Gray Zones: A New Look at the Conflict Spectrum
Thursday, March 15, 7PM
Please join us for a discussion of the concept of “gray zone” conflict and competition. Recent criticism of the US military tendency to employ a binary war/peace concept of conflict has lead to a surge of study of what is now know as “the gray zone,” or “conflict short of armed conflict.”
Proponents of this concept argue that there is a gap in America’s preparedness to confront challenges that are above the level of normal competition but do not cross the threshold beyond which the U.S. is prepared to employ its overwhelming military force; and that its competitors have figured out how to exploit this gap.
Examples of gray zone conflict/competition include China’s actions in the South China Sea and Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its continued military activity in Ukraine, each trying to deny and/or justify their actions avoid repercussions and escalation.
Irregular warfare analyst and YPFP Defense Discussion Group Chair, Paul W. Taylor, and former U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel, Professor David S. Maxwell, will discuss the nature of the gray zone and how well the U.S. military is prepared for such challenges.
Prof. David S. Maxwell
David S. Maxwell is an independent national security consultant and the former Associate Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University. He is a 30 year veteran of the US Army retiring in 2011 as a Special Forces Colonel with his final assignment serving on the military faculty teaching national security strategy at the National War College. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and holds Masters of Military Arts and Science degrees from the US Army Command and General Staff College and the School of Advanced Military Studies and a Master of Science degree in National Security Studies from the National War College of the National Defense University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Liberal Studies (ABD) at Georgetown writing a dissertation titled “The Statesman, the Strategist, and the Special Forces Soldier: A Philosophy of Unconventional and Political Warfare.”
Paul W. Taylor
Paul W. Taylor is an irregular warfare analyst and the current Chair of the YPFP Defense Discussion Group. For the past 5 years, he has been a strategy and policy analyst supporting the advancement of Navy and Joint doctrine, strategy, and policy to address irregular challenges. He has provided subject matter expertise and reviewed policy documents on the topics of irregular warfare, special operations, security force assistance, maritime security, regional engagement, CBRN and CWMD, and unconventional warfare. He has also engaged with Joint Staff and Naval Services on irregular warfare-related doctrine development. He holds a J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of Law, as well as a Master's Degree from the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall.
When: Thursday, March 15, 7PM (Check-in at 6:30PM)
Where: GWU Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 505 (1957 E. Street NW)
Note: This event is open to YPFP members and GWU students, faculty, and alumni
1957 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
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