Slate and the celebrated live-debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. launch our partnership on Sept. 7 with a debate at NYU about a contentious and timely topic: Is it time to end the war on terror? We'd like to invite you to attend the debate—we're offering Slate readers a 30 percent discount on tickets (see below)—and we'd like you to submit questions for the debaters. We'll pick the most interesting and moderator John Donvan will ask it at the debate.
First, a bit more about the topic: Days after 9/11, President Bush declared a war on terror that would "not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated." At first, his rhetoric served as an empowering battle cry for an enraged, disillusioned public. Ten years later, his words are a poignant reminder of the thousands of Americans killed in two wars overseas. And they're fodder for the pundits and analysts who aren't convinced that the threat of terrorism justified its position as the organizing principle behind our recent foreign policy decisions.
After two wars, the Arab Spring, and the death of Osama bin Laden, is it finally time to end the war on terror?
Four days before the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, a group of homeland security and terrorism experts will tackle this very question in a live Oxford-style debate in New York City. CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen and Homeland Security expert Juliette Kayyem will argue for the motion that "It is time to end the war on terror." Former Deputy Homeland Security Adviser Richard Falkenrath and former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden will argue against the motion.
If you've got a question for the debaters, write it below in the Comments section of this article. We'll select one to read live at the debate. Be sure to include your full name and hometown with your question. You can also cast a vote for or against the motion in Slate's poll below.
The details about the debate:
When/Where: Sept. 7, 2011 at Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, located at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South).
The evening begins at 5:45 p.m. with a cash-bar reception for panelists and audience members; the live debate starts at 6:45 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. For venue information, click here.
Tickets: $40 ($12 for students with ID). Purchase tickets here, and be sure to enter the special Slate promotional discount code, Slate30, to receive 30 percent off your ticket.
About the Debaters
For the motion:
Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst: One of few Americans to have interviewed Osama Bin Laden face-to-face, Peter Bergen is one of today's foremost commentators on America's national security and the war on terror. Author of two New York Times bestsellers, Bergen's recent release The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda has been called "one of the most important accounts on the subject" by the newspaper. He is editor of Foreign Policy's AfPak Channel, a premiere clearinghouse of news covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, and issues of transnational terrorism. Bergen is also the eirector of the National Security Program at the New America Foundation and a research fellow at NYU's Center on Law and Security.
Juliette Kayyem, Terrorism specialist and homeland security expert: Juliette Kayyem formerly served under the Obama administration as assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. With nearly 15 years of experience in counterterrorism and homeland security, she was Massachusetts' first undersecretary for homeland security, a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, and a legal adviser to Attorney General Janet Reno. Kayyem, named one of CNN/Fortune Magazine's People to Watch, co-wrote the critically acclaimed Protecting Liberty in an Age of Terror. Formerly the highest ranking Arab-American woman in federal government, she now is a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a foreign affairs columnist for the Boston Globe.
Against the motion:
Richard Falkenrath, Homeland security policy adviser to President Bush, 2001-03. Falkenrath, who was the deputy assistant to President Bush and deputy homeland security advisor, is no stranger to the complexities involved with the United States' large-scale effort to combat terrorism. The principal author of the National Strategy for Homeland Security, Falkenrath also served as senior director of policy and plans within the Office of Homeland Security after 9/11. As the deputy commissioner for counterterrorism at the New York Police Department from 2006-10, Falkenrath strengthened the city's overall effort to prevent, prepare for, and respond to terrorist attacks. Falkenrath is now principal at the Chertoff Group, a global security and risk-management advisory firm, an adjunct senior fellow for counterterrorism and homeland security at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a contributing editor at Bloomberg News.
Michael Hayden, Former director of the CIA and NSA: With a prolific career in national security—from serving 39 years in the U.S. Air Force to directing the NSA for six years—Gen. Hayden has overseen nearly every branch of the intelligence community. Once the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the country, Hayden became the director of the CIA in 2006, gaining unprecedented access to the collection of information concerning the plans, intentions, and capabilities of America's adversaries. His remarkable list of senior positions includes commander of the Air Intelligence Agency, director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, and chief of the Central Security Service. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group focusing on global political and terrorist risk analysis.
John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News' Nightline. He has served as ABC White House correspondent, along with postings in Moscow, London, Jerusalem, and Amman.