Cigars, Scotch, & Strategy

Gathering with friends, mentors, and peers while enjoying a cigar and some Scotch has long been an integral part of working in strategy (at least in the U.S. community). Beginning in the summer of 2013, Nate Finney started gathering of folks interested in strategy to converse over cigars and libations in Washington, DC - leading the effort into a form of "new model" mentoring. It quickly grew as word of mouth spread - apparently the DC area is a hub for the strategically-minded.

Since that time, CS&S has become a diverse and changing group of policy wonks, strategists, think tankers, academics, researchers, authors, analysts, and more from all walks of the National Capitol Region, and beyond. CS&S hosts speakers at several venues in and around DC on about a monthly basis to talk issues, strategy, the military art, the profession of national security - its practice, study, and adaptation, and more. This venue has hosted varied speakers, including:

  • Amb. Chas Freeman, American diplomat, businessman, and writer.
  • Prof. John Brown, US Senior Foreign Service (Ret.) and Georgetown University public diplomacy and propaganda historian
  • The Hon. Derek Chollet, Senior Advisor for Defense and Security Policy at the German Marshall Fund and former ASD for International Security Affairs - author, The Long Game 
  • Prof. David Maxwell (Colonel,US Army Special Forces, ret.), Associate Director, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University
  • Dr. Scott Buchanan, USD for Policy-NATO/Fmr Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Ministry of Defense
  • Dr. Antulio Echevarria, editor in chief of US Army War College journal Parameters
  • The late Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, author, A Spy for All Seasons, and former CIA officer
  • Dr. John Nagl, author Knife Fights and Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife
  • Dr. Nina Kollars, Franklin and Marshall College, assistant professor of government and military innovation scholar
  • August Cole and Peter Singer, authors of Ghost Fleet
  • Dr. Sebastian Gorka, MG Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at US Marine Corps University
  • Col. Greg Daddis, US Military Academy at West Point, head - American History Division
  • Amb. Joe Donovan, former director American Institute of Taiwan - DC office (US representation to Taiwan)
  • Col. Sue Bryant, US security coordinator (USSC) for Israel and the Palestinian Authority
  • Mr. Mark Perry, Middle East analyst, journalist, military historian, and author - Partners in Command: George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and PeaceFour Stars: The 40 Year Battle Between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America's Civilian Leaders, and The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur
  • Dr. Mark Hagerott, Chancellor of the North Dakota University system, formerly of the US Naval Academy and professor of cyber security
  • Dr. Mike Matheny, US Army War College, professor of military strategy and operations

If you live in the DC area (or find yourself in town) and interested in strategy, CS&S would love to have you join the monthly gatherings. You can contact the current group's viceroy, Marc Schanz, or ask to join the email list.  When you email, make sure to let him know 1) who you are, 2) what brings you to the area, 3) and what your interests are!

"Cogito, Agnosco, Confero"