Dr. Michael Sharnoff, the Director of Regional Studies at DMGS, gave his perspective on the conflict in Syria for a February 27, 2018, Washington Post article (excerpt included). Sharnoff’s remarkable expertise stems from his ten-year study of the the Middle East. He applies this expertise daily as he serves DMGS with excellence providing students with an understanding of trends in areas that are important for U.S. interests including Russia and the Middle East and helping them become strong candidates for national security work whether in the public or private sector.


Re-posted in part from The Washington Post.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that Syrian and Russian warplanes killed more than 500 civilians, including 121 children, in Eastern Ghouta from Feb. 18 through Sunday. Moscow denies direct involvement, despite having deployed military forces in support of the Syrian government since 2015.

This weekend, after initial resistance, Moscow reluctantly agreed to a cease-fire after the Kuwaiti and Swedish draft sponsors omitted calls that it take effect in 72 hours. This cynical delay of the implementation allows Russia and its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, time to rearm their forces for the next round of violence.

The continued Russian support for the Assad regime is part of a clear, coherent strategy. The tactics Russia deploys are wide-ranging, including using military force to defeat the Western-backed opposition in Syria and waging a sophisticated propaganda war on multiple fronts. Russia even seems willing to risk armed conflict with the United States — earlier this month, U.S. forces engaged Russian mercenaries in what might have been the deadliest battle between citizens of the former Cold War nemeses since that conflict ended. But this broad range of tactics works because Russia’s end goal has remained consistent — to preserve Assad’s regime and weaken U.S. influence in Syria, and in the Middle East more broadly. …”

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Michael Sharnoff, Ph.D.


Dr. Michael Sharnoff is the Director of Regional Studies at DMGS, where he is an Associate Professor of Middle East Studies. He is the author of Nasser’s Peace: Egypt’s Response to the 1967 War with Israel (2017).

Dr. Sharnoff has traveled extensively in the Middle East and has lived in three major world capitals. He has congressional experience on Capitol Hill; worked at influential policy centers in Washington; and publishes frequently on the Middle East. His articles have appeared in major publications including The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Al Arabiya, Palestine-Israel Journal and Your Middle East. He completed a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies from King’s College, London, and his research interests include the Arab-Israeli conflict, Political Islam and contemporary Middle Eastern history.