January 22, 2010 12:00AM
As America's focus shifts from Iraq to Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, a day-long conference at Pittsburg State University will attempt to clarify the complex issues and challenges the U.S. faces in this turbulent part of the world. "Terrorism, War, and the Challenge Facing the U.S. in Afghanistan and Pakistan" will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, in PSU's Overman Student Center. The conference is free and open to the public.
Dr. Paul Zagorski, a member of the faculty in PSU's Department of Social Sciences, said the seven speakers and panelists for the day have both academic and on-the-ground military experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan. One is a former Afghan Army officer.
The program for the day begins with registration at 9 a.m., followed by a welcome from Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lynette Olson. At 10 a.m., William Lambert will give a military and political overview of the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater. Lambert is the course director of the Afghanistan elective at the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
At 11 a.m., author Dr. Don Wright will speak on the war in Afghanistan. Wright's most recent book, "A Different Kind of War," examines the Afghanistan conflict between 2001 and 2005.
At 1 p.m., five military officers will participate in a panel discussion. The officers are Maj. Dave Conner, Maj. Paul Culberson, Maj. Nelson David, Maj. Nicholas Dickson and Lt. Col. Mohammed Omari.
Conner is a veteran of tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the former commanding officer of B Company 2nd Battalion of the Infantry Regiment at Forward Operating Base Tillman on the Pakistan border. Culberson has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and most recently as the operations officer for the Australian 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment. David is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and served as brigade operations officer for an adviser team in eastern Afghanistan. Dickson is an Army Reserve Civil Affairs officer who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In his civilian life, he is a professional engineer in Houston, Texas. Omari is a native of Afghanistan who has served at the platoon, company and battalion levels in the Afghan Army and as a senior aide to the deputy minister of defense. Prior to coming to the U.S. Army Command and general Staff College, he was a legal adviser to the minister of defense of Afghanistan.
The day's events will conclude at 2 p.m. with a wrap-up panel involving all of the program participants.
"Terrorism, War, and the Challenge Facing the U.S. in Afghanistan and Pakistan" is sponsored by the International Academic Affairs Committee, the Department of Social Sciences, and the International Studies Program. For more information, contact the Department of Social Sciences at 620-235-4325.