Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS) was pleased to host a special panel on the changing energy geopolitics of Russia and the Middle East this Tuesday as part of our ongoing National Security Lecture Series. Panel members included Paul Michael Wihbey, partner at AN-AM Strategic Advisory and Adjunct Professor at the University of Port Harcourt; Tom Cosentino, Brigadier General, US Army (Retired), former Commandant of the National War College and Chief Operating Officer of Business Executives for National Security; and Yuval Weber, Ph.D, DMGS’s Kennan Institute Fellow.

Mr. Wihbey explained the reasons he believes Saudi Arabia has felt compelled to establish a strategic partnership with Russia. Based upon this strategic partnership between America’s key alley in the Arab and Muslim world and Russia, Mr. Wihbey contended, “In December, 2016, we come to the turning point, in my opinion, where you see the nexus of what I believe is a highly sophisticated Russian strategy using energy, diplomacy, and military means to achieve Russian dominance in the Middle Eastern region.” Dr. Weber provided valuable insight into Russia’s motivations in establishing this strategic partnership explaining that Putin needs to expand power projection abroad in order to justify his continued rule at home. General Consentino described the factors that he believes will result in a low-level covert fight between the U.S. and Iran.

Preston McLaughlin, Colonel, USMC (Retired) and Professor of Military Strategy at DMGS moderated the panel discussion that followed presenting various audience questions to the panel. Afterwards, DMGS students, faculty, and staff as well as visitors to our campus had the opportunity to network with Mr. Wihbey, Dr. Weber, and General Consetino while enjoying catered snacks and beverages.