|CCC is the principal research wing of NPS National Security Affairs|
|Academic Workshops, Dialogues and Events|
The CCC stages workshops and tabletop exercises that contribute to research. We have seen important results from our events. Track II, or unofficial, bilateral dialogue meetings between the U.S. and other countries strengthen relationships and increase mutual understanding with key international players. Forward-looking academic workshops inform policy guidance by applying social science perspectives to enduring security issues. In a typical six month period, we engage diverse scholars, policy makers, and thought leaders in the countries of the U.S. as well as Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, and others.
The Center on Contemporary Conflict has built a strong reputation for producing research, workshops, dialogues, and other events of importance to our national security.
Perspectives on Security, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation: Views from the United States and South Africa
In September 2013, the CCC hosted an inaugural event, Perspectives on Security, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation: Views from the United States and South Africa, in Pretoria. Sponsored by the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, PASCC, this was the first of the CCC’s “track 2” engagements to be held with an African country. Project Lead, NPS Associate Professor Jessica Piombo, convened a group of American and South African academics from think tanks and universities, as well as policymakers from prominent intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The event was organized in collaboration with the Department of Political Studies at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa). Also in attendance were observers from the South African government and the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria.
Dialogue discussions increased understanding of national security goals and bilateral concerns related to nonproliferation issues, the role of nuclear weapons in regional threat perceptions, and the evolution of the fuel cycle in a growing nuclear energy environment. Lessons learned will help policymakers capitalize on existing and growing areas of partnership to enhance bilateral relations, regional security, and international initiatives. South Africa’s continental leadership role and its unique nuclear history highlight the timeliness and value of the dialogue. Key findings and session abstracts will be publicly available in a forthcoming report.
Second PASCC Colloquium Focuses on Chemical and Biological Threats
On May 3rd, the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC) hosted a half-day workshop to involve the policy and research community in PASCC projects related to chemical and biological weapons. This event took place at the George Washington University Marvin Center and was free and open to the public. PASCC-sponsored researchers from the National Academy of Sciences, the University of Maryland, the Association for the Advancement of American Scientists, and George Washington University presented to over 80 attendees from various U.S. government agencies, think tanks, and other research institutions. The presenters engaged audience questions on topics such as biosafety, small-scale chemical capabilities, public health versus security strategies, the role of the U.S. military in incident response, and the political subtexts of international treaties.
South Asian Stability Workshop
On 19-22 March, the CCC hosted the South Asian Stability Workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka – a tabletop exercise that explored crisis escalation dynamics between India and Pakistan. Project Lead Feroz Khan, author of Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb, organized American, Indian, and Pakistani academics and former military officials into two teams (India and Pakistan) during a hypothetical crisis scenario, set in the year 2018. The exercise consisted of three moves, followed by vignette scenario discussions on topics such as the employment of battlefield nuclear weapons and potential intervention by China. A Control Cell, comprised primarily by U.S. participants, moderated the exercise and adjudicated the results of each move.
The workshop helped develop a greater understanding of the fundamentals of regional security doctrines, crisis dynamics, and escalation control to include: threat perceptions, triggering events, and roles of the international community in crisis management and prevention. Lessons learned will help stakeholders understand escalation ladders; bridge strategic communication gaps; and nurture areas of cooperation between the U.S., India, and Pakistan, thereby enhancing both regional and international security. This workshop built on the foundation of previous CCC-organized dialogues over the past several years.
U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue
The United States-India Strategic Dialogue, organized by the Center on Contemporary Conflict with funding from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, met in New Delhi from 10-12 December 2012 for wide ranging discussions with India’s foreign policy community in an effort to bring about a greater understanding of where the relationship was headed. Dialogue attendees offered valuable policy proposals and insightful analysis, which Indian and American participants brought back to their respective policymaking communities. The expanding partnership between the United States and India sets the tone for Washington’s wider engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. Whether on Afghanistan, the contentious India-Pakistan relationship, or China’s rise, many of Asia’s most pertinent security issues are shaped significantly by Washington and New Delhi’s diplomatic and defense ties. A comprehensive public report will be available soon and the Center on Contemporary Conflict looks forward to facilitating further dialogue in New Delhi next cycle.
