By Sidharth Sharma
The final session of the Third Annual Walsh Exchange featured three panels and eight student speakers. Lizzie Lamb, Keila Franks, and Basil Bastaki presented during the Conflict and Post-Conflict Resolution on issues related to the Rwandan conflict of the 1990s and Karen Refugees in Myanmar. James Fishback and Sarah Baran spoke about microfinance initiatives in ASEAN and South America, respectively, during the Economic Development panel.
Joshua Schoen of Georgetown University presented during the Security panel, moderated by Dr. Natalie Goldring. Schoen tackled the issue of Russian counterterrorism, first giving a historical background of Russian efforts to combat terrorist groups and then linking that background to modern day applications concerning Russia’s security policy with regard to the Sochi Olympics.
Ben Gottesdiener of Washington University in St. Louis then presented on the role that Clark Clifford, special counsel to a handful of American presidents, in Cold War foreign policy. Clifford, he argued, was instrumental in not only developing containment policy but also urging Truman to recognize Israel as a state. Like Alexandra Van Dine’s presentation on nuclear proliferation in the Pakistani state from this morning’s first session, Gottesdiener’s thesis relied upon a first image understanding of international politics.
Finally, Laurel Zigarelli of Georgetown University concluded the presentation section of the panel with a talk assessing the use of MANPADS (man-portable aerial defense systems). MANPADS, Zigarellu argued, are relatively easy and cheap for terrorists to acquire and, if used against a American commercial airliner, could cause around 16 billion USD in damage to the American economy. Why, then, have they not been widely utilized in the post-September 11 world? After looking at 8 different cases, Zigarelli concluded that MANPADs are only utilized in the context of states where the legal structures exist to apprehend individuals for using MANPADs.
Dr. Natalie Goldring then concluded the session by delivering remarks on research projects, encouraging both the presenters and audience members to clearly define the parameters of their research conference.
With the panel presentations for the Third Annual Walsh Exchange now concluded, the Steering Committee would like to thank our presenters, our moderators, and our audience for their hard work and dedication. We hope all of our guests will join us for our keynote address at 5pm in Healy 208.