Tom Farer: The US Grand Strategy: from Bush to Obama to Trump

 Tom Farer has a long and successful career as a leader, scholar, and keen observer of the international scene. In his presentation he will step back a bit to put today’s turmoil in the U.S. and the Middle East into a broader context by examining the evolution of recent American foreign policy.  He will conclude with a look into the future to speculate how this process may continue into the Trump era.

Farer is University Professor at the University of Denver, a position he assumed after serving for fourteen years (1996-2010) as Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.  He previously served as President of the University of New Mexico, President of the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Relations.  He has taught law or international relations and foreign policy at Columbia, MIT, Rutgers, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Tulane, Princeton, American University and Cambridge University and has been Honorary Professor at Peking University.  He has been a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment and The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.  He has worked in the Department of State as special assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs and the Department of Defense as special assistant to the General Counsel.  At the United Nations he served as legal advisor to the UN operation in Somalia where decades earlier he had served as law and karate instructor to the National Police force.  He is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of International Law and the Human Rights Quarterly and was co-editor of the journal Global Governance.  He has published twelve books and monographs.  His many articles have appeared in such journals as the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, the Harvard and Columbia Law Reviews, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights Quarterly, and the American Journal of International Law.


Dr. Patrick Cronin

Dr. Cronin, who will have just returned from China and elsewhere in Asia prior to the program, is a Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for A New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the Senior Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University, where he simultaneously oversaw the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs.

Dr. Cronin has a rich and diverse background in both Asian-Pacific security and U.S. defense, foreign and development policy.  Prior to leading INSS, Dr. Cronin served as the Director of Studies at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).  At the IISS, he also served as Editor of the Adelphi Papers and as the Executive Director of the Armed Conflict Database.  Before joining IISS, Dr. Cronin was Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In 2001, Dr. Cronin was confirmed by the United States Senate to the third-ranking position at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

A graduate of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, Dr. Cronin he received both his M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees in International Relations. Prior to his Oxford studies he was graduated with high honors from the University of Florida.

Dr. Nabil Echchaibi: Satire and Resistance Against ISIS in the Middle East

Dr. Echchaibi, an Edward Murrow Award winner for teaching excellence, specializes on identity politics among young Muslims, with a substantial focus on Muslim youth in the diaspora in non-Muslim majority countries. 

He is a frequent contributor to The Guardian, USA Today, Salon, and the Huffington Post in addition to numerous academic and scholarly journals.   He is awaiting the publication of his most recent book, Unmosquing Islam: Muslim Media and Alternative Modernity.

Drawing from multidisciplinary theoretical literature in sociology, history anthropology, media studies and religious studies he analyzes Muslim response to global popular culture, especially in the media.

Dr. Gregory Young: Turkey: Still a Democratic NATO Ally or Did the Attempted Coup Change Everything? 

On July 15-16, 2016, elements within the Turkish military and police operating outside of the chain of command mobilized air and ground forces in a failed attempt to seize political power from Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdoğan. Erdoğan’s authoritarian and Islamist tendencies have alienated him from the tradiational Turkish secular elite.  Many believe that he is moving away from the Turkish republic as established by Mustafa Kemal Attatürk. What caused this fourth coup attempt by the Turkish military? Is U.S.-exiled cleric Fetullah Gülen responsable as Erdoğan contends? The subsequent crackdown and interment of some 13,000 accused coup-plotters has driven a great wedge between 

Turkey and its NATO allies. What will be the impact of this coup and its aftermath on U.S./Turkish relations and Turkish participation in the fight against ISIL/DAESH

Dr. Young, who was in Turkey this summer, earned his Master’s degree with distinction in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, receiving national recognition for thesis research which uncovered the mutiny on the Soviet destroyer Storozhevoy. This research was the basis for Tom Clancy's best-selling novel The Hunt for Red October. From 1990-93, he taught at the US Naval Academy and was the Associate Chairman of the Political Science department. And from 1993-98, at the US Air Force Academy, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Senior Naval Officer. 

