A panel discussion entitled The Global War on Terror: Is America Fighting the Right War? led by Bill Thoet and featuring panelists Fran Townsend, Rep. Jane Harman, Daniel Benjamin, and Jeffrey Goldberg.
This panel was part of the 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival.
Daniel Benjamin is a journalist and scholar on international security. From 1994 to 1997 he served on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration; before that he worked as a journalist for Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
He was formerly a Senior Fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and he writes a column for Slate Magazine.
He currently serves as the Director for the Center on the United States and Europe, and Senior Fellow of Foreign Policy Studies at The Brookings Institution.
Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.
Jane Harman is president, CEO, and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is a former US representative (D-CA). Representing the aerospace center of California during nine terms in Congress, she served on all of the major security committees: six years on Armed Services, eight years on Intelligence, and four years on Homeland Security. She has made numerous congressional fact-finding missions to hot spots around the world, including North Korea, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Guantánamo Bay, to assess threats against the United States. Harman has received numerous awards, including the Defense Department Medal for Distinguished Service, the CIA’s Agency Seal Medal, and the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal. Prior to serving in Congress, she was a top aide in the United States Senate, deputy cabinet secretary to President Jimmy Carter, special counsel to the Department of Defense, and in private law practice.
Bill Thoet is a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton with over 20 years of experience in the areas of modeling, simulation, war-gaming, and analysis.
He leads over 600 staff members focused on applying those disciplines to problems that include avian flu pandemics planning, HIV/AIDS country planning for India and China, developing corporate strategies, testing the resilience of financial institutions, and military planning.
His background is in electrical engineering and computer science.
Frances Fragos Townsend is an Executive Vice President at MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings, LLC. Prior to that she was a corporate partner with the law firm Baker Botts, LLC. She served as Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council from May 2004 until January 2008. She previously served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism from May 2003 to May 2004. Townsend provided consulting services and advice to corporate entities on Global Strategic Engagement and Risk as well as Crisis and Contingency planning. Townsend is a Contributor for CNN and has regularly appeared on network and cable television as a counterterrorism, national and homeland security expert. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board as well as the Trilateral Commission. She came to the White House from the U. S. Coast Guard, where she had served as the first Assistant Commandant for Intelligence. Prior to that, she spent 13 years at the U. S. Department of Justice under the administrations of President H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. She served in a variety of senior positions including as Counsel to the Attorney General for Intelligence Policy. Townsend began her prosecutorial career in 1985, serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York.
Congresswoman Jane Harman calls for the end of state sponsored terrorism in the middle east, believing that the United States suffers from a conflict of interest if we continue to rely on Middle Eastern oil.
Harman says we may have to "kiss goodbye other objectives -- like protecting the state of Israel" if we do not change course.