Bringing Iraq to National Guard
Saturday, November 1, 2008
To help prepare them for deployment, Professor Abbas Mehdi, organization, management and sociology, this fall trained 200 officers and non-commissioned officers of the 34th Infantry Division of the Minnesota Army National Guard on the complex culture of Iraq.
While other workshops for Army National Guard soldiers focus on the effect Iraq will have on them, Mehdi’s 20-hour seminar covered the history, culture, government, economy and religion of Iraq with a focus on how soldiers and the local populace interact.
Mehdi is an internationally-known expert on his home country: he has been adviser on Middle East affairs for the government of Spain since 1992, was founder and chair of an international organization that promoted replacement of Hussein’s government in Iraq, was chairman of the board of the Republic of Iraq National Investment Commission, and testified last fall in Washington, D.C., before a Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Iraqi government corruption and waste.