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Date: March 16, 2009
On Monday, March 16 our Warburg Lecturer was Ambassador Charles F. Dunbar. His topic was "AF-PAK: New Name, Same Crisis." Ambassador Dunbar, who is currently Professor of International Relations at Boston University and was the Warburg Professor at Simmons (2001-2004), examined a situation that he considers "the Obama Administration's most complex and intractable national security problem." Ambassador Dunbar's assessment is that we are "closer to failure that when we began" with the overthrow of the Taliban more than seven years ago. In his lecture, Ambassador Dunbar discussed the foreign policy options available to the United States in AF(ghanistan)-PAK(istan).
Ambassador Dunbar drew on his extensive diplomatic and academic experience that includes service in Afghanistan as political officer (1967-70) and as Charge d'Affaires (1981-83). He later developed and helped execute in the State Department a strategy for strengthening the political dimension of the Afghan resistance to the Soviet occupation. Ambassador Dunbar also served as Ambassador to Qatar (1983-85) and to Yemen (1988-91) and elsewhere in the Moslem world (Iran 1963-67, Morocco 1973-75, Algeria 1975-78, Mauritania 1978-80).
Following his thirty-one year career in the Foreign Service, Ambassador Dunbar was President of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs and during that time taught at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and Hiram College. In 1998, he was also the UN Secretary General's Special Representative responsible for the Western Sahara issue.