William & Mary

PIPS Air Combat Command Intern Presents Brief at Langley Air Force Base


PIPS Intern William Shimer ’13 briefed a U.S. Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command audience on “Turkish Refugee Camps: Building a New Syria” April 19 at Langley Air Force Base. The event was chaired by Dr. Albert "Bull" Mitchum, political advisor to the commander of USAF Air Combat Command (ACC).  

The ACC internship is a cooperative venture between Air Combat Command, the Reves Center, and the Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS).  Two students, William Shimer and Heather McCormic, served as ACC interns during the 2013 spring semester.  Additionally, Shimer completed PIPS internships 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.
In his briefing, Shimer argued that refugee camps in Turkey could help rebuild a post-Assad Syria by serving as a schoolhouse for democratic and good governance. According to Shimer, the international community, led by Turkey, could provide civic and related professional training to adults in the camps, while also encouraging camp self-governance.  Such training and experience would provide returning refugees with critical skills needed for creating a democratic government in Syria.  It also would empower moderate Syrian opposition groups.