The Cold War Symposium kicked off on Nov. 9, 2021, with a dinner event at June’s Northland in Leavenworth, Kansas, hosted by the CGSC Foundation and its Simons Center.
The purpose of the Cold War Symposium is to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the end of the Cold War, to promote scholarship, and to recognize the contributions of those who participated in that global struggle, especially the United States and its allies in NATO.
In this first event of the series, attendees were provided an overview of the symposium series which will extend over four months via virtual presentations by experts in a panel discussion format. The completion of the symposium will result in publication of a book, edited by Dr. Mark Wilcox, CGSC associate professor, with chapters written by the panel experts.
After welcome remarks by CGSC Foundation President/CEO Roderick M. Cox and a buffet dinner, Simons Center Director Bob Ulin provided attendees with the overview of the Cold War Symposium. With this initial dinner signifying the kickoff of the symposium, Ulin explained that subsequent presentations will be conducted virtually from December 2021 through February 2022. Ulin further explained the ultimate objective of the symposium is to produce a conference report in book form, with each of the chapters written by the participating panel experts.
Ulin said the virtual presentation on Dec. 14, 2021, will be focused on “Setting the Stage” for the end of the Cold War; on Jan. 11, the subject is “The Cold War Ends;” and on Feb. 8, the topic will be “Rebuilding the Alliance.”
After Ulin’s overview, each participating expert provided a synopsis of the subject they will cover in the monthly presentations that will ultimately become chapters of the final book.
The briefers were:
• Col. (Ret.) Jon House, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Military History, CGSC
Subject: Cold War Overview
• Robert Davis, Ph.D., Director, Goodpaster Scholars, School of Advanced Military Studies, CGSC
Subject: Conditions Leading to the Decline of the Soviet Union
• Sean Kalic, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Military History, CGSC
Subject: The Strategic Environment
• Lt. Col. (Ret.) Mark Wilcox, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations, CGSC
Subject: The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty
• Lt. Col. (Ret.) Gilbert Bernabe, Ph.D., former inspector for the On-Site Inspection Agency (OSIA)
Subject: Trust but Verify
• Col. (Ret.) William Eckhardt, JD, Emeritus Teaching Professor of Law, Director, Urban Affairs Outreach, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Subject: Observations of Romanian Defense Structure
• Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lester Grau, Senior Research Analyst, Foreign Military Studies Office
Subject: Reactions of Russia
Not present at the kickoff meeting, but scheduled to participate in the Dec. 14 virtual presentation, was Tim Riley, Director and Chief Curator, America’s National Churchill Museum, in Fulton, Mo. Riley will deliver a presentation on “Churchill’s Iron Curtin Speech” that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered on March 5, 1946, at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where he had been invited by President Harry Truman.
Additionally, retired Maj. Gen. Gordon “Skip” Davis, who lives in Vicenza, Italy, a former CGSC deputy commandant and NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment, did not attend the kickoff meeting. General Davis will discuss NATO transformation after the end of the Cold War in the Feb. 8, 2022, virtual presentation.
After the experts briefings, Ulin provided John Ferguson, owner of Ferguson Hotel Development, with a gift in appreciation for his sponsorship of the symposium.
Details for each virtual meeting will be available on the CGSC Foundation and Simons Center websites and social media prior to each date.
The Cold War Symposium is an Arter-Rowland National Security Forum Series co-hosted by the CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center and the Greater Kansas City Chapter of AUSA (KCAUSA).