Events

POSTPONED: The presidency and endless war

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POSTPONED: The presidency and endless war

William Antholis, Gina Bennett, Ashley Deeks, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Evan A. Feigenbaum, Seth G. Jones, Carter Malkasian , Sidney M. Milkis, Stephen D. Mull, Aaron O’Connell, Anne Patterson, William B. Quandt, Marc Selverstone, Allan C. Stam, Stephen Wertheim, Brantly Womack, Philip Zelikow, Rebecca Zimmerman

Thursday, March 19, 2020
1:00PM (EDT)
- Friday, March 20, 2020
11:45AM (EDT)
Event Details

THIS EVENT IS POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS THREAT

Since 1776, the United States has been at war 93 percent of the time—227 out of 244 years, according to Global Research. Why is that? And what does it mean for the future of our nation, at home and abroad?

This two-day public conference will focus on the roots, management, and direction of so-called “endless wars.” During the five sessions, speakers will consider the political, legal, military, cultural, and governance implications of remaining engaged in these indefinite conflicts, and the future prospects of fighting a “forever war."

The William and Carol Stevenson Conference is a biennial conference that focuses on issues of national and international importance. The Miller Center is deeply grateful to the Stevenson family for its support of our work.

March 19, 2020

1:00 – 2:30 pm                       Panel #1: The roots of endless war

How has this era of “endless war” arisen? What historical developments contributed to its onset in the 20th century and sustained it into the 21st

Participants:

  • Seth Jones, Harold Brown Chair; director, Transnational Threats Project; and senior advisor, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • William Quandt, professor emeritus, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
  • Anne Patterson, former assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, President Barack Obama 
  • Rebecca Zimmerman (moderator)policy researcher, RAND Corporation

 

2:30 – 3:45 pm                       Panel #2: Waging endless war 

What lessons can be learned from the transnational struggle that escalated after 9/11? How enduring are the assumptions and conditions governing U.S. involvement in these conflicts? How could a future president reconceive U.S. engagement in this struggle? 

Participants:

  • Gina Bennett, author of "National Security Mom" series; adjunct professor, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; member of CIA's Senior Analytic Service
  • Loren DeJonge Schulman, deputy director of studies; Leon E. Panetta senior fellow, Center for a New American Security
  • Allan Stam, professor of public policy and politics, UVA; senior fellow, Miller Center
  • Steve Mull (moderator), vice provost for Global Affairs, UVA

4:00 – 5:00 pm                  Keynote: Great Power Competition and Endless War

Evan Feigenbaum, vice president for studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor, Miller Center

William Antholis (moderator), director and CEO, Miller Center

March 20, 2020

 

9:00 – 10:15 am                      Panel #3: Endless war at home and abroad

What are the assumptions, institutions, and processes that have conditioned our current era of endless war? How have civilian and military leaders processed the lessons from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? What are the fiscal implications of living in an era of endless war? How is it changing America’s system of government and reshaping politics, society, and culture?

Participants:

  • Ashley Deeks, E. James Kelly, Jr. - Class of 1965 Research Professor of Law, UVA Law; senior fellow, Miller Center
  • Carter Malkasianauthor, Illusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Rise of the Islamic State
  • Aaron O’Connellassociate professor of history, UT-Austin
  • Sidney Milkis (moderator), White Burkett Miller Professor of Politics, UVA 

 

10:15 – 11:30 am             Panel #4: The future of endless war

How are threats evolving and dispersing? How is the digital revolution changing the future of warfare? How should America’s national institutions adapt? What is the future for the theory and practice of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and nation-building? How do you build a force structure, pursue international diplomacy, and attempt conflict resolution in an era of endless war?

                                                Participants:

  • Stephen Wertheim, deputy director of research and policy, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft 
  • Brantly Womack, C.K. Yen Professor of Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia
  • Philip Zelikow, White Burkett Miller Professor of History and J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance at the University of Virginia
  • Karen DeYoung (moderator), associate editor and senior national security correspondent, The Washington Post
When
Thursday, March 19, 2020
1:00PM (EDT)
- Friday, March 20, 2020
11:45AM (EDT)
Where
The Miller Center
2201 Old Ivy Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Speakers
William Antholis headshot

William Antholis

William J. Antholis is the director and CEO of the Miller Center. He previously served as managing director at the Brookings Institution from 2004 to 2014. In that capacity, he worked directly with Brookings’ president and vice presidents to help manage the full range of policy studies, develop new initiatives, coordinate research across programs, strengthen the policy impact of Brookings’ research, and ensure the quality and independence of that research. Antholis is the author of the book Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go GlobalIt explores how country-sized provinces and states in the world’s two biggest nations are increasingly becoming global players. Along with Brookings’ President Strobe Talbott, he is the author ofFast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming. He has published articles, book chapters, and opinion pieces on U.S. politics, U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, the G8, climate change, and trade.

