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Oct. 24: General John Abizaid, Who Commanded Troops In Iraq, To Speak at Carnegie Mellon, Oct. 31


Jonathan Potts                     

General John Abizaid, Who Commanded Troops
In Iraq, To Speak at Carnegie Mellon, Oct. 31

PITTSBURGH — Retired U.S. Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, will speak at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31 at Carnegie Mellon University as part of the university's International Relations Program. His talk, titled "Strategic Challenges in the Middle East," will be given in Rangos 1 in the University Center.

Abizaid retired from the Army in May 2007, after 34 years of active service. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he rose from infantry platoon leader to become the youngest four-star general in the Army and the longest-serving commander of United States Central Command, which includes the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, the Horn of Africa and central Asia.

During the course of his career he commanded units at every level, serving in combat zones in Grenada, Lebanon, Kurdistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Units under his command have included the 1st Infantry Division, a brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division, and two Ranger companies.  Abizaid worked on the Joint Staff three times, the last as director. 

Abizaid, who studied at the University of Jordan in Amman, holds a master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, and is widely considered to be an expert in the field of Middle Eastern affairs.  He is president of his own international security consulting firm, JPA Partners LLC, which advises corporations and public agencies.  He recently was named the first Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.