International Speaker Series Features: Dr. Ervin Rokke

General Ervin Rokke speaking at SIUEGeneral Ervin Rokke gave a talk last Thursday as part of the SIUE International Speaker Series. Rokke is currently the Senior Scholar in Residence at the USAF Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development. He served in U.S. Intelligence through the cold war and has helped train the next generation of military intelligence.

“The warfare we were taught was incredibly rational,” Rokke shared, “weather you wind up in the military or private sector this messy would is where the problem sets are.”

A U.S. Airforce Academy and Harvard graduate, Rokke spoke about his 35 year military career and experiences as an educator. His talked covered how intelligence gathering has changed over the course of his career from a structured and mathematical assessment of military strength to more modern sentiments that have to take into account complex socioeconomic trends and anticipate guerrilla or terrorist tactics and the importance of being able to think across disciplines to survive today in the military or private sectors.

“You will not have the option of choosing between science and the arts, you must be able to use them both,” Rokke explained, “you must understand both the second law of thermodynamics and Aristotle.”

Rokke discussed the value of intuition and real world experience and how they could demonstrate important information about potential threats. He also expressed his philosophy on international relations that moving forward military tactics can no longer be viewed separately from other methods of foreign policy, but must be part of a combined effort that focuses on the nations core objectives.

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