COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Later this week, a two-day discussion of the Iraq War will be held at the National Infantry Museum.
It will be a wide-ranging symposium with many different voices talking about the conflict that started 20 years ago.
Friday and Saturday, warriors, scholars and civilians will talk about the Iraq War. Twenty years later, the historical context of the conflict is a topic of discussion.
The symposium is co-sponsored by the National Infantry Museum and Columbus State University.
CSU Associate Professor Dr. David Kieran says this is the perfect place to bring, scholars, warriors and others impacted by the war together.
“And Columbus is the only place in the country that has the names of the over 7,000 U.S. service members who dies in the war on the wall there,” Kieran said. “So, it makes it a really unique and the most fitting place in some ways to have this discussion of the war.”
National Infantry Museum Foundation President and CEO retired Brigadier Gen. Peter Jones served multiple tours in Iraq as both a brigade and battalion commander.
“When you look at doing a 20-year retrospective and you think about all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines that trained here at Fort Benning. Many of them,” Jones said. “The majority of them were involved in what was considered one of our nation’s longest wars.”
Kieran and Jones say this weekend will be in part about lessons learned.
“And what are the legacies and what are the lessons?” Kieran said. “What are the legacies for the veterans in our community, the military families in our community, for the nation, and what are the lessons we need to take forward as the United States starts to think about its future and its future in the world?”
“We don’t want anybody to be a yes person,” Jones siad. “But this is intended for serious discussion. I think when you have scholars and practioners, there are emotions. There is going to be. And there needs to be. Over 7,000 between Iraq and Afghanistan names are on our walls. But that shows you how important it is to look at the lessons learned. Because each one of those names has value. And that’s why we are doing this.”
The speaker lineup includes Liam Collins, founding Director, Modern War Institute, U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Dr. Catherine Lutz, professor of International Studies and Co-founder and Co-Director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University; and retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli, a former Army Vice Chief of Staff.
The event is free, but they ask that you preregister at the National Infantry Museum website. You can also find a link on WRBL.com
Chuck interviewed Dr. Kieran on the Sunday Conversation this week. It is below.