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Global Conversations: U.S. Global Engagement and the Military
August 15, 2018 @ 6:00 pm CDT/ Free
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The global power balance is rapidly evolving, leaving the United States at a turning point with respect to its level of engagement and the role of its military. Some argue for an “America First” paradigm, with a large military to ensure security, while others call for a more assertive posture overseas. Some advocate for a restoration of American multilateral leadership and a strengthened role for diplomacy. Still, others envision a restrained U.S. role, involving a more limited military.
Join us for a conversation with retired U.S. Navy Commander Jon Olson on how the military functions in today’s international order, and how might it be balanced with diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities.
About the Speaker
Jon Olson served as a U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer before retiring in 2011 at the rank of commander. During his 21-year naval career, Jon’s assignments included duty aboard aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious ships, numerous international operations including to Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, and service in the U.S. Navy strategic-level clandestine Human Intelligence collection operations as a CIA-trained case officer. He also qualified as a U.S. Navy parachutist, logging 35 jumps. Jon’s final assignment before retirement was as the U.S. Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Since retiring, Jon has co-authored several novels and short stories, and a feature-length screenplay about the Falklands War named, “A Close Run Thing.” Currently, Jon is an adjunct professor at Carleton College and in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University. He also serves as president of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association – Upper Midwest Chapter. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College.