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2004-2005 Rethinking Seminar Series

From August 2004 through April 2005, the Office of Force Transformation & the US Navy sponsored a seminar series to Rethink the Principles of War in an effort to:

  • Examine the future of warfare
  • Examine underlying principles of war
  • Educate future military strategists and leaders on these principles 

Materials from the series (notes and slide presentations only) are available as indicated below. In a related effort the US Naval Institute Press published an anthology on Rethinking the Principles of War: The Future of Warfare. Edited by Dr. Anthony D. McIvor, with a foreword by VADM John G. Morgan, the volume features new work and fresh thinking by 28 leading authors from a variety of military and national security disciplines. Several of the contributors spoke during the Seminar Series. This project was a parallel activity to the Principles of War Essay Contest. The top three essays appeared in the October 2005 USNI Proceedings.

The Rethinking Seminar Series continued in subsequent years, each with a different focus. The online Archives from these later series also contain video and audio files from the Seminars along with bulletized notes and presentation files.

NOTE: The opinions expressed by the speakers listed below are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Speaker Archives

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1. Initial Seminar
  • Overview -- VADM (ret.) Arthur K. Cebrowski,
  • Imperative for effort – VADM Tim Keating
  • Lessons from 2 Iraq Wars – MGEN (ret) Robert Scales
  • June 8 – Speakers' Notes

2. Military View of Future Conflict, potential changing nature of war and transformation and its effect on the Principles of War.

3. Intel And Knowledge (Actionable Knowledge) Dr. George Friedman, Ph.D. founder and Chairman, Strategic Forecasting Inc., discussed the current Iraq situation and changes in the intelligence community: Speaker's Notes for 20 July

4. Technology and Future War Professor Martin van Creveld author of 15 books on military history, technology and strategy including Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present (1989) Speaker's Notes for 13 September

5. Threats, Dangers, and Uncertainties Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski of the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and former National Security Advisor to the President Speaker's Notes for 12 October

6. Old & New Business: How Defeating Global Terror Can Be Done in the 21st Century Dr. Harlan Ullman, CNA Corporation and Center for Strategic and International Studies Speaker's Notes for 9 November

7. The Role Security, Stability and Reconstruction Play in the Larger Theme of the Principles of Warfare General James L. Jones Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander, U.S. European Command Speaker's Notes for 22 November

8. Current & Potential Operational Art & the Principles of War General Jack Keane, USA (ret), former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Speaker's Notes for January 6th

9. Two Enemies: “Non-State Actors” and Change in the Muslim World  Dr. Mike Vlahos, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, National Security Analysis Dept. Dr. Vlahos' new monograph on this topic is now available. Speaker's Notes for February 4th

10. What Do We Know About Future Warfare? Dr. Colin Gray Professor of International Politics & Strategic Studies, University of Reading, England, and a Senior Fellow at National Institute for Public Policy, Fairfax, VA. Speaker's Notes for March 15th

Culminating Full-Day Seminar: APRIL 13, 2005

Session 1: The Changing Nature of War

  • Dr. James Carafano (USA, ret) Heritage Foundation
    • Summarized Speaker's Notes: PDF
  • Dr. James Schneider, SAMS, Ft Leavenworth
    • Summarized Speaker's Notes: PDF

Session 2: Strategic Implications

Luncheon Speaker:

Session 3: Military Implications


This web site is hosted by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to support national security assessment. Any document posted is the sole responsibility of the service or agency representative providing the document. Views expressed in the Seminars are those of the speakers and not necessarily those of JHU/APL.

For questions or comments about this web site: Web_Rethinking_Webmaster@jhuapl.edu.