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John P. Abizaid
A Conversation with a Leader
MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013
John P. Abizaid retired from the United States Army in May, 2007, after thirty-four years of active service. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he rose from second lieutenant of infantry to four-star general in the Army. At the time of his retirement Abizaid was the longest-serving commander of United States Central Command, with responsibility for an area spanning 27 countries in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and the Horn of Africa. During a distinguished career he commanded units at every level, serving in the combat zones of Grenada, Lebanon, Kurdistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Units under Abizaid’s command have included the 1st Infantry Division, a brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division, and two Ranger companies.

Abizaid worked on the Joint Staff three times, the last as director. He studied at the University of Jordan in Amman, holds a master¹s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, and is widely considered to be an expert in the field of Middle Eastern affairs. As such, Abizaid was one of the first to recognize the protracted nature of the ongoing conflict against religious-inspired extremists, which he once termed "The Long War."

Abizaid serves as the Distinguished Chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and works closely with several charity and non-profit organizations. Through his consulting company, JPA Partners LLC, Abizaid advises small businesses through Fortune 500 companies nationally and internationally, and serves as a board member for both USAA and RPM, Inc.

General Abizaid’s visit to Claremont McKenna College is sponsored by the President’s Leaders Forum.