E.N. Thompson dialogue will explore military's role

· 3 min read

E.N. Thompson dialogue will explore military’s role

UNL ROTC cadets form a perimeter as a helicopter takes off during a training mission on the grounds of Doane College in Crete.
Troy Fedderson | University Communications
UNL ROTC cadets form a perimeter as a helicopter takes off during a training mission on the grounds of Doane College in Crete.

After more than a decade of fighting against terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the United States faces tough questions about the role of its military, the costs of maintaining troop numbers, developing new weapons and technology, the use of drones and surveillance, and the role the United States should be playing in international conflict.

Through a moderated dialogue, two established military voices will discuss the questions and concerns surrounding today’s armed forces during the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The event is the season’s Chuck and Linda Wilson Dialogue.

Lincoln native Derek Chollet, assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration, and Andrew Bacevich, a military historian and author, will participate in a dialogue moderated by UNL history professor Tim Borstelmann. The discussion will cover pre-selected topics as well as include questions from the audience. A pre-talk will be given at 6:30 p.m. by Lloyd Ambrosius, UNL professor of history, in the Lied’s Steinhart Room.

Chollet advises on international security strategy and policy issues related to the nations and international organizations of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to his cabinet appointment, Chollet was special assistant to the president and senior director for strategic planning on the National Security Council staff. He has written six books on American foreign policy, including “The Road to the Dayton Accords: A Study of American Statecraft” and “America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11,” which examines the United States during a time of peace between the end of the Cold War and the Sept. 11 attacks.

Bacevich, who teaches at Boston University, has been touted by Time magazine as “one of the most provocative — as in thought-provoking — national security writers out there today.”

A noted military historian and Vietnam veteran, Bacevich argues that all political, military and economic crises that face the United States are deeply interconnected and has written several books that offer critiques of the U.S. military, its leaders and its policies. He previously taught at Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The Wilson Dialogue featuring Bacevich and Chollet is the fourth of five presentations in the 2013-14 E.N. Thompson Forum series. This year’s forum has examined the United States’ role in the world and delves into a wide range of global and domestic topics, including foreign relations, military reach, educational status and the economy. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Biographical information on each of the speakers is available on the forum’s website, http://enthompson.unl.edu. Sign language interpreters will be present. Forum lectures will be streamed live at the E.N. Thompson forum site and available on Lincoln digital cable Channel 80 or Channel 99 on analog cable, UNL campus Channel 8 and UNL’s KRNU radio (90.3 FM).

The Thompson Forum is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and the residents of the state to promote understanding and encourage debate.

The Chuck and Linda Wilson Dialogue is sponsored by Charles Wilson, a retired physician, heart surgeon and former member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, and his wife, Linda.

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