When mistakes are made, people endure the consequences. This seems to be true for everyone but U.S. senior leadership and national security officials. On February 10th at 12:00pm (Pacific) / 3:00pm (Eastern), CPD hosts Michael Mazarr for a discussion on keeping the government accountable. Moderating this conversation is Caitlin Byrne, CPD Faculty Fellow and Director of the Griffith Asia Institute.

The issue of war and peace, and decisions made to undertake a war, are among the most profound decisions that confront any democracy. When those decisions are made poorly—with insufficient information, deliberation, or planning—they can produce tragedy. Yet there is still no clear way to hold senior officials accountable for the decisions they make about war and peace.

Michael Mazarr spent over a decade researching the decision to go to war in Iraq, including interviews with over 100 key participants, for his book Leap of Faith. Based on that case study he has suggested consideration of a “doctrine of policy negligence” for choices of war and peace—a demand that senior officials meet certain criteria for the quality and rigor of their decision process.

Join us for a reflection the lessons of the Iraq decision process and a description on the elements of such a potential doctrine and how it might be implemented in practice.

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About Michael J. Mazarr

Michael Mazarr is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Previously he worked at the U.S. National War College, where he was professor and associate dean of academics; as president of the Henry L. Stimson Center; senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; senior defense aide on Capitol Hill; and as a special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His primary interests are U.S. defense policy and force structure, East Asian security, nuclear weapons and deterrence, and judgment and decision making under uncertainty. Mazarr holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Maryland.

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