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Midshipmen Attend Roundtable on U.S. Domestic, Foreign Policy

Posted on: February 15, 2013 08:00 EST by Naval Academy Public Affairs

Eighteen midshipmen from the Naval Academy’s Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services chapter attended the 2013 ALLIES Intellectual Roundtable at Boston University Jan. 25-27.

The Intellectual Roundtable (IR) is a conference hosted annually by the ALLIES organization.

The multiday conference is attended by students and faculty from all ALLIES chapters, including Tufts University, Boston University, the Naval Academy, West Point and the Air Force Academy.

“The consortium of ALLIES institutions offers a unique venue through which future civilian and military leaders can engage with contemporary issues in order to broaden their mutual understanding and build a network of intellectual peers committed to improving civil-military relations,” said Midshipman 1st Class Malik Harris, president of the academy’s ALLIES chapter.

Over the years, the conference has expanded to include keynote speakers, panels and screenings, but the heart of the conference is small group discussions in which students and professionals alike are able to explore a range of thematic issues relating to civil-military relations, said Harris.

“The midshipmen who attended benefitted greatly from the intellectual discourse and the opportunity to better understand the views and perspective of their civilian peers,” he said.

The theme for this year’s roundtable, developed by the midshipmen, was “A New Way Forward: Realigning America’s Strategy and Identity.”  

Keynote speakers included Capt. Wayne Porter, author of the U.S. strategy document entitled “A National Strategic Narrative,” which focuses on creating a new national grand strategy in which traditional American values guide the country in sustainable foreign and domestic policies and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy.

Discussion panels addressed a variety of issues, including aligning American values and strategy, how U.S. domestic and foreign policy affects the global society and ensuring American strategies are suited to the current global environment.

The American Values and U.S. Policy breakout session provided participants the opportunity to discuss how key elements of American identity are manifested in current domestic and foreign policies, and whether policies can or should be adapted to reflect American values to a greater extent.

Finally, the Russian-Ukrainian Regional Conflict Simulation allowed participants to analyze a conflict situation by identifying vital U.S. national interests, developing potential U.S. responses, and examining how U.S. efforts to mediate the crisis might be perceived by other states.

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