Terrorism and the Middle East in 2016: Next Steps

September 12, 2016 

 Dr. Emile Nakhleh

The Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) continues to threaten the Middle East region, the United States and the world. What are the ideological and policy factors that drive it, and what lies behind its apparent resiliency? In contrast with its predecessor terror group, al-Qa’ida, the “jihadist” threat from ISIS is more lethal, battle-hardened, and well entrenched. Whereas al-Qa’ida Central moved from the global arena to regional and local areas, ISIS seems to be moving from the local theater(Syria and Iraq) to regional states and expanding globally. Using social media platforms, ISIS is bent on radicalizing and recruiting Muslim youth in the West and elsewhere, including in the United States. ISIS is not larger than life and must and will be contained.  Dr. Nakhleh will address all, including the nature and source of radical Sunni ideology that feeds it, and will highlight US regional policy and the threats and challenges over the next five to ten years.

Dr. Nakhleh is a retired Senior Intelligence Service Officer, a Research Professor and Director of the newly launched Global and National Security Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico. He is a National Intelligence Council/IC Associate and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since retiring from the US Government in 2006, he has consulted on national security issues, particularly Islamic radicalization, terrorism, and the Arab states of the Middle East. He has published frequently on the “Arab Spring” in the Financial Times and the LobeLog blog At the CIA, he was a senior analyst and director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program and a regional analyst in the Middle East. He holds a Ph.D. from the American University, Washington, D.C., in International Relations, an M.A. from Georgetown University in Political Science, and a B.A. from Saint John’s University, Minnesota, in Political Science. He is the author of numerous academic books and scholarly articles. He and his wife, Ilonka Lessnau Nakhleh, live in Albuquerque, NM.

Cost for this lunch session is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. 

This program with Dr. Emile Nakhleh is now SOLD OUT!

memorialWhat Have We Learned About Combating Terrorism After 9/11

Article by Emile Nakhleh

Date: September 13, 2016.

Africa’s Petroleum Boom: Blessing or Curse?

February 26, 2016 

Mark L. Asquino: US Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, 2012-15

Several Sub-Saharan African nations have been experiencing an unprecedented influx of riches as a result of the exportation abroad of their oil and gas.  Equatorial Guinea, where Mark Asquino was Ambassador until October, is the third largest petroleum Sub-Saharan producer today.  On the other side of the continent, the Sudan – where Ambassador Asquino previously served, is another.  The two top producers, however, are Nigeria and Angola which he will also discuss.  On the one hand, the riches accrued from petroleum exports have made these countries far wealthier than their wildest dreams.  On the other, money isn’t everything.  What are the pluses and minuses of Africa’s petroleum gold mine, who benefits, who loses and how best can these countries cope?


The Migration Crisis in the Mediterranean: Reasons and Repercussions

September 17, 2015

 Panayotis J. Tsakonas, Professor of International Relations, Security Studies and Foreign Policy Analysis at the Department of Mediterranean Studies, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece.

What are the repercussions of migration for the EU and in particular South European states? How has illegal migration unfolded in the broader Mediterranean region during the last decade and why has it reached crisis proportions?  How is the huge influx of migrants from war torn areas in the Middle East and Africa being perceived and dealt with by the European Union and its members, particularly those hardest hit—Greece, Italy, and Hungary—as well as their neighbors.  What is driving the huge increase, how is Europe coping, how are these unprecedented waves of human migration affecting European security and what can be done to deal with the influx?


A Writer in Exile: My Only Country: Words and Literature

October 28, 2013

Kebir Ammi, French/North African novelist/dramatist/essayist

How does the world appear to a North African novelist living, writing and teaching in post 9/11 France?  What do his stories tell us about the world and 21st century civilization looking at it from the perspective of a Muslim émigré?


The Fallout from Libya: Al Qaeda in Africa

November 27, 2012

Vicki Huddleston, Ambassador, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa; US Ambassador to Madagascar and to Mali; Principal Officer of the US Interests Section in Havana and Chargé d’affairs ad interim in Ethiopia

The power vacuum created by Qadhafi’s fall goes beyond the tragic death of our Ambassador and his colleagues in Benghazi — the same city that the US led coalition saved from rape and pillage.   Religious extremism, terror and crime now thrive within Libya and beyond.   Having destroyed the country of Mali and established a homeland in West Africa from where, violent extremism will spread across the Sahara and North back into Algeria and Libya creating another Afghanistan if we fail to adopt a proactive counter terrorism strategy that will help Africa defeat Al Qaeda.


Fish vs. Cattle: Conflict Mitigation in South Sudan

September 24, 2012

Patrick Murphy, was the “fisheries expert” for the USAID project in South Sudan under the direction of AECOM

South Sudan gained its independence from Muslim (North) Sudan in 2011 after decades of hot and cold Civil War.  The world rejoiced.  The Arab North would no longer be oppressing the non-Arab, non-Muslim South.  Unfortunately the regions and tribes of the newly independent country had been united mostly by their opposition to the North.  The new country, unfortunately, is still riven by tribal and other sub-national rivalries, some  older than the bloody conflict with the North.  Other questions arose.  How would the new country define itself?  How could it reconcile its jealous components?  How could it redirect its peoples’ energies in a manner consistent with the modern world? (more…)

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