Benoît  Gomis Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Benoît Gomis

International security analyst

Benoît Gomis is an international security analyst focusing on terrorism and organized crime, and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. In an independent capacity, he consults for a number of organizations. He has worked at Simon Fraser University, Royal Roads University, Chatham House, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and the French Ministry of Defence. He was educated at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Sciences Po in Aix-en-Provence, and Loyola University Chicago.

Biography

Benoît Gomis is an international security analyst focusing on terrorism and organized crime, and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. As a Visiting Scholar at the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS), he wrote a book entitled Counterterrorism: Reassessing the Policy Response, published by CRC Press in July 2015. In an independent capacity, he consults for a number of organizations including government, think tanks, NGOs, companies and universities.

He previously worked as a Research Analyst in the International Security Department of Chatham House. There he led research projects on drugs and organized crime, counter-terrorism, and Franco-British defence and security cooperation. He also worked at Simon Fraser University, where he conducted research on the illicit tobacco trade in Latin America and the Caribbean, Royal Roads University, where he taught an MA course on international conflict, the French Ministry of Defence and NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He was educated at Sciences Po in Aix-en-Provence, Loyola University Chicago and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

He is the author of a number of reports and articles, including 'Illicit Drugs and International Security: Towards UNGASS 2016'​ (2014), and 'Franco-British Defence and Security Treaties: Entente While It Lasts?'​ (2011), which was selected by the UK’s Chief of Defence Staff for his Recommended Reading List. He is a frequent contributor to international publications - including European Geostrategy (where he is an Associate Editor), IHS Jane's Intelligence Review and World Politics Review - and the media including Al Jazeera, BBC, the Financial Times, and the Washington Post. He has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars, including at the British Parliament, King’s College London, the Counter Terror Expo, Georgetown University, the United States Military Academy, the Conference Board of Canada, and Public Safety Canada.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Terrorism, counterterrorism, international drug trade, drug policy, organized crime, illicit tobacco trade

Websites

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Counterterrorism: Reassessing the Policy Response - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

World Politics Review

Paris Attacks Require More European Cooperation, Not Less


Published: Nov 25, 2015 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Despite knee-jerk reactions to the contrary, the Paris attacks are Europe's problem. To contain and mitigate terrorism most effectively, France and other European countries need more bilateral and multilateral cooperation, not less, from intelligence sharing to cracking down on arms smuggling.

Open Canada

The six dangers of overreacting to terrorism


Published: Nov 09, 2015 by Open Canada
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Terrorism is a problem to be managed, rather than an existential threat. Our response to the issue needs to be rational and proportional to avoid unintended consequences.

World Politics Review

Turning the Page: Canada’s Security Priorities Under Trudeau


Published: Oct 28, 2015 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

In addition to a change in political discourse, Canada’s new Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should differ from its Conservative predecessor in a number of areas related to national and international security, including how to tackle terrorism, the refugee crisis and drug policy.

World Politics Review

Behind Drugs’ Glare, Paraguay’s Illegal Cigarette Trade Flourishes


Published: Oct 01, 2015 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

A marijuana seizure in Paraguay this month was notable because it shed light on a neglected yet pervasive problem in Latin America: cigarette smuggling. Up to 90 percent of cigarettes produced in Paraguay are smuggled out of the country, which accounts for 11 percent of the world’s illicit cigarette trade.

World Politics Review

Travel Bans to Terrorism Hot Spots Won’t Deter Foreign Fighters


Published: Aug 27, 2015 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Earlier this month, following Australia’s lead, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed prohibiting travel to terrorism hot spots like Iraq and Syria. But a travel ban is likely to be ineffective and even counterproductive in dealing with homegrown terrorism and the flow of foreign fighters.

World Politics Review

‘Unforgivable’: El Chapo’s Escape Latest Embarrassment for Pena Nieto


Published: Jul 20, 2015 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped last week from a maximum-security prison that was allegedly Mexico’s most secure. What does it mean for the Sinaloa cartel that he led, for Enrique Pena Nieto’s faltering presidency and security strategy, and for Mexico’s relations with the U.S.?

