Executive Seminar: Strategic Power Competition in a Multipolar World

From 5–16 December 2022, the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies hosted an Executive Seminar (ES) titled “Strategic Power Competition in a Multipolar World.” The virtual seminar’s focus on strategic power competition helped define what “global power” and “competition” mean. It also identified challenges the United States faces in this new era of competition, especially from Russia and China, and from non-state actors and violent extremist organizations.

ES Seminar Collage of Speakers
Speakers starting from the left: Dr. Michael Sharnoff (Course Director and Professor, NESA Center), Dr. Roger Kangas (Academic Dean, NESA Center), COL (Ret.) David Lamm (Deputy Director, NESA Center), Amb. Ali Jalali (Distinguished Professor, NESA Center), Col Daniel Curfiss, USMC (Ret.) (Associate Professor, NESA Center), Anne Moisan (Professor, NESA Center), Jeffrey Payne (Assistant Professor, NESA Center), Dr. Seth Jones (Senior Vice President; Harold Brown Chair; and Director, International Security Program, CSIS International Security Program), Dr. Gawdat Bahgat (Professor, NESA Center), Dr. Marcus D. King (Professor of Practice in Environment and International Affairs, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University), Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown (Brookings Institution), Todd Harrison (Senior Vice President at Metrea), Dr. Soner Cagaptay (Director of Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy), Gabriella Gricius (Ph.D. Student in Political Science at Colorado State University), Sarah Gamberini (Policy Fellow at the National Defense University Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction), Dr. Theodore Karasik (Senior Adviser to Gulf State Analytics), David Des Roches (Associate Professor, NESA Center), Dr. Jack Midgley (Principal at Midgley & Company LLC), Charles B. Marks (SANDU Strategic Implementation Office Provost at the Near East South Asia Center), Richard Wiersema (Professor, Near East South Asia Center), Dr. Andreas Kuehn, (Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation America), Dr. George Perkovich (Ken Oliver and Angela Nomellini Chair, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and Philip (P.J.) Crowley (Former Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the U.S. Department of State)


The conference included presentations by scholars and practitioners on strategic power competition topics such as the war on terrorism, the military, professional military education (PME), pandemics and the global economy, and maritime security. Other topics included competition in the arctic region, weaponizing and disinformation, and competition in space, as well as case studies on China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey (Türkiye).


Course Director Dr. Michael Sharnoff and his colleagues, NESA Center Professors Ali Jalali and Dan Curfiss, moderated the sessions. After each presentation, about 30-45 mins was reserved for moderated discussion that was off-the-record (under Chatham House rules of non-attribution) where participants were encouraged to openly contribute to the discussion. The ES seminar was an excellent opportunity for professionals from the region to listen, engage, debate, question, and discuss what these competitive dynamics mean for them. Fifty participants from twenty-one countries joined the seminar.


Read about the last ES the NESA Center hosted earlier this year from July–August 2022.

NESA Center Conducts an Executive Seminar on Technology & Security


The views presented in this article are those of the speaker or author and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its components.