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General Wesley K. Clark (ret.) is a businessman, educator, writer and commentator.
General Clark serves as Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting firm; Chairman and Founder of Enverra, Inc. a licensed investment bank; Chairman of Energy Security Partners, LLC; as well as numerous corporate boards including BNK Petroleum and Leagold Mining. He is active in energy, including oil and gas, biofuels, electric power and batteries, finance, and security. During his business career he has served as an advisory, consultant or board member of over ninety private and publicly traded companies. In the not-for-profit space, he is a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations, Director of the Atlantic Council; and Founding Chair of City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock. A best-selling author, General Clark has written four books and is a frequent contributor on TV and to newspapers.
Clark retired as a four star general after 38 years in the United States Army, having served in his last assignments as Commander of US Southern Command and then as Commander of US European Command/ Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He graduated first in his class at West Point and completed degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (B.A. and M.A.) as a Rhodes scholar. While serving in Vietnam, he commanded an infantry company in combat, where he was severely wounded and evacuated home on a stretcher. He later commanded at the battalion, brigade and division level, and served in a number of significant staff positions, including service as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5). He was the principal author of both the US National Military Strategy and Joint Vision 2010, prescribing US warfighting for full-spectrum dominance. He also worked with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in the Dayton Peace Process, where he helped write and negotiate significant portions of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. In his final assignment as Supreme Allied Commander Europe he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force, a 78-day air campaign, backed by ground invasion planning and a diplomatic process, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing.
His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver star, bronze star, purple heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and numerous other awards from other governments, including award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France). He has also been awarded the Department of State Distinguished Service Award and numerous honorary doctorates and civilian honors.
Trent Lott is a former Senate Majority Leader, Senate Republican Whip and House Republican Whip. Senator Lott represented the people of Mississippi in Congress for 35 years and is one of a handful of officials to have held elected leadership positions in both the House of Representatives and Senate. During his 16 years in the House and 19 years in the Senate, he worked closely with seven presidential administrations and was regarded as a savvy coalition builder and dealmaker.
Senator Lott joined the House in 1973, representing Mississippi’s Fifth Congressional District. From 1981 to 1989, he served as House Minority Whip, the second-ranking Republican in the House. In that position, he forged the bipartisan alliance that enacted Ronald Reagan’s economic recovery program and national security initiatives. He also founded the House’s first modern Whip organization with a focus on regular member-to-member contacts and extensive outreach to sympathetic Democrats to secure passage of major legislation.
In 1988, Senator Lott was elected to the Senate where he was a member of a group of pro-growth stalwarts who opposed the tax increase forced on President Bush in 1990. He became the Senate’s 16th Majority Leader in 1996 and, along with Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, was instrumental in the passing of the historic welfare reform bill of 1996. The next year, Senator Lott worked with Gingrich and congressional Budget Committee chairmen John Kasich and Pete Domenici to produce a landmark budget and tax cut agreement that limited some federal spending while, more importantly, stimulating the economic growth that brought the federal budget into balance for the first time since 1968.
As the Republican leader in the Senate during the first two years of President George W. Bush’s administration, Senator Lott led the fight for passage of the President’s tax cut package, the President’s historic education reform bill, the largest increase in defense spending since the Cold War, the most significant trade legislation in a decade, and the resolution supporting the President of military action in Iraq. Senator Lott later helped to reach the compromises leading to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Tom Ridge is the Chairman of Ridge Global, LLC, Chairman of the Ridge Global Cybersecurity Institute and a Partner of Ridge Policy Group, LLC. He provides clients with solutions to cyber security, international security and risk management issues. Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the country’s 15th Cabinet Department marked the largest reorganization of government since the Truman administration and another call to service for the former soldier, congressman and governor of Pennsylvania. During his DHS tenure, Secretary Ridge worked with more than 180,000 employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods, instituted layered security at air, land and seaports, developed a unified national response and recovery plan, protected critical infrastructure, integrated new technology and improved information sharing worldwide. Tom Ridge served as Secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until February I, 2005. Before the events of September 11th, Tom Ridge was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. Governor Ridge’s aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state’s advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Organization on Disability (NOD) and serves as Co-Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense. He is on the board of the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress and other private and public entities. He graduated from Harvard with honors. After his first year at Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After returning to Pennsylvania and to Dickinson, he earned his law degree and, later, became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms.
This article was originally published by the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs on July 9, 2019. It is the first of a two part series. The original text may be found by visiting https://www.georgetownjournalofinternationalaffairs.org/online-edition/2019/7/9/part-i-rethinking-deterrence. The following is
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Gen. Clark was honored on the 20th Anniversary of the start of Operation Allied Force at the Embassy of Kosovo
March 24 was the 20th anniversary of the start of Operation Allied Force that saved 1.8 million Kosovar-Albanians from ethnic cleansing at the hands of Slobodan Milošević. General K. Wesley Clark (ret.) was honored at a dinner with at the Kosovo Embassy
September 5, 2019
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World Affairs Council of Hilton Head
October 4, 2019
Sonesta Beach Resort
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Grand Valley State University
March 14, 2019
L.V. Eberhard Center, 2nd Floor
Grand Rapids, Michigan
University of Virginia
University of Pennsylvania