November 16, 2006
Colloquium Speaker: Michael Vlahos
Dr. Michael Vlahos is currently a senior staff member of the National Security Assessment team of the National Security Analysis Department (NSAD) at JHU/APL. Dr. Vlahos has worked with anthropologists and Islamic Studies specialists to develop a culture-area concept to help the Defense World better understand and respond operationally to the changing environment of the Muslim World. This concept is developed in his two recent monographs, Terror's Mask: Insurgency Within Islam (2002), and Culture's Mask: War and Change After Iraq (2004), and his paper Two Enemies: Non-State Actors and Change in the Muslim World. His book, Terror's Mask: Insurgency Within Islam, is now a text in the Navy War College Strategy Department and the University of Chicago Islamic Studies Department. Dr. Vlahos is a former fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation and the Center for Naval Analysis and headed the Center for the Study of Foreign Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Previously, he served as the director of the Securities Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has authored several books published by Johns Hopkins/SAIS and the U.S. State Department, and his commentary has appeared in Washington Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, National Review and the Times Literary Supplement. Dr. Vlahos has also appeared regularly on Crossfire, Good Morning America, CNN and Larry King Live. He received his A.B. from Yale College in 1973 and his Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University, in 1981.
We still frame strategy to fit the narrative of Western globalization. There is however a parallel narrative, a dark side of globalization. This is the world of alternative communities, surging pietism, and resistance, with two-thirds of the world as potential constituents. Moreover, counter-movements draw their very strength from the creative destruction our aggressive globalizing has unleashed. In confronting the world's dark side, our efforts have only accelerated its growth. How do we develop a security strategy that works for us, and not against us? Is there an essential maritime component?