Gina Bennett

Gina Bennett

Gina Bennett is a seasoned counterterrorism specialist and member of the Senior Analytic Service at the CIA. Bennett authored some of the earliest warnings of the terrorism trends of the past two decades to include those about Osama Bin Laden and the extremist movement he fomented. Her 30-year career in the counterterrorism field includes authoring a National Intelligence Estimate; contributing to the formation of the targeting career discipline; and holding a variety of positions in Washington, D.C., and in the field. She is the author of two books in her “National Security Mom” series and an article, “Lessons Learned in Countering Terrorism,” in the Studies in Conflict and Terrorism journal. She was featured in in the 2015 Showtime documentary, Spymasters, the HBO documentary, Manhunt, and in the PBS documentary, Makers: Women Who Make America

Ashley Deeks

Ashley Deeks

Ashley Deeks is the E. James Kelly, Jr.—Class of 1965 Research Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. Her primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of international law, national security, intelligence, and the laws of war. She has written articles on the use of force, executive power, secret treaties, the intersection of national security and international law, and the laws of armed conflict. She is a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law and serves as a senior contributor to the Lawfare blog. Deeks also serves on the boards of editors of the American Journal of International Law and the Journal of National Security Law and Policy. She is the supervising editor for AJIL Unbound, and is a senior fellow at the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare.

Loren DeJonge Schulman

Loren DeJonge Schulman

Loren DeJonge Schulman is the deputy director of studies and the Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. She most recently served in government as the senior advisor to National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Before returning to the White House in 2013, she was chief of staff to the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and served as director for defense policy on the National Security Council staff (2011–12). Prior to that, she worked as a special assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, first supporting the Obama administration’s transition in the Department of Defense and later advising on defense strategy and budget. Schulman is a co-host of the national security podcast Bombshell, produced by War on the Rocks, where she is a senior editor. 

Evan A. Feigenbaum

Evan A. Feigenbaum

Evan A. Feigenbaum, the 2019–20 James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center, is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversees Carnegie’s research in Washington, Beijing, and New Delhi on a dynamic region encompassing both East Asia and South Asia. He served at the U.S. State Department as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia (2007–09), deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia (2006–07), member of the policy planning staff with principal responsibility for East Asia and the Pacific (2001–06), and an advisor on China to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, with whom he worked closely in the development of the U.S.-China senior dialogue. 

Seth G. Jones

Seth G. Jones

Seth G. Jones holds the Harold Brown Chair, is director of the Transnational Threats Project, and is a senior advisor to the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He teaches at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Prior to joining CSIS, Jones was the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. He also served as representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the assistant secretary of defense for special operations. He is the author of A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in PolandWaging Insurgent Warfare; Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa’ida after 9/11; and In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan

Carter Malkasian

Carter Malkasian

Carter Malkasian was the special assistant for strategy to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford (2015–19). He has extensive experience working in conflict zones, including nearly two years in Garmser district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, as a State Department political officer and the district stabilization team leader. His 2013 book, War Comes to Garmser(Oxford University Press), a story of 30 years of conflict in an Afghan community, won the silver medal for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Book Award. His newest book—Illusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Islamic State (Oxford University Press, 2017)—covers the successes and eventual failure of the famous Anbar awakening tribal movement and the corresponding U.S. military effort.

Sidney M. Milkis

Sidney M. Milkis

Sidney M. Milkis is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Governance and Foreign Affairs at the Miller Center, Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Professor, and professor of politics at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the American presidency, political parties and elections, social movements, and American political development. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, he regularly gives public lectures on American politics and participates in programs for international scholars and high school teachers that probe the deep historical roots of contemporary developments in the United States. 

Stephen D. Mull

Stephen D. Mull

Stephen D. Mull is vice provost for global affairs at the University of Virginia. He has served as acting under secretary for political affairs at the U.S. Department of State, lead coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation (2015–17), and was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Poland (2012­–15) and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania (2003–06). Ambassador Mull is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, two Distinguished Honor Awards, the Baker-Wilkins Award for Outstanding Deputy Chief of Mission, two Superior Honor Awards, and more than a dozen Senior Foreign Service performance awards.  

