The report for this talk is now available here.

In May 2008, the first U.S. Marines arrived in the village of Now Zad, Afghanistan in the volatile Helmand Province.  The market town was occupied by Taliban extremists and narcotics traffickers, and served as an example of the lawlessness and desolate existence that pervaded the country.   From late 2009 to early 2010, Maj. Jason Brezler, USMC served as a Civil Affairs Officer in Now Zad to help plan and execute civil-military operations in support of NATO’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.  He was assigned in support of a Marine infantry regiment, where he served as the military liaison among the civil authorities, the local population and non-governmental organizations.  Beyond just clearing the area of insurgents, he helped organize governmental, economic and social initiatives to help bolster the village to prevent the resurgence of Taliban forces and to prevent Al Qaeda operatives from establishing a future base of operations.
Maj. Brezler has led counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operation teams in Fallujah, Iraq from 2006-07 and served as a detachment commander in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the initial occupation of Camp X-Ray in 2001-02.  He graduated from the United States Naval Academy, the University of Maryland, Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warfare School and is presently enrolled in a graduate program at Oklahoma State University.   Maj. Brezler is currently a firefighter with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) assigned to Ladder Company 58 in the Bronx.  He is a member of the FDNY’s Incident Management Team (IMT) and has served at the  FDNY’s Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness.

Co-sponsored by The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia SIPA Veterans Association (CSVA), US Military Veterans of Columbia University, the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), the Conflict Resolution Working Group (CRWG) and the South Asia Association (SAA).

Advance registration encouraged via Columbia calendar.