Advance ticket sales have ended but plenty of additional tickets remain available at the door.
Profs and Pints Metro Detroit presents: “Ukraine Risks,” a look at the long-term dangers the war poses for Ukraine, Russia, and the United States, with Javed Ali of the University of Michigan, counterterrorism expert with more than 20 years of experience at federal agencies concerned with national security and intelligence.
Ever since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine the situation there has shifted rapidly and in ways that challenged assumptions. Ukraine has put up a harder fight than Russia and other nations anticipated, while Russia has shocked observers with its willingness to target civilians while at the same time showing unexpected reluctance to launch feared cyberattacks on Ukraine and its supporters.
Where do such developments leave us, and what might the future hold?
Hear such questions tackled by Javed Ali, associate professor of practice at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and an expert on cyber threats and on the insurgencies and terrorist movements that can develop in war-torn nations. Having held posts at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal offices focused on intelligence, counterterrorism, and national security, he’ll focus is on the war’s long-term implications for Eastern Europe and the United States.
As part of his talk, Professor Ali will look at how Russia might have fallen into the same traps in invading Ukraine as the Soviet Union did in invading Afghanistan, with its forces remaining constantly vulnerable to attack in the territory it occupies. Given the brutality Russia has demonstrated in dealing with insurgencies and terrorism in other recent regional conflicts, the result is likely to be intense violence.
The talk also will look at the long-term implications of the influx into Ukraine of various volunteer forces eager to take part into the conflict. With members of some extreme hard-right organizations joining the battle on behalf of Ukraine, and Russia recruiting jihadists from Syria and elsewhere to aid its side, it’s not hard to imagine terrorist organizations embedding themselves in Ukraine and causing mayhem there and elsewhere down the road.
Finally, Professor Ali will look at Russia’s hesitation to launch cyberattacks on the United States and other supporters of Ukraine on a scale that had been widely anticipated, and the question of whether it has been deterred by U.S. threats of retaliation for such actions.
How will this conflict end, and what will that end look like? He won’t have all the answers, but he’ll at least leave us with a better idea of possible outcomes. Professor Ali will be donating his proceeds from the talk to the Ukraine mission of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in. Please also bring proof of Covid vaccination and be prepared to wear a mask except while seated and eating or drinking, as Profs and Pints reserves the right to require both if necessary in response to local infection rates.)
(Image: A Ukrainian sniper. Photo from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.)