The presidency and endless war
1:00PM (EDT) - Friday, March 20, 2020
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 four 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?
- 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?
- 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
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?
- Ashley Deeks, E. James Kelly, Jr. - Class of 1965 Research Professor of Law, UVA Law; senior fellow, Miller Center
- Carter Malkasian, author, Illusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Rise of the Islamic State
- Aaron O’Connell, associate 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?
- 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
1:00PM (EDT) - Friday, March 20, 2020
2201 Old Ivy Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22903