I can't imagine a more perfect career for a professional Army Brat than international relations. Long before my birth, my parents made the commitment to a military life and to my father's career in artificial intelligence. It was almost a pre-ordained destiny for me, as my parents repeatedly moved their large brood across oceans, nations and continents as my father's career rapidly progressed. From the day I was born, I was along for the ride.
And what a ride it was! I can't begin to describe the wondrous experience of growing up in several nations around the world. While most students learn about foreign languages and cultures from geography textbooks, I was repeatedly submerged in a new foreign culture every two years. Ironically, many of my life's early milestones are inexplicably linked to international crises. We lived in Grenada during my first year of school, and I remember the overwhelming fear when the military invasion occurred.
I was only a child, but I knew that a terrible dispute was occurring and that my father was needed to help. I knew that the Americans were the good guys.
I spent my first year of high school Baghdad, until my family was evacuated during the Persian Gulf War. By this time, my mother had six children and could not be immediately reunited with my father. We escaped to safety, but we worried about his fate for several long, agonizing weeks before we received his correspondence. By this age, I was well aware of the danger of being an American on foreign soil. I admired my father and others in the miltary who willingly accepted the risks of terrorism to protect others.
During both of these experiences, I learned many lessons about history, economics and diplomacy. I observed that the world is composed...