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Dempsey Sponsors Essay Competition to Honor Saudi King

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By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2015 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has established a research and essay competition in honor of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz hosted by the National Defense University.

The king, who died Jan. 23 at age 90, oversaw the modernization of his country’s military during the time he spent as commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, a position he held from 1963 until he became king in 2005.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said the essay competition is a fitting tribute to the life and leadership of the Saudi Arabian monarch.

Lifetime Supporter of U.S.-Saudi Alliance

The king was a lifetime supporter of his country’s alliance with the United States. Abdullah ruled Saudi Arabia from 2005 to his death, and served as regent of the country from 1995. He is succeeded by King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz.

“This is an important opportunity to honor the memory of the king, while also fostering scholarly research on the Arab-Muslim world, and I can think of no better home for such an initiative than NDU,” Dempsey said in a statement announcing the competition.

The competition will focus on issues related to the Arab-Muslim world and is designed to encourage strategic thinking and meaningful research on a crucial part of the world. The program will be in place at NDU for the next academic year, officials said.

‘A Man of Remarkable Character and Courage’

Dempsey first met Abdullah in 2001, when he was a brigadier general serving as the U.S. advisor to the Saudi Arabian National Guard. “In my job to train and advise his military forces, and in our relationship since, I found the king to be a man of remarkable character and courage,” Dempsey said.

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Frederick M. Padilla, the president of the National Defense University, welcomed the opportunity to challenge future students while honoring the late king.

“This scholarly research competition presents NDU students with a unique opportunity to focus their research and writing efforts on relevant issues at the intersection of U.S. security interests and the Arab-Muslim world,” he said.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews)

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Peter · 3 years ago
    Yes, once a man is fallen, then for awhile all come out to honor him... Give it a year, and we will get a better view of his actual character and leadership.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John - Capt in ANG · 3 years ago
    Given the very imminent swing in Saudi leadership, it makes sense to me. The King was 90, the recent King was close, around 80, and the newest King is 70. The Crown Prince isn't that far behind.

    However, the Deputy Crown Prince (2nd in line after Crown Prince) is a bit younger. To understand your future, it helps to understand the past. Hence, we need to get a good read, now while there's stability, before the future pivot. If there's lessons to be learned, do it now while we have influence of a developing King. Then later, he is more likely to understand our motives, trust us, and all the other benefits of a close relationship with our only stable partner in the Middle East.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tommy Barrios · 3 years ago
    I don't trust the House of Saudi! :-?
    They allow terrorist (whabbist) schools to operate with impunity in their pitiful country! :sad:
    I also strongly believe members of said family are secretly funding and supporting murdering Muslim fanatics! :eek:
    The current leaders of this country at ALL levels are ALL fools!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Steve Shea · 3 years ago
      I am with you, brother. I can't help but wonder how many of his family's millions helped to fund the plot to knock down the Trade Center buildings on 9/11.
      So let's encourage all those in our own DOD to write essays that praising the man and his countrymen.
      Really, Gen. Dempsey? Really?
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Chris Perryman · 3 years ago
        I couldn't agree more with this post. Most of the terrorists that took control of the airplanes on 9/11/2001 were Saudi nationals and were funded with Saudi money.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Susan Mann · 3 years ago
    Members of the military are being "laid off" from their jobs, men and women in the line of fire do NOT have proper equipment, yet our tax dollars are used to facilitate this dubious at best!) task???
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ian Chrisman · 3 years ago
    When have we ever had an essay contest honoring Monarchs. Not even for Great Britain which is also our strongest military ally in the world. Nonsense.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Observer98 · 3 years ago
      The Saudis throw around huge amounts of cash to spread their influence. There was a Congressional investigation after 9/11 into Wahabbist hate literature being spread through American mosques, funded by the Saudis. More recently, the Saudis have given large endowments to universities to fund 'Middle Eastern Studies' departments that are hostile to Israel & American foreign policy (pre-Obama).

      The bottom line- the Saudis buy all sorts of friends. They've paid off many terrorists, too. Nothing speaks more powerfully than money, and America is more corrupt than ever in this regard.

      Plus, Obama is an Islamist sympathizer.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sharonne Barton · 3 years ago
    Where's that Barf Bag? I'm gonna get sick & throw up!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Barbara Lawrence · 3 years ago
    I must be living in an alternate universe.

    While I might understand American officials showing up for the funeral out of political concerns and respect, having Dempsey sponsor an essay to "honor" him? Utilizing the National Defense University? Especially given the Saudis' checkered history with us!

    Have we no military leaders in the USA that deserve that distinction? No Medal of Honor recipients? The Army, especially Dempsey, has gone mad.
  • This commment is unpublished.
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