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US National Security
Robert G. Rabil
Lifelong Learning Professorship of Current Affairs, 2012-2013
Recipient of the 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Salafi-jihadism, non-state terror actors, nuclear proliferation, failed and near-failed states, migration, regional and international competition over resources and projection of power are part of a long list of challenges and threats facing the national security of the United States. Debating, understanding and addressing these challenges and threats constitute a complex and often contentious effort, affecting not only the security, but also the international role of the United States. Assuming power with a dedication to pursue in principle an “America First” policy without an ideological orientation or a defined global security strategy about how to advance US national security in a global environment leaning towards multi-polarity, the Trump administration has already faced serious challenges to the country’s undisputed global power. Consequently, on May 3, 2017, Secretary Rex Tillerson, without much fanfare, addressed his State Department’s employees about what “America First” means for US foreign policy. The guiding principles of “America First” rested on addressing America’s “partnerships and alliances” which have become “a little bit out of balance” during the post-Cold War era and on reconciling “our interests with our values.” Apparently, this policy, in principle, is neither isolationist nor interventionist. It leans more toward realpolitik. Nevertheless, its contours have not yet been defined and most likely will be shaped by how the Trump administration deals with its foreign challenges and threats. This lecture series tries to enhance the understanding of some major threats to US national security, while underscoring the importance of examining issues from both the local and America’s perspectives.

1. The Trump Administration, U.S. Military and Iraq: Gen. H.R. McMaster and the Rise or Fall of the COINdinistas?
2. The Sahel Region: A Bleak Future and Historic Migration
3. Oman: The Go-between State?
4. Turkey, United States and the Gulenist Movement: The Rise of Post-Islamism in the US?
5. The Arctic Region: Prospects and Challenges of the Last Frontier
6. United States, Russia and the Syrian Crisis: Beyond the Fall of ISIS
7. France, Salafism, and “Centrist Policies”: Revising or Abolishing “Multiculturalism”?
8. The Trump Administration and the War on Terrorism: An Assessment
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Robert G. Rabil is an internationally renowned and acclaimed scholar. His books have been highly commended and reviewed by major academic journals in the US, UK, Arab world, Australia, Israel and Iran. His recent book on Salafism, based on Arabic primary sources and field research trips to the Middle East, broke new ground in the fields of Islamism, terrorism and Middle East politics. He is considered one of the leading experts on Salafism, radical Islam, US-Arab and Arab-Israeli relations, and terrorism. He served as Chief of Emergency for the Red Cross in Lebanon, and was Project Manager of the US State Department-funded Iraq Research and Documentation Project. He lectures nationally and internationally, and participates in forums and seminars sponsored by the US government, including the US Army and the National Intelligence Council. He holds a master's in Government from Harvard University and a PhD in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. In May 2012, he was conferred with an honorary PhD in Humanities from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is a Professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).  

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Date: Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $100
Non-member - $130
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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