Canada tv
Dr. Craig Albert discusses the importance of the millennial vote for the 2016 presidential election.
Terror na Catalunha
Revista Veja print
Terrorist attacks like the ones that recently happened in Spain's Catalonia Region are a result of ISIS losing ground in Syria and Iraq, Dr. Craig Albert, associate professor of political science, told Veja, Latin America's largest news magazine with more than 1 million subscribers. "There is a new strategy, launched about 10 months ago, that has gained track recently. The more they lose territory in Iraq and Syria, the more they ask foreign militants to stay in their countries and commit acts of terrorism there instead of joining them abroad," Albert said.
Many millennials remain undecided as Election Day approaches
"I would not be surprised at all if they're disengaged from this debate," said AU Political Science Professor, Dr. Craig Albert.
President Trump's visit to the Middle East
Gulan Mydia online
Dr. Craig Albert discusses the meaning behind President Trump's visit to the Middle East. The interview was published by Gulan Mydia, a Kurdish media organization.
Local political science experts weigh in on the Presidential debate
When it came the first presidential debate, two local political science professors said the candidates said a lot, without getting very deep into these issues.
Can ISIS ever be defeated?
The massacre on a Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was carried out in the name of ISIS. While the FBI believes the “mission” was not orchestrated by the extremist group itself, it is still one of many carried out in the name of the radical Islamic sect. Political scientist Craig Albert joined “The Means Report” to offer his expertise on ISIS and terrorism and to address whether stricter gun laws will help protect U.S. citizens.
Richmond, Columbia counties inch toward 100K registered voters ahead of Election Day
Craig Albert, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Augusta University, told NewsChannel 6, “People that are on the fence about for whom to vote or whether to vote at all, neither candidate is appealing to them at all.”
Digging deeper: How can we stay safe in the aftermath of violence such as the Orlando shooting?
Political scientist Craig Albert addressed the divide in our country, as some call the gun control issue (after shootings like this) a distraction, believing the underlying problem here is Islamic terrorism. Dr. Albert also describes how ISIS targets recruits and quickly radicalizes people.
Augusta University Professor Breaks Down Brussels Attacks
An Augusta University professor sat down with News Channel 6 about the terrorist attacks ISIS claimed responsibility for in Belgium. Craig Albert, a local terrorism expert said the deadly incident performed by the Islamic extremists is a recruiting tool and fear tactic.
Behind the political headlines
Listen, let’s start with that voting lawsuit against the voting law in the state of Georgia filed by President Biden’s Department of Justice, the attorney general leading the way there, does it stand a chance of overturning the law? Can you tell if Georgia’s law is unconstitutional? I think it follow the same trajectory as Arizona. Of course the federal government has a right to sue a state if it thinks the state is being discriminatory or isn’t being inclusive in its voting rights and regulations. So the DOJ has a right to do that. They would have to prove that the state of Georgia is willingly or intending to discriminate or to exclude certain groups or people from voting purposefully for their lawsuit to succeed, which would then force Georgia if it did succeed, it would force Georgia to then redo the law and remake the law to make it more inclusive and accepting to everybody.
“No need to rush to the gas station”, pipeline shutdown temporary
A fear of rising gas prices after the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack has some lined up at local gas stations. But experts say gas is not a scarcity. While there is a temporary slow down, “panic buying” is often mistaken for a shortage. Colonial Pipeline delivers 45 percent of fuel in the southeast. They were victim to a ransomware attack by the group “DarkSide”. Cyberattack on US pipeline is linked to criminal gang “Ransomware is when somebody takes over your system or your network, and in order to release it or go active again, you have to give them a ransom,” said Dr. Craig Albert, professor of intelligence and security studies at Augusta University. “And for this group it’s usually between like $200 thousand and $2 million, so it’s quite significant.” In a statement Friday, Colonial Pipeline said they temporarily halted operations to contain the threat. “They found out about it, it looks like, before the full attack was initiated. So then they shut everything off as a preemptive move,” Dr. Albert said.
From Russia to elections: How secure is the United States?
The Means Report turns its focus to all things political that are going on in the world right now. Certainly, the Russian threat constantly in the headlines. One year in to Joe Biden’s presidency, how are things going? Also, the upcoming nomination of a Supreme Court nominee, if you will, to replace the retiring Justice Breyer, that breaking just really before we started taping The Means Report pretty much. So, we’ll talk about that and everything else going on in our nation and world with our resident political scientist. He’s an Associate Professor of Political Science at Augusta University, also serves as the Director of the Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies at AU, Craig Albert.
