Winter Speaker Series: David Cooper

February 23, 2019 2:00 pm Griswold House

"Who's Afraid of the 'Deep State'? The Influence of Bureaucracy on National Security"

David Cooper, The James V. Forrestal Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College

Since the 2016 presidential election, many Americans have learned a new term in their political lexicon: the so-called “deep state.” There are those who allege that a collection of permanent civil servants and military, law enforcement, and intelligence officers are working behind the scenes to shape U.S. national security policy along their preferred lines, largely ignoring the will of the duly elected President and his appointees. The most extreme incarnations of this idea portray a nefarious and organized conspiracy, with the “deep state” taking steps to bring to heel any politician who dares to challenge it. Does America really have a national security “deep state?” If by this loaded term we mean a sprawling bureaucracy filled mostly by a permanent cadre of lower-level officials, then inarguably the answer is yes. But how much influence does this so-called “deep state” really exert, and more importantly, to what ends? Drawing on extensive academic research on the role of bureaucracy in shaping national security decisions, Professor Cooper steps back from today’s heated and divisive political rhetoric to explore the reality about Washington’s national security bureaucracy.

Each lecture will be followed by audience Q&A, and continued conversation in the galleries over  hot tea, coffee, and scrumptious light fare and desserts, courtesy of Blenheim-Newport, a Benchmark Senior Living Community.

David Cooper is a scholar-practitioner with academic and professional national security expertise in nonproliferation, arms control, and disarmament, weapons of mass destruction, multilateral negotiations, international organizations, U.S. foreign and defense policy, foreign policy analysis, and international relations theory. He has held a tenured appointment as a named professor within the Department of National Security Affairs (NSA) at the U.S. Naval War College since 2010. Cooper has published books and numerous articles on foreign policy, and testified before the House Foreign Relations Committee on Iran’s Enduring Ballistic Missile Threat. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Oberlin College, a Masters of International Affairs (MIA) from Columbia University, and a PhD in Politcal Science and International Relations from Australian National University.

Thank you to our generous sponsors

Ronald Lee Fleming
Fleming Family Foundation

Lee C. Bakalarski
Lockett Ford Ballard, Jr., in memory of Canon Lockett Ford Ballard & Charlotte Carr Morrinson Ballard
Johanna and Ronald Becker
Anita and George Furbish
Mary Jennings
Cynthia Sinclair
Kathleen Shinners
The Hope Foundation

This event is made possible by your support of the Annual Fund.

Thank you to the Winter Speaker Series Committee

Dick Hunt, Chairman
Burt Alpert
Bruce Amand
Johanna Becker
Eleanor Doumato
Jack Galvin
Anne DeBose Joslin
Susan Kieronski
Cristin Searles-Bilodeau
Kathleen Shinners