Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), visited the Mershon Center today to meet with university officials and speak to the Mershon faculty.

In a wide-ranging talk to the Mershon Center faculty, Mattis spoke about current events in the Middle East and South Asia from the perspective of CENTCOM. Faculty affiliates then had more than an hour to ask questions and speak with Mattis in a frank, candid exchange.

Also attending the event were former U.S. Sen. John Glenn and his wife, Annie, as well as Les Wexner, former chair of the Ohio State Board of Trustees. Mattis’s visit was arranged by Peter Mansoor, Mason Chair in Military History.

CENTCOM is one of nine combatant commands in the U.S. military. Its area of responsibility covers the "central" area of the globe and consists of 20 countries -- Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

Gen. James N. Mattis (second from left), commander of U.S. Central Command, stands with (from left to right) Mershon Center Director Craig Jenkins; former U.S. Sen. John Glenn; Annie Glenn; and political science Professor Richard Gunther during his visit to the Mershon Center on February 1, 2013.