Ryan Guirlinger, U.S. Department of State, visited Lawrence for several speaking engagements and spoke to LCR on the war in Ukraine. Guirlinger is uniquely qualified as he is head of the Office on Eastern European Affairs. His primary task is the day-to-day management of of the nation’s policy on Ukraine. Russia’s attack on Ukraine is actually an attack on the international order, and the Congressional aid response has been generous. Much of the military aid provided comes from existing military stockpiles. Significant Congressional funds are being used to rebuild those military stockpiles. NATO support is also strong for Ukraine and the alliance has added Finland as a new member with Sweden considering membership.
Guirlinger spoke about his career, noting that he speaks five languages and had postings in Morocco, Algeria, Turkey and Honduras. Istanbul was his most enjoyable posting. The State Department maintains a policy of rotating officers and periodically returning them for duty the the States. Guirlinger was raised in North Carolina and took degrees from the University of Maryland-College Park and Syracuse University. He was very complimentary of Rotary’s international work.