• CGSC Ethics Symposium covers worldwide topics

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  • Army University Public Affairs
    The Command and General Staff College conducted its annual Ethics Symposium April 30 through May 1 at the Lewis and Clark Center with the theme “The Impact of Diverse Worldviews on Military Conflict.”
    Standing in front of a graphic depicting North Korea, Russia, Iran and the South China Sea, Dr. Shannon E., French, CGSC General Hugh Shelton distinguished visiting chair of ethics, asked the audience “What kind of person do you want to be and why?” The natural follow-up, she said, is “How do you become that person and retain that identity?”
    French was the closing speaker for the two-day Ethics Symposium. After reminding her audience, “Everyone is capable of doing anything,” she shared with them some ways to prepare for ethical crises. Firstly, she said, figure out who can be trusted — friends and mentors. Secondly, learn what can interfere with making the ethical choice — avoid false dilemmas. Thirdly, develop the ability to shift between different kinds of tasks. And finally, learn the stories of people who made right decision.
    As an example of the last, she told several stories of Saladin, leader of the Islamic tribes during the crusades, making ethical decisions. This included allowing the survivors of Jerusalem to depart rather than slaughtering the inhabitants as had been done when Christian forces took the city from the Muslims years earlier.
    More than 1,000 members of the Command and General Staff Officers Course, guests and visitors participated in the ethics conference that featured a variety of guest speakers, three panel presentations and more than 30 breakout topics. More than 50 papers were submitted for discussion at the symposium. Top papers were “Criminal Ethos of Russia: The Great Western Dilemma of Fighting New Generation Warfare” by Lithuanian Maj. Egidijus Cuitas, and “What were you thinking? How to discover your moral philosophy: a forensic approach,” by Dr. Richard McConnell and Maj. Evan Westgate.
    Panel presentations included “Salafi-Jihadism: A look at the individual and organizational level ethical framework,” “Cultural Perspectives, Geopolitics and Energy Security of the Koreas,” and “Understanding the Chinese Perspective — What History Tells Us About the Future.”
    The Culture, Regional Expertise and Language Management Office put together a panel on North Korea. Three internationally known Korea experts and one subject matter expert from CGSC talked about one of the hottest topics of the day.
    CRELMO Director Mahir Ibrahimov, moderator, welcomed Dr. Bruce Bechtol Jr., professor of political science at Angelo State University, Texas, addressed “North Korea’s Military, Governmental Infrastructure and Proliferation.” Dr. Jae Ku, director of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C., discussed “Regime’s Anti-American Propaganda and the Potential for Popular Resistance During a Military Conflict.” Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, Washington, D.C., addressed “Human Security in North Korea and Its Impact on the Korean Peninsula.” Lt. Col. John Reynolds, Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations, CGSC, covered “Historical, Economic and Sociocultural Factors Relevant to the Current Situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
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