National Security Conference | The United States and China: Strategy, Competition, and Innovation

Thursday, November 6, 2014 (10:00 AM – 4:30 PM)
Hughes-Trigg Student Center (map)


The Seventh Annual Tower Center National Security Conference explores the so-called “pivot to Asia.” For many years the focus of U.S. grand strategy has been on Europe and the Persian Gulf. Now Washington’s attention is turning to the east. What are the implications for strategy, policy, military operations, and the defense industry? Speakers discuss what the pivot means to the United States, China, and other states in the region. They will also explore questions about military operations in a hypothetical conflict with China. Finally, they will consider the implications for the defense industry if the competition with China comes to dominate U.S. attention.

Agenda & Speakers


Welcome & Introduction


Panel 1 – Grand Strategy and the Rise of China

  • Chair: Professor Hiroki Takeuchi, SMU, bio
  • Ms. Bonnie Glaser, Center for Strategic and International Studies, bio
  • Professor Sean Kay, Ohio Wesleyan University, bio
  • Professor Jennifer Lind, Dartmouth College, bio
  • Professor Robert Ross, Harvard Fairbank Center & Boston College, bio

Lunch with the speakers


Panel 2 – Military Dimensions of a Conflict with China

  • Chair: Professor Joshua Rovner, SMU, bio
  • Dr. Michael Chase, RAND, bio
  • Professor Aaron L. Friedberg, Princeton University, bio
  • Dr. Kevin Pollpeter, U.C. San Diego, bio
  • Professor Toshi Yoshihara, U.S. Naval War College, bio

Panel 3 – Implications for the Defense Industry

  • Chair: James F. Hollifield, SMU, bio
  • Professor Eugene Gholz, University of Texas and former DOD advisor, bio
  • Mr. Brett Lambert, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing & Industrial Base Policy, bio
  • Professor Andrew Ross, Texas A&M University, bio
  • Admiral Patrick Walsh, USN (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, bio



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Conference details: click here
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NSC ImageThe Fifth Annual Tower Center National Security Conference | Strategy, Forces, and Budgets | November 14-15, 2012

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sasThe Security and Strategy Program at the Tower Center serves to raise student and public awareness of national and international security affairs. Our principal mission is to prepare SMU undergraduates to become leaders in government service, academia, and industry. We offer a rigorous and demanding set of courses on international relations, national security policy, strategy, American foreign policy, and the politics of military force. The Tower Center also gives students the opportunity to interact with policymakers, military officers, intelligence officials, and diplomats.

The United States has become increasingly active in regional conflicts since the end of the Cold War, and it invests enormous resources into projecting American power abroad. SAS@SMU encourages a vigorous debate on this investment. Along with the annual Tower Center National Security Conference, we organize regular forums and seminars that give the public the chance to converse with leading scholars about cutting edge research in security studies, as well as with government officials and defense industry executives.