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Lifelong Learners at FAU Jupiter Discuss Foreign Policy in the Middle East                  

            JUPITER, FL (November 30, 2007) -   More than 250 members of the Lifelong Learning Society at Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter recently gathered for a colloquium, “Assessing the Bush Administration Foreign Policy: Iraq & Afghanistan,” to learn about the various fault-lines and inter-related dimensions of crisis and/or prospects of the Bush administration foreign policy in the Middle East.

            The colloquium, hosted by Dr. Robert Rabil, an FAU assistant professor and director of graduate studies in the political science department; Colonel Norvell DeAtkine, chair of the Middle East Seminar at the Kennedy War College and a key United States official charged with creating and training the Iraqi army; and Dr. Luis Fleischman, an adjunct professor at FAU and a primary liaison to the U.S. federal government, addressed the ongoing debate over the Bush administration’s foreign policy toward the Middle East.

            The discussion of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is an important topic for Americans. According to the panelists, despite the toppling of the Taliban government and removal of Al Qaeda, the war continues. “The Taliban did not disappear, they moved into Pakistan. Afghanistan is witnessing a re-emergence of emboldened Taliban forces attacking international forces and central authorities,” said Rabil. “One of the main reasons for the United States armed forces to stay in Iraq would be to safeguard the country.”

The panelists also discussed that al-Qaeda leaders remain at large, and Iran is asserting its Islamist power in the region. The Middle East is emerging as a battleground churning out a new generation of anti-U.S. Jihadis.  The panelists agreed that Iraq, unlike in the past, has a slim chance of returning to dictatorial rule under a tyrant, while Afghanistan has rid itself of the most rigid Islamist regime in modern history. However, both countries have a long way to go before stability and control is achieved.

DeAtkine extended his personal experiences in Afghanistan and, most recently, in Iraq. “The United States is fighting a war that is ideological, and there is a need to establish security and a feeling of control in Iraq,” said DeAtkine.

For more information on FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society’s special events in Jupiter, call 561-799-8867 or visit


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