Security Challenges of the 21st Century – 2011-2012 Annual Theme

In the past, national security has centered on the strategies that political and military leaders pursue in their respective countries to defend their national interests, with a focus on military, diplomatic, economic, and informational instruments of power. In recent decades, however, the world has become more interdependent and the number and character of the threats have become, respectively, more numerous and complex, with some threats crossing national boundaries and challenging the well being of humanity as a whole. Thus, the current list of immediate and long-term threats to the national interests of the United States and other countries now includes interstate conflicts, civil wars marked by genocide, abuses of human rights, attacks on civilian populations by terrorist organizations, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, global pandemics, and the catastrophic effects of global climate change. In response to these developments, a new perspective to security has recently emerged, one that prioritizes “human security.” In 1994, the United Nations Development Report adopted this approach as its central organizing theme, arguing that the traditional notion of security was too narrow because it ignored the degree to which ordinary people felt threatened by crime, hunger, disease, and environmental hazards. While the traditional notion of security remains of central importance, the Clarke Forum embraces the broader concept of “human security” as the proper organizing principle of its 2011-12 theme: Security Challenges of the 21st Century.

Admiral Dennis Blair

Omar Bradley ChairBlair poster
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room

The American Use of Military Force Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 there were hopes for a peaceful new world order and even predictions of the end of history. As it turned out, the United States has sent major military forces into action nine times in the 19 years since then. Two major conflicts are continuing today in Afghanistan and Iraq. Admiral Blair will address how the United States has used military force in recent years, successfully and unsuccessfully, and how to think about what the country should do in Afghanistan and Iraq. Co-sponsored by the department of political science.

Issue in Context
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the end of nearly a half-century of Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. The United States emerged victorious, affirming its superiority in the international arena. President H. W. Bush declared grand expectations for a “new world order” – the United States would finally be able to fulfill its founding fathers’ visions of freedom. There were widespread hopes for global peace. However, Read more

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

Monday, February 26, 2007Fiasco Poster
7:00 p.m. – Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium
Thomas E. Ricks, Pulitizer-prize winning journalist, The Washington Post, and author

As the title, “Fiasco” suggests, Thomas E. Ricks views the American war in Iraq as a misguided exercise in folly and incompetence. His book provides a detailed and comprehensive critique for anyone interested in understanding how the United States came to go to war in Iraq, how an insurgency emerged, and how these events will affect the future of the United States. Ricks will discuss his findings and respond to questions from the audience.
Co-sponsored by International Business & Management and Political Science

Issue in Context
As of February 19, 2007, the official U.S. death toll in Iraq was 3,133, more than ten times the fatal casualties of all other coalition countries combined. The U.S. has invested about $500 billion in the Iraq war, but several audits over the last couple of years have revealed incomplete or unreliable documentation on the spending of several billions of dollars. A recent Washington Post article revealed that nearly 100 million dollars in cash intended for rebuilding projects in south-central Iraq cannot even be accounted for.
Three years ago, it Read more

Avian Influenza and the Economics of Bio Security

Thursday, February 16, 2006
Avian Influenza and the Economics of Bio Security
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m. Issue in Context
A form of avian influenza, known as “fowl plague,” first appeared in Italy around 1878. It was first recognized in the United States in 1924, and occurred again in 1929. The disease was eradicated both times. In recent months, concern surrounding avian influenza has escalated. The latest cases lie along the migratory routes of birds, as in Turkey , where the H5N1 strain has taken several lives. The greatest fear, however stems from the possibility that H5N1 may evolve into a form of disease that will cause a virulent global human pandemic with a high mortality rate.

The threat posed by avian influenza is causing growing fear and raising many questions: Is fear justified? What are the scenarios for public health, the economy, and society? What are the underlying driving forces of this disease, and what can and should be done in response?

About the Speaker
Stephen Aldrich is the founder and President of Bio Economic Research Associates (bio-era), a leading independent research and advisory firm providing insight into the future of living systems and the global bio economy. Read more

Presidential War Powers: From Lincoln to Bush

Thursday, November 3, 2005
Presidential War Powers: From Lincoln to Bush

Presidential War

Part I: Common Hour DEBATE: Resolved: The War in Iraq is Just
David Perry, professor of ethics at the U.S. Army War College
Russ Bova, professor of political Science at Dickinson College.
Weiss Center, Rubendall Recital Hall, 12:00 p.m.

Part II: Teach-In. When Does a War End?: War Powers and the Lessons of Reconstruction after the American Civil War
Michael Vorenberg, author of Final Freedom and professor of history at Brown University
Stern Center, Great Room, 2:00 p.m.

Part III Roundtable: Presidential War Powers: Historical Perspectives from Lincoln to Bush
John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice and professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley
Louis Fisher, Senior Specialist in Separation of Powers for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress; and Michael Vorenberg, author of Final Freedom and professor of history at Brown University
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

Issue in Context- Debate
There is much political debate in America today over whether the most recent war in Iraq meets the criteria necessary for a war to be considered just. Read more