26th US Army War College Strategy Conference.

First Principles for 21st Century Defense

Building on last years’ immensely successful 25th annual strategy conference “Balancing the Joint Force to meet Future Security Challenges”, the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) is pleased to announce this year’s flagship national security event “First Principles for 21st Century Defense — Challenges and Opportunities.” Our 26th annual conference occurs April 7-9, 2015 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

It is our distinct pleasure to proceed this year in close partnership with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. The conference theme "First Principles for 21st Century Defense" emerges from clear recognition that the Department of Defense (DoD) is in the midst of an historic transformation in its priorities, missions, and capabilities. Moving from thirteen years of persistent war abroad, DoD wrestles with new challenges and new opportunities. Uncertainty defines the decision space for senior leadership, yet they still face unavoidable near- to mid-term choices that will inevitably shape the department's long-term focus. Among these choices are, identifying and prioritizing for analysis major trends in international security, mapping DoD's internal and external challenges, defining the nature and impact of emerging security competitors, and, finally, recognizing potential sources of disruptive surprise.

This year’s strategy conference endeavors to help DoD navigate these choices by offering an informed discourse on the most important regional and functional issues of the day. The conference occurs with a single animating question as its guide; in light of anticipated security conditions and defense demands, what are the most relevant first principles for the next decade’s defense strategy and planning?

The conference will feature a number of high-level keynote presentations and seven panel discussions. Alongside our major partner — OSD-Policy, the Army War College is again pleased to undertake individual panel discussions in collaboration with notable institutions representing a spectrum of perspectives on U.S. defense and national security affairs. This year our panel partners include the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies and Near East and South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, the Center for Naval Analyses, and the National Intelligence Council. In addition to the expertise of these flagship institutions and the USAWC, this year’s panels will benefit from a wide variety of policy-relevant voices representing the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the RAND Corporation, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for a New American Security, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the United States Air Force Academy, the New America Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Over 25 years, the Annual Strategy Conference has become a must-attend event for scholars, practitioners, policy-makers, and informed citizens. This year will be no different. In addition to the deep exploration of key issues by our speakers and discussants, extensive question and answer periods will offer the audience a rare opportunity to engage directly with important voices on future defense strategy and policy. Augmenting physical conference attendance, a live webcast and dedicated Twitter feed will offer viewers worldwide the opportunity to participate in the conversation. We hope you will join us for this high-impact event. Mark it down on your calendars. Registration opens February 2.

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Where is it?
NE U.S. map star on Southern PA
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About the Conference
Each year, approximately two hundred participants engage in collegial debate concerning some of the most pressing and perplexing national security issues of the day. Panels are comprised of three to five distinguished experts who frame the discussion and facilitate a spirited Q&A session. The event is open to the public and all are invited to attend.
Conference Fees
While all attendees must register, the conference is free to attend. Optional catered social events require a paid reservation. For additional information, please see the conference registration page.
Past Conferences
XXV Conference
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