On a typical newsday, Americans are confronted with headlines warning about the latest threats of terrorism and nuclearized states.

But what if none of these are probable or consequential threats to America? Is the nation facing catastrophic risks from the threats of terrorism, Iran, and North Korea? Or is the world today safer, freer, wealthier, healthier, and better educated than ever before? What if the real dangers to Americans are non-communicable diseases, gun violence, drug overdoses—even hospital infections?

Join us on Monday, April 8 for a discussion with authors Michael Cohen and Micah Zenko on their latest book, Clear and Present Safety: The World Has Never Been Better and Why That Matters to Americans. In this compelling look, we will explore the “Threat–Industrial Complex,” and learn about how politicians, policy analysts, academics, and journalists are misleading Americans about foreign threats and ignoring more serious national security challenges at home.

Stick around after the program to continue the conversation at a wine and cheese reception.

Event Details

Monday, April 8, 2019
6:00 – 8:00pm

The Century Foundation
1 Whitehall Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10004


Michael Cohen @speechboy71
Columnist, Boston Globe

Michael Cohen is a columnist for the Boston Globe. He is also the author of American Maelstrom: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division. Michael has written about national politics and international affairs for dozens of news outlets, including as a columnist for the Guardian, Foreign Policy, and World Politics Review. He previously worked as a speechwriter at the U.S. State Department, has been a fellow at New America Foundation and The Century Foundation, and a lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Micah Zenko @MicahZenko
Columnist, Foreign Policy

Micah Zenko is a columnist at Foreign Policy. He previously worked in research positions at the Council on Foreign Relations, Chatham House, Harvard’s Kennedy School, and the State Department. He is also the author of Between Threats and War: U.S. Discrete Military Options in the Post-Cold War World and Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy.

Moderator: Dina Esfandiary @DEsfandiary
Fellow, The Century Foundation

Dina Esfandiary is a fellow at The Century Foundation. Her research focuses on Persian Gulf security, Iran’s foreign relations, and relations between states and non-proliferation in the Middle East. She is also an international security program research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and an adjunct fellow in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Middle East Programme. Prior to this, she was a fellow at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) in the War Studies Department at King’s College London. She worked in the non-proliferation and disarmament programme of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London from October 2009.

She has published widely, including in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, The Guardian, the Washington Post, International Affairs, the National Interest, Arms Control Today, and The Washington Quarterly. Dina is the co-author of Triple-Axis: Iran’s Relations with Russia and China (I.B Taurus, 2018), and Living on the Edge: Iran and the Practice of Nuclear Hedging (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). She is completing her PhD in the War Studies Department at King’s College London and she holds master’s degrees from King’s College London and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

Discussant: Michael Wahid Hanna @mwhanna1
Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation

Michael Wahid Hanna is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. He is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law. Hanna works on issues of international security, international law, and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia.

Hanna directed The Century Foundation’s 2015 International Working Group on Pakistan, chaired by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, and served as a co-director of The Century Foundation’s 2011 International Task Force on Afghanistan, co-chaired by Ambassador Pickering and Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi.

He has published widely on U.S. foreign policy in newspapers and journals, including articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, the New Republic, Democracy, Middle East Report, Foreign Affairs, Survival, and World Policy Journal, among other publications, and is a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy. He appears regularly on PBS, BBC, and NPR, including appearances on the Charlie Rose Show and the PBS Newshour.

He served as a consultant for Human Rights Watch in Baghdad in 2008. Prior to joining The Century Foundation, Hanna was a senior fellow at the International Human Rights Law Institute. From 1999 to 2004, Hanna practiced corporate law with the New York law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Fluent in Arabic, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Cairo University. He received a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review. Hanna is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and was a term-member of the Council on Foreign Relations.