tv Rethinking Grand Strategy CSPAN December 31, 2016 1:00pm-4:01pm EST
woodrow wilson to george h w bush. each historian examines key figures of the 20th century from the more one to default -- from world war i to the fall of the berlin wall. the program from oregon is about three hours. this is our first session for today. it is session for on ideas and inflection points. we have five speakers. so, we have a very full slate. i will just give very brief introductions and turn it over. because we are being televised, i will chair the q and a -- q&a, and we will let the mics go around and took up the questions. our first speaker is christopher nichols, and he will be talking about the crucible of world war i. chris?
mr. nichols: thanks very much, andrew. -- it to begin with thanks don't even know if they are in the room -- but they have been amazing for the work behind the scenes. i have been getting a lot of plaudits for my work. they are doing the work. he is probably in the back room interviewing someone for us. i want to set the state -- the stage with woodrow wilson. there are some places where maybe this is a little sketchy and we can think about this without me fine-tuning my own argument. so, on january 8, 1918, woodrow to thewalks purposefully
center of the capitol to address a joint session of congress. much of his cabinet had not been consulted about what was to become the most important foreign-policy speech of his career. it is among the most important foreign-policy pronouncement is in u.s. history, nicknamed the 14 points, his enumeration of 14 points he deemed essential to creating a lasting peace. we are all fairly aware of this. once lofty, idealistic, strategically vague, along with the expectations raised and dashed by wilson's failure to realize them, the 14 points speech was as powerful and influence on for policy as the settlements. yet this speech with its overriding worldview, the world war i crucible moment that gave it its shape and the american internationalism that helped set it in motion against wilsonian
ideas are peculiarly absent from almost all thinking about ground strategy. this isn account of -- not entirely true. others attempted to put forward provisional pronouncements, but this was the only one and certainly the most comprehensive. europe,nated not from not from devastated nations, but from the u.s., and nation that took almost three years to enter the war, and at this point in its history arguably had never developed our capacious european and world political program that involved the u.s. in a leadership role is of tremendous significance. why is this peculiarly absent from discourse about grand strategy. wilson's words, which were the ground upon which germany sued for peace represented nothing in anhan a seachange
american internationalism and i would argue the world system. he said the day of conquest and aggrandize meant has gone by. so is the age of secret covenants, the on looked for moments to upset the piece of the world. and here he is thinking about avaricious imperialism and these kind of secret covenants and land grabs that were so problematic leading up to, certainly through the u.s. entry in the war in april 1917. again to continue quoting him -- it is this happy fact, now clear to the view of every public man whose thoughts not linger in an age that is dead and gone -- so, no longer the atavistic era of the old diplomacy. this is the new diplomacy. he says, this makes it possible nation to a val now or any other time the objects it has in view.
here, diplomacy in the public sphere where all individuals had some access to diplomacy that is ongoing. so, for wilson and really for lots of internationalists looking at the world seen at warmer tot, the permanent rupture in historical time, space, and resident, i would argue. the great war, the weight was waste, he devastation and of consequences revealed to wilson in sharp contrast that events and necessity were now driving all nations toward internationalism or -- what is the other option? oblivion. armageddon. the case, right? wilson loomed large, like a colossus, over american foreign-policy. he was the dominant personality. the seminal figure. grandage of the term
strategy is really peaks through distant reading and in graham searches and roughly 1943. this coincides with the new science of international relations, the pretensions of that and it helps us to note that the world war ii moment is really the watershed for thinking about this stuff, but should it be? is my open question to you all. wilson's ideas and actions are disregarded on the basis of their purported lakh of media policy impact, as demonstrated by the fat file rejection of the league of nations -- fossil rejection of the league of -- facile rejection of the league of nations. it, --e'll bluntly put as he'll likely put it, -- as all thently put it, objectives failed. this is the time during the cold
war during which christopher lynn, paul kennedy, and others have depicted it as a prime moment to understand grand strategy hegemony. so, to my mind, a focus on about -- it's not just wilson. that's not the point of my paper. it's a provocation to reveal and think more deep the about how abroad and understanding of grand tragedy, if it is to have any utility as epistemology, as a way of knowing, a way of structuring knowledge, judging beliefs, and heading toward potential outcome can provide clarity about the ways in which the crucible of world war i and the resulting reconstruction of the world system generated dynamic new internationalism. and i argue in the paper roughly 4 -- that the provisional set. we could think of more. generally compatible, yet thesemes leveraging ways,
