Class of ’65 Teaching Excellence Award

This year the Class of 1965 Teaching Excellence Award was awarded to Major Alain Gosselin and Dr. Jane Boulden.  Dr. Boulden’s lecture “The Challenge of Global Terrorism” is included below.  Major Gosselin’s lecture is still to come and will be featured in an upcoming e-Veritas edition.

6475 Mike Houghton, 6630 Peter Glynn, Jane Boulden, 6588 Steve Arnold

The Class of 1965 Teaching Excellence Award is sponsored by an endowment fund given by members of the Class of 1965 and managed by the RMC Club Foundation. The prize of $5000 is awarded annually by a joint committee (staff; cadets & ex cadets) to a professor who stands out for his/her outstanding teaching skills that have made a difference to students and encouraged further pursuit of learning.

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6588 Steve Arnold introducing the award

My classmate, Jim Carruthers, was unable to attend this evening because of the threatening winter storm. He asked me to explain the background of the Class of ’65 Teaching Excellence Award and why our class thinks it is important. I am able to do so on the basis of a couple of relevant experiences. First, I was on a class committee that brought the award into being. Second, I was the member for four years of the RMC committee that selects the annual award recipient.

The class committee was initiated by Keith Ambachtsheer who has a summer home northwest of Kingston. In the late 80s, he invited Tom Barton and me over to think of a way our class could give back to RMC on the occasion of our 25th reunion. “It’s payback time, guys,” Keith would say. Tom was an RMC prof and I was at Queen’s but the three of us were also flight mates at Royal Roads.

We brainstormed ideas and with Tom at RMC and me at Queen’s, it wasn’t surprising that the idea of a Teaching Excellence Award emerged. However, we had a couple of other ideas and went back to the class for a vote. The class voted overwhelmingly for the Teaching Excellence Award.

The reason why our class thinks the Teaching Excellence Award is important can be simply put. The teaching staff at Roads, CMR and RMC collectively had a huge impact on us, an effect magnified in the small class sizes of the upper years.

The nature of this impact was evident in the nominations and ratings presented to the RMC selection committee. While I wasn’t on the particular committee that selected Dr. Boulden, this is what I suggest her nominators were saying about her based on my four years of committee experience:

· The course was well organized.
· The instructor presented material clearly.
· The instructor was enthusiastic in presenting course material.
· This course challenged me intellectually.
· I learned a great deal from this course.
· My interest in the subject has been stimulated by this course.

But it isn’t just the course itself-it’s the personal connection that is made between the teacher and the student that is also important:

· The instructor related the course to students’ experiences and backgrounds.
· The instructor was receptive to new ideas and others’ viewpoints.
· The instructor created a positive class environment.
· The instructor showed genuine concern for the students.
· The instructor was available for discussion outside class.
· I was able to get individual help when I needed it.

In sum, the nominators not only described the effectiveness and enjoyment of the instructor and how she or he challenged and stimulated their interest in the material. They also indicated how much their instructor showed a genuine concern for, and interest in, their students. The benefits of this kind of teaching last a lifetime and with this award, the class of ’65 shows it is eternally grateful.

Introductory speech delivered by 6588 Steve Arnold

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THE CHALLENGE OF GLOBAL TERRORISM

Dr. Jane Boulden

The focus of this lecture is on the idea of global or international terrorism, the way in which the international community has responded to the challenge posed by terrorism at the international level and what that might tell us about the nature of the challenge posed by terrorism for states and the international system.

The lecture has three main areas of focus:

· defining terrorism
· how the international community has responded to terrorism through the United Nations
· how those two elements combine to highlight the challenges that terrorism poses at the international level in both the academic and policy worlds.

