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Ohio Wesleyan University Professor, NATO Expert to Participate in International Discussions on Military Situation in Afghanistan

October 29, 2007

Professor Sean Kay, Ph.D.
DELAWARE, OHIO – Ohio Wesleyan University Professor Sean Kay, Ph.D., author of “Global Security in the Twenty-First Century” and one of the nation’s leading NATO experts, will participate in two international conferences this week to examine NATO’s presence in Afghanistan.

Beginning Oct. 31, Kay will participate in the Atlantic Treaty Association’s 53rd General Assembly in Ottawa, Canada. On Nov. 2, he will take part in a “War and Reconstruction” conference at the University of Toronto’s Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

The Atlantic Treaty Association will examine “NATO and Global Partners: A Comprehensive Approach to Rebuilding Afghanistan and other Challenges.” During the three-day event, Kay will participate in a Nov. 1 panel discussion with Lt. Gen. Andrew B. Leslie, commander of Task Force Kabul and deputy commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2003. Leslie currently serves as commander of the Canadian army. Kay and Leslie will discuss “NATO’s Transformation Forged and Tested in Afghanistan—Afghanistan and Its Impact on Alliance Members and Partners.”

At the University of Toronto conference, Kay will participate on a panel with NATO senior official Jonathan Parish and Janice Stein, director of the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies. The panel will discuss Afghanistan as a “Mission Impossible for the Atlantic Community?”

Kay, who also serves as chair of Ohio Wesleyan’s International Studies Program, said it is time for NATO to consider a “recalibration of its mission.”

“The perfect scenario would be for NATO to deploy 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan and win the battle,” Kay said. “But if we aren’t willing to do this, then we have to think about why we’re fighting and why our soldiers are dying in a battle they can’t win. The alternative is to support the Afghan government, army, and police to prepare them to take over the fight.”

Even if the mission is revised, Kay concluded, Afghanistan will need a NATO presence for the foreseeable future, likely a decade or more, to be able to move forward on its own.

Kay, who joined Ohio Wesleyan in 1999, also is an associate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University and a non-resident fellow at the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the editorial board of “Contemporary Security Policy” and a former fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies within the U.S. Department of Defense, which advises the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 40 states and 45 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.