Dr. Thomas F. Lynch III
(Dr. Lynch): Thanks so much. Looks like there are a few more chairs in the room, and thank you all for coming here.
On behalf of the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies and the Program on Irregular Warfare and Special Operations, I wish to welcome you to this special event this afternoon. I’m Tom Lynch. I’m the research fellow for South Asia and the Near East at the Institute for National Strategic Studies and the Center for Strategic Research. It’s my distinct pleasure to work for NDU President MG Greg Martin, his Director of Research for the Institute for National Strategic Studies, COL Tim Vuono, and the Director for the Center for Strategic Research, Dr. Nick Rostow. None of these gentlemen are here with us this afternoon, but all sent along their greetings and best wishes to General Katoch and to all of you here today. It’s my pleasure to work closely with the Program on Irregular Warfare, an affiliate of the Institute for National Strategic Studies, and I’m indebted here and wish to acknowledge the hard work and support of that program’s leadership, specifically Dr. Joe Tonon and Mr. Matt Reid, and thank them for their instrumental role in making this presentation, by LTG Katoch, possible here today. Thank you, gentlemen. I’m also most pleased to be sitting here next to the General today, on this his first visit ever to Washington, DC as I understand it, and to hear him speak in person on today’s topic which is, “Countering Violent Extremism and the Role of Special Forces: a View from India.”
As you may have noted in the advance materials to this presentation, either electronically or before you today, it’s clear to many of us in this room, that the trajectory of American and NATO military and counterterrorism involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been the focal point of most western professional military and security study on violent extremism in South Asia over this past decade. Understandable as this parochial focus may be, it too often omits consideration of the unique and variable perspectives on violent extremism and countering violent extremism that emanate from within South Asia itself.
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