INSS Events | October 25, 2023

Israel-Hamas War: A Regional Security Discussion

Dr. Edward Luttwak

The Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University hosted a regional security discussion on the Israel-Hamas War with Dr. Edward Luttwak. Dr. Luttwak discussed the current crisis in the Middle East and the New Season of Wars.


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaks at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre during the Labor Party campaign launch in Brisbane, Sunday, Sep. 1 2013. (Photo by Lukas Coch / Getty Images)

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | March 29, 2022

The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict Between the US and Xi Jinping’s China

Kevin Rudd

While China has emerged as an economic superpower in the 21st century it has disappointed the expectations of some that it would become a ‘responsible stakeholder’ in the global, rules-based system. Under President Xi Jinping China has undergone an unprecedented military modernization and build-up to accompany its impressive economic and technological advances. President Xi has articulated a grand strategy that rightly or wrongly is interpreted by some as a plan for global dominance. China’s alignment with Russia described as a friendship with no limits poses a three-body problem for the liberal powers.


Margaret MacMillan

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | March 9, 2022

War: How Conflict Shaped Us

Margaret MacMillan

War has always been a force for change between countries and within society. The relationship between society and war is cyclical as war influences the language people use, how places are named, and encourages social changes. Despite being a mostly destructive force, war forces all individuals to contribute to their society: sometimes in non-traditional ways.


Elbridge Colby

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | March 2, 2022

Defense Strategy and a Strategy of Denial?

Elbridge Colby

U.S. grand strategy for contesting China’s aggression must be redefined. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, U.S. defense policy has lacked focus. Elbridge Colby argues that U.S. defense policy should have three main areas of focus: defending Taiwan against a Chinese invasion, increase its nuclear deterrence capabilities, and low-expense counter-terrorism efforts.


Responding to China: The Case for Global Justice and Democratic Socialism with Thomas Piketty

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | February 16, 2022

Responding to China: The Case For Global Justice and Democratic Socialism

Thomas Piketty

Western countries are still struggling to define their attitude towards the Beijing regime. In this talk, Thomas Piketty argued Western countries may find it difficult to meet the Chinese challenge if they stick to their usual lecturing posture and dated hyper-capitalist model. The event was held February 16, 2022, from 1200-1300, on the Strategic Multilayer Assessment platform. 


Nicolas Chaillan, former Air Force chief software officer, in Washington on Oct. 13, 2021 (Jared Cummings/Conservative Partnership Institute)

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | February 2, 2022

How can the Department of Defense catch up with the CCP within 6 months?

Nicolas M. Chaillan

In a session on February 2, 2022, Nicolas M. Chaillan discussed how the Department of Defense can catch up with China. Nicholas M. Chaillan served as the first U.S. Air Force and Space Force Chief Software Officer. The event ran from 1200-1300 on the Strategic Multilayer Assessment platform. 


The Empire Versus the Federation with Kevin Rudd

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | November 10, 2021

The Empire Versus the Federation

Kevin Rudd

The China challenge has impact far beyond the United States. Australia—a member of the Five Eyes coalition and a stout ally of the United States—stood against Chinese trade, intellectual property, and human rights abuses. Australia led the global insistence on an objective investigation of the origins of the COVID-19 virus. In retaliation China imposed diverse economic sanctions against Australia and threatened more. China has also interfered in the Australian political system. A major challenge for the world’s democracies is “will they stand united in meeting the China challenge?”


AI Will Change War with General John Allen (retired) and Amir Hussein

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | October 19, 2021

AI Will Change War

General John Allen (retired) and Amir Hussein

Artificial Intelligence (AI) could lead to “Hyperwar”—a type of conflict and competition so automated that it would collapse the decision action loop, eventually minimizing human control over most decisions. America’s challenge is to encourage the organizational transformation necessary to adopt safer, more explainable AI systems to maintain our competitive edge, now that the technical transformation is at our doorstep.


Clash of Civilizations? with Dr. Niall Ferguson

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | October 7, 2021

Competing Visions of World Order

Dr. Niall Ferguson

When Samuel Huntington described the “clash of civilizations” in 1993, he was criticized for reinforcing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Today we face a tectonic global clash, but not necessarily of the type Huntington foresaw; clashing are two conflicting visions of the future global order. How this clash evolves will be the story of the 21st century.


Shareholder Versus Stakeholder: Corporate National Security Responsibility with Dr. Paul Krugman

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | September 7, 2021

Did Globalization Go Too Far?

