Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

General in charge of nation’s nukes visits DU

Gen. James Cartwright, commander of United States Strategic Command(USSTRATCOM) and officer in charge of the nation’s nuclear weapons, spoke at the University of Denver June 15.

Cartwright addressed leaders in the field of international relations who were gathered at DU as part of the American Assembly of Columbia University’s Next Generation Project. The meeting was co-sponsored by DU’s Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS).

Cartwright oversees missions of space operations; information operations; integrated missile defense; global command and control; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; global strike; and strategic deterrence. USSTRATCOM is also the lead command for Department of Defense efforts in combating weapons of mass destruction.

On June 8, Defense Secretary Robert Gates recommended to President Bush that Cartwright serve as the next vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

During his talk, Cartwright talked about the extraordinary pace of change in the world. He recommended that U.S. institutions be more flexible and said there needs to be increased cooperation between governmental units.

“He sees the need to use technology to adapt to rapid change and keep information flowing,” says GSIS Dean Tom Farer, noting that Cartwright has started a blog and encourages people at all levels of the military and national security sectors to contribute. “He is a student of technology and relates high-tech management theory to the operation of the military.”

The Next Generation Project matches emerging business and policy leaders from around the country with experienced mentors and brings them together to discuss the threats and challenges the U.S. and the world will face in coming years. The project intends to influence policy discussions about the future of America’s role in the world and cultivate new policy networks.

Nearly 70 of the brightest leaders, dubbed Next Generation Fellows, were identified to participate in the Mountain States assembly held at DU. Fellows included Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and representatives from government, law, business and nonprofit sectors. Over the course of the meeting, the fellows participated in four structured discussion sessions and assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the current national and international institutional architecture.

“The project assembled an unusually diverse, interesting group of people with different political starting points,” says Farer. “It was an opportunity to examine our intellectual baggage and identify our points of consensus and disagreement.”


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