Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:
 Zinni

See the 2001 interview with
Zinni, "The Military's Role in a
Changing World"

Challenges for U.S. National Security Policy, General Tony Zinni, former Commander in Chief of the Central Command (1997-2000), April 23, 2007

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our distinguished guest today is General Anthony Zinni who is the 2007 Sanford S. Elberg Lecturer in International Studies. General Zinni is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and a four-star retired Marine general. From 1997 to 200 he served as head of the Central Command responsible for U.S. forces in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. During the 1990s he led U.S. relief operations in Turkey and Iraq, the former Soviet Union and Somalia. His newest book is The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America's Power and Purpose, written with Tony Koltz.

  1. Early Lessons from the Iraq War ... clear rationale for war ... understanding the culture ... prior success at containing Saddam ... regime-change dreams
  2. The Post - Cold War World ... changes with the collapse of the Soviet Union ... globalization ... information revolution ... the force of culture ... Islam and modernity
  3. Cultural Understanding ... learning about Vietnamese culture ... differing viewpoints of the war ... failing the "hearts and minds" principle ... Operation Comfort missions ... finding a cultural emissary for Kurdish operations ... US military begins to tackle cultural understanding ... negotiating from a position of understanding
  4. The Role of the Military ... a blunt instrument ... the real victory of post - WW II reconstruction ... post - WW I failure to capitalize on military victory ... the military and nation-building tasks ... necessary adjustments
  5. Leadership ... the first President Bush and the Gulf War ... Clinton's Trumanesque approach ... failure to see the scope of post - Cold War change ... bloated bureaucracy ... lack of long-term perspective ... why modern leaders haven't grasped the change ... indirect effects ... use of fear as a tool ... inability of Bush administration to define present conditions ... lies lead to loss of credibility
  6. Vision for the Future ... restructuring governmental agencies ... examining the basis for inter-agency disagreements ... integrating agency planning ... cooperation and streamlining ... politics produces bad leaders ... addressing global warming ... US power and purpose ... investing in global institutions ... American values

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