On Thursday, September 20th, at 12:15pm, please join The Common Good for a lunch discussion with Col. Jack Jacobs, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, best-selling author and respected commentator on national security and foreign affairs, and Colin Kahl, Middle East expert at Georgetown University, who will brief us on “Middle East Hot Topics” – Iran’s nuclear game, Pakistan as danger zone, easing NATO and US troops out of Afghanistan and other key areas.
About Col. Jack Jacobs:
Colonel Jack Jacobs, who entered military service through Rutgers ROTC, earned the Medal of Honor for exceptional heroism on the battlefields of Vietnam. He also holds three Bronze Stars and two Silver Stars. Jacobs was an adviser to a Vietnamese infantry battalion when it came under a devastating fire that disabled the commander. Although bleeding from severe head wounds, then-First Lieutenant Jacobs took command, withdrew the unit to safety, and returned again and again under intense fire to rescue the wounded and perform life-changing first aid. He saved the lives of a U.S. adviser and 13 allied soldiers.
Jacobs served on the faculty of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the National War College in Washington, D.C. After retirement, he founded and was chief operating officer of Auto Finance Group. As a managing director of Bankers Trust Co., he led Global Investment Management to $2.2 billion in assets and later co-founded a similar business for Lehman Brothers.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a director of the Medal of Honor Foundation. He is also a military analyst for NBC/MSNBC.
About Colin Kahl:
Dr. Colin H. Kahl is a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) focusing on Middle East security and defense policy and an associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
From February 2009 through December 2011, Dr. Kahl served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East. In that capacity, he developed and implemented the U.S. Defense Department’s strategy and policy toward Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
During his tenure, he played a lead role in: designing and overseeing the responsible drawdown and transition strategy in Iraq; shaping the Pentagon’s efforts to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and destabilizing activities; promoting unprecedented defense cooperation with Israel; building a Regional Security Architecture in the Gulf; and crafting the Department’s response to the Arab Awakening.
In June 2011, Dr. Kahl was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service by Secretary Robert Gates.
Dr. Kahl has published widely on U.S. defense policy in the Middle East, including articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, The Los Angeles Times, Middle East Policy, The National Interest and The New York Times. He has also published numerous works on the sources of political instability and violent conflict in developing countries, including States, Scarcity, and Civil Strife in the Developing World (Princeton University Press, 2006).
From 2000-2005 and 2007 Dr. Kahl was a professor of international relations in the political science department at the University of Minnesota. In 2005-2006 he was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow working on stability operations and counterinsurgency at the Department of Defense. In 1997-1998 he was a National Security Fellow at Harvard University’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies.
He received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 2000 and his BA in political science from the University of Michigan in 1993.
For more information about Col. Jack Jacobs, visit http://www.pbs.org/weta/americanvalor/stories/jacobs.html
For more information about Colin Kahl, visit http://www.cnas.org/kahl