In 1998, CDR Young retired from active naval service. He returned to the University of Colorado and was awarded a PhD in political science in 2005. His dissertation research involved how strategic culture influenced threat perception during the Cold War. From 2006-08, He was an Assistant professor of political science at the University of Northern Colorado, and from 2009 to present professor of political science and international affairs, University of Colorado, Boulder. 

Dr. Young is the author of The Last Sentry: The True Story That Inspired the Hunt for Red October published by US Naval Institute Press, in 2005. The book was among the “Ten Most Notable Books of 2005” by the Naval Institute. For the last ten year’s Greg’s research focus has been Middle Eastern culture with a particular focus on Turkey where he has spent the last five summers doing research and teaching.

Judith Miller: The Story, A Reporter’s Journey

Judith Miller is an author and a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter formerly with The New York Times.

She is now an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of its magazine, "City Journal." Since 2008, she has been a commentator for Fox News, speaking on terrorism and other national security issues, the Middle East, American foreign policy, and the need to strike a delicate balance between protecting both national security and civil liberties in a post-9/11 world.

Prior to leaving The New York Times in November, 2005, she spent 85 days in jail to defend a reporter's right to protect confidential sources. That year she received the Society of Professional Journalists' "First Amendment Award" for her protection of sources. 

In 2002, Judith Miller was part of a small team that won a Pulitzer Prize for "explanatory journalism" for her January, 2001 series on Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. She was also part of the Times team that won the prestigious DuPont award that year for a series of programs on terrorism for PBS's "Frontline." She has discussed a wide range of national security topics on such programs as "Sixty Minutes," Oprah Winfrey, CNN, ABC's "Night Line" and "Good Morning America," NBC's "Today" show, David Letterman, and "The Charlie Rose Show."

She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former member of the Aspen Strategy Group, and has served on a prestigious National Academy of Sciences panel examining how best to expand of the work of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which since 1991 has sought to stop the spread of WMD material and expertise from the Former Soviet Union. She lectures frequently on the Middle East, Islam, terrorism, biological and chemical weapons and other national security topics.

Ambassadro Christopher Hill

Ambassador Christopher Robert Hill is the Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, a position he has held since September 2010. In addition to overseeing the Josef Korbel School, Ambassador Hill is author of the book Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir , a monthly columnist for Project Syndicate, and a highly sought public speaker and voice in the media on international affairs.

Ambassador Hill is a former career diplomat, a four-time ambassador, nominated by three presidents, whose last post was as Ambassador to Iraq (April 2009-August 2010). Prior to Iraq, Hill served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 until 2009 during which he was also the head of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Earlier, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2004-2005), Ambassador to Poland (2000-2004), Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (1996-1999) and Special Envoy to Kosovo (1998-1999). He also served as a Special Assistant to the President and a Senior Director on the staff of the National Security Council (1999-2000).

Earlier in his Foreign Service career, Ambassador Hill served tours in Belgrade, Warsaw, Seoul, and Tirana, and on the Department of State's Policy Planning staff and in the Department's Operation Center. While on a fellowship with the American Political Science Association he served as a staff member for Congressman Stephen Solarz working on Eastern European issues. He also served as the Department of State's Senior Country Officer for Poland. Ambassador Hill received the State Department's Distinguished Service Award for his contributions as a member of the U.S. negotiating team in the Bosnia peace settlement, and was a recipient of the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Cameroon, West Africa, where he supervised credit unions.

Ambassador Hill graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, with a B.A. in Economics. He received a master's degree from the Naval War College in 1994. He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian.

Jeremy Haft

 For almost two decades, Jeremy Haft has been building companies on the front lines in China. He has overseen hundreds of sourcing and import/export programs between  American and Chinese enterprises in a wide variety of industries and agriculture, spanning shipbuilding and refineries to auto parts and medical supplies to maple syrup and cowhides. Haft’s current start-up is a public-private partnership, funded by a grant from the Empire State Development Corporation, to build export markets in China for New York agriculture.  

