Former military analyst speaks to UNT

Former military analyst speaks to UNT

Former military analyst speaks to UNT
February 05
00:13 2015

Steven James / Senior Staff Writer

Retired Army Gen. and former NATO allied supreme commander Wesley Clark spoke at UNT Wednesday about his thoughts on America’s greatest challenges as part of UNT’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

The lecture began at 8 p.m. in the Auditorium building. Nearly 600 people attended. He began the event by asking all servicemen and ROTC members to stand up, to which the audience then applauded.

Clark’s lecture focused on five issues he thinks the U.S. needs to overcome – terrorism, cybersecurity, creating a stable financial system, facilitating Chinese economics and facing climate change. During his lecture, he outlined ways he thinks the U.S. can overcome these challenges.

‘There’s no end to the risks and dangers we face,” Clark said.

He said militant Islam terrorism is trying to come to terms with the modern world.

“They started trying to live like Muhammad, which was corrupted by thugs who justify suicide, murder and the killing of innocents,” Clark said. “Defeating those militants who proclaim themselves Islam will take decades.”

For the next part of his lecture, Clark said his first introduction to the Internet was in 1988 at the Department of Defense, when he learned an entire country’s electrical grid may be taken out by the Internet.

“Everything is now connected to the Internet,” Clark said. “It is integral to all economies of the world, including this one.”

Parts of his speech also included the Great Recession, referring to world markets’ economic decline, and how several different economists view China’s economy to be greater than or equal to America’s He also said the world temperature is increasing due to climate change. 

“What has happened since then is the top 1 percent got richer and the bottom 99 percent lost more,” Clark said. “We’ve got a long-term struggle with our economy.”

The event ended with Clark taking questions about his lecture and giving his thoughts on certain issues, such as the conflict with ISIS.

“You have to work with allies, partnerships and maybe even people you don’t want to get along with to face those challenges,” he said.

After ending a 38-year career with the military in 2000, Clark has served as an investment banker and a member of the Clinton Climate Change Initiative for the Clinton Foundation.  He is also an author of several books, the latest being “Don’t Wait for the Next War,” which outlines Clark’s thoughts on America’s strategic weaknesses since the end of the Cold War.

Kinesiology sophomore Teresa Schofield said she did not know a lot about the conflict with China until attending the lecture.

“He sounded like a wonderful, very educational person with a lot of experience,” Schofield said. “I felt like I learned a lot from [the lecture].”

Political science senior Joseph Nash said he also found the lecture very educational.

“It was enlightening to hear a perspective that I’m not exposed to in the political science field, concerning things like the economy and the military,” Nash said. “I hear some stuff, but it’s mainly the policy behind things.”

Featured Image: Former NATO supreme allied commander Wesley Clark. Photo courtesy of UNT News

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