Following the overwhelmingly popular presentations by Dr. Khaled Hosseini, Steve Coll, Sen. Chuck Hagel and Robin Wright, Cameron University will continue its triennial Academic Festival, “Afghanistan: Its Complexities and Relevance,” with General (Ret.) Stanley A. McChrystal. The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Aggie Gym on Cameron’s campus. Tickets are required for admission and can be reserved online at www.cameron.edu/festival7 beginning Monday, February 20 at 8 a.m. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
“This year’s Academic Festival has been extremely successful thanks to the speakers who have shared their extensive knowledge about Afghanistan,” says Cameron President Cindy Ross. “Cameron University is honored to present the festival’s fifth and final internationally recognized speaker, General Stanley A. McChrystal, who will add his perspective to our growing understanding of this compelling central Asian country.”
McChrystal is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations. A four-star general, he is the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan and the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which oversees the military’s most sensitive forces. McChrystal’s leadership of JSOC is credited with the December 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the June 2006 location and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. McChrystal, a former Green Beret, is known for his candor, innovative leadership, and going the distance.
The son and grandson of Army officers, McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 and began training at the Special Forces School at Fort Bragg, N.C., two years later. He was commissioned as an infantry officer and spent much of his career commanding special operations and airborne infantry units. During the Persian Gulf War, McChrystal served in a Joint Special Operations Task Force and later commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment. He completed year-long fellowships at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and in 2000 at the Council on Foreign Relations.
In 2002, he was appointed chief of staff of military operations in Afghanistan. Two years later, McChrystal was selected to deliver nationally televised Pentagon briefings about military operations in Iraq. From 2003 to 2008, he commanded JSOC and was responsible for leading the nation’s deployed military counter-terrorism efforts around the globe, assuming command of all international forces in Afghanistan in June 2009.
McChrystal retired from the military in 2010. He now serves on the board of directors for JetBlue Airways, Navistar, and the Yellow Ribbon Fund. In 2011, he returned to public service after the Obama administration invited him to oversee Joining Forces, a high-profile initiative that supports military families. McChrystal will lead its three-member advisory board.
The McCasland Foundation of Duncan is the primary sponsor of “Afghanistan: Its Complexities and Relevance.” Over the years, support for the Academic Festivals has come from the McCasland/Amquest Bank Endowed Chair, established by the McCasland Foundation in 1989. Additional funding for this year’s Festival is provided by the Cameron University Foundation and through Cameron University Lectures and Concerts Series.
For more information, contact the Cameron University Office of Public Affairs at 581-2211 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 17, 2012