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Channel City Club Talk by Steve Bucci Raises Questions of Global Stability

Anacapa School students with headmaster Gordon Sichi and speaker Dr. Steve Bucci. Click to view larger
Anacapa School students with headmaster Gordon Sichi and speaker Dr. Steve Bucci. (Anacapa School photo)

With recent world events, the question of national security is on almost everyone’s mind, and students at Anacapa School are no exception.

That question was an impetus behind student and faculty attendance at a powerful Channel City Club talk given by Dr. Steve Bucci on U.S. national security titled, "Threats, the Strategic Environment and U.S. Capabilities," Nov. 17, 2015.

Most recently, Bucci served as the deputy assistant director of Homeland Defense and is a former Green Beret colonel who served on multiple international deployments.

With the recent ISIS attacks on a Russian airliner, suicide bombings in Beirut, and the attacks on Paris, Anacapa students were curious to understand more about the current threats to U.S. security.

Bucci outlined the U.S.’s major threats to include Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, as well as non-state actors such as ISIS, al-Qaida, cyber threats, diseases and the dangerous Shia-Sunni conflicts.

Bucci laid out a presentation that, albeit enlightening, was also alarming. He sees the current operating environment for the U.S. to have parallels to pre-war World War I, pre-war World War II, and the late 1970’s.

Before World War I, the major powers were dividing into different alignments when a spark in Sarajevo ignited a world war, and before World War II, there were great economic challenges, a rise in militarism and multiple concessions to “bad guys,” which led to a yet another worldwide war.

Today, Bucci feels that the hostile divide between Shia and Sunni Muslims, and the subsequent division of the Middle East into potentially warring nations, could escalate into another world war.

Anacapa students expressed confusion about how the Shia and Sunni divide could lead to a world war. However, with the Internet and global terrorism, a conflict ignited in the Middle East could become worldwide very quickly, as recent history has revealed.

According to Bucci, the operating theater facing the United States today is also similar to the late 1970’s, with the American military is in relative decline.

Bucci is concerned that our smaller, all-volunteer military strains our service members by multiple deployments. He sees a challenge in the fact that  65 percent of those serving are married with families back home and expressed concerns that our military strength is trending downward with lower numbers, less training, less maintenance and a need for modernization.

“The Marines are training, but not modernizing; the Air Force is modernizing, but not flying enough,” he said.

Put simply, Bucci feels that the United States is headed for a fall, but he ended his talk on a more positive and encouraging note and expressed confidence that with the great strengths and potential of the U.S., we will win, though the cost will be high.

Anacapa School students have a long track record of active civic involvement and opportunities for dialog with experts in a number of different professions and fields.

Anacapa high school and middle school students attended the Nov. 17 talk on security through the School’s Channel City Club Lunch Program, a program run by students to bring dynamic conversations to the Anacapa community.

— Amy Mcoy represents Anacapa School.

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