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‘War and Counter-Terrorism in the Caucasus’

Mar 6, 2012

David R. Smith, Ohio Northern University associate professor of geography, will discuss “War and Counter-Terrorism in the Caucasus” during the Phi Beta Delta International Forum in the Dicke Room 230 on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m.

Smith spent three weeks in Vladikavkaz, the capital of Russia’s North Ossetia/Alan Republic along the border with Georgia, and freely traveled around the province and interviewed Russians, Georgians, Ossetians and Ingush on problems they face in the region. Smith will talk about the insurgency in the North Caucasus that continues despite the official end of the decade-long Russian “counter-terrorist operation” in Chechnya in April 2009. The violence appears to be concentrated mostly in the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, with periodic clashes and bombings in North Ossetia, but there also are concerns it may compromise the safety of the planned 2014 Winter Olympics.

Smith has degrees from Kent State University and the University of Chicago. His research focuses on water, conflict over water, and regional social development issues. He has traveled many times to Russia, Central Asia, Iran and North Korea. He is a board member of an NGO IRFD, with special consultative status with the United Nations, and has received travel and research grants from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fulbright program, IREX and others.

Phi Beta Delta is the honor society for international scholars. Founded in 1987, ONU’s Gamma Upsilon chapter of Phi Beta Delta strives to bring together faculty, staff, students and alumni who possess a deep commitment to international affairs, education and research.

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