For the next three weeks, more than 30 members of the U.S. Army and Marines Corps and a British Army officer will learn about national security, strategic planning and crisis management from an array of Indiana University experts.
For the second straight year, the Institute for Defense and Business is collaborating with IU to offer the IU-IDB Strategic Studies Fellows Program. Last year was the first time the Institute for Defense and Business offered the program away from its flagship base in North Carolina.
The program is a graduate-level seminar focused on providing officers – including warrant officers and senior noncommissioned officers – with a broad set of leadership skills to understand the foundations of national security and decision-making, the origins of international conflict, cybersecurity, strategy, and communications presented from a nonmilitary point of view.
Jennifer Harris, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, will be a special guest speaker.
The Institute for Defense and Business is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and education institute in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since 2000, it has offered executive education programs, bringing together disparate groups from the defense and nondefense sectors into the classroom to teach best business practices and provide a neutral forum to build networks and openly discuss difficult and timely topics. It is a long-standing partner of IU.
“Last year’s program was an unmitigated success largely due to the strong personal involvement of IU’s leadership and the faculty’s enthusiasm and culture of excellence,” said retired Maj. Gen. Jim Hodge, president of the Institute for Defense and Business. “The results were easily recognized by Army leadership, and they enthusiastically approved IDB recommendations to repeat the program this year.”
Lee Feinstein, dean of the School of Global and International Studies and a former U.S. ambassador, welcomed the contingent on Monday and will discuss national security and decision-making on Tuesday.
“In the three weeks you’ll spend on the IU campus, your sense of the world’s strategic security issues will be broadened with an understanding of the forces that shape our world, knowledge about the local culture and history of where you are operating, and a range of leadership skills that are necessary for anyone in government service,” Feinstein told them.
The officers will work together on a capstone project after receiving professional coaching from the Kelley School of Business. They will present their final projects to a panel of representatives from the Army, IU faculty and the Institute for Defense and Business.
A timely issue, cybersecurity, will be addressed in several sessions. Presenters will include Fred Cate, IU vice president for research, and Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
Idie Kesner, dean of the Kelley School of Business and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management, will present two sessions on strategic planning and crisis management.
The course will focus on some global flashpoints and security challenges including Afghanistan, Iraq and North Korea. Attendees will be briefed on issues in Russia and China, learn about the role of NGOs in war-torn areas, and consider how climate change informs global security.
Feisal Istrabadi, director of IU’s Center for the Study of the Middle East and a university scholar in international law and diplomacy in the Maurer School of Law, will discuss ISIS and U.S. strategy in Iraq. He served as deputy permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations in 2004-07.
Nazif Shahrani, a professor in IU’s departments of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Anthropology, and Central Eurasian Studies, will talk about the future of Afghanistan.
Adam Liff, an assistant professor in the School of Global and International Studies, will lead a discussion about North Korea’s nuclear program. David Bosco, an associate professor in the school, will lead several sessions focusing on international organizations such as NATO and the United Nations Security Council.
By the time the military officers leave IU Bloomington on June 3, they should be able to see “where policy issues overlap, what falls through the cracks and the uncharted territory beyond the usual discussions,” Feinstein said.
“I promise that you will think about the world and its conflicts in a deeper and more nuanced way, you will be able to make more-informed decisions, and you will lead more effectively,” he added.