The U.S. Department of Defense's View of the Middle East

Feb 26, 2019, 12:00 pm1:15 pm
Event Description

New Location: 101 McCormick Hall

This lecture will focus on the Middle East (highlighting Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria) as viewed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and will seek to answer the following questions:

  • How will the current policy on Great Powers Competition affect present and future decisions?
  • What is the next area of instability in the Middle East?
  • Can one use culture to help leaders make informed decisions?

Colonel Tony Thacker is the Central Command (CENTCOM) lead advisor and strategist for understanding the Human Domain, Culture and providing a predictive analysis to the command and Joint Staff. COL Thacker creates products and strategic estimates that are often referred to at the National Security Council, Department of State, and USAID. COL Thacker is the lead for CENTCOM in all Humanitarian Assistance activities, Stabilization and Civil/Cultural analysis. COL Thacker came into the Army as an enlisted soldier under the Ranger option. After completing the Ranger Indoctrination Program he spent time in 3/75 Ranger Regiment and following that assignment he was selected to be part of a Special Operations Task force within Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). After being selected for SFC/E-7, COL Thacker applied and was accepted to attend OCS. He was commissioned a 2LT in 1995. COL Thacker served multiple assignments as an officer in the infantry from PLT LDR, Ranger instructor, two company commands and Battalion Operations Officer.

His Civil Affairs career began in 2004, with assignment to the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion where he served as a Team Leader in Echo Company 96th CAB for his functional area. COL Thacker left and was assigned and commanded a JSOC element until his return to command A/96th Civil Affairs battalion in 2008. COL Thacker left Fort Bragg to become Chief of Civil Affairs Operations for ARCENT (Army Central Command), SFA (Security Forces Assistance) battalion Commander, Human Resource Command Army Special Operation Forces Branch Chief, USSOCOM (U. S. Special Operations Command) J33CA branch Chief and currently USCENTCOM (U.S. Central Command) Civil Affairs Operations Division Chief. COL Thacker’s military education includes the Infantry Officer’s Basic and Advanced Courses, the Civil Affairs Officer Qualification Course, Middle East Regional Studies, the Command General Staff College and the Navy War College. His civilian education includes a Bachelors of Psychology, Masters in International Relations, Masters in Military Arts and Science and a Masters of Arts in National Security Strategic Studies.

Lunch will be served beginning at 11:30am in the lobby.