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Is U.S. Foreign Policy Being Militarized?

WHO: Gordon Adams, a professor of U.S. Foreign Policy, has published widely on defense and national security policy, the defense policy process, and national security budgets. Adams served as the associate director for national security and international affairs  at the Office of Management and Budget (1993-1997).  

Shoon Murray, associate professor and program director for U.S. Foreign Policy, has written widely on such topics as public reactions to military force and the “rally ‘round the flag phenomenon,” and the political consequences of September 11th.

Sharon Weiner, associate professor of international service, writes about the intersection of organizational politics and U.S. national security policy.

Jordan Tama, assistant professor of international service, specializes in the U.S. foreign policy making process, intelligence reform, and counterterrorism policy.

WHAT: Conference: “Mission Creep:  Is U.S. Foreign Policy Being Militarized?”

WHEN: February 17, 2012, 9:00 am – 3:15 pm.

WHERE: American University’s School of International Service Building (SIS), Abramson Family Founders Room,  4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. (SIS building located at intersection of New Mexico and Nebraska Aves., NW)
American University School of International Service’s U.S. foreign policy professors Gordon Adams (presenter and moderator), Shoon Murray (moderator), Sharon Weiner (moderator), and Jordan Tama (moderator) developed and will lead three expert panels on the subject of Mission Creep: Is U.S. Foreign Policy Being Militarized? Former U.S. ambassadors, policy-makers, and professors from the National Defense University, U.S. Naval War College, Georgetown University, and Franklin & Marshall College will explore the evidence, cases, and debates over the trend to use military instruments to carry out U.S. foreign policy, potentially supplanting the role of civilian diplomats and development providers.  The presentations and research being done by the moderators will be included in a forthcoming book on the subject of the militarization of U.S. foreign policy and militarization.

Renowned Washington Post investigative reporter and two time Pulitzer Prize winner Dana Priest, the co-author of Top Secret America (2011) and The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America’s Military (2003), will give the key note presentation.

Panelists will address the following questions in addition to others:

•    Did this militarization trend accelerate after 9-11 and in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Is it now a global trend in U.S. foreign policy?  What are the implications of an FY 2013 budget request of $618 billion budget for the Department of Defense compared to $51 billion for civilian diplomacy and development?
•    Will winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan correct this imbalance, or is the trend now irreversible? What are the possible policy and institutional reforms that might reverse this trend?
•    The full agenda is below.

February 17, 2012
9:15- 10:30 Panel I: Evidence, Cases, and Debates on the Trend
Moderator and Introduction: Professor Shoon Murray, American University
Professor Cathy Downes, National Defense University—“Unintentional Militarism in U.S. National Security Policy and Operations: Reasons and Results”
Nina Serafino, Congressional Research Service—“Foreign Assistance in Camouflage: Measuring the Military Role”
Ambassador James Dobbins, RAND Corporation—“Civil-Military Roles in Post-Conflict Stabilization and Reconstruction”

10:45--12:00 Panel II: Evidence, Cases, and Debates on the Trend
Moderator: Professor Sharon Weiner, American University
Ambassador Edward Marks —“State Department: No Longer the Gatekeeper”
Ambassador Brian Carlson, InterMedia Research –“Who Tells America’s Story Abroad?State’s Public Diplomacy or DOD’s Strategic Communication?”
Professor Jennifer Kibbe, Franklin & Marshall College— “The Military’s Changing Role in Covert Operations”

12:30-1:30 Keynote: Dana Priest, Washington Post, author of The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America’s Military (2003), and co-author of Top Secret America (with William Arkin, 2011).

1:45- 3:00 Panel III: Projecting the Trend: What Are the Solutions?
Moderator: Professor Jordan Tama, American University
Professor Gordon Adams, American University—“The Unbalanced Toolkit of Statecraft: Real, Inevitable, and at What Risk?”
Professor Charles Cushman, Georgetown University— “Barriers to a Balanced Approach: Congress and the Politics of Defense and Foreign Policymaking”
Professor Derek Reveron, US Naval War College—“Security Deficits and U.S. Security Assistance”

3:00-3:15 Closing discussion moderated by Professor Gordon Adams and Professor Shoon Murray, American University

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.