This year marks the 67th annual Current Strategy Forum (CSF) at the Naval War College in Newport. The first CSF was held on 9 May 1949 under the title “Round Table Talks.” This event offered an opportunity for the nation’s public servants, scholars, and senior military officers to join the College faculty and students to discuss the future strategy of the United States. Over the years, the CSF has expanded to include a cross section of America’s civilian and military leadership to encourage a wide-ranging debate on national and international security.
We describe today’s strategic environment as complex. We use terms such as globalization, new world order, cyber security, and disruptive technology that suggest that we need to think differently about our strategic approach in dealing with our nation's challenges. But are these “times” really any different than the challenges that faced our nation’s leaders in the past? Do we really understand the geopolitical and economic component of the strategic environment?
We’ll attempt to answer these by seeking the advice of the classic theorists of Thucydides, Clausewitz, Mahan and Mao; what would they tell us about the how our environment and the choices we should make? We’ll explore how leaders in the past managed the complexities and uncertainties of their time. What strategies and leadership traits led to success while others failed? We’ll then seek to understand the implications for the Indo-Pacific region in order to better understand the strategic choices for the nation as it shifts its focus to this area of the world.
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