March 25, 2019

SECWAC Hosts Former US Marine Corps Officer Tonight to Discuss “Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq”

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times writer C.J. Chivers

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) has announced that CJ Chivers will speak on “Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq” at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, at Crozier Williams Student Center Building, Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320. (MAP HERE)  Members and guests are encouraged to RSVP via online registration, but walk-ins will be accepted.

Chivers will speak to his recent book “The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq”, a tour de force portrait of modern warfare that parts from slogans to do for American troops what Stephen Ambrose did for the GIs of WWII, and Michael Herr for the grunts in Vietnam.

An infantry veteran himself, Chivers vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a corpsman, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an Infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant. The book captures their courage, commitment, sense of purpose, and ultimately their suffering, frustration, and moral confusion as new enemies arise and invasions give way to counterinsurgency duties for which they were often not prepared.

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2018-2019 Speaker Series. For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership. Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests). Pro-rated half-year membership was introduced in February; half-year membership February through June 2019 is $37.50; $12.50 for young professionals under 35; free for area college and high school students.

From 1988 until 1994, CJ Chivers was an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps, serving in the Persian Gulf War and on peacekeeping duties as a company commander during the Los Angeles riots in 1992.

Since 1999 he has reported for The New York Times, covering conflict, crime, the arms trade and human rights, and other themes. As a Metro reporter he covered the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001; since then, he has principally worked overseas. His work has also appeared on the NYT’s AT War and Lens blogs, and he is a contributor to Esquire and other publications, including Field & Stream, Popular Mechanics, Anglers Journal, etc. In 2009 he was part of a team that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Chivers is the author of “The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq” (signed copies of which will be for sale after the presentation), in which he describes the daily experience of a selection of US soldiers and marines at the leading edge of our foreign policy in the Middle East. His magazine story “The Fighter” won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing. He is also the author of “The Gun”, a history of automatic arms and their influence on human security and war; it was selected as a New York Times Editor’s Pick and a Best Book of 2010 by The Atlantic and The Washington Post.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.
SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

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