internationalism's, for their internationalist orientations in some cases such a address the challenges of the most devastating conflagration in human existence. and here i would urge you not to think about the 1920's and the 1930's, but rather to think of them as a postwar moment. whyif you do, you will see so many of these internationalist actors coming out of even before world war i were so committed to peace causes and other things that to our eyes or charles hill's eyes look like naïve, idealistic, utopian projects. i would argue that they are genuinely undertaken with an attempt to restructure of the international system itself. i will sketch out the four main arguments and then we will get into discussion. first, wilsonianism. an international scheme of moral and legal internationalism
premised on, i would argue, american exceptionalism, a kind nationsnian league of worldview. of course it became ascendant in in 1818 and 1819 and crashed thereafter. -- it's specter haunts the 1930's. crucial for thinking about this later time. and if we give wilson that amount of credit, even if it is not the way he intended his words and arguments, we have to think seriously about this in the grand strategy. secondly, another internationalism wilson would not particularly have liked is black internationalism. premised on the critique of the global color line and western developed and was directed by figures as notable alsoe.b. dubois, but marcus garvey, the united negro
improvement association, and in the longer paper i talk about the african roots of the war. he had a really smart essay talking about the ways that competing imperialism generated the conflict. most notably he also called for and anng of ranks african-american attempt at a better citizenship project. so, a black internationalist cause is generated out of this moment as well. third, a principal moral or egalitarianism was developing, but really it was given a springboard from the world war i moment. and here i am thinking about how these causes were advanced by settlement house pioneer jane adams. if someone is deserving of the label of partial grand
strategist, it has to be jane adams, right? they work through major transnational organizations. they were particularly blind to raise issues at the time. it was a really important interwar organization that sought to make the interwar years of postwar era. they come together and this does not work as meet leave for internationalism, but it internationalized isolationism in american political thought and that comes together with peace internationalists in 1928. you would not think this would happen, right? what would the arch republican isolationist senator be doing to outlaw war as an instrument of national policy? the goal was to make this a postwar era.
that it was a nonbinding act -- even suasion is the in the far-reaching period. i would argue they really shape the kind of cohesive grand strategy, although many of these were not compatible. they cohere in that they come out of one moment, but they do not necessarily interlock and perfect lockstep. i would argue an expanded vision of grand strategy that takes us out of the world war i moment, out of these new internationalism's would be better understood as epistemology. that is the theory of knowledge, as i noted, right? inis a set of principles terms of international relations that organizes outcomes around methods, around means, and around ends. and thus, it expands our
historical reach beyond military barriers and state actors. that is my goal trying to reconceptualize what the term means. such analysis must include "the range of cultural conditions which shape the perception that strategist tab for mold -- have for material conditions." we have heard about this through the 18th and 19th century. go back to your hamiltonians. the race of other nations, major powers, the old world, right? talk you got the same sort of way. if the self-styled grand strategist and a kissinger is right that the convictions leaders have formed before reaching high office are the intellectual capital that they will consume as long as they continue in office, it follows that these convictions follow the "security imaginary." security imaginary you can envision fits nicely with this
classic argument -- is it better to have preparedness or friendly people on either side of the border? she says that in 1924. she has the security imaginary. taken then, and expended grand strategy should include marginalized. -- marginalized people such as women of people of color. and grassroots views from the ground as we heard about yesterday from michaela moore, build on these objectives. they can be analyzed culturally by exploring the quote -- a structure of well-established meanings, out of which representations of the world of international relations are only by-- not created policymakers, created in a world in which policymakers operate in that landscape, not all that landscape necessarily. to the extent to which these
convictions of which kissinger spoke were shared widely inside and outside formal policy communities, they attributed to the epistemology of culture of the sort described by the greg.ar: greg -- colin and they had implications for global moves -- global militarism or containment. i will leave it at that. [applause] excellent.: thanks, chris. so, we have time for questions. right here? very much, chris. i really liked the framing of your paper as this moment of competing internationalisms. to suggest further
lines of analysis for you to consider as you move forward. one is, i might add internationalism to your list of four, which i might call it -- the vision of clemens so and --yd george and catalyze and lodge and roosevelt, to return to the decline of that a land to vision isatlanticist critical to describing dillard's --rgence in the night hitler's's emergence in the 1930's. also, when wilson talks about freedom of the seas and neutrality in very practical terms to what he is talking about is the right of the united states to sell on combatants on both sides and for his political base to turn a profit. so, i think that is important.
