West Point Academy 2014: Akina Anand

West Point PictureThis past fall I had the privilege of attending the 65th Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA 65), hosted by West Point Military Academy. This year’s theme was demographics and population change, and I participated in a round table discussion that focused on these factors as sources of instability in the Middle East.  We discussed these issues in the frame of the youth population bulge in the Middle East, and in the end, we drafted a white paper on our recommendations for US foreign policy.

Outside of my round table discussion, I also attended panel discussions by experts in various fields of foreign policy, a keynote address from Brent Scowcroft, and a weapons demonstration by West Point cadets.  Aside from these formal proceedings, I was also fortunate to interact with many cadets on a more personal level.  I stayed in the barracks with cadets where I was able to experience morning formation at 6 AM, along with many stories about their lives as both students and soldiers.  This conference was an amazing experience, and I am truly fortunate to have been chosen.