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The Gemunder Center Iran Strategy Council

The Iran Strategy Council is an organization of former top senior military officials and defense analysts with the mission of educating audiences on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and how it will make the United States and its allies less safe and war with Iran and its proxies more likely. The Council will address the likelihood of conventional and nuclear arms races, increased Iranian support for terrorist proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas, the need for enhanced U.S. cooperation with regional allies in response to Iran’s growing military capabilities, and how much the U.S. military would have to increase its footprint in the region – at a time when legally mandated budget cuts to the U.S. military are already reducing America’s security capabilities.

Iran Strategy Council Members

  • General James Conway, USMC (ret.) - Council Co-Chair

    General James Conway, USMC (ret.) served as the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps. General Conway also served as Director of Operations (J-3) on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Commanding General of 1st Marine Division, and I Marine Expeditionary Force, taking part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and First Battle of Fallujah where he commanded 60,000 troops, including Marines, soldiers, sailors, and British forces. General Conway graduated with honors from The Basic School, the U.S. Army Infantry Officers Advanced Course, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Air War College.

  • General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.) - Council Co-Chair

    General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.) was formerly the Deputy Commander of United States European Command (EUCOM). He is a proven leader who specializes in global military strategy and development. As EUCOM Deputy Commander he was responsible for developing the air campaign in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Gen. Wald has also served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Policy at USAF Headquarters, Chief of USAF Combat Terrorism Center, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations at the Pentagon. General Wald is a subject matter specialist in weapons procurement and deployment, counter terrorism, national, energy, and international security policy.

  • Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, USN (ret.)

    Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, USN (ret.) was formerly the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa. He was responsible for providing overall command, operational control, and coordination of U.S. Naval forces in the European and African Commands. Admiral Fitzgerald was also Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples - with operational responsibility for NATO missions in the Balkans, Iraq and the Mediterranean. He has commanded the U.S. Second Fleet, the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group during Operation Enduring Freedom as well as Carrier Air Wing 14 and Attack Squadron 46 during Operation Desert Storm. Admiral Fitzgerald has served as Deputy Commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, Naval Forces Central Command and on the Navy Staff as Director Navy Staff, Director of Naval Warfare, and Director of Air Warfare.

  • General Lou Wagner, USA (ret.)

    General Lou Wagner, USA (ret.) was formerly the Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. General Wagner also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition where he was responsible for all aspects of materiel acquisition from programming and budgeting for the Army's equipment, to the overall responsibility at the Department of the Army level for all of the Army's research, development, and acquisition programs. He also served as the individual responsible for the development of materiel requirements and organizational structure for the Army as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Force Development. General Wagner served two combat tours in Vietnam as an Infantry and Armor advisor.

  • Vice Admiral John Bird, USN (ret.)

    Vice Admiral John Bird was formerly the Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, with an area of responsibility of more than 48 million square miles including 36 maritime countries. As a career submarine officer, he has served on fast attack and ballistic missile submarines in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. Admiral Bird also served as the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America and has completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI in Foreign Affairs, International Relations and National Security. He is currently Senior Vice President for Military Affairs with USAA.

  • Lieutenant General David Deptula, USAF (ret.)

    Lieutenant General David Deptula, USAF (ret.) was formerly the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force Headquarters. General Deptula is a world-recognized expert in conceptualizing, planning, and executing military operations from humanitarian relief to major combat operations. He served as the principal planner for the air campaigns in Operations Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom, and was twice a Combined/Joint Task Force Commander. In 2001, General Deptula served as Director of the Combined Air Operations Center for Operation Enduring Freedom, where he orchestrated air operations over Afghanistan during the period of decisive combat. He has served on two congressional commissions charged with outlining America's future defense posture - the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces, and the National Defense Panel.

  • Major General Lawrence Stutzriem, USAF (ret.)

    Major General Lawrence Stutzriem, USAF (ret.) was formerly the Director, Plans, Policy, and Strategy, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command where he led a dynamic team that achieved historic breakthroughs in Theater Security Cooperation in the Western Hemisphere and the first Arctic defense strategy. Following 9/11, General Stutzriem was on the leadership team that directed air operations in Afghanistan resulting in the surrender of the Taliban government in ninety days. During nation-building operations in Iraq, he was assigned to the U.S. Department of State to reinvigorate the political-military interface. General Stutzriem is currently the Director of Research for the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. He holds a Master’s degree in Aviation Management from Embry Riddle and a Master’s of National Security Strategy from the National Defense University.

  • Click here to read the Strategy Council's full report on the JCPOA

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