Art of the Future Events

The political climate in the United States today is fueled by a voter base that feeds off of antagonistic behavior, misinformation, and isolation from global politics, panelists said in a discussion at the Atlantic Council on May 2.

“This is the problem that we are facing today: The American voter has been so insulated and isolated that fifty percent of them are now ready to elect a reality TV star,” Max Brooks, a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Art of the Future project of the Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, said referring to Republican presidential frontrunner and New York billionaire Donald Trump.

“The issue that we are dealing with right now trickles down to every level of government and every level of the [US] military. It all comes back to: ‘We don’t want to upset or bother the American people.’ And yet, we must,” Brooks contended.

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The Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted a Commanders Series event with Admiral Michael S. Rogers, the Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency, regarding his strategic priorities for 2016.

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After Veterans Day, authors urge public to remember human element of war

A critical divide between the American public and military needs to be overcome to best provide for veterans returning home from war, said a VA official and authors at the Atlantic Council on Nov. 12.

“Ignorance flourishes amid apathy, and we are a nation that is entirely ignorant of what we are asking people who are fighting wars that are fought in your name whether you like it or not,” said Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author of Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield. “The elites of this country have done precious little to narrow that gap between those who serve and everybody else.” 

“After the War: Veterans and Post-Conflict Issues of the Future,” was hosted by the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and moderated by August Cole, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare project.

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On November 12, 2015, the Atlantic Council's Art of Future Warfare Project hosted an event entitled "After the War: Veterans and Post-Conflict Issues of the Future." The panel featured Dr. Linda Spoonster Schwartz, Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning, and three acclaimed authors of publications focused on combat and what happens to troops and civilians during the fight. The event delved into an overlooked issue in the exploration of future wars: what happens when conflicts end? Particularly, how will veterans reintegrate back into American society? Moderated by the Art of Future Warfare's Director August Cole, the panelists exchanged views on these issues by recounting their own experiences in combat, wartime reporting, and policymaking and discussing how the changing landscape of warfare poses new challenges for reintegrating veterans into society.

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On Tuesday, July 7, the Atlantic Council hosted a panel continuing the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security's series, Art of Future Warfare. The panel entitled "How to Write and Fight World War III" surrounded the newly released book Ghost Fleet and its implications in predicting a future great war. The panelists include coauthors Peter W. Singer, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and August Cole, Director of the Art of Future Warfare Project at the Atlantic Council; Kathleen McInnis, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council; and Mark Seip, US Navy Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. The discussion centered on how creativity in fiction can bring new perspectives to strategic planning.

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Please join the Atlantic Council's Art of Future Warfare project on July 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for a discussion on what a major state conflict would look like in the twenty-first century. How would warfare be conducted in the new domains of low-earth orbit and cyber space?  What new technologies, old rules, and lessons will matter most?

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In the not-too-distant future, most of humanity will live in megacities. Megacities will serve as economic, cultural, and political hubs of international affairs--but they also will form the complex landscape of rivalry and violent conflict. Recent instances of urban combat--Saigon, Sarajevo, Fallujah--only begin to inform the epic challenge of fighting in our mid-century megacities. To inform our understanding of that challenge, the Art of Future Warfare project hosted a discussion entitled Envisioning the Future of Urban Warfare at the Atlantic Council on June 23, 2015. The event was the capstone of the project's "War-Art Challenge," which elicited illustrations (as from a graphic novel) that renders scenes from urban fights in the 2040s and 2050s.

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Please join the Atlantic Council's Art of Future Warfare project on June 23 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 pm for a discussion on Envisioning the Future of Urban Warfare. This will also be the capstone to a war-art challenge calling for graphic novel, or comic book, illustrations revealing what urban warfare might look like in the 2040s and 2050s.

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Predictions of the future are often one sided, based on past data and assumptions of future conditions. But at the intersection of creativity and interest, the Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare project creates a revolutionary forum to discuss what conflict may look like years from now. In a series of contests, each directed toward a different creative medium, the project strives to create an alternative dialogue. In the second war-art challenge, participants were asked to write a creative short story around space and interstellar conflict at the end of the 21st century. Following the selection of a winner, the Atlantic Council hosted a panel to discuss the themes explored in the winning selection as well as prospects of space conflict.

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The Art of Future Warfare, an initiative of the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, hosted an event titled "How the Next Great War Begins" on March 17. The event served as a conclusion to the initiative's recent essay contest that explored the same question. With a distinguished panel that included Admiral James Stavridis, Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander; Siobhan Gorman, Director of the Brunswick Group and former Wall Street Journal reporter; and Ryan Evans, the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of War on the Rocks, there was no shortage of interesting perspectives and insights.

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