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Great Decisions Features Impressive Lineup of Experts on International Affairs

Annual lecture series at The College of Wooster welcomes Wesley Clark and Lawrence Korb among others

06 January, 2015 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio, — General Wesley Clark, retired four-star general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, heads an impressive list of speakers for the 2015 Great Decisions in International Affairs lecture series, hosted annually by The College of Wooster. All but one of the five presentations are free and open to the public.

Clark, a former Democratic presidential candidate as well as an author and commentator on politics, diplomacy, and public affairs, will speak on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m., in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.). Author of the recently published book, Don't Wait for the Next War: A Strategy for American Growth and Global Leadership, Clark will talk about several timely U.S. foreign-policy issues, including those dealing with the Middle East, Russia, and ISIS.

The next event will feature a screening of the film Dirty Wars, on Thursday, Feb. 5 from 7-9 p.m. in Gault Recital Hall, followed by a Q&A session with producer and featured journalist Jeremy Scahill, whose book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, served as the basis for the film. The next day, Scahill will present "Investigative Journalism and National Security" at a luncheon featuring Middle Eastern cuisine from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. in Kittredge Dining Hall (535 E. Wayne Ave.). Tickets for the luncheon are $13.50 and should be purchased in advance online. Scahill, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, is also the author of the bestselling book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

One week later, Eileen O'Connor, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, and Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow at American Progress, will present "Perspectives on Afghanistan" on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. The panel discussion will be moderated by Jeffrey Lantis, professor of political science and international relations at Wooster, in Gault Recital Hall. O'Connor, who also serves as Senior Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, manages strategic communications and supports critical foreign policy goals through public diplomacy programs that build capacity in civil society and government institutions, counter violent extremism, expand information access, and improve education. Korb is also a senior advisor to the Center for Defense Information and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He was assistant secretary of defense from 1981-1985, and was awarded the Department of Defense's medal for Distinguished Public Service. He has authored, co-authored, edited, or contributed to more than 20 books, including The Joint Chiefs of Staff: The First Twenty-five Years, and The Fall and Rise of the Pentagon.

The series will conclude on Tuesday, March 24, when Steven Emerson, executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, presents "The New Terrorist Threats Facing America." An expert on Islamic extremist networks, financing, and operations, Emerson frequently briefs government agencies and testifies before Congress regarding the financing and operational networks of groups, such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. In his 1998 congressional testimony, he warned about the threat of Osama Bin Laden's network. Emerson has authored six books on terrorism and national security and his documentary film, Jihad in America, earned him the prestigious George Polk Award in journalism.

Additional information about the Great Decisions lecture series is available by phone (330-263-2411), e-mail, or online.