i think for all that wilson is ready to give up certain types of sovereignty he is not at all willing to give up certain economic sovereignty. --se rt dove, i think almost i would be interested in hearing more about that. professor nichols: the point is perfectlycism well taken and that could indeed be a fifth or if you think about fromgating out this piece others who break off from that branch. in terms of the latter. i'm not sure it fits perfectly , but thernationalisms lessons learned from this moment, that neutrality, and going back to charlie adel's
paper yesterday -- if you like to think of commerce based unilateralism from the founders onward, and if wilson does articulate that, right? the problem of neutrality, the u.s. ran aground on the shoals off had everything to do with wanting to trade with all sides, hasactually, my student written his honors thesis on a big piece of this. i do wonder how i could change that to get at economic internationalism of that sort. but it might be a nice one to tap into, the previous traditions, that this is a more long-standing economic .nternationalism that goes back the other to go direction. not looking backward, but looking forward to some extent. you talk about the wilsonian
about forming ideas american hegemony, but i'm thinking one way you might go with that is, you know, gordon leventhal book about wilson and his ideological project as being deeply informed by our responses to the russian revolution and of the world stage, which was hugely significant in pre-cold war, but in thesignificant european political context after the war. i just wanted to hear how that plays into your sense of these s, ands internationalism your sense of how american internationalist ran strategy worked? that's a nichols: great question. wilson scholars are split on how cared about the
bolshevik revolution and there has been subsequent wave after wave of scholarship on that question. my view is he did not care that much about it, particularly, the question is the timing, declarations coming out with the new soviet state, lenin in late pain -- in late 1917 in direct response, and lloyd george also gives a speech. to what extent is wilson directly responding, how far do we want to go with that. but the essence of your point, i think it's a really good one. the ramifications of people civic revolution about u.s. -- of the bolshevik revolution about the u.s. role in the world is a norm us and the war itself is a piece of that. in argument i made elsewhere, if you think about the global dynamics of world war i, one of the consequences is that russia becomes a communist state. so, world war i is a crucible
moment to think about what happens in europe and what happens with russia is an honestly significant. another way to think about that in american dissent traditions is a bunch of people have spoken liberal internationalism, the new republic types, and they are also split on this question, does this herald a new democracy, a better ally for the u.s.? entering the war while the soviet union is ill in it? is that a good thing? and earlier in the conflict, one of the figures i have studied a lot, randall koren, hoped that international socialism would be this thing that would mitigate against the bellicose nationalism, and here you get this argument in the early world , maybe there are these new kinds of solidarity is that modern society and civilization have built up that will transcend what william james called the ancient soul of bellicosity.
bellicosity is blowing cold air on a hot fire. and it's that world war i moment contrasted sharply with liberal internationalists. hard, maybe harder when modern states go to war to find new sources of solidarity. moran comes up with a whole new source of them to try to have a transnational orientation, first in the u.s. and then in the world that could fight against these kinds of horrific modern solidarities that lead to devastating conflict. >> i think stephen had his hand and a couple more here. >> of easley scholars up and working on soviet internationalism for couple generations. i'm wondering what you see as the cost and benefits of using grand strategy as a label or framework in analyzing wilsonian
internationalism? changes it, how does it the substance of our picture of this competition among internationalisms in world war i? professor nichols: that's an interesting question. that is sort of the genesis of why i'm using wilson at all here. one piece of my response is i was shocked to find how little wilson comes up in literature on grand strategy. hole in granding strategy literature. if every foreign policy class that teaches anything about the u.s. role in the world in this era spends a lot of time on wilson, how is it possible when you look at the grand strategy syllabi -- not all of them, but most books, the vast majority of books give scant attention to wilson. is it because his ideas -- this is where i started -- perceived as not being effective, not having large policy outcomes?
century,"lsonian there are arguments that it had diffuse ideological impacts. on one level, say, look, if we're going to use this term and as the meaning of until actual architecture of foreign relations, if we just limit to the nationstate, wilson belongs in the constellation of thinkers. once we open up that door, it seems to me the ideas that are in watch with wilsonian internationalism also have to travel through that window, through that opening. i see some utility. we could try some other language. i see some utility in talking about the world views, the big worldviews that can emanate from
all sectors of society. they are just as likely to come other sources as woodrow wilson. what else does wilsonian some -- do?onianism this will get us a little bit past idealist argument about wilson. you will see right over them if you jump into an ideological impact. that does get us pass from the obstacles for thinking about this. >> david, did you want to ask a question? seees, how important to you this as a moment in u.s. grand strategy.
it charts the course for the postwar era. professor nichols: yeah, the boom mic is there. do you want to briefly say what the inquiry is question mark you have written about? >> yeah, yeah. is the edward house person behind it, a collection of academics drawn from ,merica's elite universities and if you consider the post world war and how it should be constructed in the aftermath of the first world war, bringing in academic expertise in the policymaking fulcrum. one lessonichols: that world war ii policymakers take from this, they need to start that process wait before,
even before the u.s. gets into the war, right? i think you see walter lippman's language very much in will sony and arguments in late 1917. to what extent do we want to attribute authorship to lippman, i do not want to tread into that territory. at the inquiry is really important. you look at the architecture of american foreign-policy, one of the isngs i was alluding to hear the pretensions of science, the new role of american expertise and how that impacts public opinion, the attempt to shape public opinion based on international relations. knowledge,rivileges but is also full of his own sense of self.
