Library offers talk on political violence in the Middle East

Those who are interested in politics, and the current turmoil in the Middle East, will find an upcoming lecture at the South Coastal Library is tailored just for them.

“The United States & Political Violence in the Middle East” will be the topic of discussion at a presentation given by Bard O’Neill on April 3 at 6 p.m. at the library.

“I’m going to talk about several things,” said O’Neill. “One: a current assessment of U.S. interests in the Middle East and how important they are or are not. Second, I’ll talk about U.S. long-term goals in the Middle East, and we will discuss perceived threats to our interests and goals. Then I will talk about enduring realities in the Middle East that make it difficult for us or anybody from the outside to achieve their objectives.”

Following the talk, O’Neill will open the floor to discussion regarding other issues in the Middle East, including the insurrection in Syria and the Arab/Israeli conflict.

“After, we’ll throw it over to discussion about any issues in the Middle East that people in the audience might find interesting,” he said. “It’ll be question and answers, so the people in the audience can surface the kinds of concerns and issues that they might have.”

He added that the discussions could be broadened to other conflicts, if those who are in attendance are interested.

A retired Air Force officer, O’Neill holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree in political science and a doctorate in international relations. He was a distinguished professor of national security strategy at the National War College, where he served for 35 years. He was also adjunct professor of politics at Catholic University.

In addition, O’Neill is the author of several books, including “Insurgency and Terrorism: From Revolution to Apocalypse.” He recently spoke at the library on “Inside the Mind of Al Qaida.”

O’Neill has served as a consultant to various government agencies, including the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, Immigration & Naturalization Service, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Central Intelligence Agency and Homeland Security.

O’Neill said that the talk will appeal to anyone who is interested in politics.

“I think the target audience would be people who are interested in or follow politics, be it international or domestic politics. I would also think a number of those people would come from the retirement community down in Bethany and its surrounding area.”

O’Neill said he’s looking forward to giving the talk next Thursday, and hopes many community members will attend.

“I always feel like I’m among friends down there,” he said, adding, “They were very interested and engaged last time. It was a lot of fun.”

Admission is free, and no registration is required. For further information, contact South Coastal Library at (302) 539-5251 or visit