An adjunct professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and McDonough School of Business, he is the author of All the Tea in China, a primer on how to do business in China, and Unmade in China, which examines America’s enduring competitive advantages over China in the coming century.  He has conducted many briefings about China trade and U.S. competitiveness to members of Congress, ambassadors, senior military officers, and the business community.  His analysis has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, NPR, BBC, and cable news, among other media outlets.


Keith Luse: North Korea and the World: What’s Next?

Since the end of World War II North Korea has been a dangerous and unpredictable enigma to the rest of the world. Today, Kim Jong-un, the latest member of the Kim dynasty, has the bomb and is publically developing missile capabilities. As the rest of the world and it closest neighbor, China, struggle with how to respond, the people of North Korea are being increasingly oppressed. This program will examine today’s reality and options.

Speaker, Keith Luse, Executive Director of The National Committee on North Korea is well qualified to address the topic. He was Senior Policy Advisor for Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar from 2002-2013. He is a specialist on North Korea and has been a frequent visitor to Pyongyang and participant in various negotiations. He has also worked with the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank.

Floyd Ciruli

Floyd Ciruli is widely regarded as the dean of Colorado public opinion research. He founded Ciruli Associates, a research and consulting firm specializing in public policy and research in 1985.

Mr. Ciruli holds a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a bachelor’s degree cum laude in political science from UCLA.  He is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), and is the past-president of the Pacific Chapter of AAPOR (PAPOR).  Mr. Ciruli is Director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research and an adjunct professor teaching public opinion and foreign policy at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.  He is past-president of the Georgetown Law Alumni Board.

Mr. Ciruli is widely known to Colorado audiences as a pollster and political analyst for 9-KUSA TV, KOA Radio and The Denver Post.  He regularly speaks before Colorado, national and international audiences on issues regarding public opinion.  He was recently a featured speaker at an international conference on public opinion research in Buenos Aires. He publishes political and public opinion analyses in The Denver Post, and the Denver Business Journal. He posts at the state’s leading blog for politics and trends at

Dominic Tierney: The Right way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts

For nearly a century, up until the end of World War II in 1945, America enjoyed a Golden Age of decisive military triumphs. And then suddenly, we stopped winning wars. The decades since have been a Dark Age of failures and stalemates-in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan-exposing our inability to change course after battlefield setbacks.

In what is sure to be a provocative presentation, award-winning scholar Dominic Tierney reveals how the United States has struggled to adapt to the new era of intractable guerrilla conflicts. As a result, most major American wars have turned into military fiascos. And when battlefield disaster strikes, Washington is unable to disengage from the quagmire, with grave consequences for thousands of U.S. troops and our allies.

Speaker Dr. Dominic Tierney is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and contributing writer at The Atlantic magazine. He earned his Ph.D. at Oxford University and was a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Tierney has authored 4 books on international conflict including his most recent book, The Right Way to Lose a War, published by Little, Brown and Company.


James Clad

Spurred by the shale energy revolution in North America and a vast new thirst for energy in Asia, global energy trends are changing dramatically. OPEC and traditional energy suppliers have struggled to keep pace with these shifts in supply and demand, resulting in a five-year low in global crude oil prices. Russia, long known for using natural gas exports as a political lever, also faces challenges as recently-developed drilling techniques introduce unlikely players into the natural gas market.

Speaker James Clad, an expert on the geopolitics of energy and former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense, former diplomat, war correspondent, and Georgetown University professor will describe the contributing factors and impacts of a rapidly changing global energy landscape. Clad is an author of four books on international economics.

Orville Schell

Reporting on China since 1970, Orville Schell, one of the United States most respected experts on China, is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and Dean at the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Schell was born in New York City, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in Far Eastern History, was an exchange student at National Taiwan University in the 1960s, and earned a Ph.D. (Abd) at University of California, Berkeley in Chinese History. He worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, covered the war in Indochina as a journalist, and has traveled widely in China since the mid-70s.