famousn there is that quote, in just one night they redraw the borders of europe. i think it is crucial. i think the long-term parameters of inquiry, you can see this as a precursor -- that would be one way to think about it. who are the most elite people you can bring in to help form policymaking? >> mary? >> thank you for a great paper. i have one tiny point and then i want to return to kate's question about economics. term of avoiding the thatar, but all terms like
help us ignore all of the small wars that go on through the 20th century. we can find another term. interested in your reaction to the question and the follow-up about economics and i think it highlights the methodological issue that is useful to think about. is i look back over your internationalism, they all seem .o be defined in terms of ideas studying internationalism is a history project. it helps us -- if you are not principalnomics as a
category in the ideas, that does not mean it's not an important part of policies and practices. what you think about the methodological question. how do we define and era's -- an era's internationalism? do we define it based on ideals question mark on policies and practices? what is the basis of the criteria? yeah, that'shols: so fascinating. that's really helpful. yesterday we were talking about execution. basically what i'm sketching out is the conception park, right? the execution part i'm not dealing too much with. in my view as a historian of this era, we have spent so much , i'm nothe economics .specially in need they want to spend more time on it.
back --ink if you go i'm very resistant to reduce all foreign policies to economic determinism. i know you're not suggesting that. but especially this time, it is envisioned that way. george the sense that herring's vision without commitment works very nicely, but also you talk about transmission of goods and europe andn certainly that is a driver. do you want to go to coolidge and harding and talk about america's business. about america from
business question mark i think you get back to economics. internationalism, peace activists, and getting american marines out of haiti. why are american marines in haiti? progressive projects with all of the many problems. cancan say that you integrate into this in the inherent economic role of the u.s. in this era and before and i would probably think about how to include it. what are the economic of blackons internationalism? to ask a, did you want question? >> my question is ill formed, but i'm going to do it anyway.
we -- we --by how the more general we, grand strategy is a plan to go forward, but how within that so reaction. is a so much of it is creating a fiction of control. to pretend that we are not just reacting. then i was thinking if you were laying out your internationalism and saying that they are quixotic and most of them failed in some way or another, but i don't think that black internationalism failed, right? about then think unfolding events that come after the 1920's the strengthening of movements, and the
emergence of new nationstates that are defining themselves not necessarily as nonaligned, and that actually seems to me, if we think about the black internationalist project, not just a product of american grand strategy, but grand strategy for rethinking what the world might look like, then you get a different narrative than the one i think is in the conversation we're having right now. professor nichols: no, absolutely. in fact in one of my footnotes -- i totally buy that. ushink you are encouraging to consider if we want to use the label grand strategy and look at the forward looking components, we should also think
past,how it is a holistic present, and future projects. it's a reconstruction of how we understand the past. of grandorganization strategic knowledge by the past to past.to react i know way meant to imply that black internationalism did not have success. they will have these transformational effects. if you think about the way that missionaries are thinking about
-- there are worldwide efforts for prohibition coming out of world war ii. to enact that not just because the use -- the u.s. had, but everywhere, reforming the american internationalist eve those, that -- internationalist eve those -- internationalist ethos, that does fail. just but i want to build on adrian's point. --m really moved by the idea one i'm trying to understand, maybe it is counterfactual, that why wouldn't this be grand strategy? we teach this in grand strategy. this is critical. timedea that this is a
when there were seismic shifts in america's role has always been part of that. so, what would make you say, no, this isn't grand strategy? i is trouble understanding what makes it grand strategy. what is the criteria? professor nichols: right, you put me on the spot. the first observation, so much dold war i literature has to with british, french, other states, not the u.s.. paul kennedy has written a ton about this. so, if we are thinking about u.s. grand strategy or u.s. andory and thoughts actions, that is where the lacuna is. they are not looking at the u.s. much at all.
