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Citadel News Service

Symposium to examine U.S. politics, foreign policy in Afghanistan


The role of religion, culture and politics in military operations and foreign policy, particularly in Afghanistan and Africa, will be the focus of the 2010 Citadel Symposium on Military Legitimacy and Leadership.

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, the symposium will be held March 25 in the Club Level meeting space of Johnson Hagood Stadium, 68 Hagood Ave.

“Conflicting concepts of politics and religion have plagued military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prospect is no better in Africa,” said Gardel Feurtado, professor of political science and department head.

“Military operations are an extension of a nation’s politics by other means, and in Iraq and Afghanistan extremist Islam has motivated the enemy," he said. "For U.S. military operations to be successful in such hostile cultural environments, issues of conflicting religion and politics must be reconciled.”

Among the symposium’s participants are:

  • Col. Cindy Jebb, professor and deputy head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Jebb is the keynote speaker and symposium moderator. She recently conducted an assessment of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command with Col. Richard Lacquement of the U.S. Army War College. Their trip report is contained in The Journal of Military Legitimacy and Leadership.
  • Waleed El-Ansary, assistant professor of Islamic Studies at the University of South Carolina and a consultant to the Royal Court of Jordan and the Grand Mufti of Egypt. He is the author of “Confronting the ‘Teachings’ of Osama bin Laden.”
  • Christopher Wright, assistant professor of history at The Citadel. He is the author of “Islamic Law and Warfare.”
  • Rudolph C. Barnes, Jr., a Citadel Fellow with the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice. He is a retired Army colonel and an attorney. He will discuss “Jesus and Muhammad: Allies in the Battle for Legitimacy.
  • Jack Porter, assistant professor of political science at The Citadel. He is the author of “From Tribal Warrior to National Soldier: Competing Conceptions of the Afghan Military.”
  • Terry Mays, associate professor of political science at The Citadel. He is the author of “The Legitimacy of African Mandated Peacekeeping in Somalia.” 
  • Kevin Govern, an attorney and professor of law at Ave Maria Law School in Florida. He is the author of “The Matthew Hoh Resignation and U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan.”

Participants’ articles will be appear in the March issue of “The Journal of Military Legitimacy of Leadership” and will be available on the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice website.

The symposium is free and open to the public and media. The schedule is:

8:30 a.m. -- Welcome and opening of symposium (Gardel Feurtado and Rudy Barnes, Jr.)
9-9:30 a.m. -- The Strategy and Status of US/NATO Operations in Afghanistan (Cindy Jebb)
9:30-10 a.m. -- The Matthew Hoh Resignation and US Afghanistan Strategy (Kevin Govern)
10:10-10:40 a.m. -- Changing Concepts of the Afghan Soldier (Jack Porter)
10:40-11:10 a.m. -- The Legitimacy of African Mandated Peacekeeping in Somalia (Terry Mays)
11:20-Noon -- Discussion of morning topics
1-1:30 p.m. -- Confronting the "Teachings" of Osama bin Laden (Waleed El-Ansari)
1:30-2 --Islam and Warfare (Christopher Wright)
2:10-2:40 p.m. -- Jesus and Muhammad: Allies in the Battle for Legitimacy (Rudy Barnes, Jr.)
2:45-4 p.m. -- Discussion of all topics and conclusion of symposium

For more information about the symposium, please call 843.953.5072.

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Media Contact:
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(843) 953-2155

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