Date: September 9
Recording on YouTube
Speaker: Anand Gopal, Paul Miller, Heather Hurlburt, and Daniel Rothenberg; moderated by John Carlson
( Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, in conjunction with the Center on the Future of War)
Perhaps no other event in the last twenty years has had more enduring and global repercussions than the attacks of 9/11. In response, the United States restructured the federal government, passed the USA Patriot Act, and launched the global war on terror that extended to Afghanistan, Iraq and countless other countries. “Freedom” and “democracy” served as the rallying cries of such efforts, especially in response to terrorists portrayed as enemies who “hate our freedoms.” Twenty years later, America’s—and Americans’—commitments to freedom and democracy, both at home and abroad, warrant renewed reflection and deeper scrutiny.
On the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, in conjunction with the Center on the Future of War, is sponsoring a two-part conversation on the legacy and lessons of 9/11. These panels will give particular attention to how the forces of nationalism, populism, isolationism, and nativism have shaped—and are shaping—Americans’ lives and the nation’s engagement in the world. Throughout, religion has occupied a central yet always varied place in the reaction to, and analysis of, these pivotal events and influential forces.
The second panel will consider how U.S. foreign policy has embraced or forsaken commitments to freedom and democracy so deeply aroused by the September 11 attacks. The recent US withdrawal from Afghanistan is front and center in this conversation. Yet, other US interventions over the last two decades—in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere—invite reconsideration of whether and how the United States has been a friend of or foil to freedom, self-determination, and human rights for other peoples. What is the relation of the global war on terror and related efforts to “counter violent extremism” to rising forms of populism, nationalism, and authoritarianism? What do the lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq, and other wars suggest about the future of freedom, democracy, and human rights in the world? Twenty years on from 9/11, what role is religion likely to play in international politics and the struggle for self-determination.
This panel features Paul Miller, professor of practice at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Heather Hurlbut, director of New Models for Policy Change at New America, Daniel Rothenberg, co-director of the Center on the Future of War, and Anand Gopal, author of "No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes." The panel will be moderated by John Carlson, interim director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.