Thomas University hosts Gray Zone Conflicts and Global Resilienc - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thomas University hosts Gray Zone Conflicts and Global Resilience Conference

On Friday, first responders, diplomatic leaders and military veterans joined together in Thomasville to talk about issues around the globe. (Source: WALB) On Friday, first responders, diplomatic leaders and military veterans joined together in Thomasville to talk about issues around the globe. (Source: WALB)
Thomas University hosted an event called "Gray Zone Conflicts and Global Resilience." (Source: WALB) Thomas University hosted an event called "Gray Zone Conflicts and Global Resilience." (Source: WALB)
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

On Friday, first responders, diplomatic leaders and military veterans joined together in Thomasville to talk about issues around the globe.

Thomas University hosted an event called "Gray Zone Conflicts and Global Resilience."

South Georgia-North Florida is home to one of the largest populations of veterans in the United States.

The conference marked the kickoff celebration of Thomas University's new Center for Military Life so that they can be of service to those who have served and those who continue to serve our country.

Thomas University officials said that Friday's global environment is being challenged by unconventional political forces, emerging powers and non-state entities in ways that do not meet the standards for a conventional military response.

The Center for Military Life brought a team of presenters together to talk about a variety of things that they consider to be gray zone conflicts.

Thomas University has several different military bases within driving distance, so many veterans are or have attended the school.

One speaker on Friday was David Danelo, he is a senior fellow at The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Danelo spoke a lot about border security and said he hopes dialogue will help all of us understand why people feel strongly about the concept of borders and walls.

"I think it's an emotional issue because there are two very prevailing American values that are competing against each other. I think there is a sense that the immigration system is broken in the U.S., that's probably accurate. I think most people feel a basic sense of human compassion to other people and there is a competing interest there," said Danelo.

Retired Major General Michael Lehnert, who served as the commander of the Marine Logistics Command, said gray zone conflicts are essentially all of aspects of conflict in the world today that don't involve shooting wars, for example, a trade war.

Lehnert spoke about how to prepare for these types of events.

"I think the most important take away, for your audience at least, is that preparation and prevention is an individual responsibility. You cant just outsource it to government and just assume everything will be taken care of. At the same time there are things government should do that voters and citizens should expect them to do," explained Lehnert.

This is the first time the university has held this conference, it was an all day event.

University officials hope to host it again in the future.

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