Last month in this column, we said our seminar program is Proceedings Live—and at Forum 2004 on 7 September in Crystal City, the 18 speakers, panelists, and moderators delivered on that promise. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace set the tone by delivering, without a note and out from behind the podium, a challenge for new legislation, such as Goldwater-Nichols, which ultimately helped the services fight better jointly, that would help federal agencies respond in more coordinated ways to meet the demands of the war on terror. General Pace’s address, like much of the symposium, was widely covered in the general media and broadcast on C-SPAN. Former Secretary of the Navy and 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman addressed the sellout audience with a straightforward assessment of the commission’s work and the rationale behind its recommendations. Both featured speakers gave frank and direct answers to questions from the audience. The three panels were outstanding—every participant engaged and advanced the discussion, which in every case could have run longer had we not had to keep the program on schedule.
By F.H. Rainbow