|The RAND view of NATO, at WVRC on May
CHRIS GAYNOR stood in for Prexy TED, who realized after he left his office
that his briefcase was still IN the office. So he drafted CHRIS, and except
for a bit of nepotism, or whatever it is called, we were in good, if
temporary, hands. First up was SEAN McMILLAN, who led the Pledge. In the
continued absence of LENNY, PP STEVE SCHERER offered to lead the song, and
of course the accompanist was PP JIM DOWNIE. We did America, and PP JIM
tells me he slipped in some voice choir material via his keyboard. That's
really an amazingly versatile instrument, and it's fun to hear some of the
extra melody and sounds that JIM can produce. MICHAEL GINTZ allowed us to
sit, and then quoted from "How the World Turns". Based on a total population
of one hundred, over half the world is Asian. 30 white, and 70, non-white
and the same percentage between Christians and non-Christians. Just six
people would own 59% of the entire assets of the world, and all would reside
in the U.S. 80% would live in substandard housing, and 70% would be
illiterate. Half would suffer from malnutrition, and only l of the 100 would
have a college degree. The same number - 1 - would own a computer, and you
get the idea - we are indeed a privileged society. MICHAEL, thanks for the
reminder of how truly blessed we are.
RAY ZICKFELD introduced a Visiting Rotarian, Iao Katagiri, from the Santa
Monica Club- she is in Research. RALPH SMITH came forward to introduce his
Special Guest, Morgan Jamger, who is in charge of the Mercedes Benz Tennis
Tournament which is coming up shortly at UCLA. Morgan, who is also a
softball aficionado, outlined the cast of who will be playing, and then
(note paragraph above) offered a prize to whoever could first give the name
of last year's winner. Somehow, PP CHRIS managed to blurt out Agasi, which
was, of course, correct. But the timing bears some questioning, since CHRIS
is a known tennis fan, and it could be imagined that he and Morgan had
visited beforehand about this subject. But let it go - CHRIS was there when
Prexy TED needed him, and we all know there are often perks that accompany
such opportunities…While Morgan offered to answer any questions, someone -
was it PP ERIC LOBERG ? - asked if JACK HARRIS would be playing this year,
and Morgan appeared to be a bit stumped.
Anyway the dates are July 28th through August 3rd, and the Stadium seats
only 7700, so all the seats are good. FLOYD DEWHIRST brought along his good
friend, Bob Greer PP STEVE SCHERER again introduced his Special Guest,
Christ Bradford, and noted that Chris is a true-blue Bruin (which elicited a
scattering of applause). LILLIAN KLIEWER was accompanied by her husband, Dr.
Karl, and she allowed as how they met at UCLA. Finally, PP GEORGE DEA was
welcomed back, after a tough recovery from back surgery.
At this point, Prexy TED once again appeared, and asked if we had missed
him. The answers were mixed, of course - TED, such leading questions can get
you into all kinds of trouble, OK? However, in fairness, it should also be
noted that the audience booed when asked how CHRIS had done - it's a tough
group, obviously. On a more serious note, Prexy TED reported that PP RON
LYSTER had told him of the recent passing of JOHN QUILICO. JOHN was a
forty-year member of WVRC, and we will miss him. RALPH SMITH next gave an
update on our forthcoming softball activities. Manhattan Beach will host the
Tournament, and Del Amo already has FIFTEEN players signed up. Ralph expects
that Culver City will be playing - but he needs to know who among WVRC will
be taking the field. Please let him know - after all, establishment of true
amateur eligibility takes some research, so get on the phone, OK?
DAVE MATSON outlined an upcoming five-week series, "Upon this Rock: A Roman
Catholic / Protestant Bible Study" which will be co-led by William Shaules,
a Pastoral Associate at Incarnation Catholic Church. They will meet on
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. starting on May 29th, at Westwood Hills Christian
Church, and they will present an ecumenical viewpoint on some of the
differences between these two major religions. DAVE preceded his
announcement by relating the sad story of Louise, a good Catholic girl, who
fell is love with Keith, a confirmed Baptist. Urged by her Mother, Louise
began to 'sell' Keith on Catholicism - and finally succeeded so well that
Keith decided to become a Priest!
Prexy TED called on PETER MORE, asking what he was up to, and PETER allowed
as how he and Shirley were heading off to New Zealand for a few days on
business, and then proceeding to BRISBANE, site of the R.I. Convention. PP
RON LYSTER and Guin will start in Sydney, and then to Brisbane, and they
expect to be joined by PP DAVE WHITEHEAD and Karen. TED reminded us that
these three, between them, are our club's Techno-Literati. After all, we
have PETER MORETECH, LYSTERdotCOM and DIGITAL DAVE - and what are we going
to do, back here at home, without them? Prexy TED did provide each of them
with a going-away present - a surgical mask, 'just in case'! These gifts
produced a certain amount of good-natured kidding, as you might expect.
