Lt. Gen. Luckey discusses potential threats, preparedness in future

At the Tufts IR Speaker Series 2017, Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, Lieutenant General Charles D. Luckey, explains the logistical and strategic issues in mobilizing US Army Reserves around the globe. (Vintus Okonkwo / The Tufts Daily)

Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey addressed more than 50 people on national security as part of the International Relations (IR) Program Speaker Series on Sept. 2 in Alumnae Lounge. He spoke about the security challenges facing the United States and the world today, focusing on the importance of military readiness and risk management to handle future threats.

The event was co-sponsored by the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy International Security Studies Program and Tufts Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services (ALLIES).

Luckey, chief of army reserve and commanding general in the United States Army Reserve Command, spoke to the domestic military challenge of constantly keeping reserves ready but not necessarily active. He emphasized that those in the service must be ready to provide aid quickly and efficiently while still maintaining civilian jobs and families.

Luckey said that if the American general public had a greater “service ethic,” they might better understand the military’s sacrifice to this country, and as a result, would more fully support the military.

“I think we should have a national conversation about service. Not military service, I wouldn’t limit that conversation to this domain,” he said, referring to civil service. “It is a conversation that we don’t have much. And I think it’s a conversation that America might benefit from having.”

Luckey also listed international security risks today and how the military is addressing them. He said the general public and the military are often too dependent on technology and that to combat this, he trains those he commands in the field to be less reliant on it.

He also listed the development of artificial intelligence, management of the national debt and the impending dangers of rising sea levels as other pertinent security threats. 

Luckey said that every conversation in international relations is about risk: how to identify, manage and accept responsibility for it. He spoke about the importance of careful risk allocation and distribution of resources, focusing on addressing the military’s mobilization and preparedness against future threats from adversaries or new challenges.

IR Program Manager Karen Notch invited Luckey to speak because of the constant relevance of international security, currently and in the future. 

“International relations is vitally important in today’s world, and there’s a bunch of different aspects —[ideas] you wouldn’t traditionally think of as international security,” she said.

While this talk focused on security, each talk in the series focuses on a different topic to paint to a broader picture of international relations in the world today, Notch said.

 Luckey ended his talk by emphasizing the military’s role in protecting the people of the United States.

“At the end of the day, we’re on this team together. We [the military] support the people of the United States,” he said. “Fundamentally, it’s about us being together as one team. If you’re an American, this is your army.”