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The Israeli-Hamas War in a Strategic Context with Roby Barrett, PhD

The implications of the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinian HAMAS faction are
extremely complex with much more far-reaching implications than the headlines suggest.

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Time & Location








The Israeli-Hamas War in a Strategic Context with Roby Barrett, PhD

Tuesday, Sept 10, 2024

7-8 pm CT

About this online event:

The implications of the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinian HAMAS faction are

extremely complex with much more far-reaching implications than the headlines suggest. The primary

conflict pits Israel against one of its most tenacious foes, HAMAS the militant Palestinian version of the

Muslim Brotherhood. It is not clear that Israel will be able to achieve its military much less its political

goals. At a regional level, it pits Israel against Iran and its proxies in the region significantly undermining

the strategies of successive Israeli governments to stymie Palestinian political ambitions while

simultaneously courting recognition and economic ties with Arab states opposed to any expanded Muslim

Brotherhood influence. In addition, the conflict has increased the potential for political instability among

the Western-oriented states who currently have official relations with Israel. In the background, Iran has

enhanced its own prestige and demonstrated its ability to play the spoiler to ill-conceived Israeli and

Western notions of what is strategically attainable and sustainable in the Middle East. Finally for the

West, the war has proven to be a major distraction from is arguably the more strategically important

events in Eastern Europe. This presentation places the current war within its historical context i.e. Gaza as

a perpetual irritant since 1948 – and then it examines the conflict within a broader regional and

international construct that includes projections about short- and medium-term implications and


Instructor bio:

Dr. Roby C. Barrett is an internationally recognized author and expert on the Middle East. He is a scholar at the Middle East Institute, Washington, DC. A former Foreign Service Officer with a background in intelligence and special operations, Dr. Barrett served in Yemen, the Levant, and the Persian Gulf. As a Senior Fellow at the Middle East and North Africa Forum at Cambridge University, he authored their Series on Arab Gulf Security as well as other articles on the region. He has been a Senior Fellow and Instructor of Applied Intelligence at US Special Operations Command and a briefer and subject matter expert with Special Operations—US Central Command. He also served as an advisor to the Defense Language Institute as well as a Senior Fellow at the Air Force Special Operations School. He provides support to various US government organizations including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Defense University, the State Department, and the intelligence community. He has been a featured presenter at the National Defense University, State Department, USSOCOM, and Special Operations-Central Command as well as with the intelligence community. He was a visiting professor at the Royal Saudi Arabian Command and Staff School, and a featured expert on Iran at the German Council on Foreign Relations and with the Bundeswehr. He has spoken at numerous Middle East conferences including the Bahrain MOI Gulf Security Forum, the opening of the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center, the Arabian Gulf SOF Conference, and at the Joint Five-Eyes Conference. Originally trained in Russian and Soviet Affairs at the LMU-University of Munich and Oxford University, Dr. Barrett headed the multi-agency Gulf analyst team in a 2016 National Intelligence Organization (NIO) simulation focusing on the Russians in the Middle East. Dr. Barrett is a graduate of the Middle East Studies and Arabic program at the Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State, and holds a PhD in Middle Eastern and South Asian History from the University of Texas at Austin.

Moderator bio: 

Dennis Cooley received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Rochester in 1995. His teaching and research interests include theoretical and applied ethics with a focus on pragmatism, bioethics, business ethics, personhood, and death and dying. He is the author of Technology, Transgenics, and a Practical Moral Code, Death’s Values and Obligations: A Pragmatic Framework, and co-edited Passing/Out: Identity Veiled and Revealed. He is Secretary General of the International Academy of Medical Ethics and Public Health; Editor of Springer’s International Library of Bioethics; Associate Editor of Elsevier’s Ethics, Medicine and Public Health; and Director of the Northern Plains Ethics Institute.

HND Value Statement

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota. However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally. Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University. To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

Humanities North Dakota classes and events are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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