-- you go backs through the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, you don't find that as much. what constitutes grand strategy or how to think about that? my main intervention here is to expand those parameters, and to use the tools of inner let -- inner let -- intellectual history. we were talking about barack obama's pragmatism. this is a way of knowing the ways for us toe that is aorically and way to include marginalized actors who heretofore have not fit into those kinds of narratives. , to usea big motivation
those tools to think critically about how people in the past consider those topics and then to add those groups in. intoerhaps to tap questions, should the u.s. have a grand strategy? should we choose other alternative language? maybe we like another term? after all, that is branding. the big question is the question of definitions and also what are of defining foreign policy as grand strategy? at some point, everything becomes it. let's hope not. >> thank you.
our next speaker is a co-conspirator in organizing this conference. in fact, she was the inspiration for this conference. it was her idea originally. she mentioned it to me, she chris .d it to that is of course is elizabethborgwardt. welcomer borgwardt: back to the room where it happens. this was very exciting. yesterday we were focused on bills. pa i joined everyone in the to christopher nichols. people were thanking me and i was saying, it is all chris. there is a certain amount about fdr and human rights, but i
think i'm going to do something else with eleanor at some point. i'm not sure. the first part is a different origin story for this grand strategy edited volume project because everyone seemed to be so taken with personal mayor lives yesterday. is a discussion of the 1941 atlantic charter developed jointly with churchill as grand strategy and as a human rights instrument. thirdly, very briefly, i think, this document, then, aspirational, meaning different things to different constituencies, a specific policy debate in a particular context, namely the demise of the mercantile plan for germany as it was being developed in a
very late summer and fall of 1944. , i discuss atlantic charter as a benchmark into policy context. flowering945 mostly after roosevelt's that, a context where the atlantic charter was ignored or denigrated, and that is in the pacific to designate islands that had been captured from the u.s. from japan as strategic territories, the trust territories of the pacific whichs some of the tt pi sounds like a disease, the strategic trust territory, a concept, a label the media pulled out of its year collectively at the last minute as an area that may not be
visited, may not be held to various standards and where the benchmark of the atlantic charter totally went by the wayside. and it is hit by the cost of that strategic choice. so, back to the origin story. a visit to a rather traditional grand strategy program a few years ago was a bit troubling for me. i had been invited to speak and people just weren't buying it that my work counted as grand strategy and it seemed to be on some level that i was not grand enough, which may be meant that i was short. i'm not sure. steven wertheim's flattery, id understood there was an interpretation of that great man approach to history here, that
the great man was somewhat figuratively speaking, the object of study, the young scholar being groomed to take a place at that elite table, and , all three had two on some level fit with that vision and i think if you even look at this table, just the grand, this is every strategy or national security panel we have ever been asked to speak on it pretty much like this except with mary here instead of me, who is yet shorter than i am, by the way. so, don't forget that. and andrew preston and i were saying last night, look at this conference as a whole. it's almost 50% women.
if we have had a conference like this even five years ago not only would it have been all guys, it would have been all .uys from texas you have to be from a big state apparently. everything has to be big to be grand strategy. this critique went way beyond gender for me. in henry kissinger's volume of "diplomacy," i sat down with his new book "new world over -- new " and try to figure out what was bothering me. anne-marie slaughter talked about what was missing from kissinger's index.
health,ghts, multilateralism, various kinds of multilateralism. and it occurred to me that my take on grand strategy was also seen as nonconforming because it amounted to a kind of shadow syllabus of kissinger's concerns. and i thought i don't have a monograph worth of things to say about this, but maybe an essay and an edited volume i was casually calling "the girlfriend's guide to grand strategy." that was my working title for some time. i would be chatting with publishers at conferences. and they would say, i love it. i would totally publish it. why is it funny? that jarring exposition.
anything calling itself girlfriend's guide which is chatty, personal, and by definition, feminine. so, this was never seriously proposed any more than all of the titles i was thinking of yesterday such as the " unbearable whiteness of grand strategy." or something about the inclusion of law, which i would call, "let's get off the dime." so, how do we fold in law. -- how do we fold in law? how do we transition from autobiography to biography. how could something quintessentially rooseveltian the grand strategy question mark key is eclectic, he is a juggler, he's not a particularly deep thinker.
