Changing Character of War Workshop

The Arleigh Burke Chair in Strategy leads the Changing Character of War Workshop. The annual workshop gathers a diverse group of mid-career professionals to explore the nature of contemporary war and its future.

Overview

For a brief period of time after the end of the Cold War and following the defeat of Iraq in 1991 there were those who asserted that war was, if not finished, on a steep decline as a phenomenon in international affairs. The Yugoslav wars and the Rwandan genocide shook that belief; the post-9/11 conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and continuing low level warfare in the Middle East and Persian Gulf undermined it further. With the Russia-Ukraine War moving toward a third year, this optimistic view has become impossible to sustain.

War is back, in many forms, from terrorism to all out conventional warfare, from hybrid warfare in the information and cyber space to selective, quasi-covert uses of techniques like assassination and sabotage. And war is seen increasingly as a possibility not just by authoritarian regimes like those in Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea – some of which are indeed at war already – but by democratic states like Japan and Australia whose sense of security from serious conflict has been shaken by continued aggressive Chinese behavior.

The nature of war, as a political contest among peoples, organizations and states characterized by the use of force, has not changed. But its character most definitely does change, and it is imperative that we understand that even as it unfolds.

The Arleigh Burke Chair in Strategy — in conjunction with the International Security Program (ISP) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) — leads the Changing Character of War Workshop (CCWW). Formerly called the National Security Scholars and Practitioners Program, the annual workshop gathers a diverse group of mid-career professionals to explore the nature of contemporary war and its future.

CCWW 2024 will take place from Monday, June 3 to Friday, June 7, 2024 at the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vermont and will focus on the evolving nature of maritime conflict, with particular regard to the Indo-Pacific.

Applications for CCWW 2025 will open in December 2024.

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