Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Ethical Realism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Conversation with Anatol Lieven, Senior Fellow, New American Foundation, Washington D.C., and John Hulsman, Senior Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin: October 25, 2006, 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 guests today are Anatol Lieven and John Hulsman. Anatol Lieven is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and is the author of America, Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism. He writes regularly for the Financial Times and the LA Times. John Hulsman is a former senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a contributing editor to the National Interest. He is a scholar in residence this year at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. Lieven and Hulsman have just written Ethical Realism, and we're here with them to talk about their new book.

  1. Background ... anticipated clash forges collaboration ... establishment politics ... foreign policy elites' inability to adapt ... blind faith in American power
  2. Truman and Eisenhower ... Cold War policies ... left and right errors ... the non-utopian center ... utopians now dominate the debate ... moral courage of Truman and Eisenhower ... preemptive versus preventive war ... past political success of centrism ... leadership then and now
  3. Ethical Realism ... Niebuhr, Kennan, Morgenthau ... bringing together two halves of the American soul ... tenets: study, humility, prudence, responsibility, patriotism ... deadly combination of sense of omnipotence, fear, and messianism ... one-size-fits-all approach ... presenting the alternative
  4. Mistakes of the Bush Administration ... conflation of democracy with pro-American stance ... getting Iraq all wrong ... international goodwill squandered
  5. Capitalist Peace ... stakeholders ... pragmatism ... historical examples ... city on the hill versus global sheriff ... the exemplar choice ... Washington factionalism
  6. The Ethical Realism Manifesto ... time for sober reflection ... policy recommendations ... concerts and compromise ... the point of diplomacy ... guidelines for public debate
Kreisler LievenHulsman

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