he's a procrastinator. -- it'sgement style is noteworthy when he dictates a diary entry. he has some sense that this is a world historical moment. then i will make three points about it. words statement of war and peace aims and its negotiated as part of a three-day conference between fdr and churchill and various members of their seniors off the coast of newfoundland. that is why the atlantic charter because they are somewhere in the atlantic area the conference's secrets and in fact roosevelt has a decoy roosevelt
up and down the cape cod canal. a secret service man pretending to be roosevelt. is eclectic. i will not go through them. this is an eclectic mix of provisions amounting to again,ly a rehash -- it's a good pairing. i realize this is a kind of a do over opportunity, mixed with references to various types of social welfare provisions. the interesting thing is the date. and why is that an interesting date for roosevelt's be making a
statement about war and peace names? anybody? anyway? -- anybody question request do without the boom. people are like, oh, i have to wake up. oh, my god. yeah. even though it is secret, it's still a very risky thing for him to do, right? to make a statement of war and the post world war would like would -- would before proour months harbor is out there for roosevelt. he has these isolationist constituencies. i understand that is a problematic term in many ways. that is the term he would've used. so, he is looking to the post world war world. i think some of the things that are interesting about the pointr go to a train's
about being forward-looking and yet shaped by reactions to the past. at i think that's exactly what we're talking about with this document. i like to focus on its iconic six point, the only part that has any poetry in it, this idea that after the final defeat of azi tyranny, signatories will look forward to a point where all of the participants will live their lives free. what makes this a human rights provision are three things basically. it combines traditional ideas about what we call civil rights ofh the deliberate echo
freedom -- freedom from want and freedom from fear. thirdly, the language -- all of the men in all of the land. it's not a treaty. it's just a statement. it is still a place and an international instrument where you might expect to see sovereign entities. so there is a hint of a suggestion that the kind of super international order might apply to individuals skipping nationstate.reign there is the reference to a collective security organization and that's where the legal, institutional part comes in. if the first international reference -- there are planning
documents among various allies. this is the earliest and quite vague, deliberately vague reference to what becomes the u.n. as noted, this document means different things to different people. churchill intended as an inspirational anti-nazi statement, what michaela moore talks about, constructing an enemy, talking about defeated european allies under the nazi yoke, i.e. the atlantic charter for white people. then there is the outcry about various constituencies saying,
what about us? maybe we need a pacific -- a pacific charter? roosevelt said we called it the atlantic charter because we were meeting in the atlantic. and that is where we have our little cartoon icon of roosevelt holing it around the world. and we have a historical figure from the era, nelson mandela saying he was already a lawyer in 1941 and mandela says, well, we wrote the charter to be more in line with the atlantic charter, but for fdr, again, a third take on it is this is a new iteration of wilsonian is some, a reverse playbook. do it that day.
they are attempting to draw lessons from the past in real time. discussionsks to yesterday about drawing lessons from the past -- are they actionable, are they legitimate question mark how does that work ? what is the historian's role? i will leave you with the atlantic charter image. a lot of it is the second level policy planners working with this document. remember, 400 words is a really the elaine chao to her is kind of the declaration of independence and the u.n. charter is like the constitution. or the bretton woods charter or the nuremberg charter. sort of the
architecture of my first book, to say these are the policy different tiers, giving life through institutions. and i'm just going to say, i guess, a very brief word about the plan as a very jerk colony in proposal -- and this is to some extent the stereotype of it and the most nuanced treatment -- i'm moore's embarrassed to be saying it in one sentence with her here, but perceived as too draconian, a plan designed around the economic fragmentation of germany that would keep germany down, the actual popularized version of the plan in the book by henry morgan fell, called "germany is our problem."
the proposal was called program to prevent germany from starting world war iii. and economics war at its center. deindustrialization, fragmentation, forced labor for german war criminals, and .asically the atlantic charter and it says, look, it violates the principles of the atlantic charter. we said that the atlantic charter was for everybody, not just allies. stiffening german
resistance, for instance, in the battle of the bulge. i conclude with the atlantic charter as grand strategy and i think it is a hook, ok? the atlantic charter is a hook in three ways, three quick ways. there are three different images of a hook. there is a hook as in a song -- ♪ alexander hamilton another motif of this conference. the hook is emotional, manipulative as a propaganda hook. it is a hook like a coat hook, right, that you can hang something on. it's not terribly substantial. using the atlantic charter as a hook to bring roosevelt around, to bring him off the plan, which he had initially at one point, and finally an anchor to ground
maybe it goes to legitimacy. i would say the atlantic charter's three kinds of hooks and this is true of other kinds f grand strategic visions. thank you very much. it can be bout anything. > wait for the boom mic. >> this is a response not to the paper but the prefatory remarks. i think of a new book alled the hillary doctrine. it
is an argument about hillary clinton, her important as tenure as secretary of state, re-conceptualizing what we may call grand strategy and putting women's rights squarely at the center of it for the first time in american or human history. it is a useful addition to our understanding, especially if we are on a panel looking individuals and reflection points. hillary clinton may be an important person to include in the volume even going forward. >> if anybody could get her to write a preference, that would be awesome. it does link to a onversation we were having
yesterday, which i could revise it some level. hillary clinton being the pinnacle of foreign-policy establishment, making this contribution that david greenberg just articulated, and yet when african-americans are at that pinnacle, as an obama or colin powell, they make race related ssues of justice and equality. , there is a sense of, okay. the visual is enough. it would e straining the american cultural imagination too much. this was a fascinating iscussion. how did hillary feel that she had that freedom
