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Kermit Roosevelt Exchange Lecture Series
October 15th, 2008
Guest Speaker
Click here for Gen McColl's bio

GEN Sir John McColl,
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

"NATO Hope or History?"

General McColl addressed members of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Oct. 15, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as part of the 2008 Kermit Roosevelt Exchange Lecture Series.  His presentation, entitled "NATO:  Hope or History?" discussed the question of whether NATO has outlived its Cold War purpose and whether it can respond to modern crises.  The general drew on personal operational experience, experience in his current position and historical lessons to make his points before the audience of more than 1,000 students, faculty and staff.

Background on the Kermit Lecture Series
The Kermit Roosevelt Exchange Lecture Series began in 1947. The idea for an annual exchange of American and British military lecturers came from Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt, who intended it as a memorial to her late husband. Her ideas were set forth in correspondence to General George C. Marshall dated 17 June 1944.

"My husband, Kermit Roosevelt, … attempted to carry out in his own life his conviction that the development of a closer relationship between individual English and Americans, and a better understanding between the military forces of the United States and the United Kingdom would contribute in large measure to the preservation of world peace. In view of this conviction of his, it seems appropriate.. to set up this Memorial"

The U.S. Congress enacted legislation in 1945 which authorized the Kermit Roosevelt Fund and established in the War Department a Board of Trustees to implement and administer the exchange program, "…for the purpose of fostering a better understanding and a closer relationship between the military forces of the United States and those of the United Kingdom by sponsoring lectures or courses of instruction…"

The exchange lectures have been held every year since 1947. As of 1997, the lecturer from the United Kingdom spoke at the United States Military Academy, the U.S. Army War College, and the Armed Forces Staff College in addition to the Command and General Staff College. The lecturer from the United States spoke at the Military College of Sciences, The Royal Military Academy, the Joint Services Defence College and the Ministry of Defence. The Kermit Roosevelt Fund was sustained through 1957 by Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt, and through 1969 by grants from the Rockefeller and McCormick Foundations. In 1970, it was mutually agreed that the Kermit Roosevelt Lecture Series would be officially support by the United Kingdom and the United States as a continuation of the program formerly sponsored by the Kermit Roosevelt Fund.
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Last Reviewed: February 9, 2009

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