Dr. Roger Whitcomb will explain the complicated relationship between Russia and Syria in an open presentation to the Kutztown Rotary Club in the President’s Room (Room 250) of the McFarland Student Union Building, Kutztown University at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9.

The presentation will be open to the public and will cover Russia’s historic relationship with Syria and the Assad regime and its implications to the Middle East conflict.

Roger Whitcomb is a Kutztown University Professor Emeritus in Political Science and International Relations and has specialized in the study of international conflict throughout his career. During his studies, he has traveled to 123 countries, especially those in political conflict with the United States. He has led groups of community leaders and academics to conflict zones during the height of tension periods in South Africa, Lebanon, the Left Bank in Israel, Nicaragua, Vietnam and Cuba.

During these expeditions, Whitcomb interviewed area political leaders and ordinary residents, in addition to operatives in organizations in conflict with U.S. interests, in pursuit of a better understanding of the motives and reasons behind their activities.

He has written several books on international relations based on the information gleaned from these trips. In them, he offers the opinion that conflict is, in some ways, a good thing. Conflict has focused attention on developments that have moved mankind forward at a faster pace. He suggests that aggression grows out of frustration. Our efforts should be directed at lessening frustration and thereby lowering the intensity of conflict around the world.

Whitcomb is cofounder of the UN Higher Education Faculty Association and has been active in developing student UN Clubs throughout his career. He has been an active Rotarian for many years and has helped in the establishment of 17 exchange programs in 14 different countries.

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