U.S. ‘pivot to China’ takes the spotlight at SMU’s 2014 Tower Center National Security Conference Nov. 5-6

national security

U.S. ‘pivot to China’ takes the spotlight at SMU’s 2014 Tower Center National Security Conference Nov. 5-6

Map of China courtesy of the CIA World Factbook.

Map of China courtesy of the CIA World Factbook.

SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies will examine the rise of China, and the U.S. response, during its 7th annual National Security Conference Nov. 5-6, 2014.

“How does China factor into U.S. strategy? No question matters as much for the future of U.S. national security,” says Joshua Rovner, the Tower Center’s director of studies. “During this year’s conference, we are bringing together a stellar lineup of speakers from the policy world, the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community and the military as well as some of the nation’s smartest and most provocative scholars specializing in China, East Asia and U.S. foreign policy.”

> Rovner in The Dallas Morning News: Never mind ISIS and Putin – Asia matters more to U.S. strategy

The conference opens Wednesday, Nov. 5, with a keynote dinner address by Thomas Fingar, former chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council and Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He is the author of Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security (Stanford University Press 2011). Fingar’s address, “China, Intelligence and U.S. Grand Strategy,” will delve into what the U.S. “pivot to Asia” means in terms of intelligence and foreign policy.

> More information on the Tower Center National Security Conference opening dinner

The second day of the conference, Thursday, Nov. 6, will feature three panel discussions. Panel one will examine grand strategy and the rise of China. Experts on Asian politics will assess how China and the United States view each other, as well as how regional states view the “pivot.” The second panel will explore the military dimensions of a conflict with China, including the possibility of nuclear escalation. The final panel will close with a discussion of defense industry implications.

> Find a complete list of 2014 Tower Center National Security Conference speakers and topics

“The United States has already declared that it wants to ‘pivot’ its attention from the Middle East to Asia, and it has increasingly focused on overcoming Chinese military innovations in the event of a crisis or war,” Rovner says. “But what the pivot means, and what it requires from the military are still unanswered questions. The armed services are struggling to determine whether to prepare for confrontation with a traditional power like China, or continue investing their time and energy in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and small wars.

“The defense industry needs to determine what kinds of technologies to invest in and what kinds of weapons to build. Finally, the White House needs to answer basic questions about what to buy, where to send it, and how to support local allies without encouraging them to needlessly provoke China.”

The conference is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the SMU Tower Center blog.

> Visit SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies online at smu.edu/towercenter

November 5, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News, Year of the Faculty|

Tune In: Tower Center’s Joshua Rovner talks national security after al Qaeda on ‘Think’ Sept. 11, 2014

Joshua RovnerJoshua Rovner, director of studies in SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, will discuss U.S. national security strategies in a post-al Qaeda landscape on KERA 90.1 FM Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Rovner will appear on “Think with Krys Boyd” during the 1-2 p.m. hour with Hal Brands, assistant professor of public policy and history at Duke University.

Tune in at www.kera.org/listen

Rovner and Brands are also among the speakers in tonight’s Tower Center Forum, “After al Qaeda: The Future of American Grand Strategy.” Joining them will be Barry R. Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the Security Studies Program at MIT. The discussion, moderated by Rovner, will explore American “grand strategy” of the past, present, and future for maintaining national security.

The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 in the Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. It is free and open to the public; reservations are required. RSVP to the Tower Center.

Learn more about SMU’s Tower Center online

2013 Tower Center conference examines defense under austerity

soldierEmerging regional threats and national security under budget austerity. will be the hot topics during a 2013 national security conference Oct. 30-31 at SMU. It is the 6th annual conference hosted by the University’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.

“The Tower Center National Security Conference brings together a stellar group of senior military officers, policymakers and academic security specialists who can speak to the big picture as well as the nuts and bolts of the defense budget,” said Joshua Rovner, director of studies for the Tower Center. “We hope to encourage a serious discussion about the future of international security, the range of U.S. strategic responses and the difficult choices that will be necessary under fiscal austerity.”

The conference will open Wednesday, Oct. 30 with a keynote address by Gordon England, president of E6 Partners, LLC and the 29th U.S. deputy secretary of defense. His address, “The Changing Intersections of Technology, Culture and Leadership,” will examine the evolution of technology and its effect on markets, cultures, countries, companies and workers.

England served as the 72nd and 73rd secretary of the Navy and as the first deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to joining the federal government, England served as president of the General Dynamics Fort Worth Division (later Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company); as president of General Dynamics Land Systems; and as corporate executive vice president of General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology Sector, Ground Combat Systems Sector and the International Sector.

On Thursday, Oct. 31, the conference focuses on national security under budget austerity featuring three panel discussions and a keynote address by Peter Feaver, Duke University professor of political science and public policy and director of the Program in American Grand Strategy. He also is director of Duke’s Triangle Institute for Security Studies. From June 2005 to July 2007, Feaver served as special advisor for strategic planning and institutional reform on the National Security Council staff at the White House, where his responsibilities included national security strategy, regional strategy reviews and other political-military issues.

All three panel discussions will seek to combine an objective assessment of emerging regional threats with a discussion of defense spending in a time of fiscal austerity. Panel one will examine national security threats and opportunities. The second panel will discuss national security capabilities and choices, and panel three will close with a debate on money and politics as it relates to national security.

“Debates about national security need to take budget realities into account,” says Rovner. “At the same time, debates about defense spending can’t just be about number crunching. Instead, they must start with a broad understanding of national interests, threats to national security and the menu of possible strategic responses.”

> Visit SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies online

October 29, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|
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