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The Thucydides Roundtable Oct 17: Meet our Panel!

[Mark Safranski / “zen“]

The long awaited Thucydides Roundtable is scheduled to begin Monday, October 17, 2016 and this seemed to be an appropriate time to introduce our participants.  My thanks to T. Greer, Lynn Rees, Michael Lotus and Charles Cameron for helping assemble this group.

Our panelists are truly an impressive and outstanding group of thinkers, writers and scholars and I feel honored that they have agreed to be part of our roundtable and join us in wrestling with Thucydides to try to distill together an understanding from what the father of history deemed to be “a possession forever”.

Accomplished as they may be, our panelists hail from all walks of life and experiences. We have active and retired military officers, philosophers and scientists, scholars of war, strategy, languages and culture here. Some practice law, others are journalists, policy wonks, poets and expatriates in distant lands. Some panelists have long and distinguished careers and others are starting out and are already making their bones. All share in common a respect for the life of the mind and a willingness to investigate profound books that raise life’s deepest questions. I thank all of them for the time and intellectual energy that they are devoting to this important project.

A couple of brief notes: this list does not include a small number of special guest-posters who for various good reasons, will be entering the fray at a later date. They will be introduced with their post and the required biographical updates will be made here.

Readers who wish to follow along with us or engage in the comment section are cordially invited to so — as a rule the comments at roundtables can be as lively as the posts. A reminder, we will be using The Landmark Thucydides as our official text. Our “Marching Orders” and Roundtable schedule are here.

Without further delay – meet the panelists of the Thucydides Roundtable:

Major Joe Byerly is an armor officer who frequently writes about leadership and leader development on his blog From the Green Notebook. He is a founding member of the Military Writers Guild.  He holds a B.S. from University of North Georgia and M.A. from the Naval War College. He currently serves as a Squadron Executive Officer in the 4th Infantry Division.

Charles Cameron is the Managing Editor of zenpundit.com. Charles has also posted at Small Wars Journal, All Things Counterterrorism, for the Chicago Boyz Afghanistan 2050 roundtable, and elsewhere.  Charles read Theology at Christ Church, Oxford under A.E. Harvey, and was at one time a Principal Researcher with Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies and the Senior Analyst with the Arlington Institute. Cameron is the designer of the HipBone Games, a three-time finalist at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security’s Art of Future War contests, and a contributor to Robert Bunker‘s anthology Blood Sacrifices: Violent Non-State Actors and Dark Magico-Religious Activities (Terrorism Research Center, 2016).

T. Greer is a writer and analyst currently based out of Beijing. His research focuses on the evolution of East Asian strategic thought from the time of Sunzi to today. He blogs at The Scholar’s Stage, and can be followed on Twitter at @Scholars_Stage.

Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin holds a PhD in Philosophy from Temple University, Philadelphia and is a specialist in military ethics, just war theory, social and political philosophy, and applied ethics. She is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and teaches courses in military ethics, warfare, business ethics, and history of philosophy. Recent publications include: When Less is not More: Expanding the Combatant/Non-Combatant Distinction, With Fear and Trembling: A Qualified Defense of Non-Lethal Weaponsand Achilles Goes Asymmetrical: The Warrior, Military Ethics and Contemporary Warfare (Ashgate, 2014)

Sean Paul Kelley has a BA in History from the University of Houston, ’93, an MA in International Affairs from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, ’02, and is pursuing another Master’s in History from the University of Texas, San Antonio. His work has appeared anywhere from the Los Angeles Times Travel Section, to the Alternet.org, the San Antonio Express-News, and was a staff writer for the San Antonio Current.

Kelley’s focus is on the nexus of history and contemporary politics and where they meet internationally. He is a realist by training but an idealist on occasion. He studies power, above all, as it often touches the process, if it isn’t outright the entirety of the process. He spends his time between San Antonio, Texas and Diriá, Nicaragua, where he is completing his Master’s Thesis and beginning his first book on the continuity of history in Central Asia from the time of the Han to the current government of China’s “One Belt, One Road“. He can be reached at spkelley@gmail.com.

Dr. Jim Lacey is the Professor of Strategy at the Marine Corps War College. Prior to that he was a widely published senior analyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, DC. Lacey served over a dozen years on active duty as an infantry officer and recently retired from the Army Reserves. He also taught graduate level courses in Military History and Global Issues at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities. Lacey was an embedded journalist with Time magazine during the invasion of Iraq, where he traveled with the 101st Airborne Division. He has written extensively for many other magazines and his opinion columns have been published in National Review, The Weekly Standard, the New York Post, the New York Sun, Foreign Affairs, and many other publications. Jim Lacey is also regularly published in Military History Magazine, Military History Quarterly, and the Journal of Military History.

Lacey is the author of Moment of Battle (Bantam), The First Clash (Bantam), Takedown: the 3rd Infantry Division’s 21-Day Assault on Baghdad (Naval Institute Press), Pershing (Palgrave-Macmillan) The Making of Peace (Cambridge University Press), and The Making of Grand Strategy (Cambridge University Press) and Keep from all Thoughtful Men (USNI, 2010) He also has a trilogy of works on global terrorism, published early in 2008 (Naval Institute Press). His edited book Great Power Rivalries is forthcoming (2016), as are two other books: The Washington War, dealing with the relationship between FDR, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the War Cabinet during World War II; and, Gods of War, dealing with those times in history when great captains have fought each other.

Michael J. Lotus is a lawyer in Chicago, a graduate of the University of Chicago and Indiana University School of Law.  He is the co-author with James C. Bennett of America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century — Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come (2013), and the co-editor with Lynn C. Rees and Mark Safranski of The Clausewitz Roundtable (Ever Victorious Press, 2016).  He read The History of the Peloponnesian War twice in college and is happy to revisit it a third time.

