Retired Army colonel gives talk on ISIS, the War on Terror

Rajya Atluri

Veterans, students and faculty packed the Texas Governors Room in the Texas Union Wednesday, some even spilling out and standing in the hallway, to hear retired Army Colonel Peter Mansoor discuss how governments are combating terrorism.

 The Clements Center for National Security and the Alexander Hamilton Society hosted the event featuring Mansoor, who is the General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at The Ohio State University and a CNN military analyst. His talk began with a discussion of the Iraq war and ended with points regarding the world’s current situation with ISIS, as well as conflicts between Sunni-majority and Shiite-majority Middle Eastern states.

 “(ISIS) has caused a lot of regional instability,” Mansoor said. “You have basically a fight within a fight over who is going to control Islam and who’s going to control the Middle East.”

 Especially with the influx of refugees and immigrants from affected countries, ISIS also has an impact on the United States and Europe. 

“These massive refugee flows and the unchecked immigration from the Middle East is an issue,” Mansoor said. “It’s become a political football, and it is destabilizing various states around
the world.” 

The center hosts several events like this throughout the year, typically focusing on topics of national security and international relations. Center Program Coordinator Jennifer Johnson said the mission of the center is to train the next generation of national security leaders.

 “We’re just really excited to bring these excellent speakers from the White House, from the National Security Council, from the State Department and from the intelligence community to undergraduate and graduate students so they can learn more about whether a career in national security is what they want,” Johnson said. “We really try to make these events as informative and educational as possible.”

 Government junior Brittany Shoemaker said she attends all of the Clements Center events that she is able to because of her interest in policy relations, counter-terrorism and the intelligence community.

 “My ears just perk up with any information that I’m going to be getting from any kind of talk,” Shoemaker said. “Knowledge is something you can always learn, and that’s what my aim is, and that’s what I’m doing by attending these events and by learning about different aspects of national security.”