r did she not? it could be a problem for her the way we would postulate it would have been a problem for someone like: powell -- colin powell or obama. >> we might have a chapter on condoleezza rice. there is a uestion in the back. >> i was wondering, the extent to which the scr, or churchill, new of the atlantic charter at the time when they were making it or pronouncing it thtat it would be the hook for everything that would come ater. that this would be the
justification for the united nations charter and the brentwood institutions, or is there more evidence that it was thought and just the immediate terms of the day and later on they realized we can use this to justify certain actions and constrained other actors and close off pathways where we do not want to go. did they have foresight to the extent that it seems? >> that is a great question and i will give you a lawyerly answer. kind of both. there was a sense of fdr dictating a diary entry in the historical approach -- the world historical importance that they were talking to each other and laying out this vision of the postwar world. in a part of the material i could not go through, i talk about how something that is this abstract and vague has to be anything at
all. that it has to be metabolized through second and third tier officials. those are the ones who start with the declaration of independence. it also metabolized on some level through more regional and local war bond speeches and posters, particularly the for freedom or bond drive and these homey images that norman rockwell drew. it has to be both to become anything. it has to be like a forward-looking blueprints. > i want to throw the question i give to students when i teacher book. we treat -- when i teach your book. if we treat the atlantic -- as a grant
trategy -- what is the right word to use? does it supplant the atlanta harter, does it reinforce? or do you see the emergence of parallel grant strategies within the american official mind? maybe this brings your argument in dialogue with some of the stuff we heard last night and yesterday. >> i was just thinking about this last night because i was so stimulated by the talk. i would like to hear what your students say about it. i think he atlantic charter was much closer to being a hook, like or a song, that is memorable
nd catchy. containment is more ikely anchor. none of them really literally dictate olicies, like exactly what should happen. the containment of a doctrine comes much closer. that's part of the argument about grant strategy. i hope to say something about that in my concluding remarks. do we haeve to nail down the definition? if we consider truman doctrine and the eisenhower doctrine.
>> you have given us a different variant of the ne-handed clapping . grant strategy as conception, as otivating vision. he spoke nicely about the second and third tier officials that have a framework or a hanger to hang things on. i am curious to hear you talk a little bit about the stereotype that most of us get
of fdr as a juggler. of being mutually incomprehensible, contradictory, and genius-like how he does it. i'm interested in hearing more about fdr working to execute this vision. what is he doing in terms of olitics to drive this vision and make sure that can actually work at the second and third ier level? >> the initial conceptualization of this panel is that it would be about individuals and their visoions. fdr, is a grand strategist -- i like that precisely because of the dissonance between that idea. between forward-looking, propulsive lay trying to control -- propulsively trying to control and -- i think fdr
was consistently pretty reactive in a kind of anger to the wind type way. with -- his worldview was summarized by a chum of his from fdr's childhood, herbert pal, father of herbert claiborne pell, of pell grant fame. herbert pell was on the war crimes commission during what ultimately became nuremberg. pell said, we do not have these rand visions. we think the world is made better by working
for small changes. i think there are small changes in a particular direction. policies that are seen as a betrayal by fdr fans, like his refusal to go along with anti-lynching legislation, the failure of any kind of holocaust rescue, japanese internment, you name it. i do not think he had a lot of sleepless nights about those trade-offs. i think it was about feeling that he was doing what he could and a lot of it was responding to people in front of him in terms of using the atlantic charter. the atlantic charter is like a magna carta and the 10 commandments. it's this telegram to press release -- it is this telegramm ed press release. it is physically unimpressive and he had it -- it is displayed. he wanted to
partake in that fetishization of documents that americans are prone to and say that it was a grand vision that emerged whole from his and churchill's mind. >> a more permanent -- general security. fdr struck out a eference to the text. he had a number of conversations with sumner welles, where he seems to suggest it is american and british power that need to undergird the world order after
the war. maybe sometime in the future, there should be a larger security organization, but that is not something we should talk about now. is there a conceptual idea that's not just about conceptualization their wide variety of foreign policy think that the international organization is not a good solution to the problem of how to maintain a world order and the post war world. the u.n. is reconceived later on -- > the languages softened and fdr goes along with that readily because he is worried
about his flank. that isolationist constituencies will sieize on that and say, another league. that is the last thing we need. basically, fdr has no idea what he is describing at the time. he has widely varying visions of what that general system might actually entail. effectively having a veto for every overeign power and other fixes for the league model. he takes the point that the last ring hat should be happening in ugust, 1941, is triggering
hese fears of, "just a new league." >> time for one more question. >> i would like to talk a little bit about the question of continuity and change. you defined the atlantic charter as a do over but adding social and economics provisions. does it make sense to connect these two documents or do see it as more of a breaking point? >> it is an insightful
question. i resist periodization debates. our human rights from the 1940's or the 1970's or the french revolution? it seems to me sterile because different things are happening at these times. i think you get institutionalization of earlier ideas in the 1940's, and those institutions have a kind of stickiness to outlast the cold war, then they are infused with more of a social justice perspective from the 1960's on, with an emphasis in the wake of the and of the vietnam onflict. i have said it in a
cynical way that the 1970's was a breaking point. white activists look around and say the vietnam is over and i have been kicked out of the civil rights movement, so how to fill the empty hours? i guess i will slap a amnesty international bumper sticker on my car and call myself a human rights activist. different things are happening in different eras. i like focusing on a particular document as a kind of trope, especially with teaching. i think it is a modern, or more modern, iteration of this older idea of the rights of man, or a civil rights oriented notion of human rights. i have a joke with manella that i have to pay him $.25 every time i call something a moment. he says, only $.25?
