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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Just War Revisited

boisi center for religion and american public life

Solider with peace sign on his hand

General James Dubik, U.S. Army, ret., Georgetown University 
Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Harvard University 
Ambassador James F. Jeffrey, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Time: 5:30-7:00 PM
Location: Higgins Hall, Room 300

Abstract: Is just war theory relevant in a twenty-first century world? Our three panelists bring decades of intellectual thought and practical experience to the discussion. Together the panel will reflect on the utility of the just war paradigm in an era of conflict dominated by threats and weapons that challenge traditional just war categories. We will hear whether and how just war principles are integrated into discussions at the highest levels of government decision-making, what influence popular understandings (and misunderstandings) of these concepts have in the political realm, and whether alternative paradigms such as “just peace” are gaining traction in conversations outside the religious context.

Gen. Dubik will be available to sign copies of his book, Just War Reconsidered, following the event.

Gen. James Dubik, US Army (Ret.)

General James M. Dubik, U.S. Army (Ret.) is professor of the practice and Director of Teaching at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. During his 37 years of active duty in the United States Army as an infantryman, paratrooper and Ranger, he commanded U.S. and multi-national troops in Haiti, Bosnia, and Iraq (during the Surge of 2007-2008), among other locations, retiring at the rank of lieutenant general. 

Gen. Dubik is also currently a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, as well as the Institute of Land Warfare, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2012 and 2013 he held the Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership, a position co-sponsored by Dickinson College, Penn State Law School, and the U.S. Army War College. Gen. Dubik holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, and is the co-author of the book Envisioning Future Warfare. His new book is titled Just War Reconsidered: Strategy, Ethics, and Theory.

Rev. J. Bryan Hehir

Rev. J. Bryan Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. A Catholic diocesan priest, he is also the Secretary for Health Care and Social Services in the Archdiocese of Boston, and a close advisor to Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Fr. Hehir’s research and writing focus on ethics and foreign policy, and the role of religion in world politics and in American society. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on just war theory, and has a long history of engagement with policymakers in the U.S. government. Previously he served on the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he was a lead author of the influential 1983 pastoral letter on war and peace entitled The Challenge of Peace. He has also served as President of Catholic Charities USA, and on the faculties of Georgetown University and Harvard Divinity School, the latter of which he led for three years as chair of the executive committee. Hehir holds A.B. and M.Div. degrees from St. John’s Seminary, and a Th.D. from Harvard Divinity School. He is the 2016 recipient of the Martin E. Marty Public Understanding Religion Award

Ambassador James Jeffrey

Ambassador James F. Jeffrey is the Philip Solondz distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he focuses on U.S. diplomatic and military strategy in the Middle East, with emphasis on Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. One of the nation's most senior diplomats, Ambassador Jeffrey has held a series of highly sensitive posts in Washington D.C. and abroad. In addition to his service as U.S. ambassador in Ankara and Baghdad, he served as assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration, with a special focus on Iran. He previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, where his responsibilities included leading the Iran policy team and coordinating public diplomacy. Earlier appointments included service as senior advisor on Iraq to the secretary of state; chargé d'affaires and deputy chief of mission in Baghdad; deputy chief of mission in Ankara; and ambassador to Albania. 

A former infantry officer in the U.S. army, Ambassador Jeffrey served in Germany and Vietnam from 1969 to 1976. He is a graduate of Northeastern University (B.A.) and Boston University (M.A.).

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On Thursday, October 20 at 5:30 pm, the Boisi Center welcomed Gen. James Dubik, U.S. Army ret., a Georgetown University professor. He was joined by Rev. J. Bryan Hehir of Harvard University, and Ambassador James Jeffrey of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy for Just War Revisited, a panel discussion on just war theory in the 21st century.