Our Next Program is on Thursday, February 21: Paul B. Stares, director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations, will present “Preventive Engagement: How America Can Avoid War, Stay Strong, and Keep the Peace”


Date:  Thursday, February 21, 2019

Time:  Membership Social at 7:30 p.m.  Program at 8:00 p.m.


Access: Open to the public and free for members, students and accompanying family members, educators, and active military and their dependents. $10.00 charge for non-members.

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Paul B. Stares

Speaker’s Abstract for this talk and his biography:

To remain the preeminent global power, the United States must avoid costly conflicts that drain its resources and distract its leadership from addressing pressing domestic priorities, argues Paul B. Stares in his recent book, Preventive Engagement: How America Can Avoid War, Stay Strong, and Keep the Peace. Doing so requires that the United States adopt a more forward-looking and preventive approach to managing foreign policy challenges.

Paul B. Stares is the General John W. Vessey senior fellow for conflict prevention and director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) where he oversees its Contingency Planning Memoranda and Council Special Reports on potential sources of instability and conflict.  An expert on conflict prevention and a regular commentator on current affairs, he is the author or editor of nine books on U.S. security policy and international relations. His book, Preventive Engagement, provides a comprehensive blueprint for how the United States can manage a more turbulent and dangerous world.

Prior to joining CFR, Stares was vice president and director of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the United States Institute of Peace. He worked as associate director and senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation from 2000 to 2002 and was a senior research fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs and the director of studies at the Japan Center for International Exchange from 1996 to 2000. From 1984 to 1996, he was a research associate and later senior fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution. He has also been a NATO fellow and a scholar in residence at the MacArthur Foundation’s Moscow office.

Stares has participated in various high-level studies, including the Genocide Prevention Task Force co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and William Cohen, as well as the expert working group on the strategic environment for the Iraq Study Group co-chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. In addition to his most recent book, Preventive Engagement, he has authored or edited numerous books as well as several CFR publications, notably Partners in Preventive Action (Council Special Report No. 62), Managing Instability on China’s Periphery (Asia Security Memorandum), “Enhancing U.S. Crisis Preparedness” (Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 4), “Military Escalation in Korea” (Contingency Planning Memorandum No. 10), Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action (Council Special Report No. 48), and Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea (Council Special Report No. 42). In addition to his work for the Council, Stares is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He has a BA from North Staffordshire Polytechnic and received both his MA and Ph.D. from Lancaster University.

The sponsor of the February 21 Program – United Community Bank

United Community Bank, the Bank that SERVICE Built, has 149 locations throughout Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina.  They offer personal banking, business banking, corporate and commercial banking, and advisory services. UCB operates as a community bank, with local decision making and personal attention, but has the resources to provide services and products comparable to that of a larger bank.

The Savannah Council on World Affairs is grateful to United Community Bank for its support.

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Thursday, March 21: Ambassador Wendy Ruth Sherman, from Harvard’s Kennedy School, will present: “Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power and Persistence.”

Thursday, April 25: Christopher Bolan, U.S. Army War College, Professor of Middle East Security Studies. will present: “US Strategy in the Middle East: Confronting an Uncertain Future.”

Thursday, May 9: Michael Oxman, Managing Director, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business; Professor of the Practice, Sustainable Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. will speak on “Selected Trends in Global Corporate Sustainability.”