Regarding the Conflict in Ukraine
To the Members of Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings,
Today, you are witnessing the consequence of autocracy, blind ambition, narcissism, corruption and greed, as Russian forces invade a sovereign Nation without provocation. Many will die and others will have their lives altered forever. This event will likely affect your lives for years to come.
This morning I sent a note of solidarity to the Finnish Attaché, who will speak at our 75th National Conclave. Finland has an 830-mile border with Russia. He responded with the following:
“Thank you, Sir. The world as we knew it has changed permanently. Our thoughts are also with the people in Ukraine.”
In April, at our 75th National Conclave, the Attachés of Finland and Germany will join the Attaché from Japan, the Air Force Chief of Staff, the Chief of Space Operations, and the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, as keynote speakers. In addition, attendees will take part in an exclusive mixer at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which extensively examines the consequences of the Cold War.
In August of 1968, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia. I remember that night. It was just one more chilling event in a Cold War that extended from the Russian blockade of Berlin in 1948, to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Democracy, freedom, and the rule of law prevailed then, and it will prevail in the future. But it will require you to do the hard work…because the heavy lifting that will be required in the future…will be on your watch, not mine.
Our National Conclave offers an extraordinary opportunity to examine the lessons of the past, and engage with the leaders of today, about the challenges you will face tomorrow. I urge you to attend. Your Nation needs you to do the hard work…starting now, more than ever.