April 08, 2006 Lieutenant General William E. Odom (U.S. Army ret.) was the next speaker in the Watson Institute's Directors Lecture Series on Contemporary International Affairs, on Friday, April 7, 4:00 p.m., in Smith-Buonanno 106. In "America's Strategic Paralysis," Odom, who is a former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), argued that the Bush administration has effectively paralyzed the United States both diplomatically and militarily through the invasion of Iraq and that a military withdrawal is merely the first step toward regaining mobility.
In Providence Journal Bulletin, Saturday, April 8, article, titled "Iraq invastion a mistake, ex-general tells Brown audience," reporter Peter Lord summarized Odom's message: "The best course of action is to withdrawn from Iraq as quickly as possible, Odom said. The longer the United States stays, the more terrorists it creates. But even a quick withdrawal will leave a very unstable world, he said, with increasing uncertainty that the United States will be its leader." [Registration for ProJo site may be required.]
Odom is currently a senior fellow with Hudson Institute and a professor at Yale University. As NSA director from 1985 to 1988, he was responsible for the nation's signals intelligence and communications security. From 1981 to 1985, he served as assistant chief of staff for Intelligence, the Army's senior intelligence officer.
From 1977 to 1981, Odom was military sssistant to President Carter's assistant for National Security Affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski. As a member of the National Security Council staff, he worked on strategic planning, Soviet affairs, nuclear weapons policy, telecommunications policy, and Persian Gulf security issues. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1954 and received a PhD from Columbia University in 1970.
Odom’s latest book, America’s Inadvertent Empire, co-authored with Robert Dujarric, was published in early 2004 by Yale University Press. His previous book, Fixing Intelligence for a More Secure America, was published in January 2003 (Yale University Press). His book, The Collapse of the Soviet Military (Yale University Press, 1998), won the Marshall Shulman Prize. Odom has also written America's Military Revolution: Strategy and Structure after the Cold War (American University Press, 1993); Trial after Triumph: East Asia after the Cold War (Hudson Institute, 1992); On Internal War: American and Soviet Approaches to Third World Clients and Insurgents (Duke University Press, 1992); and The Soviet Volunteers (Princeton University Press, 1973). He coauthored Commonwealth or Empire? Russia, Central Asia, and the Transcaucasus again with Dujarric (Hudson Institute, 1995).
Additionally, Odom has published articles in Foreign Affairs, World Politics, Foreign Policy, Orbis, Problems of Communism, The National Interest, The Washington Quarterly, Military Review, and many other publications. A frequent radio and television commentator, he has appeared on programs such as "The PBS News Hour," CNN, ABC's "Nightline," NBC News, C-SPAN, and BBC's "The World Tonight." He also is a periodic contributor to the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and others.
The Directors Lecture Series on Contemporary International Affairs, which is sponsored by the Institute's research directors, brings to campus leading public intellectuals to engage faculty and students in discussion on compelling global issues. These intellectuals play an important role in bridging the gap between the academy and the public on topics such as war, ethnic conflict, self-determination, and the global economy.
Photo Source: www.worldsecuritynetwork.com.