by Chris Bodenner
He's worried that Muslim countries might pull their students out of CGSC, the officer college on Ft. Leavenworth (where, incidentally, my father taught for six years):
“We’ve already heard from students from Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia that they will leave, or be pulled by their governments, if the detainees from Guantanamo are moved there,” Brownback said. “It’s where these relationships are built with foreign officers, particularly in the Islamic world. This really hurts us.”
Of the more than 1,000 officers who cycle through CGSC every year, only about 50 of them are foreign, and only a fraction of them come from Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. While any disruption to CGSC's curriculum is unfortunate, a few-person boycott would pale in comparison to the issue of our detainee policy and how the rest of the world sees it.
But first of all, why exactly would these countries refuse to let their students come? Brownback never says. Local leaders, who first invoked the excuse, also don't elaborate (at least as far I've read). Is it because foreign students would object to our detainee policy? But wouldn't it be completely different at that point, by virtue of closing Guantanamo and giving detainees a fair hearing? And if that is the case, why aren't they protesting now? If, on the other hand, those foreign students are concerned about personal safety, then that seems legitimate (though odd that it's only those countries and not others).
Unless someone can explain to me how important these alleged boycotts are, Brownback should stick to his security concerns, which are plenty serious on their own. His expertise on the detainee issue is crucial to the ongoing debate and the safety of Leavenworth, so I feel like these sort of minor reasons are distracting.
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