ASU center examines ISIS, the future of Middle East conflict and possible reconciliation, and the National Security Agency
Since its inception, ASU’s Center on the Future of War has led discussions on the emerging role of drones and autonomous weapons, the civilian impact of the conflict in Syria, and the significance of “lone wolf” terrorist attacks in post-9/11 America.
Now in its first year under a new White House administration, the center is shifting its focus to the rise of ISIS, the future of Middle East conflict and possible reconciliation, and the National Security Agency.
Center on the Future of War leaders say these challenges should be at the forefront of everyone’s thinking as the nation enters into a new era of international relations — and potential conflicts.
“There is a broad-based interest in discussing conflict and war within our society,” said ASU professor of practice Daniel Rothenberg, who co-directs the center with CNN senior analyst and ASU faculty member Peter Bergen. “Our students are part of a post-9/11 war generation, having grown up their entire lives with our country involved in ‘the longest war,’ and current political discourse is dominated by accounts of violence and multiple global threats.”
Since its formation in 2014, the center has brought together a team of ASU faculty and policy experts to explore the social, political, economic and cultural implications of the changing nature of war and conflict, addressing these issues by linking more than 100 affiliated faculty at Arizona State University with a team of three dozen national security experts at New America, an interdisciplinary Washington, D.C.-based think tank and civic engagement institutionThe Center on the Future of War operates under the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with support from the School of Politics and Global Studies., according to organizers.
These thinkers, writers and decision-makers seek to attract media coverage and create meaningful public engagement.
“There is such a babble of voices in Washington and everybody has a platform, so it all becomes noise after a while,” said Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and New America Fellow David Wood. He said the center presents thoughts and ideas from a calm, sober and well-informed place.
Wood added the partnership between ASU and New America allows the center to “have one foot in Washington and one in the real world.”
One of the center’s signature events is the annual Future of War Conference held in Washington, which features senior military leaders from each branch, scholars and a number of less traditional voices. That is no small feat, said Benjamin C. Freakley, former commanding general for the U.S. Army.
“It’s remarkable and has created exceptional networks for awareness on this critical topic,” said Freakley, who is also a special adviser to ASU President Michael Crow for leadership initiatives. He said the conference serves as a superb platform in Washington for leaders to get their message out in front of a “broad, sophisticated and involved audience.”