University of South Carolina

Modern Warfare: USC to host public conference on insurgency

Contact: Peggy Binette 803-777-5400

Historians and military experts will lead a series of public discussions about war and the role of insurgency in the 21st century Oct. 13 – 15.

The University of South Carolina conference, titled “War by Another Means: Perspectives on Insurgencies,” will have events at Fort Jackson and the S.C. Archives and History Center on Parklane Road.

Maj. Gen. David Blackledge
Maj. Gen. David Blackledge

U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Gen. David Blackledge will deliver the keynote address on the future of counterinsurgency operations in the U.S. military at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the 81st Regional Support Command Headquarters at Fort Jackson. Blackledge is the commanding general of the Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The keynote address is free, but there is a cost for events on Friday and Saturday. A fee of $20 per person includes conference sessions, lunch on Friday and light food and beverages. Brett Lea, a captain in the U.S. Army and a graduate student in history who is attending the university on a West Point fellowship, has organized the conference. He says the intent of the conference is to challenge people to think about warfare through new perspectives.

“Insurgency is at the forefront of armed conflict in the 21st century,” said Lea. “Our aim is to broaden and deepen our understanding of the political, legal, historical and societal dimensions of this modern warfare.”

Experts from across the country will discuss insurgencies in various countries, including those in China, France, Spain and Algeria, and how the Rule of Law serves as the legal foundation for counterinsurgencies conducted by governments.

South Carolina’s history of insurgency, which includes the American Revolution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, also will be discussed.

“The United States has a long and troubled history against guerrillas that continues today,” said Dr. Walter Edgar, director of the Institute for Southern Studies. “We need to understand this enemy better because they aren’t going anywhere. The irony is that we began our history as insurgents during the Revolutionary War.”

In addition to Edgar, USC panelists and/or moderators include Drs. Bobby Donaldson, Dean Kinzley, Paul Mackenzie, Gordon Smith and Mark Smith.

The USC Institute for Southern Studies conference is co-sponsored by the History Center and Walker Institute of International and Area Studies, both part of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, the S.C. Humanities Council and the Springer Foundation.

Details and a schedule are available on the “War by Another Means” website or the Facebook page, War By Another Means. Call USC’s Institute for Southern Studies at 803-777-2340 for further information.

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Posted: 09/28/11 @ 2:50 AM | Updated: 10/13/11 @ 1:13 PM | Permalink