The Modern War Institute hosted its first annual Class of 2006 War Studies Conference in November 2016. Over three days at the United States Military Academy at West Point, the conference brought together distinguished representatives from the private sector, government, academia, the think-tank community, and the joint military services to debate and discuss issues related to modern war and warfare. This year’s conference explored the question of whether deterrence, a hallmark of Cold War-era defense policy, is still relevant in a world increasingly characterized by threats posed by violent non-state actors, hackers, a multitude of small wars, as well as the proliferation of nuclear armed states and our traditional near-peer adversaries like China and Russia. On this page, you can find videos of keynote speakers, links to the conference program and post-conference report, detailed descriptions of each of the conference’s five panel discussions, and a list of conference participants.

USMA Class of 2006
War Studies Conference

Official Conference
Registration Book

Click here to view.

The conference report provides detailed summaries of keynote remarks, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions, including conclusions reached about the enduring value of deterrence as a strategic concept in the 21st century.

Click here to view.

Conference Panels

Panel 1: Revisiting Schelling, Fifty Years On

Is Schelling’s concept of deterrence still relevant to today’s world?

If so, how as a concept should it be applied?

If not, what is the relative theoretical framework for today’s and tomorrow’s threats?

Click to Read Report Summary

Panel 2: How to Deter Tomorrow’s Non-State Adversaries

Are today’s non-state actors rational?

If not, can strategic deterrence work?

What are some ways to credibly coerce non-state adversaries undeterred by our military “power to hurt”?

Click to Read Report Summary

Panel 3: How to Fix our 20th-Century Security Alliances

Are 20th-century security alliances still useful for deterrence?

How does strategic deterrence play in an increasingly multipolar world?

What are some ways to bolster extended deterrence going forward?

Click to Read Report Summary

Panel 4: Disruption or Deterrence? How to Strengthen US Cyber-Deterrence

How do we successfully deter adversaries in the cyber realm?

What is the proper role between punishment and denial? Between offense and defense?

What constitutes an act of war in this domain?

Click to Read Report Summary

Panel 5: Developing Alternative and Non-Military Tools of Coercion

If the power to hurt some of our adversaries militarily no longer holds, what alternative tools should we develop?

How can we leverage our economic, energy, and soft power assets?

How should we re-conceptualize cross-domain forms of deterrence?

Click to Read Report Summary

Conference Videos

“I think it is entirely possible that we are on the verge of some major geopolitical disruption.”

Those were the words of Dr. Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins University, delivered in a keynote speech at MWI’s inaugural War Studies Conference. In his remarks and a discussion with the New York Times’ David Sanger, Cohen explored the impact of domestic political transformation on the usefulness of deterrence as a strategic tool in the modern world.

Click here to watch the video.

On the second day of MWI’s War Studies Conference, former Commissioner of the New York Police Department Ray Kelly delivered remarks to attendees. In a discussion with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Kelly spoke about his experience with the NYPD, the steps taken to protect New York City against the threat of terrorism after the 9/11 attacks, and his assessment of a range of security threats confronting the United States today.

Click here to watch the video.

Conference Participant List

Name

Gen. (Ret) John P. Abizaid

Dr. Omar Bashir

Ms. Elmira Bayrasli

Dr. Lionel Beehner

Mr. Kenneth Bell

Dr. Bernedetta Berti

Dr. Ryan Burke

Dr. Risa Brooks

Mr. Kevin Carroll

Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr.

Maj. Matt Cavanaugh

Dr. Dianne Pfundstein Chamberlain

Dr. Eliot Cohen

Col. Liam Collins

Mr. Yochi Dreazen

Maj. Nathan Finney

Dr. Karen Greenberg

Dr. Jairus Victor Grove

Adm. Harry B. Harris

Ms. Jennifer Harris

Lt. Gen. (Ret) Rhett Hernandez

Dr. Scott Helfstein

Brig. Gen. Diana Holland

Dr. Michael Hunzeker

Gen. (Ret) Charles H. Jacoby, Jr.

Brig. Gen. Cindy R. Jebb

Dr. Seth G. Jones

Dr. Emmanuel Karagiannis

Dr. Nori Katagiri

Mr. Raymond Kelly

Mr. Michael Kofman

Dr. Nina A. Kollars

Dr. Margaret E. Kosal

Dr. Matthew Kroenig

Ms. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Dr. Jon R. Lindsay

Dr. Nuno P. Monteiro

Dr. John Mueller

Dr. T. Negeen Pegahi

Dr. Michael Poznansky

Dr. Daryl G. Press

Lt. Col. Douglas A. Pryer

Ms. Alex Quade

Mr. Stuart Reid

Lt. Col. Aaron Ressler

Brig. Gen. (Ret) Kevin Ryan

Mr. David E. Sanger

Dr. Todd Sechser

Dr. Adam Segal

Mr. Nicholas Thompson

Mr. Vincent Viola

Affiliation

JPA Partners

Financial Integrity Network

Foreign Policy Interrupted

Modern War Institute

Raytheon

TED

United States Air Force Academy

Marquette University

Babel Street

United States Military Academy

Modern War Institute

Columbia University

Johns Hopkins University

Modern War Institute

Vox

The Strategy Bridge

Fordham University School of Law

University of Hawaii at Manao

United States Pacific Command

Council on Foreign Relations

Army Cyber Institute

Combating Terrorism Center

United States Military Academy

George Mason University

Modern War Institute

United States Military Academy

RAND

Kings College London

Saint Louis University

K2 Intelligence

Kennan Institute

Franklin & Marshall College

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgetown University

Council on Foreign Relations

University of Toronto

Yale University

Ohio State University

Naval War College

University of Pittsburgh

Dartmouth College

Joint Chiefs of Staff

War reporter

Foreign Affairs

United States Air Force Academy

Harvard University

The New York Times

University of Virginia

Council on Foreign Relations

The New Yorker

Virtu Financial

Role

Keynote

Panelist

Participant

Participant

Panelist

Panelist

Participant

Participant

Participant

Participant

Participant

Panelist

Keynote

Participant

Moderator

Participant

Participant

Panelist

Keynote

Panelist

Panelist

Participant

Participant

Participant

Participant

Participant

Panelist

Panelist

Participant

Keynote

Panelist

Moderator

Participant

Panelist

Moderator

Panelist

Panelist

Panelist

Panelist

Panelist

Panelist

Participant

Moderator

Moderator

Participant

Panelist

Moderator

Panelist

Panelist

Moderator

Participant