Why National Security Needs Humanities

Major professionals in international policy, national security, worldwide diplomacy and foreign language study came together at Stanford lately to talk about an unlikely common profession thread: the humanities and public sciences. Those present involved former U.S. secretary of state and present Stanford lecturer Condoleezza Rice; former secretary of defense and Stanford lecturer emeritus William Perry; project naturalist Steven Denning, the seat of the Stanford Panel of Trustees; Karl Eikenberry, a fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, former ambassador to Afghanistan and a retired general. They were among the 26 participants who mentioned how the humanities and public sciences enhance this country’s diplomatic, security and worldwide plan efforts.

They were gathered together by a nationwide commission that has been billed by the legislature with discovering ways for the United States to sustain nationwide quality in the humanities and public sciences. Eikenberry succinctly took the value of the discussion when he said that knowledge of history, language and societies can help America more efficiently get around the increasing number of “multinational issues that need worldwide solutions.”

Stanford Lecturer of German studies and relative literary works Russell Berman shared Eikenberry’s emotions about the value of vocabulary skills and advised the commission to look at This country’s K-12 language requirements, which are much less strict than those of the European Union countries. In implying the value of the human element on the front lines, Joel Vowell, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Military who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said that by putting a well on the Afghan borders, his military unintentionally chose sides in a 400-year-old argument between two towns. Vowell added that when the military is planning for complicated combat circumstances, most of their questions are about lifestyle and history.

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