Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Making Foreign Policy in a Democracy: Conversation with Peter Tarnoff, former Undersecretary of State and former president of the Council on Foreign Relations; 10/13/99 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.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest is Peter Tarnoff, who is a visiting fellow at the Institute of International Studies. Peter was Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the first Clinton administration, and president of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1986 to 1993. From 1983 to 1986 he was executive director of the World Affairs Council in San Francisco. From 1961 to 1982 he was a foreign service officer with tours of duty in Lagos, Saigon, Bonn, Paris, Lyon, and Luxembourg. He also served as special assistant to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, and the Secretaries of State Cyrus Vance and Edmund Muskee.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... books read as a young person ... education ... choosing foreign service over philosophy
  2. Features of U.S. Foreign Policy ... messy ... moral character ... empire not a goal ... not mercantilist
  3. U.S. Foreign Policy after the Cold War ... decline of executive power ... no longer a consensus ... Kennan on strategy ... dealing with rogue states ... taking the bully pulpit
  4. Intervention ... humanitarian issues ... between a rock and a hard place ... tools available
  5. Public Opinion ... the role of NGOs ... effects of globalization ... the role of government
  6. Lessons Learned ... idealism of the young ... preparing for the future ... role of luck ... moving between the private and public sectors

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