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UVU to Examine National Issues in Afghanistan

16 November 2009 No Comment

November 16, 2009
For Immediate Release

For more information: Rusty Butler (801) 863-8994
University Marketing & Communications: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Chelsey Richardson (801) 863-8504

The White House is wrestling with the future direction of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, and Utah Valley University is helping to keep its students and the local community informed. UVU will host a roundtable on the Afghanistan issues on Monday, Dec. 7, entitled “8th Anniversary of ‘Operation Enduring Freedom: Current Status and Prospects for the Future.”

“President Obama is deciding our nation’s future involvement in Afghanistan,” said Rusty Butler, associate vice president for international affairs and diplomacy at UVU. “We hope that the roundtable discussion will help the UVU community and Utah Valley to understand the challenges that face the region and how we might address those challenges.”

Heading the list of distinguished participants is internationally known Soviet/Middle East and terrorism expert Dr. Ariel Cohen. Cohen is the senior research fellow at the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. He is well known for his appearances on CNN and MSNBC and has published extensively. He is a sought-after expert on the Middle East and issues involving nations of former Soviet influence.

Joining Dr. Cohen will be two United Nations ambassadors from Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, as well as former Congressman Chris Cannon, an expert on Central Asia. Moderating the discussion will be Dr. Baktybek Abdrisaev, former Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to the United States and Canada and now visiting professor at UVU.

A second roundtable will follow immediately with Lt. Col. Derek Tolman of the Army National Guard who has considerable experience in the country, well-known journalist in Afghanistan Scott Carrier, and a prominent humanitarian worker in that country.

The roundtable will be held in the UVU Library lecture hall, room 120, from 9 a.m. to noon. It is free and open to the public. The event is a joint initiative of the UVU Office of International Affairs & Diplomacy, the International Center, the Department of History & Political Science, the Center for the Study of Ethics, the Department of Integrated & Interdisciplinary Studies and the Utah Democracy Project.

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