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WR High soph in DC this week

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POSTED February 21, 2009 5:00 a.m.
Weston Ranch High sophomore Ryan Jones was selected to the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security in Washington, D.C,. throughout this week.

The forum, scheduled from Feb. 17-22, recognizes the nation’s most outstanding high school scholars, preparing them for a possible future care in government service.

The curriculum for the Forum on National Security is based on actual world events.

Throughout the program, students will use critical thinking, leadership and public speaking skills to tackle the complexity of national decision-making as they examine how the U.S. plans for peace and prepares for crisis.

They employ a crisis decision-making process similar to that employed by the nation’s top policy makers.

Students also participate in thought-provoking question and answer sessions with highly respected, internationally recognized civilian policy makers and senior military.

In addition, leading institutions will open their doors to Forum on National Security students, where they can be educated in diplomacy, international affairs and military strategy.

Past programs have included visits to several government institutions and military installations, such as the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Naval Academy, a variety of embassies and many others.

Ryan Jones, incidentally, began his day with an NSAM group session that explored the issue of ethics in national security and introduced him to the National Security Strategy Exercise.

This simulation will take place over the final two days of the Forum and will present Ryan with a fictional crisis in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea region.

Preparation for this activity will occur throughout the week. In the remaining portion of the meeting, Ryan and his fellow scholars learned the basics of national security strategy and considered four vectors of strategic analysis: basic national interests, intensity of those interests, instruments of national power and execution of a national strategy. Ryan also discussed the application of ends, ways and means in developing an effective strategy.

In the afternoon, Ryan took advantage of the opportunity to explore the Capitol building, the Library of Congress, the House and Senate office buildings and the Supreme Court. These locations provided him with a physical backdrop for the matters of national security strategy that he is discussing this week.

Back at the Forum hotel, Ryan attended one of three career exploration panels featuring leaders in the defense, intelligence and diplomatic communities.

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