General Mark Kimmitt, Brigadier General in the US Army and former Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs (GNSD)
March 11, 2010, 6:00pm
In December 2009, President Obama addressed his plans to send additional troops to Afghanistan with the ultimate goal of a withdrawal after 18 months. General Mark Kimmitt, Brigadier General in the U.S. Army and former Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs, spoke candidly with Gen Next San Diego to explain what needs to happen to insure stability in the Middle East. Gen Next Members and guests had the chance to experience the taste of Milan as they gathered at the Gaslamp District’s hottest new Italian restaurant, Bice, for the intense and insightful conversation with one of the Nation’s leading experts on diplomacy and defense strategies concerning the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
General Kimmitt was clear in his opinion that the U.S. is currently going in the wrong direction with Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. The General explained when formulating a country's strategy and policy, it is of great importance to pull from the minds of military experts in the field. Of the 65 battles in the American Civil War, 60 of them were commanded by West Point Graduates. These types of statistics cannot be ignored, and the expertise of the men and women leading the forces in the Middle East are essential. General Kimmitt insisted U.S. policy should not be oriented around ending the war, but rather securing peace and stability. The General conveyed his objection to the timeline for withdrawal explaining that we will have a lot to fear if we do not make an investment in these countries, and insisted the U.S. must have a residual presence in the Middle East after 2012 and for years to come.
The threat of Iran and their attempts to access nuclear capabilities also became a fascinating topic of discussion. The General advises the U.S. to stop worrying about exactly what will happen if Iran comes forth with a nuclear weapon, but rather to formulate a policy with notion that they already have one and make a clear statement of exactly what will happen if it is used. Although the General does not see eye-to-eye on many things with President Obama, he did make the point of being very pleasantly surprised with his choice leadership on the international security side.
Gen Next would like to thank General Mark Kimmitt for sharing his insights and expertise. We would also like to now, and continually, thank all the men and women in the U.S. Military for their strength, bravery, and commitment to our great Nation.