SAS@SMU | Does America Still Need the Army?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall (map)


The Army is under pressure. Critics warn that we cannot afford a large ground force, and that future wars against rivals like China will not be fought on land anyway. Critics also blame the Army for being unprepared to fight against insurgents and terrorists, and believe that special operations forces and drones are better suited for this task. These arguments raise fundamental questions for soldiers and citizens alike. Should the United States continue to invest in a large standing Army? If so, what kind of capabilities should it buy, and how should it prepare to fight? If not, what should replace it?

Join us for a discussion of these critical issues with Professor Austin Long of Columbia University and Tower Chair Joshua Rovner. Professor Long is the author of the recent book, The Soul of Armies, which traces the history of the Army and discusses how Army culture influences the way it fights. His book and other research is based on his extensive experience in Iraq and Afghanistan as a researcher and advisor to U.S. forces.

Austin LongAustin Long is an assistant professor, teaching security policy at Columbia University. He is the author of The Soul of Armies: Counterinsurgency Doctrine and Military Culture in the US and UK (Cornell University Press, 2016).

Long previously worked as an associate political scientist for the RAND Corporation, serving in Iraq as an analyst and advisor to the Multinational Force Iraq and the U.S. military. He also worked as a consultant to MIT Lincoln Laboratory, on a study of technology and urban operations in counterinsurgency.

Long is the author of Deterrence – From Cold War to Long War: Lessons from Six Decades of RAND Research and On “Other War”: Lessons from Five Decades of RAND Counterinsurgency Research.

Long was co-founder of the Working Group on Insurgency and Irregular Warfare at the MIT Center for International Studies and is a participant in the RAND Counterinsurgency Board of Experts. He has also taught on international security at Clark University.

Long has a BS from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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

Joshua RovDSC_7285ner is the John Goodwin 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. Before coming to SMU, he was Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the Naval War College, and he also taught at Columbia University and Williams College.

Dr. Rovner writes extensively on strategy and security.  He is the author ofFixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011), which won the International Studies Association Best Book Award for security studies, and the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award, presented by the Mershon Center at Ohio State University. He has written about intelligence before and after the September 11 attacks, strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and possible responses to nuclear proliferation. In addition to his continuing research on intelligence, he is currently working on the history of strategy and grand strategy, the future of U.S. military force in the Persian Gulf, and the international politics of cybersecurity.

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.  He also holds an MA in political science from Boston College and a BA in political science from U.C. San Diego.


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


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