IHS Jane's Intelligence Review

Grass routes: Canada's crime gangs diversify and develop


Published: Jul 13, 2015 by IHS Jane's Intelligence Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

While losing priority to terrorism for Canada’s law enforcement agencies, organised crime could pose a greater threat to the country in human and financial terms. Benoît Gomis investigates the latest developments, actors, activities, and policy responses in the field.

The World Today

1980s: The war on drugs goes into overdrive


Published: Jun 08, 2015 by The World Today
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

At last there is a chance to set right the damaging legacy of Nixon's offensive against narcotics.

World Politics Review

Jalisco Cartel’s Rise Exposes Limits of Mexico’s Security Strategy


Published: May 28, 2015 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, responsible for a string of deadly attacks, is Mexico’s latest challenge in dealing with drug cartels. The gang has emerged to fill the leadership vacuum created by President Enrique Pena Nieto’s top-down strategy of targeting leaders of criminal organizations.

Global Drug Policy Observatory Brief

Demystifying 'Narcoterrorism'


Published: May 04, 2015 by Global Drug Policy Observatory Brief
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Although the term ‘narcoterrorism’ emerged in the early 1980s to describe attacks against counternarcotics police, its meaning has expanded and lost clarity since then, while the term gained significant traction after September 11th 2001. The term is problematic in that it suggests a ‘symbiotic relationship’ between drug traffickers and terrorists that is very rarely confirmed by evidence, as the case studies of Peru, Afghanistan, Mali and Mexico demonstrate.

World Politics Review

France Doubles Down on Battle-Hardened but Overstretched Military


Published: Apr 02, 2015 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

On March 11, France unveiled an updated version of its Military Programming Law for 2014-2019, a blueprint for the country’s force structure and defense budget. However, in a climate of stagnant economic growth and fiscal constraints, doubts persist about how sustainable the plan is.

IHS Jane's Intelligence Review

Stopping the flow: Terrorism highlights arms trafficking in Europe


Published: Mar 09, 2015 by IHS Jane's Intelligence Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Islamist terrorist attacks in Copenhagen and Paris in early 2015 have highlighted the issue of arms trafficking in Europe. Benoît Gomis investigates the types of firearms, routes, and source countries involved in this illicit trade, and examines future hotspots.

European Geostrategy

France steers away from CSDP


Published: Feb 04, 2015 by European Geostrategy
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Public Administration & Public Policy

The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) remains an official objective of French defence policy, but a much less central and urgent one than it once was. As Olivier de France rightly points out, France is now more willing to stay away from ideological and institutional debates, and act independently, in an incremental, pragmatic, and capability-focused manner. This is the result of a number of significant developments, including the following four.

World Politics Review

How Argentina Became the Newest Drug Trafficking Hub


Published: Nov 20, 2014 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

Compared to some of its neighbors, Argentina has been relatively unscathed by the effects of drug trafficking. However, a recent increase in drug-related problems, including cocaine trafficking, has exposed some of Argentina’s key structural weaknesses, underscoring the need for comprehensive reform.

Chatham House

Canada Can Avoid Counterterrorism Mistakes of the Past


Published: Oct 24, 2014 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

Two tragic events occurred in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa this week. While these attacks raise important security questions, they do not suggest an unmanageable terrorist threat, and Canada is well resourced to respond.

IHS Jane's Intelligence Review

Global Gendarme? The Future of French Security


Published: Oct 05, 2014 by IHS Jane's Intelligence Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

François Hollande has proved active on the international stage, intervening militarily and diplomatically on many fronts. Benoît Gomis examines whether persistent internal challenges may force France to become more isolationist in the future.

