October 19, 2018

Colloquium Speaker: Harlan Ullman


Harlan Ullman divides his time between the worlds of business and policy. He is chairman of two companies: CNIGuard Ltd, a high technology infrastructure protection firm based in London and The Killowen Group that advises leaders of business and government at the highest levels. He also sits on several boards of public and private corporations. His analyses and assessments of national and international events and issues are highly sought.

He has actively advised American Secretaries of State and Defense, NATO strategic commanders (including serving on the Senior Advisory Board of Supreme Allied Commander Europe for thirteen years) and NATO secretaries general as well as members of Congress and the most senior leaders of a number of foreign governments and is recognized as one of the nation’s thought leaders in strategic and innovative thinking both in the public and private sectors arguing for a “brains based approach” to ensure sound strategic thinking.

He has been deeply involved in the formulation of U.S strategy during the Cold War and beyond and was the creator of the original doctrine “shock and awe,” a far more different version than the sound bites used in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Dr. Ullman holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy administered by Tufts and Harvard University in International Politics and Finance. A career naval officer, he has served at sea in command and ashore in senior assignments of responsibility including two happy years with the Royal Navy afloat. As a Swift boat skipper, he led over 150 combat patrols and operations in Vietnam for which he was decorated and was a professor at the National War College where he directed the course of study in military strategy for three years before returning to sea in command.

He has been appointed the first Distinguished Senior Fellow and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His latest book is Anatomy of Failure---Why America Loses Wars It Starts (November 2017).




Colloquium Topic: Anatomy of Success: Why a Brains-Based Approach to Strategic Thinking Can Win Wars

In his last book Anatomy of Failure Dr. Harlan Ullman shows how a combination of presidential inexperience, misjudgment and lack of knowledge and understanding in using force guarantees failure. He also argues for a Brains Based Approach to Strategic Thinking that in turn calls for realizing that the 21st century cannot be successfully met with 20th century thinking, concepts and security structures. His talk expands on this, arguing that while in the past, military deterrence = political deterrence, that is no longer the case. Military deterrence cannot prevent Russia from exercising "active measures," China from expanding globally, or Islamist and other radical terrorists from violence, and he offers recommendations for achieving these ends and for new meanings and applications of deterrence.