Dr Michael Knights, a recognised authority on political and security risks in Iraq, is contributing an expert security blog in IBN starting this week. His firm, Olive Group, also contribute the first of their essential security updates.
Unlike many post-2003 analysts of the Iraqi risk environment, Dr Knights has been working on Iraq since the mid-1990s and has deep background expertise in the political and cultural history of Iraq's provinces.
After working as a journalist for Gulf States Newsletter, MENAS Associates and Jane's, Dr Knights undertook a PhD at the Department of War Studies, King's College London. His thesis was published as Cradle of Conflict: Iraq and the Birth of the Modern US Military (US Naval Institute, 2005).
From 2003 onwards, he has published numerous books on political and security risks in Basrah, Maysan, Dhi Qar and Iraq's northern provinces such as Kirkuk. As head of the Iraq programme at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Michael has advised US government decision-makers and served on the Obama campaign's Iraq advisory group and subsequently the National Security Council and National Intelligence Council outreach efforts on Iraq.
Since joining Olive in January 2006, Michael has built a unique information-gathering system that blends military intelligence approaches with historical, anthropological, and journalistic methods. Subsequently, Olive has become the "go-to" provider of in-depth oilfield and provincial-level studies to the majority of IOCs and service companies in Iraq. The Olive weekly security update starts here. Dr Knights’ blog starts here.