In June 2014, the Sunni militant group ISIS declared that it had established a new caliphate spanning territory in Syria and Iraq. Since then, the region under its control has expanded, despite airstrikes and the deployment of U.S. military advisors, and Jihadist groups across the Muslim world have pledged their allegiance. What should the Obama administration's next steps be? Should the U.S. goal be containment, or can ISIS be defeated?
Presented in partnership with the Aspen Strategy Group.
Michèle Flournoy is the co-founder and CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and a senior adviser at the Boston Consulting Group. Formerly the under secretary of defense for policy (2009-2012), she was the principal adviser to the secretary of defense in the formulation of national security and defense policy, oversight of military plans and operations, and in NSC deliberations. She led the development of Department of Defense’s new Strategic Guidance and represented the DoD in dozens of foreign engagements, in the media, and before Congress. Previously, she was senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a distinguished research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. Flournoy has received several awards from the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She is a member of the Defense Policy Board, CFR, and the Aspen Strategy Group.
Anne-Marie Slaughter is currently the President and CEO of New America, a think tank and civic enterprise with offices in Washington and New York. She is also the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009–2011 she served as Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Upon leaving the State Department she received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for her work leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, as well as meritorious service awards from USAID and the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe.
Dov S. Zakheim
Dov Zakheim is senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and senior fellow at CNA Corp. Previously, he served as senior vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, as under secretary of defense (comptroller) and chief financial officer for the Department of Defense, and as the DOD’s coordinator of civilian programs in Afghanistan. During the 2000 presidential campaign, he was a senior foreign policy advisor to then-Governor Bush. From 1985 to 1987, Zakheim was deputy under secretary of defense for planning and resources. He is vice chairman of both the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Center for the National Interest, a member of the Defense Business Board and the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, and has been an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an adjunct professor at several universities. He is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.
Philip Zelikow is the immediate past Counselor of the U.S. Department of State, where he served for two years as a senior policy advisor on a wide range of issues to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Before his appointment as Counselor, Dr. Zelikow served as the Executive Director of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, better known as the 9/11 Commission.
Currently, Dr. Zelikow is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia. Until his State Department appointment in 2005, he also served as director of the Universityâ€™s Miller Center of Public Affairs. He was a member of the Presidentâ€™s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (2001-2003), and served as executive director of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former Presidents Carter and Ford, which led to the Help America Vote Act of 2002. He also served as executive director of the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age.
Dr. Zelikow received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in international law and diplomacy from Tufts Universityâ€™s Fletcher School. He served in three different offices of the U.S. Department of State in the second Reagan administration, and joined the National Security Council in the George H. W. Bush administration. He left the NSC in 1991 and to teach public policy at Harvard University where he also served as co-director of Harvardâ€™s Intelligence and Policy Program.
His books include The Kennedy Tapes (with Ernest May), Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (with Condoleezza Rice), and the rewritten Essence of Decision (with Graham Allison). Dr. Zelikow has also been the director of the Aspen Strategy Group, a policy program of the Aspen Institute.
Philip Zelikow and Michele Flournoy argue that an "advise and support" strategy against ISIS has not been fully attempted in the Middle East while Dov Zakheim questions the potential of investing more in the region.