U.S. Army War College Visits Mount Union

March 27, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Members of the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) spoke on Afghanistan’s history and current issues, cyber warfare and diversity during a panel discussion at the Union Avenue United Methodist Church on Monday evening.

Before the program, panelists spent the day educating students and interacting with the public. This was the third consecutive year Mount Union has held the Eisenhower Series College Program. The event was co-sponsored by Mount Union’s Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement and the Department of Political Science and International Studies.

Dr. Larry D. Miller, a native of the Alliance area, shared that the purpose of War College is to educate and prepare leaders for responsibility of the highest levels.

Panelists for the event included USAWC students Lieutenant Colonel Douglas G. Vincent of Florida; LTC Riccoh Player of Ohio and LTC Charles C. Poché. Of Louisiana The panelists each spoke about their own professional opinions of current war topics.

Vincent, who has served 20 years in Infantry, Special Operations Forces, and Joint assignments, has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. He presented on the history of Afghanistan and its problems.

“To think there will be no violence is unrealistic; their history is different.” Vincent stated. “It’s a different culture with a different view of violence.”

According to Vincent, the United States needs to mentor citizens of Afghanistan at a different pace.  

“We need to continue to partner with the Afganistan government and mentor them as they work to build their government,” he said. “I think there’s a bright future in Afghanistan as long as we realize what success looks like.”

Following Vincent, Poché, who spent 13 years in various assignments and has been to Iraq, spoke about the legal rules and regulations of law in regard to cyber warfare.

According to Poché, there are two ways for a country to legally go to war: when the United Nations Security Council approves the war and when there is an armed attack against the country or its allies.

Because cyber warfare is at “net speed,” there is no time for the Security Council to approve the war, therefore needing to implement the self-defense option.

Poché stated that there are four types of cyber warfare: cyber espionage, cyber crime (i.e. stealing), cyber terrorism (i.e. attacking websites), and cyber warfare (i.e. crashing the economy).

Player, who has spent 16 years serving in various public affairs assignments, then spoke about diversity and the shifting focus from the Middle East to the Asian Pacific.

“Diversity is about taking the best ideas from everyone,” Player stated.

Following the presentation, panelists answered questions and engaged in discussion with the audience. The program is an academic outreach initiative offered by the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Each year, a team of students and a faculty moderator from the War College travel to about a dozen universities to share dialogue on public policy issues and national security. The team is chosen based on experience, speaking ability, education and interest in national security issues.  

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