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On ROTC

Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics
March 6, 2011
Columbia Spectator

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The Senate has already reported in favor of reinstating ROTC at Columbia. Yet, as I look through the transcript of the hearings, I cannot help feeling that many objections reflect fears that are not justified. In support, and in the hope that those who lost may still be converted rather than remain aggrieved, I can do no better than to draw on my personal experience with the issues at hand.

Our only daughter, Anu, studied English Literature at Yale, and, after one semester at Columbia, chose to join the Marine Corps (under the Officer Candidate Program, which draws in graduates). After five years, she left as Captain. She then joined Kennedy School at Harvard and studied Human Rights for two years with Michael Ignatieff and others. She then founded her own NGO, titled SWAN (Service Women's Action Network), to assist military women, having witnessed first hand the acute problems afflicting women in the armed forces. She has been doing great work, testifying occasionally in the Congress, helping draft legislation, fighting against Don't Ask Don't Tell, writing op-eds, appearing on TV shows, and much more.

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