March 16, 2005
What are the types of conflicts the U.S. and the West might find themselves in in the future? What are the future roles for the U.S. and the West including where, when, and how each should be involved in international security affairs? The demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s radically and permanently altered dominant twentieth-century notions of a "balance of power." With the competing policy options of international cooperation and unilateral military, political, and economic dominance, the United States continues to struggle with its role as the world's only superpower in the new century. The events of September 11, 2001, served to further polarize political debates, with some policy makers emphasizing a multilateral diplomatic approach to fighting terrorism while others demand immediate and possibly unilateral military action to preserve American interests and the existing world order. The United States is - and should continue to be - the world's guardian. In an era marked by terrorism, political unrest, and the increased interdependence of the world community, America has a continuing role as "sheriff." World order is not self-enforcing and nations do not always act reasonably or predictably. Therefore the U.S. serves itself by selectively serving the world. Military, strategic, and political effectiveness are separate issues and goals for each of these areas should be effectively articulated to the American public and the world community. Technology alone does not dictate military success and the current transformation of the U.S. military must be engineered in the context of a well-defined global strategy.
Dr. Colin S. Gray is a political scientist with broad interests in national security policy, strategic theory and military history. Dr Gray was educated at the University of Manchester (B.A. [Econ.] hons.), and at Lincoln College, Oxford University (D.Phil., International Politics). Dr Gray is Professor of International Politics and Strategic Studies at the University of Reading, England, and is a Senior Fellow at National Institute for Public Policy, Fairfax, VA. Dr Gray has taught at the Universities of Lancaster (U.K.), York (Toronto, Canada) and British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada). He served as Executive Secretary of the Strategic Studies Commission at the Canadian Institute of International Affairs (Toronto), and as Assistant Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London). Dr Gray became Director of National Security Studies at the Hudson Institute (Croton-on-Hudson, New York) in 1976. In 1981 he was founding President of the National Institute for Public Policy, Fairfax, VA. From 1982 until 1987 Dr Gray held a Presidential appointment when he served on the President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament. In April 1987 he was presented with the Superior Public Service Award by the U.S. Department of the Navy. In 1997-98 he served on the Panel of Experts on the UK Strategic Defence Review. Dr Gray is a member of the editorial boards of Comparative Strategy, Journal of Strategic Studies, Naval War College Review, and Journal of Terrorism and Organised Crime (UN). He has served on advisory panels for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (SDI and space weapons), the Department of the Army (tactical nuclear weapons), the Department of the Air Force (innovations), and U.S. Space Command (future of space forces). Dr. Gray has published eighteen books, including The Sheriff: America's Defense of the New World Order published in 2004. Dr Gray has published many articles in such journals as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Survival, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Wilson Quarterly, Washington Quarterly, The National Interest, and International Security. He has lectured on defense and foreign affairs in Europe and North America, as well as in China, Israel and Australia. In 2005 he will publish Another Bloody Century: Future Warfare. Dr Gray is interested in the theory and practice of strategy, the dialogue between policy and military force, and in the utilization of historical experience for the education of policymakers.