The Syrian War: First Great War of the 21st Century

Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 18:00
Seminar Room, First Floor, Iontas Building, MU North Campus

Larry P. Goodson is Professor of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Army War College, where he is the only person to hold the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security twice (2014-2017, 2004-2007). He has been continually called upon to serve as a regional advisor on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East by senior U.S. military and political leaders. 
Among his other academic appointments, Dr. Goodson taught at the American University in Cairo (1994-2000) and conducted his dissertation field work in Peshawar, Pakistan (1986-1987).  Dr. Goodson completed all of his academic work at the University of North Carolina.  He is the author of the New York Times bestselling Afghanistan’s Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban (2001) as well as numerous chapters and articles.  Currently, he is writing “The Great Middle Eastern War, which argues that the Syrian Civil War is the opening phase of the first “great war” of the 21st century.
Dr. Goodson has lived in Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and travelled extensively in the Middle East and South Asia, including India, the Gulf countries, North Africa, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Cyprus.  He has lectured on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Islam, and the Middle East to audiences at more than 100 universities, schools, and organizations, and been interviewed more than 1000 times on those subjects since September 11, 2001.

Analysis of extant data suggests that the Syrian War may have produced the opening phase of the eighth Great War in history, which, like its predecessors will be a war that pits the major powers against each other, ultimately topples the leading power (United States), and produces a new world order led by the new leading power (most likely China).  Historically, such wars are huge in scale and produce massive casualties (300-400 m. projected, based on previous Great Wars), but possibly, new approaches to warfare, such as hybrid war (Russia), unrestricted war (China), and limited war (USA), might make the war less devastating than past Great Wars.  The research suggests answers to four questions:
What is a Great War?  
Is the Syrian Civil War (the beginning of) a Great War?
What are the implications of a Great War?
How are Great Wars fought today?