Schell is the author of fifteen books, ten of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. His most recent books are: Wealth and Power, China’s long March to the 21st Century; Virtual Tibet; The China Reader: The Reform Years; and Mandate of Heaven: The Legacy of Tiananmen Square and the Next Generation of China’s Leaders. He has written widely for many magazine and newspapers, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Time, The New Republic, Harpers, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Wired, Foreign Affairs, the China Quarterly, and the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

He is a Fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications at USC and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Schell is also the recipient of many prizes and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Overseas Press Club Award, and the Harvard-Stanford 

 It also sets the stage for perhaps the biggest challenge facing a much wealthier and more powerful China today, since it cannot go on fighting its vanquished ghosts forever.

NYT Review of Books says about Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-First Century --  it “…sets the stage for perhaps the biggest challenge facing a much wealthier and more powerful China today, since it cannot go on fighting its vanquished ghosts forever.

Edward Alden

Edward Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness. In addition, Mr. Alden is the director of the CFR Renewing America publication series and co-author of the recent CFR Working Paper Managing Illegal Immigration to the United States. The former Washington bureau chief of the Financial Times, his work focuses on immigration and visa policy, and on U.S. trade and international economic policy.

Mr. Alden was the project co-director of the 2011 Independent Task Force on U.S. Trade and Investment Policy, which was co-chaired by former White House chief of staff Andrew Card and former Senate majority leader Thomas Daschle. He was also the project director for the 2009 Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy.

Mr. Alden is the author of the book The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11 (HarperCollins), which was named a 2009 finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for nonfiction writing. The judges called it "a masterful job of comprehensive reporting, fair-minded analysis, and structurally sound argumentation." 

Mr. Alden was previously the Canadian bureau chief for the Financial Times based in Toronto, and before that was a reporter at the Vancouver Sun specializing in labor and employment issues. He also was the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, widely recognized as the leading source of reporting on U.S. trade policies. He has won several national and international awards for his reporting. Mr. Alden has done numerous TV and radio appearances as an analyst on political and economic issues, includingNewsHour with Jim Lehrer, McLaughlin Group, NPR, the BBC, CNN, and MSNBC. His work has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, the Japan Times, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Toronto Globe and Mail. He is the coauthor, with Franz Schurmann, of Democratic Politics and World Order, a monograph published by Berkeley's Institute of International Studies in 1990.

Mr. Alden holds a master's degree in international relations from the University of California, Berkeley, and pursued doctoral studies before returning to a journalism career. He also has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of British Columbia. He was the winner of numerous academic awards, including a Mellon fellowship in the humanities and a MacArthur Foundation graduate fellowship.

T.R. Reid

Reid, author of the critically acclaimed bestsellers “The Healing of America” and “The United States of Europe” has been received with unparalleled enthusiasm at his several previous appearances before the CFWAC. He will give us a preview of his new book, to be released later in 2015, comparing and contrasting the taxation systems of the world’s developed countries. His presentation is certain to be both controversial and entertaining. Watch for more information.

“Mr. Reid’s underlying message of hope does not preclude an intensely satisfying quotient of moral outrage at the worst casualties of our system as it stands.” New York Times Review of Books about “The Healing of America.”

TR Reid’s “The United States of Europe” nudges “… America Awake as a United Europe Takes the Stage”, New York Times



Dr. Christine Fair: Political Crisis in Pakistan: The Military, the Government, and the Opposition

C. Christine Fair is on the faculty of the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS), within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She has served as a senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation,[2] a political officer to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in Kabul, and as a senior research associate within the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the United States Institute of Peace. Her research focuses upon political and military affairs in South Asia. She has authored, co-authored and co-edited several books including Treading Softly on Sacred Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations on Sacred Space (OUP, 2008); The Madrassah Challenge: Militancy and Religious Education in Pakistan (USIP, 2008), Fortifying Pakistan: The Role of U.S. Internal Security Assistance (USIP, 2006); among others and has written numerous peer-reviewed articles covering a range of security issues in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. She is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations and also a senior fellow with the Counter Terrorism Center at West Point.

