October 15, 2004
Colloquium Speaker: Michael Vlahos
Dr. Michael Vlahos received his A.B. from Yale College in 1973 and his Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University, in 1981. During 1981-88, he was the Director, Security Studies Program, JHU/SAIS. He also served as foreign affairs and national security commentator with CNN; and regularly appeared on Good Morning America and Canada AM as national security commentator. During 1988-94, Dr. Vlahos was at the Center for Naval Analyses. As Director, Center for the Study of Foreign Affairs, Department of State, he led a selected group to think broadly about world change and organized conferences, diplomatic exercises and simulation. In 1994, he joined the Progress and Freedom Foundation to imagine the big What Next? in American Politics. Currently, since 2001, Dr. Vlahos is a member of the APL staff. Dr. Vlahos has published widely, with articles in Foreign Affairs, National Review, the Times Literary Supplement, etc. and several books.
The struggle we call the "Global War on Terrorism" has reached its midpassage. The United States has become the central participant in an historic upheaval within Islam, and taken on the key role: bringer of change. In three years this participation has become framed as a long term and inextricable relationship with the Muslim World, with a weight of commitment not so very different from what we took on after World War II. But the initial military path we pursued has run its course. The United States now faces - from our choice to be the bringer of change - a situation of increasingly violent complexity without a commensurate strategy of resolution. How should we now approach the essential question: What is to be done?