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Former National Security Deputy Schadlow to Speak at Symposium

Updated: Feb 8, 2020

Former National Security Council Deputy Dr. Nadia Schadlow will be the keynote speaker the Civil Affairs Symposium on “Optimizing Civil Affairs” at Ft. Bragg, NC on Saturday, 3 November. Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy in 2017-2018, Dr. Schadlow was primary author of the 2017 National Security Strategy as well as War & the Art of Governance.

Based on her book, Dr. Schadlow will address “Civil Affairs and America’s ‘Denial Syndrome,’” with respect to the reluctance of American civil and military institutions to invest and engage in stabilization, “nation-building,” and other activities not considered part of major combat operations, as evidenced in the Army’s numerous attempts to cut civil affairs as well as its renewed effort to disband its War College’s Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute.

Yet, “to wage war effectively,” her book asserts, “civilian and military leaders must operate as successfully on political battlegrounds as they do on the physical. As the challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan revealed, integrating those efforts across those battlegrounds is essential to success in war.” Dr. Schadlow will be on hand after her presentation to sign your copies of the book.

Schadlow’s remarks echo those of her former boss, Maj. Gen. (ret.) H.R. McMaster, who was recently the National Security Advisor and the keynote speaker at the 2015 CA Symposium in San Antonio. They also recall civil-military integration as a critical component of the new U.S. interagency stabilization concept, discussed during the last Symposium and Roundtable.

Schadlow’s keynote will open up a packed agenda that day including a civilian panel to discuss how civil affairs can optimize its capabilities to best facilitate and support interagency stabilization and civilian-led peacebuilding, a representative from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict to discuss initiatives and proposals on “Defense Optimization of Civil Affairs,” and a panel of civil affairs leaders to comment on the findings and recommendations from the previous afternoon’s workshop for the Civil Affairs Capability-Based Assessment to take place after the Symposium.

The Symposium culminates with the presentation of the five papers selected to appear in the 2018-19 Civil Affairs Issue Papers and compete for cash prizes based on an audience vote.

The evening prior will feature a Civil Affairs Regimental Ball hosted by the 95th CA Brigade at the Embassy Suites hotel just off-post.

The Association will post the full Symposium agenda on its website soon.

For more information and to register, purchase a ticket, and reserve lodging, go to:

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