Norwich to hold 23rd Annual Military Writers’ Symposium


March 8, 2018

Norwich University will hold the 23rd Annual William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium April 11-12, 2018, on the theme of “Won the War, Lost the Peace: The U.S. Legacy in Iraq.”

The Colby is a two-day event hosted at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. The only program of its kind at an American university, this unique and powerful program invites distinguished authors and experts in the fields of military history, intelligence, or current affairs to campus for social events, book signings, presentations, classroom sessions, and a moderated panel discussion on the theme for the year.

The panel discussion, which is free and open to the public and will be video streamed live from, is scheduled for Thursday, April 12, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in Plumley Armory.

Guest panelists include:

Saifaldin D. Abdul-Rahman

Saifaldin Abdul-Rahman is Vice President of IWG, a U.S. firm providing consulting, logistics and construction work in Iraq. He heads the consulting and business development portfolio within IWG, where he guides U.S. and international fortune 500 companies through contract awards and negotiations with the Government of Iraq. Abdul-Rahman held senior posts in the Government of Iraq, including the posts of Advisor to the Vice President of Iraq (2009), Chief of Staff to the Speaker of Parliament (2005) and Chief of Staff to the Minister of Industry & Minerals (2004).

Andrew Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich grew up in Indiana, graduated from West Point and Princeton, served in the army, became an academic, and is now a writer. He is the author, co-author, or editor of a dozen books, among them “American Empire”, “The New American Militarism,” “The Limits of Power,” “Washington Rules,” “Breach of Trust,” and, most recently, “America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.”

R. Alan King

R. Alan King is a retired U.S. Army colonel and former senior civil-military adviser of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. He was the top civil-military adviser in Baghdad when the Iraqi regime fell in 2003. He is credited with leading the coalition’s tribal affairs and Sunni outreach programs and served as a senior member of the April 2004 ceasefire talks in Fallujah. King is the author of “Twice Armed: An American Soldier’s Battle for Hearts and Minds,” winner of the 2008 Colby Award.

Emma Sky

Emma Sky is Director of Yale World Fellows and a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, where she teaches Middle East politics. She is the author of “The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq,” which was one of the New York Times 100 notable books of 2015, and shortlisted for the 2016 Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize, the 2016 Orwell Prize and the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction. She is widely published in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politico, the Atlantic, Survival, US Institute of Peace, Army Magazine.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Sarwar Kashmeri, Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Applied Research Fellow, Peace & War Center, Norwich University; and a Fellow with the Foreign Policy Association.

Other special features of this year’s Colby include:

  • Lunch and Learn on “IEDs as Force Multipliers in Iraq,” hosted by the Sullivan Museum and History Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, and Norwich’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. Event features retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Peter “Duke” DeLuca, former Commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer School and David Ulbrich, program director and associate professor in the Master of Arts in History and Military History programs.
  • Presentations by visiting authors and speakers in the Todd Multipurpose Room of the Kreitzberg Library. Full schedule on
  • Announcing the winner of the Annual Colby Award for a first-time author on the topic of military history, current affairs, or intelligence will be announced.
  • A book signing featuring Emma Sky, Andrew Bacevich, R. Alan King, Carlo D’Este, Sarwar Kashmeri, and David Ulbrich on Thursday afternoon from 3-4:30 p.m.

Please visit to read the full bios of authors and presenters.

Founded in 1996 by Carlo D´Este ’58 and W.E.B. Griffin, the Colby Symposium has brought more than 100 authors, journalists, and filmmakers to central Vermont.   The Colby Symposium is a Norwich University Peace and War Center signature event, and is generously supported by the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago, Ill. with funding through the Pritzker Military Foundation. View multimedia coverage of the 2017 event and interviews with visiting authors.

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

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