On Friday, May 13, 2011, Major General Michael A. Snodgrass, USAF, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, addressed a group of IWP students, alumni, and friends. He was introduced by IWP Army Senior Service Fellow Colonel Reginald Bostick, who described the general's ability to bridge the gap between doing and thinking.
Maj. Gen. Snodgrass described his years of experience abroad. This prepared him, he said, for his current job, in which he works with partner nations to improve the capability of their air forces. He acts as a liaison between these foreign air forces to appropriate industries, and assists them with understanding what industry offers, budgeting, training, and doctrine required to achieve their capability goals. He also works with and through the U.S. ambassadors, combatant commanders and our Joint Partners in these countries to make sure that U.S. Air Force programs are consistent with US Policy and strategy in the region.
He then discussed the "Arab Spring," in which people are seeing what is possible in the world through satellite TV and technology, and perceive themselves as being oppressed. Maj. Gen. Snodgrass explained that this situation can present opportunities for building better relationships if we are watchful, prepared, and patient. He explained that some of these opportunities would allow us to help different nations improve their militaries so that they can be true protectors of their people. In particular, he examined the situations of Bahrain, Egypt, Syria, Libya, and other nearby countries, as well the challenges and advantages the US has in these areas.
Questions included inquiries about how to get other countries to trust the U.S. to a higher degree, how intelligence will be impacted if other nations do not cooperate with us, and how to get the various branches of the military to work together better.
This lecture was part of IWP's Distinguished Military Speakers Series.