Thursday, April 25, 2019

Christopher Bolan, U.S. Army War College, Professor of Middle East Security Studies

“US Strategy in the Middle East: Confronting an Uncertain Future”


Date:  Thursday, April 25, 2019

Time:  Membership Social at 7:30 p.m.  Program at 8:00 p.m.

50 Diamond Causeway, Skidaway Island: Directions and Map

Access: Open to the public and free for members, students and accompanying family members, educators, and active military and their dependents. $10.00 charge for non-members.


Dr. Christopher J. Bolan

Program Abstract:  For perhaps the first time in decades, there is a genuine and energetic debate in this country over America’s proper role in the world.  Moreover, despite the lengthy and extensive U.S. military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11, American influence in the Middle East appears to be waning as events take on an internal momentum of their own.

In different ways, both Presidents Obama and Trump have struggled to limit American military engagements in the Middle East in order to focus on the growing security challenges posed by a resurgent Russia and increasingly assertive China.  At the same time, the recent discovery of massive shale oil deposits coupled with advances in extraction technology has enabled the United States to become the world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons surpassing that of even Saudi Arabia and upending the traditional geopolitics of global energy.  Meanwhile, the Arab uprisings and ongoing civil wars raging throughout the Middle East since 2011 reflect the significant internal political, economic, and social upheavals threatening regional stability.

How do each of these developments impact America’s national security interests and foreign policies in the Middle East?  How should U.S. policymakers respond?  This lecture will explore these global and regional developments, assess America’s changing national security interests in the Middle East, and offer suggestions for adapting American strategy to these complex and evolving dynamics.

Biography:  Dr. Christopher J. Bolan is the Professor of Middle East Security Studies with the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), where he researches and teaches graduate level courses. He also is also a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on the Middle East.  Dr. Bolan recently arrived at SSI after 11 years of teaching graduate courses on U.S. national security, international relations, strategy formulation, and the Middle East at the U.S. Army War College. He retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel after serving 30 years with tours in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, the Pentagon, and the White House. From 1996-2002, he served as a Middle East foreign policy advisor to both Vice Presidents Gore and Cheney. He has a master of arts degree in Arab studies and a Ph.D. in international relations from Georgetown University.

Keep current on national security issues: Follow @DrChrisBolan on Twitter!

Read Col. Bolan’s latest article “U.S. Strategy in Syria is Dangerously Adrift”

Members, Sponsors, and Partners are the lifeblood of the Savannah Council on World Affairs. For the April Program, SCWA recognizes ESZTER NEMZETKÖZI KFT for its program sponsorship.


Eszter Nemzetkozi Kft is an international investment company which focuses on central and eastern Europe. We thank them for their support.

The Savannah Council on World Affairs is grateful to Eszter Nemzetkozi Kft for its continued support.


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(Annual Memberships:  Individual $40, Family $60, Contributing $100, Sustaining $250, and Program Sponsor $500)


Thursday, May 9: Michael Oxman, Managing Director, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business; Professor of the Practice, Sustainable Business, Georgia Institute of Technology “Selected Trends in Global Corporate Sustainability.”