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By Lt.j.g. Theron Verdon, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
March 27, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. – The EMC Chair at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) sponsored an “Intelligence, National Security, and War” Workshop, March 25-27.

Experts from academia, policy institutions, U.S. government, and the military considered how U.S. intelligence has been remade, and how the U.S. has also prioritized efforts to share intelligence across state boundaries and develop the intelligence capabilities of other countries.

“Since the Naval War College teaches intelligence across the curriculum, we’ve brought together experts from the intelligence community, the policy community, and academia to have deep discussions on key aspects of intelligence,” said professor Derek Reveron, EMC Chair and a professor in the National Security Affairs department at NWC. “So, it informs both the curriculum, faculty research on this area, and then it is available to the entire world.”

Reveron went on to state the importance of academic engagements like the EMC workshop.

“A key a mission of the Naval War College is producing knowledge, and workshops like these are one of the ways we do that,” said Reveron.

Throughout the workshop, participants discussed a variety of specific issues including the role of counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, security cooperation, cyberspace issues and policy making.

Professor Thomas Hegghammer of Stanford University and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment was a guest panelist who spoke on the topic of “The Future of Terrorism Studies” and how that relates to intelligence issues and cross-disciplinary exchange.

“The field of terrorism studies faces two major challenges in the decade ahead: a reputation problem with the academy and a relevance problem with the policy world,” said Hegghammer. “Basically, professors and practitioners are drifting further apart, and that leaves terrorism scholars in the middle with some tough choices to make.”

Hegghammer went on to present two recommendations on how to turn those challenges into successes. He stressed the need for academics to enter the big debates in their discipline and radically alter data management practices.

A keynote speaker, professor Thomas Fingar of Stanford University, spoke on the state of the U.S.’s grand strategy and how intelligence was an integral part of creating a grand strategy. As part of that, he stressed the importance of the integration of information.

“The goal is to reduce uncertainty, not make predictions,” said Fingar, explaining how the information should be used.

Reveron believes the wide range of complex and strategic issues discussed during the workshop will prove beneficial to those who attended the two-day event and enrich the study of national security issues at NWC.

Workshop papers are available online at www.usnwc.edu/EMC-Chair-Workshop-March-2013.


Posted by Dan Marciniak