Hosted by Johns Hopkins University
U.S. Strategy for Syria, Iraq, and the Islamic State
Chaos in Iraq and Syria has created a flow of refugees and opportunists threatening the very fabric of Europe. ISIS, with considerable sympathy for it from across the Muslim world, has built momentum for its cause by occupying territory. Russia seeks to conserve its regional foothold through the Assad regime using uninhibited forcefulness. Iran exploits this wide-spread instability to move toward its goal of regional hegemony, which traditional U.S. Gulf allies work to avoid. Various factions within Syria seek to unseat Assad. And, opposing aims of the Kurds, Sunnis, Shia, and Turks boil over as part of the conflict in Syria and Iraq. For the Rethinking Seminar Professor Stephen D. Biddle, a student of the region as well of warfare and diplomacy, will seek to unwind these complexities, analyze their context, and then articulate a reasonable strategy for the United States.
Dr. Biddle has held research and teaching positions at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the U.S. Army War College. He has served on General Petraeus’s Joint Strategic Assessment Team, General McChrystal’s Initial Strategic Assessment Team, and as a Senior Advisor to General Petraeus’s Central Command Assessment Team in Washington. Most recently, Professor Biddle was a Senior Research Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations before joining the faculty at George Washington University in 2012. His award-winning book, Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle, joins a long list of his other publications that have appeared in journals and media outlets.