Dr. Paul Krugman

As the economic competition between the United States and China intensifies companies find themselves caught in the crossfire. Western companies hesitate to offend China and possibly lose access to China’s “super-large market.” Milton Friedman argues that a company’s only responsibility is to its shareholders. Recently companies have accepted that they have certain social responsibilities; do they also have national security responsibilities?


National Security in a Digital World with Sue Gordon

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | August 31, 2021

National Security In A Digital World

Sue Gordon

The digital revolution of recent decades has transformed nearly all facets of life—not least the national security environment. The volume and mass transmission of digitized information has pushed the velocity of decision-making to the limits of human capacity. Leaders will struggle to keep up with the furious pace of artificial intelligence and machine learning as they increasingly dominate the battlespace. Mastering the arts of peace and war in the digital world will be the epic challenge of the 21st century.


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen in China on July 12, 2011. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

Webinar | July 27, 2021

Party-Army Relations in China: Is Another 100 Years Possible?

Oscar Gilroy, Phillip Saunders, Joel Wuthnow

On July 15, the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs hosted a webinar on party-army relations in China featuring three leading experts: Dr. Chen Yali (Hunter College), Dr. Andrew Scobell (U.S. Institute of Peace), and Dr. Joel Wuthnow (National Defense University). Center Director Dr. Phillip Saunders chaired the session. This report summarizes the presentations and key points from the discussion, which was on the record.


The Three-Body Problem; The U.S., China, and Russia with Michele Flournoy

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | July 14, 2021

The Three-Body Problem; The U.S., China, and Russia

Michele Flournoy

The Cold War was the first time in over a century that the United States faced a truly existential threat, the threat of all-out, strategic, nuclear war. The strategic response designed to avoid such a catastrophe was mutual assured destruction, a deliberate reciprocal deterrence. Today the United States faces two near peer competitors, Russia and China. In this strategic triangle each needs one of the others to deter the third, resulting in a constant state of dynamic tension. The challenge for the United States is to counter China without driving it toward Russia, and to counter Russia without driving it toward China.


How to Engage with China

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | June 22, 2021

How to Engage with China

A Panel of Experts

Although consensus appears to have been reached in the United States on the adversarial nature of our relationship with China, opinions on how to engage—or disengage—with China are diverse. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. – China relationship will be “competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be and adversarial when it must be.” Is that a viable approach, or is it naïve?


Industrial Policy Debate with Dr. Robert Atkinson and John Thornhil

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | May 27, 2021

A New Approach to Industrial Policy?

Dr. Robert Atkinson and John Thornhill

The concept of industrial policy has been neuralgic in the United States for quite some time. In recent years economic orthodoxy has argued that "the market" is the best mechanism to spur innovation. Our strategic competitors use state subsidies, restrictive and unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and abundant state research resources to catalyze technological innovation, and are threatening American security and economic interests. America has not always been adverse to industrial policy, and some are arguing for a new approach to industrial and innovation policy.


Their Silent Intentions with Kevin Mandia

INSS Speaker Series | May 19, 2021

Their Silent Intentions

Kevin Mandia

The United States and its allies have recently come under relentless attacks in cyber space. While some of these attacks have been relatively harmless, some have been seriously consequential, and their potential to harm U.S. national security interests is growing. While cyberattacks are difficult to trace and attribute some retaliatory action must be taken as least to demonstrate credible deterrence. Kevin Mandia, the CEO of FireEye, refutes the argument that these attacks are benign, and that rather they signal our adversaries’ "silent intentions."


United States, China, and Russia

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | May 18, 2021

The United States, China, and Russia: An Innovation Net Assessment

A Panel of Experts

U.S. strategy for global competition and cooperation in innovation cannot be charted without considering innovation in China and Russia, as well as the relationships between these three actors. Here, we bring together world-leading experts to examine each of these three innovators—the U.S., Russia, and China—and to place them in context. The U.S. faces a global challenge with capable competitors that is both a marathon and a sprint, and U.S. strategy must mitigate its (inevitable) relative weaknesses and harness its (significant) relative strengths.


What Does China Want? with Lieutenant General H.R McMaster (retired)

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | April 23, 2021

What Does China Want?

Lieutenant General H.R McMaster (retired)

Despite bipartisan consensus on China’s threat to US national security interests, different views persist on how to meet the challenge of contemporary great power competition and China’s view of the future world order. LTG (Ret.) H. R. McMaster will discuss great power competition and the threat China poses to U.S. national security.


Innovation Amongst Allies Now- Greater Than the Sum of the Parts featuring a panel of experts

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | April 20,2021

Innovation Amongst Allies Now-Greater Than The Sum of The Parts

A Panel of Experts

Allies and international networks are central to innovation, but even amongst the most established alliances, effective collaboration requires understanding that each partner has distinct—as well as shared—national interests and perspectives. This panel brings together leading UK and US voices with deep expertise in science and innovation related to national security to ask how such allies can collaborate to provide the networks needed to meet global challenges now.


