U.S. nuclear strategy, great power competition, and war in Ukraine

Nuclear weapons

U.S. nuclear strategy, great power competition, and war in Ukraine

James Stavridis, Todd Sechser

Thursday, March 17, 2022
6:30PM - 7:30PM (EDT)
Event Details

Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of the NATO alliance, discussed the role that nuclear weapons should play in American foreign policy in the 21st century. President Barack Obama once proclaimed, “I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” More than a decade later, however, a new era of great power rivalry is upon us. How should we adjust our nuclear posture for this new era? As Russia extends the threat of nuclear attack in Ukraine, how should the United States and its allies respond? Drawing on a lifetime of national security expertise, Admiral Stavridis takes stock of today's nuclear threat to the United States. 

This event was available for viewing only in real time via Zoom. It was co-sponsored by the UVA Democracy Initiative Democratic Statecraft Lab.

Thursday, March 17, 2022
6:30PM - 7:30PM (EDT)
Online webinar
James Stavridis headshot

James Stavridis

Admiral James Stavridis is vice chair of global affairs for the Carlyle Group and chair of the board of trustees for the Rockefeller Foundation.

A Florida native, Stavridis attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and spent 37 years in the Navy, rising to the rank of four-star admiral. Among his many commands were four years as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, where he oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and the Balkans, and counter piracy off the coast of Africa. He also commanded U.S. Southern Command in Miami, charged with military operations through Latin America for nearly three years. He was the longest serving combatant commander in recent U.S. history.

Following his military career, he served for five years as the 12th dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In the course of his career in the Navy, he served as senior military assistant to the secretary of the Navy and the secretary of defense. He led the Navy’s premier operational think tank for innovation, Deep Blue, immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Admiral Stavridis was promoted directly from 1-star rank to three-star rank in 2004.

Todd Sechser headshot

Todd Sechser

Todd S. Sechser is the Pamela Feinour Edmonds and Franklin S. Edmonds Jr. Discovery Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. He is also a professor of public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and a faculty senior fellow at the Miller Center. He is coauthor of the book Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and is the director of the Democratic Statecraft Lab, a project that aims to map the foundations of U.S. grand strategy for an era of great-power competition.