Arizona State University and New America announce the creation of the Future of War project

Tempe, AZ and Washington, DC — Arizona State University and New America announce the creation of the Future of War project, a new initiative focusing on the profound social, political, economic, and cultural implications of the changing nature of war and conflict.

This initiative combines the resources of Arizona State University, one of the nation’s largest and most innovative public higher education institutions, and New America, a uniquely interdisciplinary DC-based think tank and civic enterprise at the leading edge of national and international security policy, to address some of the most complex questions of our times.

ASU President Michael Crow explains: “The Future of War project embodies our vision of the New American University by transcending disciplinary boundaries, linking scholarship with real world impact, emphasizing social responsibility, and highlighting the special role of a research university in working collaboratively with other stakeholders to address the pressing moral and political issues.”

The U.S. is now almost a decade and a half into a series of global conflicts that indicate significant shifts in the meaning and practice of war. These experiences highlight the emerging role of new weapons systems such as drones, the far-reaching capacities of global surveillance, the complex threats of groups operating beyond and across state boundaries, and the danger of the democratization of terror and mechanisms of mass destruction. The impact and significance of these issues are compounded by a variety of international drivers of conflict, including climate change, shifting demographics, and competition over resources.

“While war and conflict are in the process of transformation,” says Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America, “our society still relies on legal and political paradigms that draw sharp – if not increasingly arbitrary – lines between domestic and international matters, between states and non-state actors, and between war and crime. Furthermore, debates on these issues are generally confined within narrow professional and disciplinary boundaries, understood as matters of interest within specialized communities of policy experts and military officials.”

The Future of War project addresses these issues by convening some of the most creative and influential thinkers, writers, and decision-makers dealing with war and conflict to develop bold conceptual frameworks, create legal and policy proposals, and write and talk about these issues in a manner that attracts media coverage and public engagement to our work and recommendations.

The Future of War project is managed by a team of staff and fellows based at New America including journalists, legal scholars, former military officials, policy experts and others. At ASU, the project is guided by the newly created Center on the Future of War. “The Center uses an inter-connected network of faculty affiliates from multiple disciplines to enable collaborative scholarship, funded research, public outreach, and expanded connections between ASU and the DC-based policy and media communities,” says Vice Provost Pat Kenney, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where the Center is housed.

In its first year, key activities of the Future of War project include a major national conference in Washington, DC, a series of white papers and publications, opinion pieces and articles in popular media, seminars and events at Arizona State University and New America, faculty presentations to the DC-based policy community, and plans for developing new courses and educational programming.

The Future of War team includes:

Brad Allenby, President’s Professor of Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, and Law at Arizona State University and founding chair of the Consortium for Emerging Technologies, Military Operations, and National Security

Peter Bergen, Co-Director of the Future of War project, Vice President at New America and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, the author of best-selling books about al-Qaeda, including Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad

Rosa Brooks, Professor at Georgetown University School of Law, former Counselor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Sharon Burke, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy and former Vice President and Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security

Linell Cady, Professor of Religious Studies and founding Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University

Sue Clark Johnson, Professor of Practice, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and former director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University

Alan Davidson, New America's Vice President for Technology Policy and Strategy and Director of the Open Technology Institute, former Director of Public Policy for Google in the Americas

Werner J.A. Dahm, Foundation Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Founding Director and Chief Scientist, Security and Defense Systems Initiative at Arizona State University, former Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force

Lt. Gen. (ret.) Benjamin C. Freakley, Professor of Practice of Leadership at Arizona State University, senior advisor at the McCain Institute for International Leadership

Shane Harris, Senior Writer at Foreign Policy magazine and the author of the forthcoming @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex and The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State

David Kilcullen, Senior Fellow at New America and former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State from 2007-2009, Senior Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq in 2007, the author of Accidental Guerrilla, Counterinsurgency, and Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla

Orde Kittrie, Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, former U.S. Department of State official, expert on weapons of mass destruction and lawfare

Michael Lind, co-founder of New America, former editor/staff writer for The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The National Interest, author of multiple books including The American Way of Strategy

Tim Maurer, Research Fellow at New America, focusing on cybersecurity, cyberwar and internet security and freedom with publications in Foreign Policy, CNN, and Slate

Sascha Meinrath, founder of New America’s Open Technology Institute and Director of X-Lab, in 2013 named to the “TIME Tech 40: The Most Influential Minds in Tech”

Doug Ollivant, former Director, National Security Council, former counterinsurgency advisor in Afghanistan, and leader of the team that wrote the 2006-7 Baghdad "surge" plan

Tom Ricks, Senior Advisor at New America and former Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter, author of best-selling books about the U.S. military including Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

Jason Roberts, Lincoln Chair in Ethics, Director of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, and Dean's Distinguished Professor in the Life Sciences at Arizona State University

Daniel Rothenberg, Co-Director of the Future of War Project, Future of War Fellow at New America, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, and Co-Editor of Drone Wars

Peter W. Singer, Strategist and Senior Fellow at New America, named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, author of Corporate Warriors, Children at War and Wired for War

Daniel Sarewitz, Professor of Science and Society, School of Life Sciences and Co-Director, Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University

Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America, former Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, former head of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department, and author and editor of six books including A New World Order.

Cameron Thies, Professor and Director of the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University

Mark van Hagen, Professor of History and Director of the Office of Veteran and Military Academic Engagement at Arizona State University