Visit of US diplomat Robert S. Ford at the ABI
On Wednesday, 16 November 2016, the US diplomat and Middle East expert Robert S. Ford followed an invitation by the Carl Schurz Haus and the Arnold Bergstraesser Institut to hold an expert talk at the ABI. Ford used to serve as embassador to Algeria (2006 to 2009) as well as to Syria (2010 to 2014).
In his presentation "More Than Just Carpet Bombing – thinking about how to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria“, Ford described the complicated state of affairs of the Syrian civil war and in the Middle East. He further focused on his observations according to which western military forces become indirectly complicit by supporting a divers range of militias in the fight against ISIS: expulsions by local militant partners would directly unleash recruitment possibilities for the opponent. Subsequently, Ford offered criteria after which ligitimate, "moderate" negotiation partners among the militias would need to be picked in order to bring forward the peace process on a political level.