World Politics Review

Turkey Declares New War on Drugs, Ignoring Pitfalls and Global Trends


Published: Oct 03, 2014 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

Last month, likening drug dealers to terrorists, the Turkish government declared a new war on drugs, with the objective of eradicating drug use in Turkey by 2023. With growing international momentum toward more humane and realistic drug policies, Turkey is heading in the opposite direction.

World Politics Review

Growing Threat of European Fighters in Syria Highlights Need for EU Cooperation


Published: Jul 10, 2014 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

Almost all European Union member states have seen some of their citizens, often Muslims between the ages of 18-29, leave their countries to join the jihad against the Assad regime in Syria. There has been a range of national responses to stem the flow of European jihadi fighters, including prevention, management, monitoring, prosecution and reintegration measures. But the EU still has an important role to play.

Europe's World

Are the UK and France on the same page?


Published: Apr 06, 2014 by Europe's World
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

More than three years ago, the UK and France signed wide-ranging cooperation agreements on defence and security. Across Europe, some criticized the Lancaster House treaties for excluding other European partners and the EU as such; in the UK, there were concerns that this new partnership would lead to a European army, while in France, many cautioned that the Franco-British deal could in fact jeopardize broader European defence policy efforts.

Institute of Development Studies

Mexico must strengthen its weak governance structures to contain both self-defen


Published: Apr 02, 2014 by Institute of Development Studies
Authors: Jeronimo Mohar, Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

It is now a truism to state that violence in Latin America is due to drug trafficking and an international drug control regime in dire need of reform. However, what is said less often is that drug trafficking-related violence is also driven by profound structural causes and institutional weaknesses.

Institute of Development Studies

Black swan or time-bomb? Mexico’s frustrated citizens are increasingly taking up


Published: Mar 20, 2014 by Institute of Development Studies
Authors: Jeronimo Mohar, Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

On New Year’s Eve 2013, armed vigilantes – members of unofficial self-defence groups – fanned out across the state of Michoacán, west of Mexico City and home to former President Felipe Calderón. Their aim? To drive out the Knights Templar, a drug trafficking organisation.

European Geostrategy

The European implications of Franco-British defence cooperation


Published: Feb 11, 2014 by European Geostrategy
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

In November 2010, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met at Lancaster House in London to sign wide-ranging treaties on bilateral defence and security cooperation. These agreements mattered for the European Union (EU): its two largest military powers decided to partner outside the EU framework.

World Politics Review

U.K.-France Summit Spotlights Struggles of Important Defense Partnership


Published: Feb 11, 2014 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Jan. 31 marked the third France-U.K. bilateral summit since the signing of the Lancaster House treaties on bilateral defense and security cooperation in November 2010. A number of key announcements, including on joint weapons purchases, were made at the summit. But the meeting also highlighted tensions and divergences in an important defense partnership, in which Europe is once again the most contentious issue.

Chatham House

Illicit Drugs and International Security: Towards UNGASS 2016


Published: Feb 01, 2014 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

In the last three years, the drug policy debate has evolved more than in the previous three decades. There remain a number of political obstacles to making recent developments sustainable ahead of the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in 2016, but these should not be used as excuses for continuing with a failed status quo.

World Politics Review

Rise of Self-Defense Groups Highlights Mexico's State-Level Security Challenges


Published: Jan 24, 2014 by World Politics Review
Authors: Jeronimo Mohar, Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

Residents of Mexico’s Michoacan state must feel a grim sense of deja vu as the federal government once again intervenes in the state to enforce security. Notwithstanding the parallels to the beginning of Former President Felipe Calderon’s “war on drugs” seven years ago, a new variable has come into play: the rise of “self-defense groups,” adding a new layer of complexity in the state and in Mexico as a whole.

IHS Jane's Intelligence Review

Bragging Rights: Mexican criminals turn to social media


Published: Jan 05, 2014 by IHS Jane's Intelligence Review
Authors: Jeronimo Mohar, Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

The arrest of a Mexican drug lord’s son who publicised his lavish lifestyle on Twitter highlights drug traffickers’ use of social media. Jerónimo Mohar and Benoît Gomis examine why cartels’ evolving media use will prove challenging for the government.

