In his opening remarks, professor Klaus Larres noted that Gen. Martin Dempsey had merited the greatest turnout for an event in the Krasno speaking series hosted by the history department.
On Tuesday, the Krasno Distinguished Professorship welcomed Gen. Dempsey to discuss “U.S. National Security in Uncertain Times” with students, faculty and the general community at Wilson Library.
Chancellor Carol Folt set the tone for the evening in her introduction as she examined the meaning of “uncertainty” in the context of international affairs. She referenced a phrase of “certain uncertainty,” originally said by Jim Johnson, a professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
“We are in times of certain uncertainty,” Folt said. “And in fact, if we really are going to take that very seriously, what we want to do is talk about uncertainty and prepare ourselves for it by understanding it, by thinking about what it means, and exploring it in all of its convictions.”
Gen. Dempsey was welcomed to the stage and added to Folt’s remarks regarding the dangers of certainty. Dempsey referenced the childhood game of “Heads Down, Thumbs Up” to explain how Americans go through life. He described how the game was a metaphor to explain how Americans are focused on their own business, unwilling to view issues from new perspectives.