Monday, February 07, 2005

Making Penn State proud

From the New York Times:

"TEL AVIV, Feb. 7 -Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, will make separate statements at a historic summit meeting in Egypt Tuesday that are intended to achieve an eventual lasting cease-fire, Israeli and Palestinian officials said today.

"Word of the planned statements came not long after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, renewing direct American involvement in the Middle East, announced the appointment today of a "senior security coordinator" to help train and equip Palestinian forces and monitor Israeli and Palestinian promises to suspend military actions against each other.

...

"The security coordinator named by Ms. Rice is Lt. Gen. William E. Ward, deputy commanding general of the United States Army in Europe. He is to have several roles, Ms. Rice said, including overseeing the consolidation, reform and upgrading of Palestinian security forces under Mr. Abbas, monitoring any violent incidents on both sides and making sure that Israel takes steps of its own, including withdrawing armed forces from West Bank population centers.

"It really is to provide a focal point for training, equipping, helping the Palestinians build their forces and also for monitoring and, if necessary, to help the parties on security matters," Ms. Rice said at the Palestinian headquarters.

"General Ward, a specialist in training security forces in Bosnia, was chosen because of that experience and also his service in Egypt, whose military will also help set up Palestinian forces and forge a unified command for more than a dozen different units of varying loyalties and abilities."

As a student at Penn State, I am proud to say that Gen. Ward is a member of the Penn State family. The three star Army general holds a Masters degree in political science from Happy Valley.

Godspeed, general.

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