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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Discussing the nuclear threat

Photo by Provided

Retired Air Force Gen. Robert Foglesong will speak at the panel about the threat of North Korea’s nuclear missiles.

A mix of current and former diplomatic and military leaders will delve into the case of North Korea as a nuclear threat to the United States on April 6, at 7p.m. in Rudder Theatre.
MSC Wiley Lecture Series will host “Confronting a Nuclear North Korea,” an event where panelists will discuss the response to the relations between the Trump administration and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The ability to eloquently and briefly discuss a controversial and complex topic, such as a nuclear threat to the U.S., is a priority for selecting speakers, according to Joshua Ratta, history senior and MSC Wiley Lecture Series chair.
“That’s one of the things we look at when we screen for our speakers, is how they are able to communicate,” Ratta said. “So we look at reviews of past speeches, because past speeches tell, ‘OK, can these speakers talk — which I’m sure they could stand on top of that stage and talk for hours and hours — but can they bring it down into 12 to 15 minute speech to get a concise point and give their opinions?’”
Ratta said students can benefit from attending the upcoming discussion because of the panelists’ opportunity to disclose their opinions without any external framing.
“Bringing these speakers here directly to A&M allows the students to hear personally from that person and their unfiltered, unbarred opinion,” Ratta said. “And we tell them that we’re trying to promote the discussion. We’re not wanting to read one-way. We’re just wanting you to tell your story, your experience, your thoughts and so that allows for this free wielding discussion that the students, I think, benefit a lot from.”
Retired Air Force Gen. Robert “Doc” Foglesong is one of the panelists who will be speaking on Friday. He said students are building a foundation to operate a complex world, especially through vehicles such as the MSC Wiley Lecture Series.
“Courses like calculus, literature, biology, etcetera, are tools that prepare us all to successfully operate at a tactical level in our chosen careers,” Foglesong said. “The Wiley Lecture series is another tool, but it’s aimed at the next level of preparation where policy decisions are formulated and decided — and that’s where the rubber meets the road at the national level.”
Foglesong said North Korea’s nuclear weapons have created a set of circumstances and borders for U.S. military leaders to gauge and plan accordingly. He said he hopes to grasp a deeper understanding of how U.S. military and diplomatic leaders address these circumstances with such dynamics.
“The introduction of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula has a major impact on how war planners formulate the way ahead, with respect to military operations and how to allocate war fighting resources — especially during the initial stages of a conflict,” Foglesong said. “I hope to better understand the complex challenges that face our policy makers in Washington [D.C.] as they determine the way ahead on the Korean Peninsula — which is especially tough as circumstances seem to change daily.”
In regards to addressing the commander in chief’s diplomacy and military strategy during the panel, Foglesong said he serves the president and U.S. citizens. He said he will continue to serve President Donald Trump’s plans through his status in the military.
“With respect to my personal view of how to address the support/actions of the commander in chief, when you join the military, we have the honor to serve the citizens of the greatest nation in the world and take orders from the commander in chief,” Foglesong said. “At senior levels, we serve at the pleasure of the president. When either the president or a senior officer can’t accept the relationship, the president or the senior officer can terminate the deal. Until that happens, we owe the commander in chief our loyalty.”

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