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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Nuclear Weapons and National Security

Rovner introducing General Kehler and Gavin Photo credit: Kasey Ruth

Due to the United States continuing to deal with nuclear weapon threats and the overall threat to national security, SMU Tower Center brought in distinguished speakers to hold a discussion over nuclear weapons followed by a Q&A.

John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies hosted “The Once and Future Role Of The Bomb” event at 5:30p.m Thursday, March 26. Nearly 80 students and prospective guest attended this event in the Perkins building on campus.

The speaker’s of the event were Francis J. Gavin, Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy studies and Professor of Political Science MIT, General C. Robert Kehler, Former Commander of United States Strategic Command, and Joshua Rovner, Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics & National Security Policy and director of studies for Tower Center.

The Security and Strategy program found it important to host this event due to the United States becoming increasingly active in regional conflicts.

Our principle mission is to prepare SMU undergraduates to become leaders in government service, academia, and industry.” – Tower Center

Rovner opened up the discussion by saying “nuclear weapons are everywhere in the news, you cannot avoid them.”

Rovner also imposed the question, “what is the value of nuclear weapons?”

To further answer concerns in regards to nuclear force, Rovner introduced Gavin to share his thoughts on where the US stands in the nuclear weapon debacle.

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Rovner introducing General Kehler and Gavin Photo credit: Kasey Ruth

Gavin spoke for nearly 20 minutes, and during his speech he stated that there are 2 trends when dealing with nuclear force: one being the so called Zero- Movement, which is where the world should rid of nuclear weapons, and the other being increasing war in politics- in which nuclear weapons would be the highest importance to achieving national security.

After Gavin spoke, General Kehler took the stand. The commander shared many of his thoughts on the issue at hand, one being that nuclear deterrence will not eliminate all conflicts, and never will.

Rover, Gavin, and Kehler then opened up a Q&A discussion where they answered some tough, yet necessary questions.

One woman asked whether nuclear weapons deteriorate situations like the Boston Bombing, while another gentleman asked about the likelihood of a terrorist group getting ahold of nuclear bombs.

SMU Sophomore Nati Bru, Political Science and Journalism major, expressed her gratitude to SMU for allowing her to attend such an event.

“We were so fortunate that SMU was able to bring in these speakers from such experienced backgrounds. It was amazing to hear everything they had to say based on their professions and studies,” said Bru.

To listen and watch the full event, go to

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