ABERDEEN, S.D. – The former legal advisor and operational law instructor at NATO School Oberammergau Brian Bengs will deliver a keynote address at 7 p.m. April 2 in the Northern State University's Johnson Fine Arts Center Lecture Classroom 117. Bengs’ presentation, titled "Collective Self-Defense: Understanding U.S. Involvement in NATO," will provide an insightful exploration into the historical origins of NATO, its organizational structure, and its role in the international security system.

In light of recent events, particularly Russian aggression in Ukraine, the significance of NATO as a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy has been reignited. However, amidst this resurgence, the "America First" movement has voiced opposition to U.S. involvement in the Alliance. 

Bengs’ discussion will delve into the implications of a potential American withdrawal from NATO, both for European and American security.

“Brian Bengs is an expert on international law who always encourages engaging and provocative discussion,” said Prof. Jon Schaff, Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Public History and Civic Engagement. “We are lucky to have his expertise in our community. I highly recommend attending this event.”

Bengs, lauded as an expert in international law, taught political science and criminal justice at Northern from 2016 to 2020.

The April 2 event is sponsored by the Center for Public History and Civic Engagement and is open to the public. Attendees can expect an informative session followed by a Q&A session.

For more information, please contact Jon D. Schaff, professor of political science at jon.schaff@northern.edu