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 Santa Rosa Model: A Colombia Success Story

January 26, 2015

John Heard, former Senior Foreign Service Officer with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Peace Corps with tours in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, El Salvador, Bosnia and the Philippines plus a number of years in Washington

Although Colombia has been pushed off the front pages by Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine, Colombia remains one of the largest recipients of US foreign assistance. Colombia is also a US foreign policy priority in terms of the “wars” on drugs and terror as well as our commitment to strengthening democracies. Not only is Colombia America’s staunchest ally in the hemisphere, it offers an underappreciated model of successful cooperation with the U.S. Santa Rosa del Sur, a small town in Colombia’s Southern Bolivar Department, was once in the heart of northern Colombia drug production with a heavy involvement of leftist guerilla groups. The farmers had no choice but to grow coca for peanuts, so to speak. Ten years later they thrive by growing cocoa and other legally marketable crops. USAID helped to make that happen. Our speaker was part of this durable transformation, and this program will tell us how it came about.


Scientific and Technological Cooperation and the Trans-Atlantic Economy – the “Fifth Freedom”

November 25, 2014

James Gavigan, Minister Counselor, EU Mission to the United States

EU Commission logo

This program was held in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.

Even though the pursuit of new knowledge has never been delimited to national borders, the fact that public funds for science are largely in the hands of national authorities acts as a constraint on its international character. Moreover, the private financing of science mostly puts private interests ahead of the common good.


The US and Southeast Asia: The Challenging Times Continue

September 30, 2014

Will Itoh, Ambassador, Director, Washington International Programs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Senior Advisor, McLarty Associates

Just in the past year, the political and economic atmosphere in mainland Southeast Asia – from Myanmar to Vietnam – has dramatically shifted. Myanmar’s “Arab spring” has faded, economically prosperous Thailand has succumbed to political control by a military junta, and still Communist Vietnam is locked in a fierce contest with China over disputed islands in the South China Sea. In April 2012, the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum devoted its two day symposium to an exploration of US-Asian relations. This month’s session by Asian specialist Ambassador Will Itoh explores the changes that have subsequently taken place in Asia’s dynamic Southeast corner and their implications for the US.


Slovakia in the European Union 10 Years On: Promises Fulfilled?

August 12, 2014

Rick Zednik, EURActiv CEO

The spring of 2004 was momentous in the history of independent Slovakia. On May 1 of that year, the country joined the European Union. Coming as it did less than five weeks after Slovakia joined NATO, this marked the culmination of a long process that was highly uncertain in the 1990′s. A decade later, we can now reflect on what enabled Slovakia to join these European and trans-Atlantic structures, and how the subsequent integration has fared.


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