Audio from FPRI events.
Audio from FPRI events.
Thinking About Iran
As tensions between the US and Iran ratchet up, and the 2015 nuclear deal increasingly looks like a dead letter, the prospect of war – whether by intention or by accident – is a growing concern. Is there a diplomatic way out of this impasse, or not? Is Iran on its way to becoming a nuclear power, or not? To explore these questions and others, we are pleased to feature Ariane Tabatabai, a prominent analyst of Iran and co-author of Triple Axis: Iran’s Relations with Russia and China. An Associate Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation, she holds a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London.
From Counterterrorism to Conventional Threats: The Future of War
For the inaugural session of our new Main Line Briefings, hosted and cosponsored by The Haverford School, we are pleased to feature an in-depth conversation between Drs. Marisa Porges (Head of The Baldwin School) and John Nagl (Headmaster of The Haverford School). By coincidence, the two heads of these prestigious private schools on the Main Line are also military veterans and experienced hands in the field of national security. They will be discussing the current threats to American national security, covering challenges from state and non-state actors, such as China, Russia, Iran, and various terrorist movements, as well as the potential battlefields of the 21st Century from conventional war to cyber war and beyond.
Oceans Ventured: The Cold War at Sea
Drawing on recently declassified documents, John Lehman tells the untold story of the Cold War at sea -- and why it matters today. John's story is also an FPRI story as he got his start here when he was a grad student at UPENN. When he left FPRI, he went on to serve in many high-ranking positions, including Deputy Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, senior staff member to Henry Kissinger in the White House, Secretary of the Navy, and a member of the 9/11 Commission.
Is Israel Losing Its Soul?
On July 19, Israel’s parliament passed a controversial nation-state law. Designed by its proponents to promote Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, it is seen by its critics there and abroad as fundamentally anti-democratic. In this conversation with Barak Mendelsohn, we will explore the precise meaning of the law, the impetus for it, and how it may reflect larger political trends in Israeli society and politics.Mendelsohn is a specialist in jihadism, with two books on the subject and a third due out in November. These include The al-Qaeda Franchise: The Expansion of al-Qaeda and Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Combating Jihadism (University of Chicago Press, 2009). He served in the Israeli army for five years and received his PhD from Cornell University. He will return to the FPRI podium in December to speak on his forthcoming book Jihadism Constrained: The Limits of Transnational Jihadism and What It Means for Counterterrorism (Rowman and Littlefield, November 2018)
Ending the Great War
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Why did Germany lose the war? What role did the US play in winning the war? How did the war’s ending lead to an even greater conflict a generation later? To answer these questions and more, we are pleased to feature a lecture by FPRI Senior Fellow John Maurer, the Alfred Thayer Mahan Distinguished Professor of Grand Strategy, US Naval War College. For eight years, he chaired the Strategy Dept. at the Naval War College. In recognition for his contribution to professional military education, he has received both the U.S. Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award and Superior Civilian Service Award.
In addition to being a Senior Fellow in FPRI’s Program on National Security, Maurer sits on the Board of Editors for FPRI’s journal, Orbis. He is the author or editor of books examining the WWI, military interventions in the developing world, and naval arms control between the two world wars, including The Outbreak of the First World War.
Syria between Russia and the US: Is There a Path to Peace?
The war in Syria is reaching a decisive point. As the campaign against ISIL winds down, the battle for influence over the final settlement in Syria is heating up. This larger war—geopolitically more consequential than the campaign against ISIL—is characterized by shifting and sometimes surprising coalitions of states and non-state actors. Despite some close calls, the United States and Russia have been effective in what both sides call the “de-confliction” of operations in Syria, but it’s doubtful that these efforts can serve as a foundation for more meaningful efforts to put Syria back together. Securing a peaceful future for Syria and preventing the war there from further destabilizing the region—and possibly escalating into a regional war—will require new ideas. It will also require all parties to the conflict, both Syrian and foreign, to compromise on their objectives—something that no side looks ready to do.
Recently returned from a trip to Kuwait, U.S. Army Colonel Robert E. Hamilton is a Black Sea Fellow at FPRI. His current assignment is as a professor in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College. He has served as a strategic war planner and country desk officer at U.S. Central Command, as the Chief of Regional Engagement for Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, and as the Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Georgia and as the Deputy Chief of the Security Assistance Office at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan. Colonel Hamilton was a U.S. Army War College fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, where he authored several articles on the war between Russia and Georgia and the security situation in the former Soviet Union. Colonel Hamilton holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Virginia.