Conference To Present Perspectives On U.S. Military Involvement In Afghanistan
November 30, 2011
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Marshall Sanders
The Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of four international relations student organizations at Utah Valley University, is presenting the Dec. 2 international conference “Operation Enduring Freedom: History and Current Status of U.S. Involvement in the War in Afghanistan” to provide perspectives on the war in Afghanistan at 10:30 a.m. in the UVU Library, room 120.
The conference will consist of a series of panels and round table discussions that touch on a variety of topics surrounding the war ranging from regional strategy and involvement to its affect on an international scale from the perspective of the U.S. State Department, foreign diplomats, UVU faculty and current university students that are also military veterans of the conflict.
Guest participants include Murad Askarov, the ambassador of Uzbekistan to the U.S.; Ahmad Zahir Faqiri, the chief deputy of missions in Afghanistan to the U.N.; and Gordon Stirling, a former senior U.S. foreign service officer. Baktybek Abdrisaev, former ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to the U.S. and a UVU history and political science faculty member, John Macfarlane, UVU academic adviser in history and political science and Rusty Butler, associate vice president of UVU’s Office of International Affairs & Diplomacy will also make presentations.
“This high level event is centered around a greater understanding for the war in Afghanistan,” said UVU student John McClure, co-chair of UIMF, co-president of UVU foreign affairs club and co-president of the Russian Club, who organized the event along with fellow student and UIMF co-chair Chris Heaton. “Ultimately, this will provide a greater understanding for students, faculty and for the community on why the war started, what is currently happening and what can be expected in the future.”
Student veterans of the U.S. military will participate in a separate 2 p.m. round table discussion on their perspectives on their service and time in Afghanistan.
“This is a compelling opportunity for students and community members to come and learn about this war from multiple different perspectives,” McClure said. “It is not going to be a one-sided event; we are trying to tell this story from at least three different points of view. The goal is to hit this from so many different perspectives that those who participate will have no choice but to walk away with a better understanding of the war.”
The event is free and open to the public.
The Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF) is a coalition of the Sustainable Mountain Development Club, the Foreign Affairs Club, the America Israeli Alliance and the Russian/Slovak Club at UVU. The purpose of the coalition is to bring together international relation students and students who are foreign affairs minded. The organization works to provide opportunities for the students and community to learn and grow as part of a global community.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to nearly 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utahís largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.