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This profile was last updated on 9/11/13  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Ms. Elizabeth O'Bagy

Wrong Elizabeth O'Bagy?

Political Director

Phone: (202) ***-****  HQ Phone
Local Address: , District of Columbia, United States
1875 I St. Nw
Washington D.C. , District of Columbia 20006
United States

Company Description: The Syrian Emergency Task Force is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization created to support the Syrian people's demand for freedom and democracy, regardless of...   more

Employment History


  • Ph.D.
  • Ph.D. degree
    Georgetown University
  • masters
    Georgetown University
  • Ph.D. program
    Georgetown University
  • Ph.D. program
    Georgetown University
187 Total References
Web References
Read More: "masters of war", Barack ..., 11 Sept 2013 [cached]
Read More: "masters of war", Barack Obama, Bill Kristol, Bob Dylan, Elizabeth O'Bagy, Institute for the Study of War, Iraq War, Kimberly Kagan, Liz Cheney, Mouaz Moustafa, Salafi, Syria, Syrian Emergency Task Force, United States, Vietnam War, war mongering
The single most cited account of the situation in Syria over the past two weeks was an Op-Ed by Elizabeth O'Bagy in the Wall Street Journal. Titled "On the Front Lines of Syria's Civil War," the column sought to counter one of the greatest concerns regarding support for Syrian rebels - that they are constituted significantly of Islamist jihadists. O'Bagy, who has spent much time in Syria, informed us otherwise.
According to O'Bagy, jihadists like Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq are not at the front lines leading the fight against Assad, but busy consolidating territorial gains in the North of the country, where they hope to establish an Islamist state.
O'Bagy characterizes the other rebel forces, collectively, as "moderates. Never does she explain that descriptor. She does not, for instance, say what it is they moderate between: jihadists and what the West would call "liberals"? She advises at the end that the "U.S. must make a choice. It can address the problem now, while there is still a large moderate force with some shared U.S. interests, or …." O'Bagy concludes with her best description of the "moderates" as a "force with some shared U.S. interests. What a curiously tepid and vague endorsement. Could it be because what counts among "moderates" are Salafists, who while not jihadists seeking a universal caliphate, do wish to create a state existing under Sharia law? You will have to ask O'Bagy, so let's.
In this context, but absent the same clear, specific, but uncertain account, O'Bagy now advocates support by the U.S, including "a major bombing campaign by the U.S., sophisticated weaponry, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapon systems," with the "ultimate goal of destroying Assad's military capability while simultaneously empowering the moderate opposition."
O'Bagy was identified in the August 30th op-ed as "a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. A full week later, the Wall Street Journal was led to offer a correction beneath her article.
In addition to her role at the Institute for the Study of War, Ms. O'Bagy is affiliated with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a nonprofit operating as a 501(c)(3) pending IRS approval that subcontracts with the U.S. and British governments to provide aid to the Syrian opposition.
Even in its correction the Journal was not completely forthcoming. O'Bagy is not merely "affiliated with" SETF; she is identified at its website as its political director.
Renee Montagne (NPR) talks with ..., 9 Sept 2013 [cached]
Renee Montagne (NPR) talks with Elizabeth O'Bagy
September 6, 2013- NPR talked with SETF Political Director Elizabeth O'bagy about the composition of rebel forces inside Syria. Listen to the report here.
Elizabeth O'Bagy appears on Fox News
Institute for the Study of War - Profile - Right Web - Institute for Policy Studies, 24 Jan 2015 [cached]
Elizabeth O'Bagy, a researcher who led the organization's Syria Team for much of 2013, advocated more forceful strategies while based at ISW, including pushing direct U.S. attacks on critical regime infrastructure and supplying the rebels with heavy weaponry. O'Bagy outlined this case in a controversial August 2013 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which she also argued that reports of extremist involvement in Syria's armed opposition were overblown-a claim that was subsequently repeated by intervention advocates like Sen.
More controversially, the Journal initially failed to disclose that O'Bagy had been a paid consultant-with the title "political director"-for the Syrian Emergency Task Force, an interest group deeply linked to the Syrian rebels that has advocated similar position's to O'Bagy's. "O'Bagy seems to pass herself off as an impartial observer of the situation," said one Center for Security Policy staffer quoted by the Daily Caller. "Her access to Congress, intelligence services and to think tanks should be regarded as what it really is, which is a reflection of the Syrian rebels' cause and aspirations."[3] ISW stood by O'Bagy's impartiality, but subsequently fired her after learning that she had exaggerated her credentials in claiming that she had earned a PhD from Georgetown when in fact she was not even enrolled in a program.[4]
May 29, 2013 - BBC - ..., 29 May 2013 [cached]
May 29, 2013 - BBC - Elizabeth O'Bagy
Elizabeth O'Bagy, Institute for the Study of War:
Elizabeth O'Bagy is a Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, where she focuses on Syrian politics and security.
Academia | Daniel W. Drezner, 16 Nov 2013 [cached]
Until yesterday, Elizabeth O'Bagy was a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War and an increasingly prominent expert on the Syrian rebel groups. Then the institute announced the following:
The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O'Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University. ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O'Bagy's employment, effective immediately.
O'Bagy's exact academic status was unclear in the reportage. According what O'Bagy told Politico, "she had submitted and defended her dissertation and was waiting for Georgetown University to confer her degree. However, according to BuzzFeed, "O'Bagy has a masters from Georgetown University and was enrolled in a Ph.D program, but had not yet defended her dissertation.
O'Bagy was enrolled in the Arab Studies Master's program, which only partners with three departments for joint doctorate programs: Government, History, and Arabic Language, Literature, and Linguistics. Given her purported topic, she would have partnered with Government - according to one Georgetown PhD student who met O'Bagy, she had claimed a distinguished member of the Government Department as her adviser.
She is not listed as a PhD student on the Government department's website. She does not exist in the university directory. A search of the entire Georgetown website turns up only one hit, a congratulations notice for her Master's graduation.
sources at Georgetown confirm Beauchamp's account, telling me that there is zero evidence that O'Bagy was ever enrolled in any Ph.D. program at Georgetown.
O'Bagy's Aug. 30 op-ed piece for the Journal, "On the Front Lines of Syria's Civil War," was cited by both Kerry and McCain last week.
"In addition to her role at the Institute for the Study of War, Ms. O'Bagy is affiliated with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a nonprofit operating as a 501(c)(3) pending IRS approval that subcontracts with the U.S. and British governments to provide aid to the Syrian opposition," the WSJ added in its clarification.
Or, as CNN's Jake Tapper pithily put it: "It's all part of the weird world of Washington - a doctor who is not a doctor writes an op-ed testifying for the rebels, without disclosing that she is paid for by a rebel advocacy group, and her words are seized as evidence by experts - Kerry and McCain."
So there's that. It is certainly possible that O'Bagy's WSJ op-ed is 100% accurate. The thing is, misrepresenting one's affiliations and credentials go to credibility, and O'Bagy now has two strikes against her.
The other thing is why O'Bagy felt the need to misrepresent her credentials, and why the hell it took so long for Kagan and the ISW to ferret this out.
O'Bagy is hardly the first person to misrepresent her academic credentials -- nor is she the most egregious example.
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