European Geostrategy

European Council on Security and Defence: time for small steps


Published: Dec 04, 2013 by European Geostrategy
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

This December, the European Council on Security and Defence will be the European Union’s (EU) first in five years. Since 2008, when the European Security Strategy was last updated, a number of geopolitical, military and economic developments have substantially altered Europe’s strategic environment.

IHS Jane's Intelligence Review

Port in a Storm: Drugs and Organised Crime in Marseille


Published: Oct 05, 2013 by IHS Jane's Intelligence Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

A spate of killings related to organised crime in 2013 has put the French port of Marseille in the spotlight. Benoît Gomis examines what has been done to combat the perceived issue, and what further measures are likely to be implemented by the city.

World Politics Review

Uruguay Marijuana Bill Portends New Era in Drug Policy


Published: Aug 20, 2013 by World Politics Review
Authors: Claudia Hofmann, Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Earlier this month, Uruguay's House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing marijuana and regulating the production, distribution and sale of the drug by the government. While the bill has yet to be approved by the Uruguayan Senate, its passage is expected. Uruguay would then become the first country in the world where marijuana is fully regulated from cultivation to sale.

World Politics Review

U.S. Intelligence Leaks Offer Chance for European Counterterrorism Reform


Published: Jul 08, 2013 by World Politics Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Recent revelations about U.S. intelligence programs are causing an uproar in Europe. But once the initial outrage over PRISM and associated intelligence-collection efforts dies down and there is no longer any political advantage to be gained from the issue, the most likely outcome is a return to business as usual. However, a comprehensive review of counterterrorism policies is much needed across the West.

Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique

Entre Londres et Berlin: Le difficile rééquilibrage stratégique français


Published: Jun 05, 2013 by Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

More than two and a half years after the signature of the Lancaster House treaties, time has come to reassess Franco-British defence cooperation. There has been some important progress, notably regarding institutional and operational cooperation with a series of joint military exercises as well as missions in Libya and Mali. However budgetary austerity, once a key factor for bilateral cooperation, may now constitute an obstacle to further cooperation.

Chatham House

Woolwich Attack: Managing Fear


Published: May 24, 2013 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

Following the violent murder in Woolwich, London, the front page of most national newspapers were filled with pictures of the two suspected perpetrators, holding a machete covered in blood, along with sensationalist titles - e.g. 'You will never be safe, we will never stop fighting', 'Beheaded on a British street', 'Blood on his hands, hatred in his eyes', and 'Terror returns to Britain'.

IHS Jane's Intelligence Review

Channel Hopping


Published: May 05, 2013 by IHS Jane's Intelligence Review
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

France and the UK are facing defence budget pressures that are driving practical working-level co-operation on security issues. Benoît Gomis assesses where the European powers are heading in terms of bilateral military and security co-operation.

Chatham House

France's White Paper on National Security and Defence


Published: May 01, 2013 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

France's long awaited defence and national security White Paper, released on 29 April, outlines some noteworthy cuts in the country's defence capabilities, but these are not as significant as many expected. Furthermore, the document outlines some investment in new areas.

Chatham House

France-UK Defence Cooperation and Mali


Published: Jan 31, 2013 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced a contribution of two C-17 transport planes and a Sentinel R1 aircraft in direct support of the French military operation in Mali and up to 40 military trainers for the EU Training Mission Mali (EUTM). Does this suggest Franco-British defence cooperation is still strong?

Bright Blue

Drugs: A global and interconnected problem in need of a policy reassessment


Published: Jan 11, 2013 by Bright Blue
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

The drugs problem is complex. There is no magic solution, but it is clear that the current status quo requires a serious rethink.

Chatham House

Drug Policy Report: Opportunity for Change?


