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Walid Phares

Walid Phares
Native name وليد فارس
Born (1957-12-24) December 24, 1957
Beirut, Lebanon
Residence United States
Religion Maronite
Website .com.walidphareswww

Walid Phares (Arabic: وليد فارسIPA: ) is an American scholar of Lebanese origins. He is a professor and commentator on global terrorism and Middle Eastern affairs.

Phares has testified before committees of the U.S. State, Justice, Defense and Homeland Security, the United States Congress, the European Parliament, and the United Nations Security Council. Since 2007, he has served as an expert on terrorism and the Middle East for FOX News since 2007 and was a terrorism expert for NBC from 2003 to 2006. He is an expert for Wikistrat.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Academic work 2
  • Political activism in Lebanon 3
  • Writing 4
    • Books 4.1
  • Documentaries 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Phares is an American citizen of Lebanese descent who was born on December 24, 1957, grew up in Beirut, and emigrated to the United States in 1990. He holds undergraduate degrees in Law, Political Science, and Sociology from Saint Joseph University and the Lebanese University in Beirut. Following his undergraduate studies, Phares practiced law in Beirut for a period of time, then went on to obtain a Masters Degree in International Law from the Université de Lyon in France and a PhD in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the University of Miami.

Phares taught at the Department of International Relations at Florida International University (FIU) in 1992 and was a visiting professor of Comparative Politics at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Palm Beach County from 1993–1994. He was hired as a full-time Professor of Middle East Studies and International Relations in the Department of Political Science at FAU in 1995. While at FAU, Phares sponsored several student organizations focused on human rights including Haiti Watch, Human Rights Organization, the Latin American Student Association, and the Society for the Study of the Middle East. In 1995 he launched the Florida Society for Middle East Studies (FMES) the second-largest of its kind in the US.

Phares is a Visiting Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels. In 2008 he became Coordinator of the Trans-Atlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Jihadi-Terrorism.[2]

Phares is an expert on Maronite history and affairs. He has served as Secretary General of the World Maronite Union,[3] and Secretary General of the World Lebanese Cultural Union.[4][5]

Academic work

Phares was a visiting lecturer on the History of the Middle East and Lebanon at Saint Joseph University, Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, and the Lebanese University from 1979 to 1989.

From 1993 to 2005, Phares taught at the Department of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University. He has been a senior lecturer at the Lifelong Learning Society since 1994. His courses include Middle East Politics, Political History, Ethnic and Religious Conflict, and International Terrorism. He has lectured throughout North America and Europe.

Since 2008, Phares has taught Global Strategies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Although Phares is often described as a scholar on terrorism, Stanford University terrorism academic Martha Crenshaw stated that Phares was "not in the mainstream as an academic".[6]

Political activism in Lebanon

Soon after finishing his graduate degree in Public Law, Phares joined in 1981 the "MECHRIC Committee", a federation of Middle Eastern Christian NGOs. In 1984, Phares adhered to a small political party of center-left, the "Social Democratic Christian Union" – Union Sociale Démocratique Chrétienne (USDC).[7]

In 1986, he represented the USDC in the political council of the Lebanese Forces, the umbrella organization for the Christian Resistance parties and independent personalities during the Lebanese civil war. He served as the head of External and Diaspora affairs in the Lebanese Forces during the years 1986 and 1987. In 1988 Phares revamped the USDC and was elected as Secretary General for the new Social Democratic Christian Party (PSDC). His attempts to democratize the Lebanese Forces coalition by demanding its leaders to go through a transparent electoral process put him on a collision course with the ruling warlords and led him to resign from the political council of the Lebanese Forces in March 1989.

However an investigation by Mother Jones uncovered claims that Phares' ties to the Lebanese Forces extended back further, and described him as one of the movement's key ideologues, and a mentor to one of its most important leaders, Samir Geagea. Régina Sneifer, a former member of the Lebanese Forces, claimed that she attended lectures where Phares advocated Lebanese Christians establishing their own state modeled on Israel.[8] He subsequently restated this in a policy paper published in 1999 by the Ariel Center for Policy Research, an Israeli think-tank, where he supported the creation "of an independent, democratic, self sufficient, Christian Lebanese entity, in alliance with Israel" in the area of southern Lebanon then occupied by Israel and the South Lebanon Army.[9]

He sought to promote a pluralist and federalist system in Lebanon as the solution to the sectarian violence. His ideas on the matter are best exposed in his first publication, Pluralism in Lebanon.[10]

To this end, Phares remains an adamant supporter for dialogue with liberal Muslims while rejecting religious radicalization.[11] However he has claimed that some Muslims in the United States are secretly plotting to impose sharia law on American society.[12]

Fares was appointed as foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney for his 2012 presidential campaign.[12] His appointment was met with criticism from the Council on American–Islamic Relations, which described him as “an associate to war crimes” (due to his ties to the Lebanese Forces) and a “conspiracy theorist”.[12] The appointment also provoked negative reactions from Islamic studies academics Ebrahim Moosa and Omid Safi,[12] as well as the Center for a New American Security's Andrew Exum, who said that Phares was "widely viewed as an extremist".[6]



Year Book Publisher
1979 Pluralism in Lebanon Kasleek University
1980 The Lebanese Thought and the Thesis of Arabization Dar el-Sharq Press
1981 Democratic Dialogue Manshurat el-Tagammoh
1985 Thirteen Centuries of Struggle Mashreq Editions (Beirut)
1986 The Iranian Islamic Revolution Dar el-Sharq Press
1995 Lebanese Christian Nationalism: The Rise and Fall of an Ethnic Resistance L. Rienner Publishers
1998, 2001 History of the Middle East: Trends and Benchmarks IRP University of Miami Press
2005 Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America Palgrave Macmillan
2007 The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy Palgrave Macmillan
2008 The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad Palgrave Macmillan
2010 The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East Simon & Schuster
2014 The Lost Spring. U.S. Policy in the Middle East and Catastrophes to Avoid Palgrave Macmillan



  1. ^ "Wikistrat profile on Walid Phares". Wikistrat. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Biography of Walid Phares". Trans-Atlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Jihadi-Terrorism. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  3. ^ World Maronite Union WMU Secretariat General
  4. ^ UNSCR 1559:Calling on Syria to Pull Out From Lebanon
  5. ^ "Special Report With Brit Hume".  
  6. ^ a b Vary, Jarad (24 October 2011). "Meet Mitt Romney’s Radical, Right-wing, Sharia-phobe Foreign Policy Advisor".  
  7. ^ "Walid Phares under attack". American Thinker. 
  8. ^ Serwer, Adam (27 October 2011). "Top Romney Adviser Tied to Militia That Massacred".  
  9. ^ Phares, Walid (1999). "Israel’s Alternative Policy in Lebanon" (PDF). Ariel Center for Policy Research. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Multiculturalism is Lebanon’s identity". World Lebanese Cultural Union. 
  11. ^ Mostafa Mostafa Geha. "Walid Phares, A Hero to Muslim Liberals". Canada Free Press. 
  12. ^ a b c d Coppins, McKay (10 December 2011). "Mitt's Muslim Problem".  

External links

  • Author's Website
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
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