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Army War College Brings Military Experts to Campus

March 21, 2011

As a part of the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP), military experts from the U.S. Army War College came to visit the University of Mount Union’s campus on Thursday, March 17. While on campus, they discussed national security and other public policy issues through a forum-based panel discussion.

The discussion was centered on the “Future of the U.S. Military and Understanding Critical Issues of Our Time.” Though the five Army War College students addressed government policies, the views they expressed were their own, based on personal experience, research, academic study and reflection. 

Alliance native, professor and director of communicative arts at the Army War College, Dr. Larry D. Miller explained that there has been a communication disconnect between the men and women in the military and the general public. ESCP is an outreach program designed to encourage dialogue between the military and the public in hopes of alleviating some of the confusion regarding the armed forces.

The presenters and their fields of interest and expertise included:

  • Lt. Col. Shane Conrad – “China, the U.S. and the Future”
  • Lt Col. Carl M. Jones – “Space Security: National Policy and Current Operations”
  • Commander Eric L. Mason – “Energy Independence: The Nuclear Challenge”
  • Lt. Col. David Rodriguez – “Is Pre-Emptive War Justifiable?”
  • Col. Richard Root – “Iraq: We Came, We Saw, We Conquered – Now What?”

When discussing whether or not pre-emptive war was justifiable, Rodriguez explained that there are six principles for just war – just cause, right intention, legitimate authority, last resort, probability of success and the projected results.

“Yes, pre-emptive war is justifiable with the scenario I just gave you,” said Rodriguez after discussing just war theory. “We have to remember that pre-emptive war and preventive war are not the same. I would encourage the debate because we have to think about the lives that could be lost – whether they are American or foreign.”

Mason discussed energy independence, and specifically in regard to fossil fuels and nuclear energy. He indicated that over two thirds of our electricity comes from fossil fuels as well as virtually all of our transportation.  

“The United States currently imports over 50 percent of our fossil fuels from countries like Venezuela, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Libya, many of which are having problems right now,” he said. “I think we need to start looking in house as far as our electricity goes.”

He also believes that we should keep nuclear plants in the United States and invest more money in nuclear power.

The program was supported by Mount Union’s Department of Political Science and International Studies and the Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement.

Each year, senior strategic leaders from the U.S. Army War College participate in the ESCP and travel outside Carlisle Barracks to engage in discussion with the general public about issues regarding national security and the function of the U.S. military. Mount Union was selected among a list of elite institutions in the U.S. to be a part of the program’s 2011 tour. Other schools on the ESCP’s 2011 tour include the Texas Tech University, Auburn University and Seton Hall University, among others.

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