Georgia Tech Experts: Is the Middle East Burning?


I think it’s really important for the Georgia
Tech community to sort of get beyond their everyday thinking about their classes and
their exams that they have and just engage with the broader world.
We’re picking an issue
that’s ripped from the headlines, uh, and affects everybody.
The Arab Spring seems to
be this major historical marker, transforming the Middle East in ways that we probably,
are unimaginable now and probably won’t see until quite some time. We need to remember
that it was actually the Iraq war that have unleashed many of these, uh, many of these,
these dynamics that we see today.
And that’s something that’s critical for militant groups
to be able to function. They need support just to be able to operate in towns. They
need places to hide. They need resources. Just at a very basic level.
I think I learned
a lot about ISIS and what kind of organization it is. But also more broadly about how you
can even help to tackle, um, organization such as ISIS.
I think that the Obama organization
is, should be commended in, in, in trying to walking a very difficult line between different
policy dilemmas that we tried to lay out. I think the challenge as it moves forward
is to put meat on the bones, so to speak. Not only to explain to the American public
but to actually try to put something in place that can create, as I’ve said before, time
and space on the ground for those other actors. Um, and what ISIS has done and, or is beginning
to do, and this is something that Hamas has done very effectively, is that they’ve been
able to provide services in places where the government haven’t been able to.
The United States will get challenged in various arenas. Not just, not just in the Middle East, of
why you intervene in this place and not the other, but also at home. Because we can have
an entire panel on domestic politics, of how, how these foreign policies affect our domestic
politics in the debates that occur.
I mean, my research would indicate that, you know,
our strategy of, you know, targeted air strikes against leadership is not effective. And not
only is it not likely to be effective, it’s likely to be counterproductive. And it’s likely
to have these blowback kind of consequences that could radicalize people on the ground.
I think the Georgia Tech today, of today is a lot different than yesteryear and I think
the students, the engineers, in particular, are global in perspective.

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