What’s Up With Saudi Arabia? | Two Experts Tell You Next Monday Night | Register Now

The C.I.A. has concluded the defacto ruler of the United States’ closest Arab ally ordered the assassination of a resident-American journalist at the Washington Post. How did this happen? What next?

Join us Monday evening at Belmont University for an inside perspective on US-Saudi relations and the Khashoggi murder from two retired military officers who have spent decades of service focused on Middle East affairs, especially on Saudi Arabia. Col David Des Roches and LCDR Patrick Ryan are experts on US-Saudi relations and knew Jamal Khashoggi, whose killing last month precipitated this critical showdown between Washington and Riyadh.

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Global Town Hall

“Saudi Arabia: A Relationship on the Rocks”

Colonel David Des Roches, US Army (Ret), Associate Professor and Senior Military Fellow, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University


Lieutenant Commander Patrick Ryan, U.S. Navy (Ret), President, Tennessee World Affairs Council and former publisher of the Saudi-US Relations Information Service

Monday, November 26, 2018

5:30 pm — Registration/Networking

6:00 pm — Program

Belmont University

Frist Lecture Hall, 4th Floor, Inman Building

Conversation:  Inside Saudi Arabia: Background and Context on a Foreign Policy Crisis

Your World Affairs Council invites you to a Global Town Hall event with  Col. Des Roches.  He will be accompanied by TNWAC President Patrick Ryan in a conversation about the U.S. foreign policy imbroglio over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  Each has decades of experience in Middle East affairs especially US-Saudi relations and both were long-time friends of Khashoggi.

About Colonel David Des Roches

David Des Roches is an Associate Professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Security Studies. Prior to this, he was the director responsible for defense policy concerning Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Prior to this assignment, he has served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the DoD Liaison to the Department of Homeland Security, as the senior country director for Pakistan, as the NATO operations director, and as the deputy director for peacekeeping. A British Marshall Scholar, he has also attended the Federal Executive Institute, the German Staff College’s Higher Officer Seminar, the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and the US Army Command and General Staff College. An Airborne Ranger in the Army Reserve, he was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan. He has commanded conventional and special operations parachute units and has served on the US Special Operations Command staff as well as on the Joint Staff.

Colonel Des Roches is a highly sought speaker and is a regular contributor to articles, publications and a host of international news broadcasts.

LCDR Patrick W. Ryan

Patrick Ryan served 26 years in the U.S. Navy starting in Bahrain aboard the Middle East Force Flagship in 1973. Following enlisted tours in nuclear powered submarines he was commissioned and served as a Navy Intelligence Officer in the Persian Gulf and staff assignments focused primarily on Middle East political-military affairs and threat assessments. He led analytical efforts on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, the Center for Naval Analysis and at U.S. Central Command focused on threats to American interests in the Gulf. Ryan completed his military career in a specialized analysis program organized by the Director Central Intelligence to examine the emerging terrorist threat that evolved to become Al Qaeda. In his post-military career he established a publishing business specializing in Gulf affairs. He was editor of newsletters that ran for 15 years covering U.S.-Saudi relations. In that capacity he was a regular visitor to Saudi Arabia and interviewed numerous government, business, academic and military officials including King Abdullah and other members of the Royal family for his publications.

LCDR Ryan founded the Tennessee World Affairs Council in 2007 to increase understanding of global affairs among his fellow citizens.

Directions & Parking

The Inman Health Sciences Building is located just off of Wedgewood Avenue on the northern front of campus. There is free, lighted parking in the North Garage located underneath the Inman and McWhorter buildings, with elevator access to all floors. Entrances are located off of Wedgewood Avenue via the alley entrance and 15th Avenue, through both roundabouts. Click here for a detailed parking map.

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The mission of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.


A well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.   


The Tennessee World Affairs Council is a 5o1c3 tax exempt organization. All gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of IRS regulations.

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