Seeking Influence and Power: Exploiting systemic vulnerabilities along the Danube and across the Balkans
In cooperation with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda & Security Studies is working on a dedicated project on the region of Central- and Southeastern Europe (with a focus on the Western Balkans, Austria and Hungary). Selected experts address aspects of hybrid threats, the associated systemic and national vulnerabilities as well as their exploitation by global and regional actors.
Specific articles in the biannual Journal for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies deal with topics such as vulnerabilities for subversion and power projection, hybrid threats or the influence of global developments on the region. Complementary to this, the exploitation of instability and social tensions, caused by war traumas, border changes and the stagnating EU integration, will be tackled.
In combination with the geopolitical power projections by external actors in the region and global crises (such as the resurgence of the "East-West" conflict and increasing trade wars between the USA, Europe and China), dynamics have emerged with decisive influence on the region. Together with the recent European crises (BREXIT, migration) these fault lines must be addressed and analyzed.
Therefore, ACIPSS and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung are organizing public events in Berlin and Graz in the period 2020-2021, as well as a special issue of the bi-annual journal JIPSS. The aim is to contribute to research and public discourse and to put the region back in the spotlight.
Austrian exiles in World War II military intelligence of the US Army. A collective wartime biography of the „Ritchie Boys“
The Future Funds of the Republic of Austria, Project No. P14-1658; Jubilee Funds of the Austrian National Bank, Project No. 16356
Siegfried Beer (project leader), Robert Lackner, Florian Traussnig
During the Second World War, hundreds of Austrian exiles and refugees served in various military intelligence organizations of the US Army. When US soldiers with crucial skills such as native knowledge of German and detailed local familiarity (geographic, topographic, economic, and strategic) were located, they most often found themselves transferred to the Military Intelligence Training Center in Camp Ritchie, Maryland as well as Camp Sharpe, Pennsylvania. There they were instructed in how to operate as interrogators of prisoners of war and propaganda specialists. Upon graduation, they would primarily see service on the Western Front in Europe, providing as intelligence experts and resistance supervisors an important contribution to the defeat of the Nazi regime.
The purpose of this project is to collect and analyze selected biographies of these exiled Austrians. For the first time it will be determined how many of these Austrian “Ritchie Boys” were trained by the US Army, where they saw action in the war and how they can be typologically, politically and socially assessed.
493 Austrians received an intelligence or propaganda training at the MITC. Their names including further biographical data are available in an online database.
Press Release (June 2018)
JIPSS article on the goals, protagonists and first highlights of the project (2015)