CHARLESTON, S.C.(Feb. 20)--Five Citadel cadets will travel to our nation's capital this week to participate in the National Model North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Conference. The 10th annual conference will be held at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22-25.
The conference provides a unique opportunity for college students from across the country to meet and study the role, organization and activities of NATO. More than a dozen colleges are expected to attend the conference including the U.S. Naval Academy, Notre Dame, Kent State University, George Washington University and Howard University. This is The Citadel's first appearance at the national conference. The military college is the only college from South Carolina attending this year's conference. "This gives our cadets a great opportunity to deal with key issues that will affect U.S.-European relations as we go into the 21st century," said Col. John W. Gordon, USMCR, interim dean of undergraduate studies at The Citadel. "Our students will have the chance to go toe-to-toe intellectually with students from some fine institutions. That is a challenge Citadel cadets are always eager to take on," said Gordon.
The Citadel's team of delegates includes Frank Anders, Kirby Baker, Kristian Rasmussen, T.J. Romano and Daniel Vallini. Will Brownlee, a 1993 Citadel graduate, will serve as the cadets' adviser for the conference.
Each participating college or university is assigned a NATO country to represent its policies and issues throughout the conference. The Citadel will represent Norway and has been gathering research materials on the Norwegian government in preparation for the conference. The cadet delegates have also enlisted the help of Citadel professors, who have considerable knowledge of NATO issues, and interviewed a South Carolinian of Norwegian descent on recent government policies.
On the first day of the conference, each college or university group will visit the embassy of their host country to meet and discuss current issues and policies with members of the embassy staff. The embassy visit provides the opportunity for students to confirm the policies of their host government on the various issues they researched prior to the conference. Students will debate and defend these issues during the commission sessions, which are scheduled during the second and third day of the conference.
The commission sessions are divided into five committees, which consist of the North Atlantic Council, Political Affairs, Defense Planning, Nuclear Planning and Economic Affairs. A delegate from each of the groups will represent his or her country at each of the committee meetings. The delegates are instructed to conduct their debates and defend their countries' interests in the most realistic and effective way possible. One or more of the committees will be presented a rapidly escalating crisis and tasked with controlling and resolving the crisis through the rules of procedure under NATO.
The commission sessions are designed to help students gain an understanding of the many capabilities and constraints that shape the foreign policies of NATO and demonstrate patterns of cooperation and conflict that characterize intra-NATO diplomacy. Recent changes affecting NATO's security policies will also be addressed during the commission sessions.
On the final day, Feb. 25, of the conference all of the delegates will meet to conclude the crisis simulation and adopt final communiques, which will summarize the policy recommendations of each committee.
Awards and closing ceremonies will be held at noon at Howard Univer-
sity. The conference is sponsored by Howard University, Kent State University's Center for NATO Studies and the Atlantic Council of the United States.