Guest Speaker Request

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Dr. Eliot Cohen Visits CGSC
November 5th, 2008
Guest Speaker
Guest Speaker

Dr. Eliot Cohen,
Counselor of the State Department

Topic: C
ivil-military relations and the role of the military professional in contemporary society.

Dr. Cohen addressed students and faculty of the Command and General Staff College on the topic of civil-military relations and the role of the military professional in contemporary society. The CGSC guest speaker program enhances the curriculum by inviting distinguished visitors who challenge students' thought processes and stimulate discussion. 
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Student Introduction
I’m MAJ Rick Maldonado of Staff Group 23B.  Today I had the distinct pleasure of introducing Dr. Eliot A. Cohen as a guest speaker.

Dr. Cohen was commissioned in the United States Army Reserves in 1982.  His military service included several years as Military Assistant to the Director of Net Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Dr. Cohen served as an adjunct professor at the United States Army War College, where he advised the Advanced Strategic Art Program, and was a longstanding member of the Defense Policy Advisory Board and the National Security Advisory Panel for the National Intelligence Council.  He is also the author of several widely used case studies for senior military and executive education.

Dr. Cohen is the author of several books to include Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime.  He is a well published author with articles appearing in many leading publications.

Dr. Cohen is currently on public service leave from John Hopkins University, where he is the Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, to serve as the Counselor of the Department of State.  As a principal officer he is a special advisor to the Secretary of State.

Dr. Cohen presentation centered mainly on his book Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (2002)Topics of discussion included:


  The relationship between civilian leadership and the military
  The model of unequal dialogue between civilian and military leadership
  Discussed the inherently complicated task of articulating the conditions on the ground not only to the civilian leadership but to a military leadership far removed from the battlefield.
  The function of civilian leaders in selecting General Officers.Sources of friction between civilian and military leadership.
Immediately following his presentation Dr. Cohen fielded questions in a refreshingly pointed and candid manner.  No doubt his presentation will be the fodder for intellectual deliberation amongst our staff groups.
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Last Reviewed: February 9, 2009

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