A Violated Taboo? The US Responses to Chemical Warfare in the Middle East

Thursday, April 12, 2018 noon to 2 p.m.

Spring 2018 marks the 30th year anniversary of the chemical attacks in Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan in which thousands of Kurdish civilians were killed. More recently, chemical attacks in the Syrian cities of Ghouta and Khan Shyakhun killed hundreds of civilians. Two distinguished experts will explore the validity of chemical weapons taboo, U.S. and international reaction to the usage in Iraq and Syria, and ongoing attempts to control and dismantle them.

Dr. Lori Esposito Murray is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to joining CFR, she held the distinguished national security chair at the U.S. Naval Academy sponsored by the Class of 1960. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut and president emeritus of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). Murray was special advisor to the president on the Chemical Weapons Convention during the Clinton Administration. Dr. Murray received her BA from Yale University and her PhD from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

John Gilbert currently serves as a trainer, advisor, and consultant on arms control issues for the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel who has over 40 years of experience with weapon of mass destruction (WMD) operations, intelligence, and arms control. He was an active participant in interagency sessions to develop national CW arms control policies and managed a program to prepare U.S. CW facilities for compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and a bilateral CW agreement with Russia.

The panel will be moderated by Güneş Murat Tezcür, the Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Political Studies at the Department of Political Science.

Lunch will be served.

Please kindly RSVP at doreenhorschig@Knights.ucf.edu

The event is sponsored by the Kurdish Political Studies Program, the Intelligence Community CAE, and Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Program. 

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