Civil Military Relations Conference 2016

2016 Tufts ALLIES Civil-Military Relations Conference


The Tufts University Civil-Military Relations Conference (CMRC) proudly brings together members of ALLIES (Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services) and leading “voices from the field” to discuss civil-military relations in a functional context. The third annual CMRC will focus on “Changing Wars in a Changing World: Adapting to the Challenges of Modern Warfare.” The conference will consist of a panel, dinner, and keynote on Friday, November 11, 2016, followed by a second panel, breakout sessions and a diplomatic crisis scenario on Saturday, November 12, 2016.

Through this multi-day event, students will examine two parallel trends: the growth of new forms of military combat, and recent changes in the military’s role in promoting global health. The first panel, “Defining War in the Twenty-First Century,” will examine new conceptions of defining and fighting wars in the modern world. The second panel, “New Front Lines: America’s Military in the Fight Against Disease,” seeks to explore the role of the armed forces in advancing global health and fostering global stability.


Panel Descriptions

“Defining War in the Twenty-First Century”

Proliferation of information technology has produced a host of new domains for the use of force. Whether through cyber attacks, drone strikes, or social media, groups in conflict utilize different components of hybrid warfare in pursuit of their aims, creating new challenges for policymakers. In the interconnected, global world that is the twenty-first century, ideological supremacy and cultural influence can, in some ways, demonstrate greater superiority over one’s opponents than territorial gains.

Questions for Panelists

  1.     How have the ways wars are fought changed over the past twenty years, and how might they change in the years to come?
  2.     To what extent is the U.S. military enabling these trends, and how are the armed forces reacting to them with regard to both training and strategy?
  3.     To what extent are U.S. pre-existing moral, legal, and political norms adaptable or impermeable to such changes?
  4.     How does the use of force differ among state sanctioned and non-state actors?
  5.     How do these trends affect civil-military relations in the United States?

“New Front Lines: America’s Military in the Fight Against Disease”

Many low- and middle-income countries traditionally lack the resources and infrastructure necessary to maintain functional public health and disease control systems. This issue can easily be exacerbated due to political and social turmoil, creating a debilitating impact on the state of global health. A globalized world has caused health concerns to permeate borders, triggering a series of pandemics that are no longer country-specific. Many diseases, like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Polio, and Zika, are of international concern that merit and often require military intervention.

Questions for Panelists

  1. To what extent is there a correlation between improving global health and increasing global stability?
  2. To what extent does the U.S. military have a role in protecting global health?
  3. What challenges are associated with promoting global health?
  4. How does increased military involvement in the public health sector impact the relationship and cooperation between the armed forces and non-governmental actors?

Diplomatic Crisis Negotiation Simulation:


The Diplomatic Crisis Simulation tests individuals’ abilities to negotiate with other actors and react to unexpected challenges on the international stage. Students assume the roles as the senior diplomats of various fictional countries overseen by an advisor from the Fletcher School. In attempting to maintain peace while advancing their national interests, participants grapple with difficult moral and political choices that test their understandings of how the world does and ought to work.


RSVP for the 2016 CMRC on Eventbrite here, and find our Facebook event here!

Full Schedule can be found here.