Monday, April 17, 2017

‘Declaring War’ Author Engages with Military History Course Students

Noted author on the topic of declaring war, Brien Hallett, Ph.D., addressed his books and America's history of going to war, in a three-hour presentation for the U.S. military history course of Jim Corcoran, Ph.D., at Hickam Air Base on April 10. Hallet, Associate Professor at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, conducted a lively exchange with Corcoran's College of Extended and Interdisciplinary Education's (CEIE) Military Campus Program, History 3666, class of 20 students, 13 of whom are combat veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq, or both, with multiple tours accounting for a total of 25 tours (Afghanistan, 10 tours; Iraq, 15 tours) and over 25 years of combined combat experience.

Hallett and Corcoran, both Vietnam War veterans, were able to engage the students with a particularly high level of rapport, addressing the issue of America's entry to war over its 241 year history as laid out in Hallet's books, "Declaring War: Congress, the President, and What the Constitution Does Not Say" (2012, one of the course texts) and "The Lost Art of Declaring War" (1998). A number of the students have other combat experience (Desert Storm, 1991; Operation Restore Hope, 1993, Somalia; Balkan peacekeeping operations, etc.), three are ROTC "Green to Gold," noncommissioned officers seeking active duty as officers, and 5 are Department of Defense civilians.

Hallett also discussed the book he is currently writing, a critical assessment of the role of Clausewitz in American national security strategy, and Corcoran and a few students agreed to read and comment on drafts in preparation for publication. Student background and high level of interest, current events, and professors' experience all made for a rich learning experience.  

CEIE, Military Campus Program, U.S. military history course, History 3666, guest lecturer Brien Hallett, Ph.D., Matsunaga Institute for Peace (center, grey pullover) and course members, Hickam Air base, April 10, 2017.

 Professor Brien Hallett, Matsunaga Institute for Peace, engages History 3666 students Brian Catron (left), former U.S. Army Ranger, and Eugene Ahn (center), former U.S. Navy member, both of whom served in Iraq.

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