ASU partners with New America on Future of War

September 2, 2014

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 ASU, one of the nation’s largest and most innovative public higher education institutions, and New America, a uniquely interdisciplinary Washington, D.C.-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. flying drone Download Full Image

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 pressing moral and political issues.”

The United States 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 D.C.-based policy and media communities,” says Pat Kenney, university vice provost and 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, D.C.; a series of white papers and publications; opinion pieces and articles in popular media; seminars and events at ASU and New America; faculty presentations to the D.C.-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 ASU 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, Professor of Practice at ASU and 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 ASU

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

Alan Davidson, New America's vice president for Technology Policy and Strategy, director of the Open Technology Institute and 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 of the Security and Defense Systems Initiative at ASU and former chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force

Lt. Gen. (ret.) Benjamin C. Freakley, Professor of Practice of Leadership at ASU and senior adviser 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, former special adviser to the Secretary of State from 2007-2009, senior adviser to General David Petraeus in Iraq in 2007 and author of "Accidental Guerrilla" and "Counterinsurgency"

Orde Kittrie, professor of law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU, former U.S. Department of State official and 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, and 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, director of X-Lab and named to the “TIME Tech 40: The Most Influential Minds in Tech” (2013)

Doug Ollivant, Senior Fellow at New America and former senior counterinsurgency adviser who wrote the 2007 Baghdad Security Plan

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

Jason Scott Robert, Lincoln Chair in Ethics, director of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics and Dean's Distinguished Professor in the Life Sciences at ASU

Daniel Rothenberg, co-director of the Future of War Project, Future of War Fellow at New America, Professor of Practice at ASU 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 and author of "Corporate Warriors," "Children at War" and "Wired for War"

Daniel Sarewitz, professor of science and society at the School of Life Sciences and co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at ASU

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 ASU

Mark Von Hagen, professor of history and director of the Office of Veteran and Military Academic Engagement at ASU

Reporter , ASU News


Historic English language program unites ASU and students from Mexico

September 2, 2014

As Arizona State University students are getting settled into the fall semester, a cohort from the Universidad de Guadalajara recently capped off a historic, month-long English as a Second Language (ESL) program that hopes to strengthen ties between the two universities and bolster U.S. and Mexico relations through educational exchange.

ASU's American English and Culture Program welcomed 50 students and 13 professors from the Universidad de Guadalajara (UDG) in July to participate in the inaugural Summer 2014 Intensive ESL Program. Group photo of UDG summer cohort Download Full Image

U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto established the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education Innovation and Research in 2013. In the framework of this forum, the two governments set the goal of increasing student exchanges through the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative. The two governments identified limited English proficiency among Mexican students as a main barrier to increasing academic exchanges. As a response, the Mexican government adopted the Proyecta 100,000 program, which supports Mexican students going to the U.S. to learn English.

“We learned about Proyecta’s goal of sending ESL learners just this summer, in late May. ASU’s diligent response and coordinated work with UDG authorities made it possible to welcome program participants on July 10 and, as UDG professors and students told me, this was an excellent experience for all,” said Paola Garcia, director of Mexico and Latin America Initiatives in the Office of University Affairs. “We are very pleased we participated in this program, and look forward to a greater and deeper collaboration with UDG and other Mexican universities.”

The participants arrived in two groups on July 10 and were shuttled to ASU’s Hassayampa Academic Village. They spent their first weekend in orientation, becoming familiar with ASU's Tempe campus, taking tours of the area, enjoying meals at the Engrained cafe in the Memorial Union and watching the World Cup championship in the Sun Devil Fitness Complex with hundreds of other ASU and international students. On Monday, July 14, participants hit the books and commenced their intensive coursework, which included reading, writing, listening, speaking and English communication.

“Our Intensive English language program has been in place at ASU for 40 years and is quite robust. We worked around the clock to ensure this program could take place, and to accommodate these students,” said Mark Rentz, executive director of the American English and Culture Program, which served over 2,200 students from 59 different countries in the last academic year. “It’s been rewarding to see all of the pieces come together because this was a remarkable group. They’re brilliant, hardworking, energetic and friendly. They’re seizing every opportunity, making friends and enriching themselves and our campus.”

Twenty-year-old Adolfo Ruiz Ballesteros, a nutrition science major at UDG, says he learned bits and pieces of English through music and video games from the United States. He wants to be proficient in English to read cutting-edge medical journals, and converse with other professionals around the world.

“In Mexico, they teach you the rules and the grammar of English but the key to any language is to communicate, and that’s what we’re doing in Arizona,” Ballesteros said. “Yes, you have to know the rules, but you also have to take the risks and go out in the public and talk to people. School is fine, but you have to practice.”

Norma Alvarez, a professor of science and engineering at UDG, wants to learn English not only for herself, but others.

“I work with many international students back in Mexico, and I want to make a difference in what I do,” Alvarez said. “The program is a bit intense, but we’re in a university environment, and we’re ready to learn. The most important thing is that I’m really learning English. I feel so much more confident in my skills.”

In addition to the intensive language sessions and workshops, the cohort was able to explore, utilize and enjoy all ASU facilities, including libraries, museums, sports and recreation centers, computer facilities and entertainment venues. Participants were treated to field trips and outings to Mill Avenue, Tempe Marketplace, the Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, the Grand Canyon and Chase Field, where they cheered on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“I am passionate about culture, and at Arizona State University you meet people from other countries. Even how we say ‘hello’ is different,” said 20-year-old Osiris Espejo, who is majoring in International Business at UDG. “I’m learning so much here because it’s more than academic … I am living it.”

One of the highlights for both the cohort and administrators was Reading Theater, where learners were treated weekly to episodic snapshots from the film "Anne of Green Gables" in ASU’s Marston Exploration Theater, and then invited to engage with the story by reading an accompanying text and discussing the story with graduate students in ASU’s Master’s of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

“Stories are wonderful vehicles of language,” commented program coordinator Linda Hill, “and Reading Theater is a creative way to help learners engage with language from multiple angles, all while getting lost in a good story. The UDG participants loved it!”

The cohort celebrated the conclusion of their program with a graduation lunch and ceremony on Aug. 7 at ASU’s University Club. The room erupted into smiles and laughter during a photo slideshow of program highlights, and a total of 124 bursts of applause accompanied participants as they received completion certificates, ASU memorabilia and a lot of handshakes and hugs.

Rentz said the program was not only a memorable learning experience, but a diplomatic mission as well.

“Every international exchange has a diplomacy element to it because ASU does win friends and influence nations, one by one,” Rentz said. “We’re also influenced by those who come here, and believe that each student is an ambassador for their country.”

Hill, who picked up the cohort from the airport and took them back on Aug. 8, related that it was a memorable farewell. “This group became a part of the fabric and culture of ASU in the short time they were here,” she said. “There were definitely some tears saying goodbye, but also a lot of joy. I think there is a lot of excitement to see where this program will lead as ASU deepens its ties with UDG and Mexico.”

Reporter , ASU News