Conference will focus on national security issues

Conference will focus on national security issues

Amy Herman
Amy Herman

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Political Science and the Nebraska College of Law's Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program will present the 2018 Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance Conference March 15 and 16 at McCollum Hall. The theme is "Thinking Outside the Silo: Creative Problem Solving in Deterrence and Assurance."

The alliance is a group of educational institutions working with U.S. Strategic Command to develop a national security-focused community, leverage academic expertise and research, and encourage students to join the field.

The conference will challenge students and academics to experiment with conventional wisdom by addressing the changing landscape of security threats and war-fighting domains. Presentations will feature innovative thinking and methodologies to reassess old problems and address new ones in deterring adversaries and assuring allies.

The conference will include a student-centered, invitation-only tabletop exercise at Offutt Air Force Base on March 15. Students will explore the deterrence challenges of influencing adversaries while assuring allies and partners, with a focus on alliance management and negotiation during a crisis.

Conference co-directors Tyler White, assistant professor of practice in political science at Nebraska, and Elsbeth Magilton, executive director of the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program, said the event will bring together students – from undergraduates to doctoral candidates — with faculty and other policy experts to present work addressing the complicated missions U.S. Strategic Command faces in protecting the nation.

"Drawing on innovative thinking from students and faculty focused on national security, space law and cybersecurity is a creative way to approach new challenges facing our nation," Magilton said. "We appreciate being involved in the DAAA and adding value to the conversations happening at U.S. Strategic Command, while also providing remarkable student opportunities to have an impact on national security."

Amy Herman, author of "Visual Intelligence," will deliver opening remarks. Herman provides leadership training to top officers in the U.S. military and law enforcement. The Department of Defense called her interactive instruction "invaluable," and the chief of naval operations credited her methods with "stimulating the innovative thinking necessary to generate viable future war-fighting concepts." Herman is also the founder and president of The Art of Perception, Inc., a New York-based organization that conducts professional-development courses for leaders around the world, including at the FBI, CIA, Scotland Yard and the Peace Corps.

"Amy's unique research allows her to use great works of art to teach people how to harness their observational and critical-thinking skills," White said. "Her background is the perfect complement to our conference theme – asking strategic defense thinkers to challenge or rework conventional wisdom."

Registration, available online, is due by March 12.