Iraq war critic Col. Larry Wilkerson (Ret.) to discuss national security at Penn

Colonel Larry Wilkerson (Ret.) will visit Penn State to present “A Nation Adrift: the U.S. to 2050” on March 15. A one-time supporter of the Iraq war, Wilkerson was chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002-2005 and became a critic of the Bush Administration, the war in Iraq, and the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Wilkerson's talk will focus on dire national security challenges of the future. “We cannot focus solely on the international crisis of the day, Iran, Afghanistan, China and so forth,” said Wilkerson. “We must focus on the larger and far more dangerous crises to come. We neglect these challenges at our—and perhaps humanity's—peril.”

Wilkerson interrupted his college education in 1966 to volunteer to serve in the Vietnam War. Over his 31-year military career, Wilkerson was deputy executive officer to then-General Colin Powell, special assistant to Gen. Powell, and director and deputy director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Virginia. He holds a B.A. in English and a graduate degree in international relations and national security.

Wilkerson provided commentary to the award-winning 2005 documentary film “Why We Fight”, which documents the rise of the U.S. military-industrial complex and its involvement in the invasion of Iraq.

Col. Wilkerson's presentation is part of the School of International Affairs Colloquium on Global Issues, a graduate-level class to which Professor Dennis Jett, a retired U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique and Peru, has invited the Penn State community. The presentation begins in the Greg Sutliff Auditorium of Lewis Katz Building at 11:15 a.m. and will be available via live webcast.