Local expert breaks down dispute in Ukraine
Tensions remain high between the United States and Russia over Russia’s military buildup near the Ukranian border. NATO defense ministers say they’re concerned that Russia could try to overtake Ukraine. They say Russia has built up the largest concentration of forces in Europe since the Cold War. Dr. Craig Albert, Associate Professor of Political Science at Augusta University and Graduate Director of Intelligence and Security Studies spoke with NewsChannel 6 about the dispute. He said it stems back to the Cold War.
Why Americans should care about the Ukraine-Russia conflict
ABC News online
After weeks of mounting tensions, United States officials have warned that a Russian attack on Ukraine could happen "any day now." Russia has spent weeks building up military forces near eastern Ukraine, with more than 150,000 troops encircling Ukraine in Belarus and on the Russian side of the border, according to U.S. officials.
President Biden advancing sanctions in Russia
President Biden held a press conference Tuesday saying they're advancing sanctions in Russia. Dr. Craig Albert, assistant professor of political science and director of intelligence and security studies at Augusta University says, “if Russia goes further with this invasion, we stand prepared to go further as with sanctions.” Albert says this is becoming an economic conflict, hitting the Russian elite and those in parliament personally. “So that means if you’re a member of the Duma in Russia, that’s what their parliament is called, and you have any funds; business funds, personal, checking account tied to a Western Bank, you will no longer have access to that starting tomorrow."
Why the West cares about the situation in Russia-Ukraine
CTV News tv
As tensions continue to escalate between Russia and Ukraine, experts are warning the crisis may lead to a global conflict and could impact Western countries, including the state of their democracies. Ukraine began urging its citizens to leave Russia after tensions escalated dramatically Tuesday when Russian President Vladimir Putin got the OK from lawmakers to use military force outside his country. This comes after Putin signed a decree recognizing two pro-Russian breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities, which Western nations fear are potential ground zeros for invasion.
Russia attacks Ukraine
CTV News tv
Dr. Craig Albert of Augusta University talks Russia/Ukraine with CTV News
Dr. Craig Albert talks Russia/Ukraine
CTV News tv
Dr. Craig Albert talks about the latest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Responding to the Russia attack
As Russia invades the Ukraine and the United States unleashes new sanctions on the communist country, The Means Report talks to Augusta University political scientist – Dr. Craig Albert – about what comes next and what impact we will possibly feel here at home.
The cyber factor in Ukraine
National Cyber News Today online
As Russia massed troops along its border with Ukraine over the last few months, it was unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would invade. But if he did, experts warned, Russia would bombard the nation with a series of cyberattacks to sow confusion and weaken its resolve. On Feb. 24, Putin unveiled his plans. Moscow’s war machine rolled into the Eastern European nation. The combined Russian air, land and sea assault was preceded by waves of cyberattacks, the sort of gray-zone meddling analysts and defense officials had foreseen. Websites were hamstrung. Malware coursed through computers. Communications were hampered.
FLASHPOINT UKRAINE: Olena Zelenska asks US Congress for weapons so Ukrainians may return to normalcy
Voices of America radio
Ukraine’s First Lady delivers impassioned remarks to the US Congress. Plus, what challenges face Kyiv as the officials say they will not cede territory to Russia, even though US intelligence suggests Moscow may annex occupied territory, as it did in 2014.
FLASHPOINT UKRAINE: Russia’s “Operational Defeat” in Kharkiv
Voices of America online
Dr. Craig Albert discusses the latest on the Ukraine-Russia battle in which Ukraine is making ground as Russian forces withdraw.
One on One with Richard Rogers | Russia’s War in Ukraine
Dr. Craig Albert specializes in intelligence and security studies at Augusta University. Dr. Albert talks one on one with Richard Rogers about Russia’s war in Ukraine.
How long do you see the war between Russia and Ukraine lasting?
“It depends on how far Russia is willing to go. Russia isn’t fighting the war if it fought the United States. Russia has the capability to completely bombard and send in massive numbers of untrained soldiers by the hundreds and thousands and just overwhelm Ukraine. I think why they’re not doing that is that they still want to control and have a friendly Ukrainian population once they completely have all the territory of Ukraine. I think that’s Putin’s goal and that’s why he hasn’t done that so far. I think we’re looking at least another year. These types of huge wars, and this is a major, major war, it has the propensity to pull in outside parties. And when you’re talking about NATO being right there, we could be talking about something much bigger if this war doesn’t cease soon.”
