Department of National Security and Strategy - U.S. Army War College - Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
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National Security Seminar - Last Year's Summary

The 59th Annual National Security Seminar opened on Monday, June 3 with NSS Week guests meeting their student seminars for the first time. The morning provided a formal kick-off with a Welcome Address by the Commandant, MG Cucolo. Our Keynote Address was provided by USAF General (retired) Michael Hayden, former Director of the National Security Agency and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. General Hayden discussed "Security in a Chaotic World." At the conclusion of his remarks, he spent another 45 minutes in a question and answer session before participants returned to their student seminars. That evening, each seminar group gathered for dinner at various locations around Carlisle for a time of socializing and reviewing the day's events.

On Tuesday, Prof Susan Herman, President of the American Civil Liberties Union delivered an address on "Challenges to American Traditions of Liberty, Due Process, and Equality in a Changing World." Following the Q&A session, attendees again went to seminar rooms to discuss her remarks. After a luncheon at the Letort View Community Center (LVCC) on post, students and new members had the opportunity to attend one of four optional noontime lectures presented by Army War College faculty and staff. Tuesday's offerings included, "Chinese Economic Power and the U.S. Response," "Critical Thinking and Judgment for Strategic Leaders," "Civil War in Syria" and "Mali and the United States: Interests, Insurgencies and Terrorist Groups in West Africa." The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to seminar discussion time. The last event of this very full day was the Commandant's Reception at Quarters One, where students, faculty and new members enjoyed a social event in one of Carlisle Barracks historic buildings.

On Wednesday, Dr Norm Ornstein, a political scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), spoke about "making Policy in a Dysfunctional Political Environment." After the Q&A session, and the afternoon seminar discussion period, NSS guests and their spouses took advantage of the Gettysburg Staff Ride and spent over five hours on the battlefield with U.S. Army War College historians.

Thursday morning began with a seminar discussion of the Gettysburg Staff Ride followed by Dr. Gordon Adams address on "Defense in an Age of Fiscal Austerity." The Commandant closed the five-day event with his concluding remarks and then the fast-paced week drew to a close.

Traditionally an engaging and thought-provoking week, this year's Seminar was no different. Guests provided feedback that overwhelmingly pointed to the opportunity in student seminars to discus and debate issues and to learn the perspective of rising senior leaders as the highlight. Student feedback likewise highlighted the diversity of the new members in their seminars as well as the very high quality of the guest speakers during the week.