Mark Twain

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Afghanistan Lecture Series

I did something different today.

I attended an interesting program on Afghanistan. Our local library sponsored three lectures in the Distinguished Scholars Series. I was dog free so I thought I would take advantage of a wonderful offering.

The lecture I attended was called: America's War: A View From the Ground. The speaker, Seth G. Jones, Ph.D, is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He served as a Senior Advisor to the Commanding General for US Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan and is the author of In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan. Besides being very knowledgeable, Dr. Jones was very careful to avoid taking political sides in the discussion. He did provide the probable impacts to the US if we remained in or withdraw from Afghanistan, and made it clear that there is no easy or correct answer. Since I try to stay politically neutral, I greatly respected his ability to present facts without slanting them to a personal agenda. A rare gift, indeed.

A side note: He looked very young to be a Ph.D and to have traveled in extensively in Afghanistan and to have been a advisor to our Special Forces! Young, I am telling you!! Young!!! But I was encouraged that such young people are so knowledgeable. Really, I was way impressed with his demeanor as well as his commanding knowledge of the topic ... I couldn't help but wonder exactly when our generation (the baby boomers) slipped from the lead roles. I am sure every generation wonders the same thing.

I had signed both mom and my husband up to attend, but they both bailed out on me this morning so I went by myself. Mom always hates to see me go to things "by myself" - as if there is some horror in arriving to your destination without an entourage. I keep reminding her, I am very happy with my own company. I have so little time to myself, that when I do get time away ... just me, I am thrilled. No matter how many times I tell her, she doesn't believe me.

There are 2 other lectures, but both fall on days when I have the dogs, so I don't think I will get to attend those. The other 2 lectures are by different presenters and the titles are: The Case for Withdrawal and Toughing It Out. Both are focused on Afghanistan. Very timely topics and sound interesting. I will hold the dates just on the off chance I can attend.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like it was very interesting! A not slanted presentation is rare indeed!


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