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1st June 2021, 16.00 – 16.30: Conversation between Ambassador Rolf M. Hay Pereira Holmboe and Professor Sten Rynning about the question “What comes after the forever wars”.

Webinar moderated by Professor Trine Flockhart, Co-director of CWS.

President Biden has announced an end to the « forever war » in Afghanistan – a war that has lasted more than twenty years with - some would say - precious little to show for it. The experience of the past twenty+ years raises questions about the use of military power for processes of stabilization and social engineering and suggests that an end to the forever war(s) may just be the beginning of a new, perhaps equally demanding process. Ambassador Holmboe and Professor Rynning will discuss what lessons have been learnt from the past twenty years and how to move forward.

Rolf Holmboe is an Ambassador in the Danish diplomatic service, currently assigned as Head of Mission in Mali. Ambassador Holmboe has dealt extensively with combined security, political and development interventions in fragile states. He served as Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan (2017-2020), and to Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan (2012-2015). He held the post as Director of Strategy and Policy Planning at MFA (2010-12) and Head of Stabilisation (2009-2010). Previously, he served as Denmark's representative to the Palestinian Authority as well as to UNRWA - the UN Organization for Palestine Refugees - with overall responsibility for political relations as well as for Danish development and other interventions in the West Bank and Gaza (2005-2009). Ambassador Holmboe was from 2015 - 2017 a research fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. As an external lecturer, he has taught conflict studies in fragile states at the Institute of Political Science, Copenhagen University, and he has written several articles on that subject. As a military reserve officer, he has been deployed to conflict areas around the world and has served as an arms control inspector under the CFE Treaty.

Sten Rynning is Professor and Vice Dean for Research at the faculty of business and social sciences, the University of Southern Denmark. He is a non-resident fellow of the NATO Defence College and a senior fellow of the Danish Institute for Advanced Studies. Sten Rynning’s research focuses on NATO and modern war. He founded the University of Southern Denmark’s Center for War Studies in 2011 and headed it until 2019. He has advised the commission of inquiry into the Danish decisions to enter the wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq (2017-2019) and ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen’s official review of Danish Foreign Policy (2015-2016), and her served on the official Norwegian Afghanistan Commission (2015-2016). He is the former president of the Nordic International Studies Association (2011-2015) and currently serves on several boards of academic institutions and journals, including the Danish Institute for International Studies and the editorial board of the European Journal of International Security, International Affairs, the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Transatlantic Studies, and the Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies.. He was a visiting fellow at NATO’s Defence College (NDC), Rome, spring 2012, and has since regularly lectured at the NDC Senior Course and on occasion the NDC Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors course. In the spring of 2017, he was a scholar in residence at American University’s School of International Service, Washington, D.C.

You can register for the event by sending an email to Amelie Theussen ( by Monday 31 May. The link to the webinar will be sent by email to registered participants Tuesday morning before the event.  
Editing was completed: 01.06.2021