People Power in the Middle East: Challenges for U.S. Policy

** BREAKING ISSUE **

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Panelists

Edward Webb – professor of political science and international studies, Dickinson College
Andrew Wolff – professor of political science and international studies, Dickinson College
Larry Goodson – professor of Middle East studies, U.S. Army War College
W. Andrew Terrill – professor of national security affairs, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College
Moderator – David Commins – professor of history and Middle East Studies, Dickinson College

The wave of Arab protests sweeping through Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen caught American policymakers by surprise, posing the dilemma of choosing between apparently reliable autocratic allies and democratic principles.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)
Ed Webb is assistant professor of political science & international studies and a founder of Dickinson’s Middle East studies program. Formerly a member of Britain’s Diplomatic Service, including serving at the British Embassy in Cairo in the 1990’s, he has a B.A. from Cambridge University and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. His teaching and research interests in the Middle East include secularism, education, authoritarianism, and media, including digital and social media. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education.

Andrew Wolff is an assistant professor in the political science and international studies departments at Dickinson College. In 2010, he completed a doctorate in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His dissertation examined the influence of geopolitics on the decision-making process for enlarging NATO into Central and Eastern Europe. He also holds a bachelors of arts degree in politics and European history from Washington and Lee University and a master’s degree in European studies from Johns Hopkins University SAIS. His research interests include U.S. foreign policy, transatlantic relations, NATO security policy, international relations theory, and European politics.

Larry P. Goodson is professor of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Army War College. He is regularly consulted by senior government officials about Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East. In 2008-2009 he served on a four-month temporary assignment with the U.S. Central Command Assessment Team, where he focused on U.S. strategy and policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan for General David Petraeus. As U.S. Central Command Fellow in 2004, he served as a senior adviser to General John Abizaid on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Prof. Goodson held the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security at the U.S. Army War College from 2004 to 2007. In 2002, Prof. Goodson was technical adviser on Elections and one of the International Election Monitors for the Emergency Loya Jirga in Afghanistan.

W. Andrew Terrill joined the Strategic Studies Institute in October 2001, and is SSI’s Middle East specialist. Prior to his appointment, he served as a Middle East nonproliferation analyst for the International Assessments Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). In 1998-99, Dr. Terrill also served as a Visiting Professor at the U.S. Air War College on assignment from LLNL. He is a former faculty member at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and has taught adjunct at a variety of other colleges and universities. He is a retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel and Foreign Area Officer (Middle East). Dr. Terrill has published in numerous academic journals on topics including nuclear proliferation, the Iran-Iraq War, Operation DESERT STORM, Middle Eastern chemical weapons, and ballistic missile proliferation, terrorism, and commando operations. He is also the author of Global Security Watch – Jordan (Praeger 2010). Since 1994, at U.S. State Department invitation, Dr. Terrill has participated in the Middle Eastern Track 2 talks, which are part of the Middle East Peace Process. He has also served as a member of the military and security working group of the Baker/Hamilton Iraq Study Group throughout its existence in 2006. Dr. Terrill holds a B.A. from California State Polytechnic University and an M.A. from the University of California, Riverside, both in Political Science. He also holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California.

David Commins is professor of history and the Benjamin Rush Distinguished Chair in Liberal Arts and Sciences at Dickinson College. He teaches courses in the Middle East Studies program and the history department. His publications include Islamic Reform: Politics and Social Change in Late Ottoman Syria (Oxford University Press, 1990), Historical Dictionary of Syria (Scarecrow Press, 1995, revised edition 2004), and The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia (IB Tauris, 2006).