Dr. Ted Karasik, Senior Advisor, Gulf Analytics offered a lecture event on February 19, 2020 sponsored by the Kozmetsky Center in cooperation with the World Affairs Council Austin assessing the interplay of cultural, tribal & geopolitical forces influencing the complex critical Middle East/North Africa security environment. Topics spanned the gamut from describing the alignment of forces & interests within the global Islamic umma, assessing challenges presented managing relationships with Turkey as a NATO member displaying an increasingly “neo-Ottoman” orientation, defining the line-up of regional & external actors uniting on the basis of either a “transformational” or “revolutionary” vision for the future of the ME region, discussing the impact of economic sanctions on Iran's foreign policy behavior & evaluating the potential impact of the coronavirus in the Middle East region and beyond. Dr. Karasik’s advice for students interested in the region: an interdisciplinary approach is essential; recognize the problem of underestimating the importance of understanding distinct cultural factors; there is a problem with relying too heavily on Western sources in research-no analysis can be sufficient without incorporating primary source material-


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