Kathy Roth-Douquet, Co-author of AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service—and How It Hurts Our Country
Frank Schaeffer, Co-author of AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service—and How It Hurts Our Country
Phillip Carter, Attorney and Military Reservist
Lawrence J. Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
P.J. Crowley, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
While President George W. Bush served in the National Guard, he never went to Vietnam. Both former Vice President Al Gore and Congressman Jack Murtha did go to Vietnam. The three men have differing views of the war in Iraq, and are certainly influenced by the nature of their military service. Vice President Dick Cheney had more important things to do than serve in the military, although he led the Pentagon during the first Gulf War. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was a four-star general. All five of these individuals are members of the leadership class of the United States. Three fought in wars; two did not. Their world views have been shaped by the nature of their military and public service. But increasingly those entering public life, particularly individuals from the upper classes educated in the nation’s elite schools, have not served in the military and may not even have a family member who served. Does this matter? What are the implications for the military, which increasingly represents only a portion of the society that it serves? What are the implications for national political decision makers, who must wrestle with complex issues of war and peace, but may have oversimplified views of the difficulties and costs associated with military deployments?
Kathy Roth-Duquet and Frank Schaeffer will discuss their recent book, AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service—and How It Hurts Our Country. Based on their own personal experience as family members of service personnel deployed to war, they focus on the implications of the nation’s all-volunteer force and the growing gap between many civilians and the military. A growing number of civilian leaders and opinion makers—from politics, big business and the media— have no personal stake in the decisions that affect it. In turn, the professional military, disconnected from broader society, feels that it is the only entity asked to sacrifice in times of war.
Phillip Carter, a civilian attorney and Army reservist who has recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, and Senior Fellows Larry Korb and P.J. Crowley from the Center for American Progress, both retired military officers and former Pentagon officials, will add their perspective on the implications of the relationship between the military and broader society; how Iraq has affected military recruiting and retention; and possible solutions.Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Thrusday, September 21, 2006
Program: 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Admission is free
A light lunch will be served at noon
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Kathryn Roth-Douquet is a veteran of every presidential campaign of the past twenty years. She served in President Clinton’s White House and Department of Defense. Roth-Douquet is an attorney and holds an MA in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. Her husband is a career military officer who has served twice in Iraq. They live on base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, with their two young children.
Frank Schaeffer is the father of a former Marine and the author of three successful books about the military: Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps, Faith of Our Sons: A Father’s Wartime Diary, and Voices from the Front. He has also written three critically acclaimed novels that have been translated into eight languages; his latest novel, Baby Jack, will be published later this fall. He divides his time between New York City and Salisbury, Massachusetts.
Phillip Carter is an attorney and writer currently on leave from the Los Angeles office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, where he practices government contracts and international law. He served for nine years in the Army as a military police and civil affairs officer, including a recent tour in Iraq from October 2005 to September 2006 as an adviser to the Iraqi police with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He contributes regularly on national security issues to publications including Slate, The Washington Monthly, The New York Times, and NPR.
Lawrence J. Korb is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Senior Adviser to the Center for Defense Information. Prior to joining the Center, he was a Senior Fellow and Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. From July 1998 to October 2002, he was Council Vice President, Director of Studies, and holder of the Maurice Greenberg Chair. Prior to joining the Council, Dr. Korb served as Director of the Center for Public Policy Education and Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, Dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and Vice President of Corporate Operations at the Raytheon Company. Dr. Korb served as Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics) from 1981 through 1985. In that position, he administered about 70 percent of the Defense budget. For his service in that position, he was awarded the Department of Defense’s medal for Distinguished Public Service. Dr. Korb served on active duty for four years as Naval Flight Officer, and retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Captain. Dr. Korb’s 20 books and more than 100 articles on national security issues include: The Joint Chiefs of Staff: The First Twenty-five Years, The Fall and Rise of the Pentagon, American National Security: Policy and Process, Future Visions for U.S. Defense Policy, Reshaping America’s Military, and A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. His articles have appeared in such journals as Foreign Affairs, Public Administration Review, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Naval Institute Proceedings, and International Security. Over the past decade, Dr. Korb has made over 1,000 appearances as a commentator on such shows as The Today Show, The Early Show, Good Morning America, Face the Nation, This Week with David Brinkley, MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Nightline, 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, The O’Reilly Factor, and Crossfire. His more than 100 op-ed pieces have appeared in such major newspapers as The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Christian Science Monitor.
P.J. Crowley is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and directs the homeland security program, which concentrates primarily on critical infrastructure security and strategies to encourage the private sector to improve our national and economic security. He collaborates within the Center’s National Security team on a range of national security and military policy issues, including Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. He has testified before the United States Senate, House of Representatives, and District of Columbia City Council on the threat of terrorism and critical infrastructure security. P.J. joined the Center in November 2003. Prior to that, he worked for the property/casualty insurance industry in New York, focusing on strategic industry issues such as the impact of terrorism on commercial insurance in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy. During the Clinton administration, Crowley was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs, serving for three years on the staff of the National Security Council. He was also Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs at the Pentagon. Crowley served for 26 years in the United States Air Force, retiring at the rank of colonel in September 1999. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Provide Comfort, the Kurdish relief effort in 1991. During the Kosovo conflict, he was temporarily assigned to work with then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana in Brussels. A native of Massachusetts, P.J. is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross. He is married to Paula E. Kougeas, also a retired Air Force colonel, and now an elementary school teacher. P.J. is a frequent guest on U.S. and international network broadcasts, including the Lehrer NewsHour on PBS, The CBS Evening News, Countdown on MSNBC, the O’Reilly Factor on FOX, Anderson Cooper and Paula Zaun on CNN, The Diane Rehm Show and On Point on NPR, the BBC and Al Jazeera. Recent opinion articles on homeland security and defense issues have been published in The Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Newark Star-Ledger, New York Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Washington Times.
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”