Hinckley Institute turns 40

Gen. Brent Scowcroft, native Utahn and former national security adviser to Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush, told a crowd at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Friday that the United States is stuck with its commitments in Iraq and no timeline could appease the public.

Scowcroft was the first prominent Republican to publicly criticize George W. Bush’s war plan before the invasion when he wrote an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal. But he said Friday that since the United States is in Iraq, we should be patient and implement democracy effectively rather than quickly.

“We’re in a hurry. Our domestic political clock is ticking,” Scowcroft said. “But you can’t do this in a hurry-that’s the dilemma.”

He said some feel that with each vote, Iraq is closer to establishing a self-sufficient democracy. But, he added, forcing agreements on the constitution furthers disagreement instead of bringing Iraqis together.

Scowcroft also discussed the war on terror and talked about how current students can address terrorism in the future.

He told The Chronicle that students should study methods of addressing terrorism by controlling bad forces and usinig others to benefit the good, just as his generation did with the Cold War.

“Potentially, this world could be turned into the best mankind’s ever had, because the problems are not overwhelming,” he said. “There are just a lot of them, and they’re new. The problem is to figure out how to manage them.”

Scowcroft also addressed issues such as globalization, Afghanistan, weapons of mass destruction, international organizations and pre-emptive strikes.

“We can’t win by killing terrorists,” he said. “They proliferate faster than we kill them off. We need to shut off recruitment and find out what makes a person do this. It may take a generation before this issue is solved.”

Overall, Scowcroft said, the current college student generation faces issues that are much different than they were 40 years ago when his sister’s father-in-law, Robert Hinckley, began the Institute.

“What has not changed is how to think about and analyze those problems,” he said. “In that, the Hinckley Institute hasn’t changed at all, and I expect it to continue in the next 40 years at it has in the past 40 years.”

Various U administrators, faculty members and Hinckley interns-both current and former-were on hand for Friday’s celebration. Hinckley Director Kirk Jowers and U President Michael Young introduced Scowcroft, touting his education at West Point Military Academy, where he earned his undergraduate degree, and his master’s and doctorate experience at Colombia University.

Young said he was impressed with the institute of politics even when he was dean of George Washington University’s law school.

“I told admissions to look for that Hinckley Institute thread because it really matters,” he said. “The Hinckley Institute lets students develop facts in a civilized, balanced and analytical way without setting aside the passion.”

U student West Willmore, who is preparing for a legislative internship through the institute of politics, said he better understands public policy because of the experience the institute provided in a preparation course. Willmore is debating a career in politics versus business and expects the internship will help him decide.

“To intern for a CEO of a company is rare,” he said. “But this is an opportunity to essentially serve as a legislator for 48 days.”

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