“National Security Challenges in a New Administration” – WAC 1/8/2016 Event

The World Affairs Council started 2016 programming off strong with an event titled, “National Security Challenges in a New Administration,” in partnership with the Jackson School of International Studies and the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA).  Our panelists for the event were:

  • Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean, Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University; former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon
  • Dr. Susan Collins, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan 
  • Dr. Enrico Letta, Dean, Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po; former Prime Minister of Italy 
  • Mr. Eric Schwartz, Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; former Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration

To start the event, each panelist listed their top national security threats. Ambassador Crocker argued that the proliferation of violence from non-state actors and failure of states to mitigate this violence is a real concern. Moreover, any country with nuclear weapons that is hostile towards the U.S. is a threat. Dr. Collins noted that the sheer number of national security threats to the U.S. is difficult to manage, and added cyber attacks to the list. Dr. Letta brought a European viewpoint to the panel, and emphasized the threat of ISIS and North Korea. Finally, Mr. Schwartz agreed that the rise of non-state actors is an important consideration for U.S. security. 

Additional topics of conversation included the need to motivate emerging countries to share responsibility on international security concerns, the importance of “Diplomacy, Defense, and Development” to U.S. national security, the emerging “Cold War” in the Middle East, radical Islam, the refugee crisis, and the importance of strong global governance through the United Nations and G-20. 

Ambassador Crocker concluded the event by listing the one word he would emphasize for the new administration concerning national security: engage. He believes it is critical for the U.S. to engage with traditional and new allies in order to protect national security. 

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