U.S.-Turkey Strategic Dialogue
From 31 October to 1 November 2012, NPS Assistant Professors Ryan Gingeras and Victoria Clement hosted the CCC’s first U.S.-Turkey Strategic Dialogue. Participants at the Istanbul meeting included experts from the Monterey Institute for International Studies, Los Alamos National Lab, Boğaziçi Univeristy, and the Turkish Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM), among others. Turkish and U.S. Government observers were also in attendance. During a time of heightened security concerns in the region, the objective of the dialogue was to initiate a Track II level partnership between the U.S. and Turkey and to gather perspectives on issues regarding mutual security, nuclear deterrence and counter-proliferation efforts. A full report will be published this winter that summarizes panel discussions and key outcomes from the dialogue.
First PASCC Colloquium Focuses on Asia
The first PASCC research colloquium occurred on 27-28 September at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, DC. The event, "Strategic Stability, Rebalancing in Asia, and Next Steps in Countering WMD," included more than 20 presentations as well as an executive-level session. The colloquium featured the results from research and strategic dialogues funded by PASCC and was designed to gather thoughts from U.S. government stakeholders on the overall WMD studies initiative. (Agenda) PASCC plans to hold its next outreach event in spring 2013 on a functional topic within the PASCC mission set.
Workshop on NATO's Deterrence and Defense Posture
On 25-27 June 2012, the CCC convened a workshop at the NATO Defense College in Rome. The workshop concerned the future of NATO’s deterrence and defense posture in light of the decisions taken at the Alliance’s summit meeting in Chicago in May 2012. The workshop, comprised of approximately 25 panelists and 40 observers from NATO member countries, was co-sponsored by PASCC, the NATO Defense College and the NATO Nuclear Policy Directorate. Panelists included experts from USG, NATO HQ, defense ministries, academia, and think tanks. Much of the discussion focused on the Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR) approved by the Allies at the Chicago Summit. Specific topics included nuclear force modernization, missile defense, threat assessment, conventional military forces, and the implications for NATO of the U.S. decision to rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region.
The event was the sixth in a series of annual NATO workshops focusing on nuclear deterrence issues. Previous workshops have been held in Belgium, Lithuania, and Estonia.
Global and Regional Security -- Workshop in Brasilia
The CCC held the Workshop on Global and Regional Security in Brasilia on 13 and 14 August 2012. Brazil’s status as a rising power and key regional player underscores the value of a strong U.S.-Brazil bilateral relationship, and the workshop facilitated frank and structured dialogue on security issues while highlighting areas of mutual interest and potential cooperation moving forward, such as nuclear safety and disaster response. The participants included nine Brazilian and seven U.S. specialists on security, global proliferation, disarmament, and weapons of mass destruction policies. Also present were observers from the Brazilian Presidency’s Secretariat for Strategic Affairs, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia. This event was supported and executed by the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC).
U.S.- China Strategic Dialogue VII
NPS held the seventh US-China Strategic Dialogue on June 8-9 in conjunction with Pacific Forum CSIS and the Chinese Arms Control and Disarmament Association. NPS Professors Christopher Twomey and Michael Glosny led this unofficial dialogue, which was funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The ongoing dialogues aim to deepen American understanding of the way China views nuclear weapons, the domestic debates that shape those views, and the degree to which there is change in strategy, doctrine, and force posture in Beijing. These meetings also try to identify misperceptions regarding each side’s nuclear strategy and doctrine and to highlight potential areas of cooperation or confidence building measures that might reduce the dangers of such misperceptions.
This meeting was among the most successful of these exchanges with China. The topics of discussion included stability and instability in potential nuclear conflicts, cross-domain deterrence, comparative perspectives on the lessons from South Asian strategic interactions, each side’s threat perceptions and common interests regarding space security, and general strategic threat perceptions and the role of nuclear weapons in national strategies. A full report will be published in the next month.