Published: Dec 10, 2012 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Much of the media coverage of the UK Home Affairs Select Committee report, Drugs: Breaking the Cycle, has so far focused on one policy recommendation: the need for 'significantly closer consideration' of the Portuguese model of depenalization. However, consumption is just one element of the drug problem.

The World Today

Changing the prescription


Published: Aug 05, 2012 by The World Today
Authors: Claire Yorke, Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

The fifty-year global war against drugs has failed and the time has come to admit it. Claire Yorke and Benoît Gomis argue that a new approach is now needed.

Chatham House

Fearing the worst: Terrorism and the British public


Published: Jul 01, 2012 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

No government in the world can prevent every single terrorist attack, and terrorism should therefore be seen not as a threat to the British way of life but as a risk to be managed and contained. And although terrorist violence is likely to remain a fact of life, the government should place a high priority on addressing the pervading sense of fear that the potential for future attacks appears to induce.

World Politics Review

U.K.-France Defense Cooperation in Spotlight Ahead of NATO Summit


Published: Mar 21, 2012 by World Politics Review
Authors: Andrea Barbara Baumann
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

The upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago will be a key test not only of whether the alliance can hold together and respond to common security challenges, but also of the role that the U.K. and France will play in this process.

Chatham House

Franco-British Defence Cooperation after Libya


Published: Nov 02, 2011 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Less than half a year after the signing of the Franco-British treaties on 2 November 2010, the UK and France took the political lead to resolve the Libyan crisis, and provided the majority of the military efforts amongst the NATO Alliance. Libya served as a valuable test case for future cooperation and highlighted a number of broader challenges and opportunities for the Franco-British partnership.

Chatham House

Islamic Terrorism in the UK since 9/11: Reassessing the ‘Soft’ Response


Published: Jun 06, 2011 by Chatham House
Authors: Jay Edwards, Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

From a policy standpoint the current Prevent strategy has confused the distinction between extremism and violent extremism, is seen as an intelligence-gathering mission, and has failed to take into account the impact of British foreign policy as a key driver of violent extremism.

Chatham House

Entente while it lasts?


Published: Mar 01, 2011 by Chatham House
Authors: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

The 2010 Franco-British treaties have the potential to further bilateral strategic rapprochement and serve as a source of inspiration for other joint defence initiatives in Europe but their sustainability will depend on a number of factors.

Politique Etrangère

The Future of the United Kingdom’s Defense Policy


Published: Jul 05, 2010 by Politique Etrangère
Authors: Christophe Goussot, Benoît Goussot
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Faced with multiple deployments, difficulties linked to equipment and personnel management, and restrictions linked to budget, the UK’s military is at a dead end. Its defense policy must be reviewed, a process that has been started in view of the next Strategic Defense and Security Review. However, the parties in charge of this decision must first compromise and reach an agreement on the matter.

News

Interview with Newsweek

By: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Comments in "Canada Will Welcome 25,000 Refugees, But No Single Straight Men"

Interview on CFAX radio

By: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

https://soundcloud.com/terry-moore-cfax/september-1-3pm-1 (from 7.38 onwards)

Interview with Newsweek

By: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Interview on French arms trade

Interview with USA Today

By: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Interview on terrorist attack in France

Interview with European Geostrategy

By: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security

In this interview, Daniel Fiott talks with European Geostrategy Associate Editor Benoît Gomis about counterterrorism strategies. Benoit is the author of the recently published Counterterrorism: Reassessing the Policy Response (CRC Press).

Audio of talk at King's College London

By: Benoît Gomis

Here is the recording of a talk I gave on my forthcoming book - Counterterrorism: Reassessing the Policy Response - at an event hosted by the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College London: https://soundcloud.com/warstudies/benoit-gomis-counterterrorism-reassessing-the-policy-response?in=warstudies/sets/events

Interview on Radio Canada

By: Benoît Gomis
Subjects: Homeland Security, Public Administration & Public Policy

Interview on attacks in Paris, terrorism, security and the internet (in French)