Kamala Harris Becomes First Woman to Give West Point Commencement Speech – Vice-President Kamala Harris made history on Saturday as she became the inaugural woman in the 221-year history of West Point to deliver a commencement speech. Speaking before a crowd of over 900 graduating cadets at the esteemed American military academy in West Point, New York, Harris emphasized that they were stepping into a world that is growing more uncertain, with established principles facing jeopardy.
She specifically highlighted the dangers posed by Russian and Chinese aggression in her address. “Cadets, global security and global prosperity depend on the leadership of the United States of America. And a strong America remains indispensable to the world,” said Harris. “Our democratic ideals of freedom and liberty inspire billions. And our military is the strongest in the world. Our military is a force that underwrites global stability and our national security.”
People Also Read: United States Denies Plans Of Stalling Payments As Debt Default Looms
“And it is this pillar of our strength where you, cadets, have dedicated yourself to lead,” she added. Harris warned that international rules and norms are no longer being upheld, citing specifically Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. She also criticized China’s military presence in the Indo-Pacific, saying that China is rapidly advancing its military and “threatening both the freedom of the seas and rules of international commerce”.
In addition, the Vice-President of the United States mentioned the presence of dictatorships worldwide, noting that autocratic leaders have become increasingly audacious, and emphasized the enduring threat of terrorism. Furthermore, she drew attention to the ongoing climate crisis, stating that it continues to disrupt both lives and livelihoods. Harris proceeded to discuss the comprehensive technological training received by the cadets at the academy, encompassing areas such as cyber, robotics, artificial intelligence, and systems engineering.
Harris pointed to a future of artificial intelligence and virtual reality for cadets, telling them: “You will enable rapid adoption of new technology into every aspect of war-fighting, which might mean using AI to predict the movements of our adversaries; might mean autonomous vehicles to support and supply our forces; or virtual reality to train our soldiers on new weapon systems.”