While Ukraine has been preparing for some time, was their resolve still unexpected?
“I think their resolve is based upon the fact they’re getting so many munitions from the west. I think their resolve and morality would be much worse if they weren’t getting the type of equipment, the type of war material that the west is providing them. If it wasn’t for the west helping them, I think we’d be talking a much different scenario. If Russia is successful in the war and how they define success, and they occupy all of Ukraine, then that’s a likely scenario. If Ukraine continues a war of attrition with Moscow, the war of numbers suggest that Moscow is going to win. You’re looking at Russia ultimately winning just because of the law of numbers."
How surprising is it that the Ukraine-Russian war is still ongoing?
“I think for Russia, it’s a huge surprise, and I think maybe for the rest of the world, it’s a bit of a surprise as well. What people often forget is that Ukraine has been fighting and training for 10 years. So Moscow was going on the understanding that the way and the ease in which they went into those parts of Ukraine in 2014, that they would have the same amount of ease this time. They didn’t calculate properly or they misperceived that Ukraine soldiers have been fighting them and rotating in and out of the east for 10 years and had much more experience and were prepared for this.”
Epidemiological intelligence fusion centers: health security and COVID-19 in the Dominican RepublicTaylor & Francis Online
Craig Albert, Alejandro Amando Baez, Lance Hunter, John Heslen, John Rutland
2022 Research on health security has focused on how many different political, economic, social, and health-related factors affect disease containment within states. However, largely missing from this scholarship is an examination of the role public health intelligence plays in limiting the spread of disease. Thus, this study focuses on the effect epidemiological intelligence fusion centers have on disease prevalence. We conduct a case study analysis of the Dominican Republic’s use of epidemiological intelligence fusion centers during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide policy recommendations for other states to follow.
Democracy and cyberconflict: how regime type affects state-sponsored cyberattacksJournal Of Cyber Policy
Dr. Craig Albert, Dr. Lance Hunter, Eric Garrett, Josh Rutland
2022 A large body of research in international relations has focused on the relationship between regime type (i.e., the degree a nation is democratic or authoritarian) and traditional military conflict between states. However, to date, no research has examined how regime type affects conflict in the cyber domain. Thus, we attempt to analyze the effect regime type has on the initiation of state-sponsored cyberattacks. We examine 143 states from 2005 - 2013 utilizing cyber data on known state-sponsored cyberattacks taken from the Council on Foreign Relations Cyber Operations Tracker dataset (CFR-COTD) and economic, political, military, and social data collected by the authors. In conducting a cross-sectional, time series analysis we find that democratic institutions have a pacifying effect on the initiation of state-sponsored cyberattacks.
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to “Democracy in America”Journal of Political Science Education
2016 One of the most challenging issues any instructor of political philosophy faces is how to get college students interested and engaged in a discipline composed mostly of 'a bunch of dead white guys.' The task is hard enough for students already interested in theory and is even more daunting for the general education American government classroom.
The ethno-violence nexus: measuring ethnic group identity in ChechnyaEast European Politics
2014 If scholars and policy-makers are to understand contemporary ethnic conflict, we must first understand ethnic group identity. I make the case that ethnic group identity has substantial effects on collective action, particularly violent conflict, and a mechanism must exist to predict behaviour to properly measure ethnic group identity. This study asks, then: what exactly is ethnic group identity and can it be accurately measured? I address this by developing the Ethnic Group Identity Index (EGII), which seeks to measure the strength of ethnic group identity. I then use the EGII to measure strength of ethnic group identity within Chechnya. The implications abound for policy-makers in matters of conflict management strategies for the Russo-Chechen conflict, and more generally, for all ethnic politics.
Teaching with Tocqueville: Assessing the Utility of Using ‘Democracy’ in the American Government Classroom to Achieve Student-Learning OutcomesJournal of Political Science Education
2014 There is a debate in Political Science concerning how best to teach American Government courses. We investigate whether students learn more effectively with texts from the great tradition or from textbooks and other secondary sources. Which medium better guides students toward becoming better citizens? We examine how teaching “The Great Tradition” may increase success in student-learning outcomes. We examine four categories of learning outcomes in the Introduction to American Government classroom: general knowledge, ...
