Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

Small Wars 
    and U.S. Foreign Policy: Conversation with Max Boot, Olin Fellow at the Council 
    on Foreign Relations, New York; with Professor Thomas G. Barnes, Professor 
    of History, UCB; March 12, 2003, 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 today is Max Boot, who is the Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard. A former writer and feature editor at the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power. He is the 2003 Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Memorial Lecturer on the Berkeley campus.

Joining us in the studio is Professor Thomas Barnes, who is Professor of Law and History, and Chairman of the Military Officer's Committee on the Berkeley campus.

  1. Background book cover... influence of parents ... end of the Cold War ... education ... Daily Cal as introduction to journalism
  2. Foreign Policy ... early interest ... 9/11 as a wake-up call ... importance of history ... stories of the past that inform the present ... why some stories not remembered
  3. Small Wars ... uncovering untold stories ... failure to stop Russian Revolution ... heroic deeds of American wars ... legacy of different kinds of interventions ... counter to the conventional thinking of today ... all missions compatible with the American military ethos ... Guide for Small Wars
  4. Learning the Wrong Lessons from Vietnam ... Powell Doctrine ... new realities ... public education ... fear of casualties and collateral damage
  5. The Neoconservatives ... themes ... threats and need for engagement ... confidence resulting from the defeat of the Soviet empire ... 9/11 comparable to Pearl Harbor ... intellectual give and take ... Weekly Standard
  6. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-9/11 World ... preparedness ... powerful combination of idealism and power ... limits of soft power ... explaining the rejuvenation of Wilsonianism ... adherence to the rules of power ... problem of undercommitment ... setting priorities ... UN approval ... nature of the terrorist threat ... skillful use of power as a deterrent
  7. Conclusion ... up with America

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