She is a frequent commentator on television and radio including the CBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, Voice of America, Fox, Reuters, NPR among others. She has given extensive interviews to journalists with the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Businessweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and other print media outlets.

As it says on her webpage, “She can cause trouble in multiple languages.”

Joanne H. Cummings

Joanne H. Cummings is a career Foreign Service Officer in the Department of State and has served extensively in the Middle East and North Africa. Daughter of a Foreign Service family, she was raised in Lebanon, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.  She has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jerusalem, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, and Syria, and as well as regionally from Morocco through Pakistan.  Ms. Cummings has served in economic, political, military, and refugee affairs positions in Baghdad and elsewhere. She has twice served as POLAD (Foreign Policy Advisor) to military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan.  After serving as Economic Section Chief in Syria, she served a similar position in Yemen as Political/Economic Counselor. She has lived through, and served in, a variety of stress and conflict environments. She was evacuated from Syria. 

Ms. Cummings was born in Lincoln, Nebraska before moving overseas with her parents and sister when she was two years old.  She was graduated summa cum laude in History from the American University in Beirut.  She received her MA in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin. She speaks Arabic fluently (Lebanese, Egyptian, Saudi, and Iraqi dialects) and French. She is also familiar with Spanish, Hebrew, Farsi, and Kurdish.

Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth

Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth is one of the United States’ most prominent researchers and authorities on climate. He was a leader in the project that received a Nobel Prize in 2007. Born in New Zealand, Dr. Trenberth obtained his Sc. D. in meteorology from MIT. He has been prominent in most of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessments of Climate Change and has also extensively served the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). He chaired the World Climate Research Program for Global Energy and Water Exchanges from 2010-13. He has published over 520 scientific articles or papers. He has received many international awards for his research.

Our speaker plans to provide a brief outline of the facts: how the global climate is changing with a focus of temperatures and more detail on the recent hiatus in the rise in global mean temperatures. He will explore the seasonality of the changes, and possible explanations of whether global warming has gone away or not. Changes in the oceans prove to be a key but are not as well-known as we would like because there is not yet enough good data. Dr. Trenberth contends that what we do about this is up to all of us and denial of climate change facts by some politicians ought to be called out. 

Dr. Kevin E. Trenberthis Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research .

Dr. Schuyler Foerster

Often, as new hot spots develop around the world we focus on immediate issues and often lose sight of the greater global and historical context. Our October 21st speaker, renowned scholar and practitioner, Dr. Schuyler Foerster will help us explore how to connect the dots as we explore several key questions. Among them are:

  • 1. Have the US and the other interdependent global actors sufficiently modified their world view following the end of the Cold War? 
  • Last month's speaker, Dr. Ervin Rokke spoke convincingly that while circumstances have dramatically changed, our national response has lagged. 
  • 2. As we entered the 21st Century and as America sat on the world's summit Henry Kissinger wondered if our position "…would gradually unite the world against the US…”. Can we stay at the top without world alienation?
  • 3. What would and should America fight for? Actions by the US during the last four decades have many in the US and abroad asking this question. Can it be answered?

In the context of these and other critical questions, Dr. Foerster will examine "The Big Five"--Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq/Syria/ISIS(L), Russia and Ukraine, China, and Iran and North Korea.

Dr. Foerster is highly qualified to help the Colorado Foothills World Affairs Council members work through these difficult questions. He received his doctorate in politics and strategic studies at Oxford University and his Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at The American University. His undergraduate work was done at the US Air Force Academy. Considered a dynamic speaker and scholar, he has lectured on international relations across the United States and abroad and published widely. He has been a senior advisor on security and arms control policy.

 He is intimately involved with the World Affairs Councils of America. He served as the full-time President and CEO of one of WACA's preeminent affiliates in Pittsburgh for nearly a decade and is now on the executive committee of the national board. Until recently he was President of the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council. Currently he is the Brent Scowcroft Professor of National Security Studies at the USAFA.