Camden Conference Focuses on Middle East, Features Ryan Crocker

By Groening, Tom | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), October 4, 2012 | Go to article overview

Camden Conference Focuses on Middle East, Features Ryan Crocker


Groening, Tom, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


CAMDEN, Maine -- With the region dominating today's -- and likely tomorrow's -- headlines, the 2013 Camden Conference will focus on the Middle East.

The annual event features foreign policy experts, current and former government officials, journalists and writers discussing issues tied to an international theme.

Titled " The Middle East: What Next?," the 26th conference to be put on by the nonprofit, volunteer-run group is scheduled for Feb. 22-24 at the Camden Opera House and will be broadcast live to various locations in the midcoast area.

In recent years, conference organizers also have led up to and promoted the main event by hosting discussions and films in the fall and early winter at libraries and schools from Bar Harbor to Blue Hill to Belfast and Augusta.

Previous conferences have had as their theme Asia, the U.S. in the 21st century, water, religion and China.

The keynote speaker for the February conference is Robin Wright, who has reported from more than 140 countries on six continents for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Time, CBS News and others. According to the conference's website, Wright has covered "a dozen wars and several revolutions."

Given the recent U.S. involvement in Iraq and the ongoing military effort in Afghanistan, former ambassador Ryan Crocker's appearance at the conference is especially relevant. Crocker, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan (2011-2012) and Iraq (2007-2009). Before that, he was ambassador to Lebanon (1990-1993), Kuwait (1994-1997), Syria (1998- 2001) and Pakistan (2004-2007). …

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