Hope College will feature the address “South China Sea: Clash of Strategies” by John Adams, retired brigadier general of the U.S. Army, on Monday, Feb. 27, at 1 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall through the Great Decisions Global Discussion Series of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The council’s Great Decisions Global Discussion Series highlights the most critical global topics facing Americans for the year as chosen by the Foreign Policy Association in New York City.  The council brings experts to West Michigan to discuss the topics, with presentations at Hope in the afternoon and at Aquinas College in the evening.

John Adams retired as a brigadier general from the U.S. Army in September 2007 after more than 30 years of active duty service. In the Great Decisions Series, he will analyze Chinese actions in the South China Sea and elsewhere, exploring how they can be a roadmap for the United States response to this growing world power.

In the military, his final assignment was as deputy United States military representative to the NATO Military Committee in Belgium. He is the president of Guardian Six LLC, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business based in Washington, D.C., and Gulf Breeze, Florida. Guardian Six assists clients in analyzing national security issues and navigate the defense marketplace. 

Adams is a member of the Board of Directors of Veterans Florida, a Florida-state-chartered corporation with the mission of making Florida the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. He is also a member of Florida State Leaders Advisory Council of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and the Gulf Breeze Rotary Club, and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He received a Regular Army commission from North Carolina State University Army ROTC in 1976. After Ranger and Airborne training, his first assignment was to the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California. He was deployed outside the United States for more than 18 years. As an Army aviator, he has more than 700 hours as pilot-in-command in fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. He is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal (twice), the Bronze Star, and the Director of Central Intelligence’s Exceptional Human Intelligence Collector Award.

Adams is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm (1991) and Operation Guardian Assistance in Rwanda (1996), and served throughout the Balkans from 1998 to 2003. In 2004, he served on temporary duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was stationed at the Pentagon, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, on Sept. 11, 2001, and participated in disaster recovery operations at the crash site, and coordinated international support for the diplomatic and military response.

He was formally designated as a U.S. Army strategist in 1993, and served in strategic intelligence assignments for much of his subsequent career, including three intelligence assignments with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Europe and Northeast Asia, focused among other issues on the relationship between the U.S. and China. 

Since retiring from active duty in 2007, Adams has intensely studied the health of the United States defense industrial base, particularly its vulnerabilities to Chinese and other foreign disruption and exploitation. In May 2013, he authored a 330-page study titled “Remaking American Security,” published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, documenting the range of vulnerabilities to U.S. defense supply chains from China and other foreign actors. He has also published numerous op-eds in major newspapers and appeared on cable news networks (e.g., CBS and Fox News) to highlight Chinese exploitation of U.S. supply chain vulnerabilities, and to recommend strategies to mitigate them.

He has master’s degrees in international relations, English and strategic studies. He served on the English faculty at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1988 to 1991. He is proficient in French, German, Dutch and Croatian.

John lives in Gulf Breeze with his wife, Laura Magan M.D., a physician at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola. They enjoy sailing, hiking, cooking, and blues (especially Buddy Johnson). He has two daughters, the oldest of whom is a doctoral student in public health at Brown University, and the youngest of whom teaches English at James Madison High School in Vienna, Virginia.

Hope is an educational partner of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan (worldmichigan.org), which is dedicated to educating people in western Michigan about other countries and cultures of the world, as well as providing a forum for discussion of critical foreign policy issues.  In existence since 1949, the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan is a non-partisan, non-advocacy educational non-profit organization.  With 60 member companies and almost 3,000 members, it is considered one of the best councils in the national network of 100 World Affairs Councils.

The council’s Great Decisions Global Discussion Series will feature a total of eight addresses on Mondays between February 6 and April 3, with additional topics including nuclear proliferation, and the complexity of U.S.-Saudi and U.S.-China relations.  Six of the events will take place at Hope, and all eight will take place at Aquinas College.  There is a $10 admission charge for the events at Aquinas.

More information about the presentations at Hope is available at hope.edu/greatdecisions.  More information and about the Great Decisions Global Discussion Series as a whole is also available. 

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.  The Aquinas College Performing Arts Center is located at 1703 Robinson Rd. SE in Grand Rapids.