Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life


This event has been postponed due to the government shutdown.

James Q. Roberts
U.S. Department of Defense

Respondent: Kenneth Himes, O.F.M, Boston College

Date: Tuesday, October 22
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Location: Fulton 511

This event is only open to the Boston College community. A BC ID will be required for entry.



Colonel James Q. Roberts (ret.) was appointed as the acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism in June 2012. He serves as the principal advisor to the assistant secretary of defense for Department of Defense policies, plans, authorities, and resources related to special operations and irregular warfare, with special emphasis on counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, and sensitive special operations. He served twenty-four years on active duty as a military intelligence officer in intelligence, light infantry, special operations, and foreign area officer positions. He left active duty in 1992 to accept an appointment in the Senior Executive Service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has held various government positions since, including director of NATO Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. His publications include a 2010 article on counterterrorism strategy in the Small Wars Journal. He holds a BA from the University of South Carolina and an MA from Middlebury College, and during the 2013-2014 academic year he is on assignment as professor at the National Defense University.


Kenneth Himes, O.F.M., is a professor of theology at Boston College. His research interests include the ethics of warfare, the history of Catholic social teaching, and the role of the U.S. Catholic community in American social reform. He is currently at work on a book dealing with targeted killing and the ethics of drone warfare. Among his several publications are the articles “Peacebuilding and Catholic Social Teaching” (2010) and “The United States at War: Taking Stock” (2010). He serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Justice and Peace and is a member of the Society of Christian Ethics. He was president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (2000–2001), and editor of the New Theology Review (1998–2002). For several years he acted as theological consultant for the Office of Social Development and World Peace at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He earned his PhD in religion and public policy from Duke University.

In The News


October 5, 2013 -  The New York Times reported that American troops assisted by the F.B.I. and C.I.A. had seized a militant in Tripoli who was indicted for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.  That same day, Navy SEALs raided a villa in a Somali town where an Al-Shabab leader was suspected to be operating. After a firefight, the SEAL team was forced to withdraw before it could confirm whether it had killed the Shabab leader. James Q. Roberts and Kenneth Himes are scheduled to speak on the efficacy and ethics of U.S. counterterror strategy at an upcoming Boisi Center event.