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Michael J. Zak Grand Strategy Lecture Featuring Robert D. Kaplan

Mar 7, 2018
8:00am to 12:30pm

Washington, DC

Featuring Robert D. Kaplan

"Grand Strategy means defining a nation's overarching, long-range goals in foreign affairs which are consistent not only with its interests, but with its political and economic capacities. It is not merely about what a nation wants to do - or what would be nice to do – but what it actually can do, and most importantly, what its citizens will practically support. Grand Strategy keeps elites grounded and close to the citizenry. Grand Strategy is aspirational, not declarational: meaning even if a nation achieves only part of its grand strategy, that in and of itself is highly useful. Being conscious of Grand Strategy implies a respect for geography and geopolitics, as well as a respect for principles and pragmatism – which also happens to be at the core of CNAS' mission statement."

—Robert D. Kaplan, CNAS Senior Fellow and Author

Robert Kaplan’s upcoming book, "The Return of Marco Polo’s World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century," is available for purchase here.

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  • 8:00 - 9:00AM
    Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00 - 9:10AM 
    Victoria Nuland and Michael J. Zak
  • 9:10 - 10:10AM
    Inaugural Michael J. Zak Grand Strategy Lecture and Q&A
    Robert D. Kaplan
  • 10:10 - 10:25AM
    Coffee Break
  • 10:25 - 11:25AM
    Implementing National Security Strategies
    Moderator: Loren DeJonge Schulman (CNAS)
    Panelists: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Elbridge A. Colby (DOD), Dr. Kathleen Hicks (CSIS), Dr. Will Inboden (Clements Center, University of Texas)
  • 11:25AM - 12:25PM
    Grand Strategy and America’s Role in the World

    Moderator: Richard Fontaine (CNAS)
    Panelists: Dr. William Ruger (Charles Koch Institute), Ambassador Victoria Nuland (CNAS), Dr. Hal Brands (CSBA/SAIS)

“These essays comprise a truly path-breaking, brilliant synthesis and analysis of geographic, political, technological, and economic trends with far-reaching consequences. The Return of Marco Polo’s World is another work by Robert D. Kaplan that will be regarded as a classic.” 

—General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.)

Map showing event location
Washington, DC