Aaron O’Connell

Aaron O’Connell

Aaron O’Connell is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas. He previously served in the Obama administration as director for defense policy and strategy on the National Security Council staff. Prior to serving in government, he taught military history at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. In addition to his academic career, O’Connell is also a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and in that capacity, he has served as a special advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, to the commander of U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, and to the ISAF commander in Afghanistan. He is the author of Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps, which explores how the Marine Corps rose from relative unpopularity to become the most prestigious armed service in the United States. He is also the editor of Our Latest Longest War: Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan, which is a critical account of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan since 2001. 

Anne Patterson

Anne Patterson

Anne Patterson retired in January 2017, after 43 years in the foreign service, with the rank of career ambassador. Most recently, she was assistant secretary of Near Eastern and North African affairs at the State Department. She served as the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Pakistan, Colombia, and El Salvador.   Ambassador Patterson was also assistant secretary for international narcotics and law enforcement, deputy permanent representative at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in New York, and deputy inspector general of the State Department. In 2011, she was named one of Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers.” Post retirement, Ambassador Patterson heads the U.S.-Qatar Business Council and is a member of the Dow Jones oversight committee.  

William B. Quandt

William B. Quandt

William B. Quandt is the Edward R. Stettinius Professor of Politics, Emeritus at the University of Virginia. From 2000 to 2003, he also served as vice provost for international affairs at the University. He taught courses on the Middle East and American foreign policy until his retirement in 2014. Quandt has also served as a staff member on the National Security Council (1972–74, 1977–79). He was actively involved in the negotiations that led to the Camp David Accords and the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. His books include Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1967Between Ballots and Bullets: Algeria’s Transition from Authoritarianism, and Camp David: Peacemaking and Politics.

Marc Selverstone

Marc Selverstone

Marc Selverstone is an associate professor in Presidential Studies at the Miller Center and chair of the Center’s Presidential Recordings Program. A historian of the Cold War, he is the author of Constructing the Monolith: The United States, Great Britain, and International Communism, 1945-1950 (Harvard), which won the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. As chair of the Recordings Program, Selverstone edits the secret White House tapes of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon. He is the general editor of The Presidential Recordings Digital Edition, the primary online portal for transcripts of the tapes, published by the University of Virginia Press.

Allan C. Stam

Allan C. Stam

Allan C. Stam is a professor of public policy and politics at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He is also a senior fellow at the Miller Center. Previously he was director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and professor of political science and senior research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. His books include Win Lose or Draw, Democracies at War, The Behavioral Origins of War, and Why Leaders Fight. He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2007 he was a residential fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.  

Stephen Wertheim

Stephen Wertheim

Stephen Wertheim is deputy director of research and policy at the Quincy Institute, which he co-founded, and a research scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. He is a historian of U.S. foreign relations and international order, specializing in concepts of global politics from the late nineteenth century to the present. He also writes essays on current affairs. He was previously a faculty member at Columbia University and Birkbeck, University of London, and received a PhD from Columbia University in 2015.

Brantly Womack

Brantly Womack

Brantly Womack holds the Miller Center’s C. K. Yen Chair and is a professor of foreign affairs at the University of Virginia. He received his BA degree in politics and philosophy from the University of Dallas, and after a Fulbright in philosophy at the University of Munich, earned his PhD in political science from the University of Chicago. He is the author of China Among Unequals: Asymmetric International Relationships in Asia and China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry, as well as more than 100 articles and book chapters. He edited China’s Rise in Historical Perspective, the product of a lecture series at the Miller Center, and Contemporary Chinese Politics in Historical Perspective. In 2011, Womack received the China Friendship Award for his work with Chinese universities. He holds honorary positions at Jilin University, East China Normal University, and Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) University.

Philip Zelikow

Philip Zelikow

Philip Zelikow is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History and J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance at the University of Virginia, where he has also served as dean of the Graduate School and director of the Miller Center. His scholarly work has focused on critical episodes in American and world history. His federal service during five administrations has included positions in the White House, State Department, and the Pentagon. His last full-time government position was as the counselor of the Department of State, a deputy to Secretary Condoleezza Rice. He directed a small and short-lived federal agency, the 9/11 Commission. He is one of the few individuals ever to serve on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Boards for presidents of both parties, in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. 

Rebecca Zimmerman

Rebecca Zimmerman

Rebecca Zimmerman is an adjunct researcher at the RAND Corporation. Previously, she served as editor-in-chief at War on the Rocks, and as a policy researcher at RAND. She has more than 15 years of experience in foreign policy and national security, specializing in institutional culture and design, and operations overseas. She has spent years working in Afghanistan supporting U.S. efforts to develop Afghan governance, especially security sector governance, and has conducted research in Mali, the Philippines, and other conflict-affected areas where the U.S. is engaged. Her field experience has included supporting the standup of Village Stability Operations in Afghanistan, and interviewing members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines.