< Distinguished speaker series

Michael O’Hanlon

Director of Research, Foreign Policy Program
Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy
The Brookings Institution

The Art of War in an Age of Peace: The U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint

DATE: October 7, 2021 6:00 pm

Event information


Michael O’Hanlon has long reflected on the danger that the United States could lurch or drift from a relatively modest disagreement or conflict into a major war. The United States is committed to peace, but its international policies rest on power; and utilizing power while achieving peace is the complexity explored by Dr. O’Hanlon. The clearest such challenge today is China’s military threats to Taiwan. China adds its assertiveness in the South China Sea and its vigorous drive to increase its economic and political influence globally. Similar policy challenges are posed by the specter of global Jihad with nuclear weapons, North Korea, a nuclear Iran pursuing regional hegemony, and enhanced Russian ambition in Ukraine and the Middle East. As we reflect on the difficulties of conducting a vigorous, power-based policy in today’s world, we are fortunate to be joined by Michael O’Hanlon who has devoted great energy to examining this intellectual and operational challenge.

Dr. O’Hanlon received his BS and MS degrees in the physical sciences at Princeton and later a Ph.D. in public affairs and international relations from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He is a Peace Corp veteran (Zaire), was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, and worked at the Institute for Defense Analysis before joining Brookings.

His extraordinary energy as a national security authority has resulted in over a dozen books, hundreds of articles in the nation’s foremost journals, op-ed pieces in major national outlets and over 4,000 commentaries here and abroad since September 11, 2001. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown Universities, and Professional Lecturer at George Washington University; and has served as an advisor to the Central Intelligence Agency. His books have covered security in Eastern Europe, land warfare, nuclear disarmament, Korea, NATO in Kosovo, technological change and the future of warfare, U.S-China relations, Obama’s foreign policy, and creating and managing policy to avoid war. Afghanistan has been a major part of his research.

It is a great pleasure to once again welcome a good friend of the Council, the distinguished and interesting authority on national security, Dr. Michael O’Hanlon.