Apparently ANN SAMSON will also be in Brisbane, and our Parkinson's Plus
Exercise Program will once again be displayed.
The 11th Annual District Day at the Races will take place at Hollywood Park
on June 20th, starting with cocktails and dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets to the
Turf Club are included, cost is $50.00, and this is always a well-attended
event. YOE was fingered as the source for Reservations, so give me a ring
for details, please. RUDY ALVAREZ has landed in Italy, with the Group Study
Exchange team, and he is emailing back detailed descriptions of what he is
encountering. TED read us just one excerpt from a recent communiqué, and
RIUDY really does tell the whole story - tune in, you'll enjoy it! We also
had a report of an activity on the 7th of May by our Rotaract Club at UCLA.
They visited a downtown Shelter which helps women who need to be protected
from their husbands or boyfriends. These unfortunate women are able to stay
up to six weeks at the shelter, while they get their lives back together,
and the girls from our Rotaract Club spent a couple of hours in the evening
with them. This is an example of the kind of community effort Rotaract can
provide, and we can certainly be proud of their outreach.
McMILLAN introduced our Speaker, Thomas Szayna from the Rand Corporation.
We were reminded that RAND is not what we generally consider to be a Think
Tank - that is, they work with real numbers and real data - they don't just
pontificate. Dr Szayna was born in Poland, did his graduate work at
UCLA/Claremont, and is a well-known specialist on NATO. He is a Political
Scientist, and his research is funded by the U.S. Army. His title is
Associate Director of Strategy Doctrine and Research Programs - and SEAN
confessed that he didn't really know what that means!
Dr. Szayna began by suggesting that he would discuss the underlying elements
of the evolution of NATO, historically, since 9/11, and into the future. It
is not as successful as it was before 9/11, yet it did survive after Russia
came apart in the late 80's. By the mid 90's, they were wrestling with the
question of whether to enlarge or not. NATO became established as an
incentive for eastern European countries to join - it represented a kind of
acceptance into the 'club'.
After 9/11, the catch phrase was GWOT - that is, the Global War on
Terrorism. The U.S. and its foreign outposts were targeted, but Europe felt
they were being drawn into this problem against their will. However, 9/11
changed this perception, and the emphasis turned to preemptive and proactive
policies. Where does NAT fit into this program? While we think terrorism is
the basic problem, they tend to think otherwise. One of the major
differences between the U.S. forces and those in Europe is that our
equipment is so far advanced over theirs technologically that they simply
cannot fight alongside us.
They would like to produce a 20,000 man Rapid Response Team - but they don't
spend enough money to provide the necessary equipment. As an example, we
spend 3% of our GDP on military programs, and while Europe is asked to spend
2%, they don't come close. Germany provides only l.3% of their overall
budget, and that simply won't get the job done. Our lead in technology will
only grow, and Britain is probably the only country that can effectively
fight alongside us. The rest of Europe will essentially become peacekeepers.
Dr. Szayna noted that NATO has over FOUR HUNDRED Committees - so they won't
go away, but their relevance will decrease.
Q&A - Prexy TED - Why is NATO important to, say, Rumania and Bulgaria?
Because they have deep-seated fears about security, and thus feel they need
an alliance with the U.S. SEAN McMILLAN - What are 'niche commitments'? Ah,
you have been coached by your son, I see. Since they cannot provide the
rapid reaction forces, they will concentrate on lesser duties. PP STEVE
SCHERER - Is a strong defense good for business? Our technology lead is
overwhelming - our kids grow up with computers, and this gives them a major
boost in learning to use our advanced technology. We are a huge economy, and
thus we need a huge military force. There doesn't seem to be any way for us
to reduce our role. Dr Karl Kliewer - what is our postwar role in Iraq? It
will be long term, and we will provide extensive training. PDG ANDY ANDERSON
- Do we need as many troops in Europe as we now have? No, but we are having
trouble deciding where to locate our overseas forces. Ideally, they should
be near seaports, since that will provide their transport to trouble spots.
CLARK McQUAY - How many troops are in NATO? Presently nineteen units, with
seven more to come - it will grow. Guest Bob Greer - Should we take our
troops out of Germany? Yes, they would be more useful in many other
countries. YOE - Is NATO headed by a U.S. Officer? Yes, the military side
is, but the Europeans do provide civilian leadership.
This is a complex subject, and one we need to know more about. Thanks for
starting us down the road to better understanding, Dr. Thomas Szayna.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe