Community Events Underway
Next February’s Camden Conference on “Afghanistan, Pakistan, India — Crossroads of Conflict,” has already begun to inspire a lively series of community events in the Midcoast area, beginning with presentations by Prof. Paul Holman on “The New Great Game for Control of Central Asia.”
Dr. Holman’s dynamic exploration of the strategic rivalries that have shaped today’s tragic and troubling conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan drew record crowds to the Camden and Rockland Libraries earlier this month and he will repeat the talk on Tuesday, September 22nd at the Belfast Free Library. The event takes place from 6:30-8 pm and is open to the public, free of charge.
Holman, a Camden resident who is currently a visiting professor of international relations at the University of Maine in Orono, will first consider the 19th century power struggle between the British and Russian Empires, which was the original “Great Game.” He will then examine the Cold War game in which the US supported the Afghan “freedom fighters” against the Soviet Armed Forces, as recently dramatized in the film “Charlie Wilson’s War,” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
Also an adjunct professor at the Naval War College, Holman will conclude by sketching out the radically different rules and higher stakes that characterize the “new” Great Game. He will take a close look at US policy toward Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and will argue that Washington has consistently misread regional politics, misunderstood the strategic situation in the region, and failed to protect its own best interests in this increasingly unstable part of the world.
Holman is a well known author and lecturer. From 1996 to 2003, he directed a 15-week executive course at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in which mid-career military officers, diplomats, and parliamentarians from all of the formerly Communist countries of Europe and Asia participated. His many articles on national security have appeared in the Naval War College Review, Strategic Review, US Naval Institute Proceedings, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Argentinian Naval War College Review, Air Force Magazine, and US Marine Corps Gazette. He also serves on the Camden Conference Board of Directors.
This kick-off event is just the beginning of a Camden Conference Community Events season that will feature programs as diverse as a discussion on the Mughal Gardens of Afghanistan and the subcontinent led by local gardening guru Peggy Watson; a screening of Stephen Huyler’s new film, Sonabai: A new Way of Seeing; a talk on Islam by Anouar Majid, University of New England professor, novelist and author of We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades Against Muslims and Other Minorities; and, a collaborative venture with the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland on Art in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Visit our Community Events Section for the most up to date information.