Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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The Problem of Strategy: Conversation with Samuel Huntington, Eaton 
    Professor of the Science of Government, and Director of the Center on International 
    Affairs, Harvard; with Paul Seabury, Professor of Political Science, U.C. 
    Berkeley; 3/29/85 by Harry Kreisler

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.

I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Last week [March 1985] has been the occasion on the Berkeley campus for the inauguration of the annual Admiral Chester R. Nimitz Memorial Lecture. The lectureship was established to honor this great military leader and to memorialize his close relationship to the University of California, first as a Naval Science professor, and later as Regent.

This year's series and this interview was made possible by a grant from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. Today's conversation is on national strategy and the national security process, and our guest is the first Nimitz Lecturer.

Professor Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard University is the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government there and Director of the Center for International Affairs. He is the author of more than ten books, all very well known to students of political science at universities throughout the country. To name a few: Political Order in Changing Societies, The Common Defense: Strategic Programs and National Defense, and The Solder and the State: The Theory and Practice of Civil Military Relations.

In 1970, Professor Huntington was a founder of the quarterly journal Foreign Policy, and served as co-editor until 1977. During the 1977-78 year, he served at the White House as Coordinator of Security Planning for the National Security Council. Joining us in the studio for this interview is Professor Paul Seabury of Political Science, a leading authority on foreign policy and military strategy.

  1. National Strategy ... difficulty in a democracy ... compared to the Soviet Union ... Western European democracies
  2. U.S Foreign Policy: Traditions and Divisions ... Hamiltonian centralists vs. Jeffersonian pluralists ... conflicting strategic goals ... pluralism within the Executive branch ... diminished presidential authority ... the Carter presidency ... power balance of Executive and Legislative branches ... the case of the Contras ... intelligence and leaks
  3. The Problem of Intervention ... non-militaristic U.S. culture ... professional versus citizens' army ... military memory of Vietnam experience ... role of public opinion ... U.S. need for a quick victory ... deploying proxies ... the role of European allies ... weakness in the Defense Department ... no single voice in U.S. foreign policy

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