Money Talks and Defense Walks…Around the Pentagon

Following Account of Michael Greenwald visit provided by Clayton Southerly

May 21, 2013

Tuesday morning the William & Mary National Security Institute rallied at Dupont Circle for a discussion with Michael Greenwald, the policy advisor on Europe for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Crimes at the U.S. Treasury Department. Greenwald serves as the head of the U.S. delegation to the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) working closely with the Council of Europe.

In this role, Greenwald’s office is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to use financial sanctions and authorities to combat threats to U.S. national security, and for initiatives to safeguard the U.S. financial system from a range of illicit finance threats. Before his position at Treasury, Greenwald worked in several arms of the U.S. government on a range of national security issues and served with the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan (PPP) to help the United States’ mission to strengthen the rule of law in Afghanistan. Greenwald’s visit highlighted the economic side of the International Relations discipline, in an otherwise security-heavy course, which was quite interesting.

After our discussion with Greenwald, we hurried over to the heavily-fortified Pentagon (seriously, you have to go through two layers of security checks). Our host was Colonel Shumake, the legal advisor to the Army Inspector General; he led us through the gray maze that is the Pentagon. We ended up in a rather luxurious conference room with a handsome, elongated table surrounded by plush, leather chairs; which made us feel like celebrities (or, better yet, national security experts).

COL Shumake explained how he utilizes his law background to ensure the Inspector General, and employees of the Pentagon, adhere to the rules and avoid any illegal behavior overseas or within the command of duty. Joining Shumake were: Bess Dopkeen, Program Analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Mark Ribbing, Senior Communications Advisor to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Jim Mitre, Strategic Defense Analyst; David Radcliffe, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and Joshua Marcuse, Senior Advisor for Leadership and Organizational Development in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Amongst such distinguished individuals, we discussed defense budget cuts, national security threats, missile defense, and a host of other topics. After our conversation, COL Shumake gave us a mini-tour, letting us see more of the Pentagon – including a beautiful courtyard located in the very middle of the building. Interestingly enough, the Pentagon holds countless stores, restaurants and service jobs, rending it unnecessary to leave the building for weeks, maybe even years, or longer…

Leaving the Pentagon, we returned to the W&M office to hear from Peter Apps, a political risk correspondent for Reuters, who has spent time in India and Africa; he gave us remarkable perspective on U.S. counterinsurgency efforts, as well as the differences (and similarities) between American and British governmental systems. Apps was also incredibly witty, which brought smiles to our faces – even as we discussed some pretty serious subjects.

It was obviously a long day, filled with numerous speakers and places, but it was the good kind of “full.” We learned a lot, and had fun doing it – a common theme, it seems, for this summer.

Categories: Student Blogs, Study Away, W&M in Washington

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