Geoeconomics Revisited

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | April 8, 2021

Geoeconomics Revisited

Dr. Edward Luttwak

The national security community primarily looks at great power competition with China through a military lens. The greater threat to US interests and influence, however, is arguably economic in nature. China’s growing economic influence threatens to displace not only U.S. and allied economic interests, but the liberal, rules-based world order.


Federica Mogherini

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | March 24, 2021

Rector Federica Mogherini Reprise

Federica Mogherini

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a special one-hour session on March 24, 2021, with Rector Federica Mogherini (College of Europe; Former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), as a part of its SMA INSS/PRISM Speaker Series.


Federica Mogherini

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | March 17, 2021

The Role of Europe in the New Great Power Competition

Federica Mogherini

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session on March 17, 2021, presented by Rector Federica Mogherini (College of Europe; Former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), as a part of its SMA INSS/PRISM Speaker Series.


Michael Brown, Defense Innovation Unit

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | February 24, 2021

Innovating for National Security

Michael Brown

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session on February 24, 2021, presented by Mr. Michael Brown (Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)), as a part of its SMA NDU/PRISM Innovation Series. 


Philip Zelikow and Robert D. Blackwill

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | February 18, 2021

The United States, China, and Taiwan: A Strategy to Prevent War

Robert D. Blackwill and Philip Zelikow

On February 18, 2021, this discussion led by James Schmeling, President and CEO, explores and explains why Taiwan is emerging as a potential flashpoint for a war that could include US intervention. Featuring AMB. Robert Blackwill & Professor Philip Zelikow, they propose a realistic strategic objective for Taiwan, and the associated policy prescriptions, to sustain the political balance that has kept the peace for the last fifty years.


General David Petraeus (Ret.)

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | February 17, 2021

Geoeconomics and Great Power Competition

David Petraeus

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session on February 17, 2021, presented by General (Ret.) David Petraeus, as a part of its SMA INSS/PRISM Speaker Series.


Robert Zoellick

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | January 12, 2021

Economics, Diplomacy, and Great Power Competition

Robert Zoellick

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session on January 12, 2021, presented by Hon. Robert Zoellick (Former World Bank President; US Trade Representative; and Deputy Secretary, Undersecretary, and Counselor to the US Department of State), as a part of its SMA INSS/PRISM Speaker Series.


Joseph Votel

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | November 18, 2020

American Businesses and Great Power Competition

Joseph Votel

On November 18, 2020, the US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session as a part of its SMA INDOPACOM/AFRICOM Speaker Series. The speaker was GEN (Ret.) Joseph Votel (Former Commander, USSOCOM and USCENTCOM; President and CEO, Business Executives for National Security (BENS)).


David Petraeus and Robert Zoellick

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | October 15, 2020

America and the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

Robert Zoellick and David Petraeus

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a conversation on October 15, 2020 as a part of its SMA INSS/PRISM Speaker Series, featuring Honorable Robert Zoellick and moderator General (Ret.) David Petraeus.


US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew speaks at a press conference at the IMF/WB Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2015.

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | September 23, 2020

Geoeconomics and the Emerging World Order: The Power of the U.S. Dollar

Jacob J. Lew

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session on September 23, 2020 as a part of its SMA INSS/PRISM Speaker Series, entitled “Geoeconomics and the Emerging World Order: The Power of the U.S. Dollar.” This brief was presented by the Honorable Jack Lew (Former United States Secretary of the Treasury, White House Chief of Staff, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget).


Joseph E. Stiglitz

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | August 19, 2020

GeoEconomics and the Emerging World Order

Joseph E. Stiglitz

Held on August 19, 2020, this lecture and discussion featured Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University. Dr. Stiglitz is winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics (2001) and in 2011 was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. The session was chaired by PRISM Editor, Michael Miklaucic.


William Overholt and Carolyn Bartholomew

INSS/PRISM Speaker Series | May 6, 2020

The Geo-Economic Dimension of Great Power Competition

Carolyn Bartholomew and William Overholt

This faculty seminar was held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 and focused on the fundamentals of geo-economics and the drivers or dimensions of geo-economic competition. This seminar features two distinguished subject matter experts on China and geo-economics, and is part of a series that looks at modern great power competition and how to prepare national security leaders for the associated challenges. The discussion was led by Carolyn Bartholomew and William Overholt, and moderated by PRISM Editor Michael Miklaucic.