Defining Our Terms: Bringing Rigour to Ethnic StudiesPolitics
2012 For decades, political scientists have grappled with the role identity has played in ethnic conflict. Surprisingly, these scholars have been unsuccessful in rigorously conceptualising some key terms in the field of ethnic studies. How can the causal forces of ethnic strife be unravelled if scholars cannot even agree on the meanings of essential concepts? This article carefully delineates the differences between ethnicity, ethnic groups and ethnic group identity, while showing the conceptual mistakes of some of the field's leading scholars. Often treated synonymously, these concepts are quite distinct: ignoring this not only makes for sloppy scholarship, but has grave policy consequences.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, and Domestic ConflictTaylor & Francis Online
Lance Y. Hunter, Craig Albert, Josh Rutland & Chris Hennigan
An emerging field of scholarship in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computing posits that AI has the potential to significantly alter political and economic landscapes within states by reconfiguring labor markets, economies, and political alliances, leading to possible societal disruptions. Thus, this study examines the potential destabilizing economic and political effects AI technology can have on societies and the resulting implications for domestic conflict based on research within the fields of political science, sociology, economics, and artificial intelligence. In addition, we conduct interviews with 10 international AI experts from think tanks, academia, multinational technology companies, the military, and cyber to assess the possible disruptive effects of AI and how they can affect domestic conflict. Lastly, the study offers steps governments can take to mitigate the potentially destabilizing effects of AI technology to reduce the likelihood of civil conflict and domestic terrorism within states.
Towards a General Theory of Ethnic Conflict: Explaining Identity and Violence in ChechnyaInternational Journal of Security Studies and Practice
The purposes of this article are to develop the beginnings of a general theory of ethnic conflict. Specifically, this paper examines and builds upon identity politics and the relationship between ethnic group identity and deadly ethnic violence. It develops the connection more clearly between three integral concepts including societal security, ontological security, and securitization. This paper argues that salient ethnic group identity acts as an underlying catalyst to deadly ethnic violence. Groups with salient identities often view their identity as a measure of security. Thus, any threat to a group’s identity, either perceived or real, is a threat to the group’s physical existence. The processes behind this connection are examined. Understanding the nexus between identity and violence allows for further research testing the hypothesis that the more salient an ethnic group identity is, the more likely deadly conflict will result. This paper concludes with policy recommendations and possible solutions to identity securitization in Chechnya.
Epidemic intelligence studies: A research agenda for political scientistsCambridge University Press
This research letter introduces readers to health intelligence by conceptualizing critical components and providing a primer for research within political science broadly considered. Accordingly, a brief review of the literature is provided, concluding with possible future research agendas. The aim is to elaborate on the importance of public health intelligence to national security studies, and to political science more generally.
Socio-Emotional Computational Analysis of Propaganda Campaigns on Social Media Users in the Middle EastACM Digital Library
Zain Halloush, Ahmed Aleroud, Craig Albert,
Society has been significantly impacted by social media platforms in almost every aspect of their life. This impact has been effectively formulating people’s global mindsets and opinions on political, economic, and social events. Such waves of opinion formation are referred to as propagandas and misinformation. Online propaganda influences the emotional and psychological orientation of people. The remarkable leaps in Machine Learning models and Natural Language Processing have helped in analyzing the emotional and psychological effects of cyber social threats such as propaganda campaigns on different nations, specifically in the Middle East, where rates of disputes have risen after the Arab Spring and the ongoing crises. In this paper, we present an approach to detect propagandas and the associated emotional and psychological aspects from social media news headlines that contain such a contextualized cyber social attack. We created a new dataset of headlines containing propaganda tweets and another dataset of potential emotions that the audience might endure when being exposed to such propaganda headlines. We believe that this is the first research to address the detection of emotional reactions linked to propaganda types on social media in the Middle East.
The military application of artificial intelligence technology in the United States, China, and Russia and the implications for global securityTaylor & Francis Online
Lance Y. Hunter, Craig Albert, Christopher Hennigan and Josh Rutland
A number of studies have considered the theoretical role that Artificial Intelligence (AI) may play in shaping the global balance of power in the future. While these studies are informative, we currently lack an understanding regarding the precise manner AI technologies are being applied and incorporated in militaries in major power states. Thus, in this study, we examine how AI technology is being applied in the militaries in the US, China, and Russia and analyse the implications for the future of AI, global military competition, and international security. We examine current research on the military application of AI technology in the US, China, and Russia and conduct expert interviews with leading AI experts in academia, think tanks, multinational technology companies, and the military to better understand how AI technology is being applied in the three major powers states and the implications for global security.