DEFINITION
-the basics are fairly easy to establish:
-act of violence
-with political goals

-but we need to distinguish terrorists from guerilla fighters, insurgents, armed forces

-this leads us to who is doing it:
-non-state actors
-in small numbers
-not in formed military-type units
-not engaging directly with military forces

-doing what?
– spectacular, attention-getting, terror-inducing acts
-activities that generate an audience and have an impact

International (transnational) terrorism
-international terrorism occurs when terrorists take their struggle beyond state borders to another country, sometimes a great distance from the source of their political struggle
-for example – taking Israeli athletes hostage in Munich

-a number of developments facilitated the development and upsurge in international terrorism beginning in the late 1960s including:
-expansion of mass media – more live coverage of news and greater ease of international coverage expanded the potential audience
-advent of cheaper air travel and its increased availability

“New Terrorism”
-in 1990s – idea of “new terrorism” is developed in response to emergence of al Qaeda, suicide bombings, and events like the sarin attack on Tokyo subway

-the “new” aspect of this terrorism is the combined impact of the new importance of religion, the pursuit and use of “mass destruction” materials, and the desire for casualties on a massive scale

CHRONOLOGY OF KEY EVENTS

1967- Arab-Israeli war
late 1960s – upsurge in hijackings
1972 – Munich Olympics – hostage taking of Israeli athletes

1979- Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
-Iranian revolution, hostage taking at US embassy
1983 – Lebanon – suicide bombing of US embassy in Beirut
1989 – end of Cold War

1991- Persian Gulf War I
1993 – first World Trade Centre bombing
1995 – Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attack on Tokyo subway
1998- bombings at US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya
2001 – 9/11 attacks on World Trade Centre and Pentagon
2003- invasion of Iraq
2004 – 3/11 attacks in Madrid
2005 – 7/7 attacks in London

THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

UN General Assembly – works to develop international conventions
-but can’t agree on definition because of a sense on the part of some that in some instances (such as liberation struggles) terrorism is a legitimate response
-conventions developed by the General Assembly, therefore, focus on terrorist methods (hijacking, bombings, hostages etc) rather than the motivation

UN Security Council – only takes up terrorism in post-Cold War period
-takes a reactive case by case approach until late 1990s when they began to address terrorism as a phenomenon in an of itself

post 9/11 response – war in Afghanistan
-Security Council establishes criteria for states with respect to national measures to constrain potential for terrorism

World Summit 2005 document (signed by all member states) – condemns terrorism
-but falls short of agreement on a definition
-idea that terrorism is a legitimate response in some situations is still a factor
-Nelson Mandela and the ANC are the key example here

-hesitation also stems from level of contentious associated with going down the “root causes” route

-in this sense, the number of actions taken by international community and the level of agreement associated with them is remarkable
-this is, in part, because terrorism strikes at the heart of rules and norms associated with preservation of order and stability at both national and international level

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

1. An underlying theme in this discussion has been the role of technological developments in fueling changes in terrorist activity. To what extent can we see a link between terrorism and globalization?

2. Is terrorism part of ongoing changing patterns in the way in which force is used in the international arena?

3. Is the increased profile and activity associated with international terrorism a sign of a diminished importance of the sovereign state?

4. What are appropriate responses to international terrorism at the state and international level? Should greater attention be given to root causes? Is the use of force a useful and/or justifiable way of responding to terrorism/

5. Is the recent emphasis in various UN documents and elsewhere on terrorism as an act targeting civilians an important distinction? What kind of problems might the exclusion of other targets (such as military and other official state entities) pose?

FURTHER READING

Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, Columbia University Press, 2006.

Martha Crenshaw, The Causes of Terrorism, Comparative Politics, vol. 13, no. 4, July 1981, pp. 379-399.

Audrey Kirth Cronin, How al Qaeda Ends, The Decline and Demise of Terrorist Groups, International Security, vol. 31, no. 1, Summer 2006, pp. 7-48.

David C. Rapoport, Fear and Trembling: Terrorism in Three Religious Traditions, The American Political Science Review, vol. 78, no. 3, September 1984, pp. 658-677.

Adam Roberts, The War on Terror in Historical Perspective, Survival, vol. 47, no. 2, Summer 2005, pp. 101-130.