After al Qaeda: The Future of American Grand Strategy

Thursday, September 11, 2014 (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall (map)

Does America have a grand strategy for maintaining national security? If so, what is it? If not, what should it be? Join two of the country’s most respected strategic thinkers for a provocative discussion of American grand strategy, past, present, and future.

Hal Brands, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and History, Duke University

169510_brands_hal_hirezHal Brands is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and History at Duke University. His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, Cold War history, Latin American security and diplomacy, and other strategic and military issues. He previously worked at the Institute for Defense Analyses outside of Washington, D.C., and has served as a member of the RAND Corporation Grand Strategy Advisory Board. At Duke, he is an affiliate of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy and serves on the Executive Board of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies. Brands is the author of From Berlin to Baghdad: America’s Search for Purpose in the Post-Cold War World (University Press of Kentucky, 2008). His second book, Latin America’s Cold War (Harvard University Press, September 2010), was adapted from his dissertation, which won the John Addison Porter Prize for Best Dissertation in the Humanities at Yale University and the Mary and Arthur Wright Prize for Best Dissertation in Non-U.S. or European History at Yale. His most recent book is What Good is Grand Strategy? (Cornell University Press, 2014). Brands earned a PhD, MA and MPhil. in History from Yale University. He received a BA in History and Political Science from Stanford University.

Barry R. Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, MIT

posenBarry R. Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT, Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, and serves on the Executive Committee of Seminar XXI. He has written two books, Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks and The Sources of Military Doctrine. The latter won two awards: The American Political Science Association’s Woodrow Wilson Foundation Book Award, and Ohio State University’s Edward J. Furniss Jr. Book Award. He is also the author of numerous articles, including “The Case for Restraint,” The American Interest, (November/December 2007) and “Command of the Commons: The Military Foundation of U.S. Hegemony,” International Security, (Summer, 2003.) He has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow; Rockefeller Foundation International Affairs Fellow; Guest Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow; Smithsonian Institution; Transatlantic Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and most recently Visiting Fellow at the John Sloan Dickey Center at Dartmouth College.

Moderator | Joshua Rovner, John G. Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security


Joshua Rovner is the John G. Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of Studies at the Tower Center for Political Studies. He is the author of the multiple-award winning Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence(Cornell University Press, 2011). He writes widely on intelligence, strategy, and nuclear weapons. In addition, he has recently published two studies on the history and future of American military force in the Persian Gulf, and he is currently writing a book about strategy and grand strategy. Dr. Rovner received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his doctoral thesis won the Lucian W. Pye Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Political Science.

 The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

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If you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact Luisa del Rosal at