Dr. Steven Metz is Director of Research at the Strategic Studies Institute. He has been with SSI since 1993, previously serving as Henry L. Stimson Professor of Military Studies, Chairman of the Regional Strategy Department, research director for the Joint Strategic Landpower Task Force, and co-director of SSI’s Future of American Strategy Project.  Metz has also been on the faculty of the Air War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and several universities. He has been an advisor to political campaigns and elements of the intelligence community; served on national security policy task forces; testified in both houses of Congress; and spoken on military and security issues around the world.

Dr. Metz is a weekly columnist for World Politics Review and the author of Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy and several hundred articles, essays, monographs, reports, and book chapters. His research has taken him to 30 countries, including Iraq immediately after the collapse of the Hussein regime. He is an Adjunct Scholar at the U.S. Military Academy’s Modern War Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University, and an MA and BA from the University of South Carolina.

Marc Opper is a postdoctoral associate at Yale’s Council on East Asian Studies. His research focuses on the etiology, conduct, and outcome of internal conflicts with a focus on the micro-level interactions between civilians and armed groups. He specializes in the history, politics, and society of China, Malaya, and Vietnam.

Lynn C. Rees is a software engineer and genealogist. He blogs at Zenpundit, Chicago Boyz, and the Committee of Public Safety. With Michael J. Lotus and Mark Safranski, he was co-editor of The Clausewitz Roundtable (Ever Victorious Press, 2016).

Cheryl Rofer blogs at Nuclear Diner and contributes posts and op-eds to other web magazines, including the Globe and Mail, War On The Rocks, and Physics Today. She retired after 35 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her work included environmental projects in Estonia and Kazakhstan, managing cleanups at Los Alamos, and projects in fossil fuels, laser development, and the nuclear fuel cycle, all with implications for national policy. She has published papers in scientific and political science journals and edited a book. She holds an A.B. from Ripon College and an M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley. She tweets as @CherylRofer.

Mark Safranski is a senior analyst at Wikistrat, LLC, an educator and writer; he holds an MA in diplomatic history from Northern Illinois University and a M.Ed in Curriculum and Leadership from Benedictine University. An occasional contributor to Pragati: The Indian National Interest, his writing has appeared in Small Wars Journal, War on the Rocks, The New Atlanticist, and other sites. Safranski was the editor of The John Boyd Roundtable: Debating Science, Strategy and War; with Michael J. Lotus and Lynn C. Rees, a co-editor of The Clausewitz Roundtable (Ever Victorious Press, 2016); and contributed chapters to a number of books including most recently Warlords, inc (North Atlantic Books, 2015 ) and Blood Sacrifices: Violent Non-State Actors and Dark Magico-Religious Activities (Terrorism Research Center, 2016).

“Seydlitz89” is a former Marine Corps officer and US Army intelligence officer who served in a civilian capacity in Berlin during the last decade of the Cold War. He was involved as both an intelligence operations specialist and an operations officer in strategic overt humint collection. This experience sparked his serious interest in strategic theory. He is now involved in education. He participated in both the Clausewitz and Xenophon Roundtables at Chicago Boyz.

Natalie Sambhi is a Research Fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre where she publishes on Indonesian foreign and defense policy as well as Southeast Asian security. She was previously an Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) from 2012 to 2016, and Managing Editor of ASPI’s blog, The Strategist. She has also worked at the Department of Defence and University of Canberra.

Natalie holds a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) (Hons) from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Arts (International Relations) and Master of Diplomacy from the Australian National University. Sambhi has been published in Security Challenges journal, The Asan Forum, The Diplomat, War On The Rocks, The Interpreter, and The Jakarta Post, among others, and most recently presented on Indonesia’s military modernization at CSIS’s Sixth Annual South China Sea conference in July 2016.

In 2016 and 2014, Natalie was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, DC where she presented on Indonesian civil-military relations. Natalie has served as President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs ACT, having served as Vice President 2013–2015. She hosts Sea Control: Asia Pacific, a podcast series on Asia-Pacific security for the US-based Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC). Natalie also joined the team at Bloggingheads.tv as a host for their international relations segment, Foreign Entanglements.

In 2010, Natalie founded the blog Security Scholar and tweets at @SecurityScholar. She speaks Indonesian and enjoys playing the cello.

7 Responses to “The Thucydides Roundtable Oct 17: Meet our Panel!”

  1. Lexington Green Says:

    Fantastic group! Very eager to see what each has to say about Thucydides.

  2. Danielle C Lindholm Says:

    Question: Are the discussions of the roundtable entirely virtual or are you planning in-person sessions that we, the audience, can attend? Either way, neat project. Thanks for putting it together.

  3. Lynn C. Rees Says:

    Hi Danielle,


    This roundtable is entirely virtual. While its possible to have live video and audio supplement text, images, and other virtual forms, there are no plans afoot to do so now.

  4. Danielle C Lindholm Says:

    Lynn, Thanks for the reply! As a natsec type and former Classics major (a lonnnng time ago), I’m bookmarking the page now. Danielle

  5. Lynn C. Rees Says:

    Hi Danielle,


    You may want to bookmark this page. We will update it continuously with links to new posts and other materials as we go forward.

  6. NerveAgent Says:

    Does anyone know if Mr. Strassler himself has been made aware of this venue?

  7. zen Says:

    Dr. Lacey may or may not have informed him. I know he did notify a number of classics ppl when he signed up but contacting Mr. Strassler is an excellent idea

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