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Reflections on Civil-Military Relations: Crises, Comparisons, and Paradoxes

February 11, 2020

Opening remarks: Mara Karlin, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Panel 1 | What We've Inherited: Crises in Civil-Military Relations
Peter Feaver, Duke University
Alice Hunt Friend, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Mara Karlin, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Caitlin Talmadge, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Moderated by Paula Thornhill, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Panel 2 | Civil-Military Relations Beyond the United States
Risa Brooks, Marquette University
Eric Heginbotham, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sameer Lalwani, Stimson Center
Daniel Marston, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Moderated by Johns Hopkins SAIS Alumnus Nick Schifrin, PBS NewsHour

Panel 3 | The Future of National Service
Jud Crane, National Commission on National, Military, and Public Service
Jason Dempsey, Center for a New American Security
Heidi Urben, US Army
Moderated by Aaron Mehta, Defense News

Closing Remarks | Managing Paradoxes of American Civil-Military Relations
Peter Feaver, Duke University

Live Podcast Recording with War on the Rocks
Nora Bensahel, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Mara Karlin, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Loren DeJonge Schulman, Center for a New American Security
Paula Thornhill, Johns Hopkins SAIS

The Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Duke University’s Program in American Grand Strategy collaborated to host the 2020 Conference on Civil-Military Relations. It was an eventful occasion that offered timely insights on the various dimensions of current civil-military relations debates.

During the conference, experts tackled the notion of a crises in civil-military relations in the United States and globally and touched on themes such as civilian knowledge of military operations and success of the military post September 11. The experts also examined militaries’ popularities and involvements in the political space and addressed the future of national service.
Following the panels, Theater of War Productions performed scenes from their play Sophocles’ Philoctetes, which was used as a catalyst to address the challenges faced by service members, veterans, and their caregivers and families today. 

The conference concluded with a War on the Rocks live podcast recording featuring several of the guest speakers.

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Panelists discuss civilian-military relations at an all-day conference at the Washington, DC campus.