begin again. where running behind schedule because of the weather and because academics like to talk. the weather the delayed our arrival here. we are going to take this session until 12:30 and then we will have lunch. we will juggle with the program schedule a little bit. he's the author of a terrific new book, the republic of spin. he will be speaking to us about strategy and bigotry and the undemocratic soul of george -- >> thank you andrew. thank you or putting together this conference and for all of your work in organizing and conceptualizing it. i was struck the side of chris behind the wheel bringing us over in the rain. if you can pickup my
kids from soccer practice at 3:00, that would be helpful too. when we think about grand strategy, or our theme for this conference, what america should do in the world and how it chieves that, we often think of george cannon, who is my subject today. is often one of the first names that come to mind. he is not just on the mind of scholars, but policymakers. he said in a famous remark, i don't even need a george kennen right now. this was a remark that many sed against him on the rgument that he has but that he needs a grand strategy. it
was interesting what he would do. how he would have a long telegram or a long tweet. in the obama messaging operation. bama's strategy has been one -- other statements he has made. a foreign policy that avoids errors. you hit singles and doubles. every once in a while we may hit a home run. i don't know if i can stay this -- say this on c-span, don't do tupid shit. it has come to the four again recently. we were discussing this with the new york times magazine profile ith ben rhodes who has risen to the pinnacle of foreign policy influence. with all due respect, fairly unconventional
credentials through strategic communication. largely because he scares what -- he shares what everybody calls a mind meld with obama. a basic judgment about the iraq war that it was a mistake and we should avoid anything like it gain. some might say -- fred from last night suggested this, h and others have asked this, perhaps obama has the grand strategy and maybe that is a good thing. grand strategy can lead to rigidity or dogma. david milne suggested there is a pragmatism, a principled pragmatism and obama's foreign-policy thinking which
puts me in the mind of sidney morgan. the only thing wrong with pragmatism is that it is completely useless. this absence -- rather than a grand strategy, there is a grand strategy. it is one of disengagement or avoidance of military exposure. there are many ways to think about what obama is doing and i'm generally sympathetic to the critiques of overvaluing or fetishizing an overarching doctrine. nonetheless, we have to concede. there is merit in having principles and plans there are priorities and making sure the actions in one instance to not undermine those in another instance. even in projecting american leadership n the world. that's a decision not to decide. my paper is not here to resolve the question of
the inadequacies or the merits of obama's folic -- foreign policy but rather i want to talk about the case of george cannon -- george kennan. it shows the same kind of questions, dilemmas and connections the application of doctrine that are confounding both policymakers and journalists and intellectuals. they are very much present in the case of cannon and his group -- of kennan and his areer. that if we look beneath it there are a lot of questions and inconsistencies there too. in particular i had the occasion to review his recently published diaries a year or two ago and found in those diaries
picking my own -- piquing my own interest a side of 10 and that i was not aware of it had not realized the full extent of. i might begin with a riddle about kennan's life. his policies and ideas were utterly central to the foreign relations united states in the 20th century and in many respects he had no real home in its political system. he was nominally a supporter of democrats for the presidency and other offices but he was profoundly conservative in his worldview. this is not the belligerent and cultural
populism that richard nixon has bequeathed to the republican party nor the happy hawkishness of ronald reagan. both nixon and reagan were people that ennan abhorred. rather his conservatism derived from edmund burke, from the decline is a month givens, from the social darwinism of herbert spencer and above all i think it echoed a brooding anti-modernism and the despair of henry adams to whom not surprisingly, kennan likened himself. this policy was crafted in defense of a country that he never much liked the with citizens whom he by and large despised. like henry adams, kennan was a misfit in modern times. the achievements of science and modern technology left him completely
cold. he saw only the defilement of nature wrought by the automobile, the corruption of the spirit brought on by consumer society. in 1978 he writes, with all due effort to avoid exaggerated estimate is over dramatization, i can see no salvation for the u.s. in its -- no over dramatization there. from urban decay to the decline of the schools to the crass commercialism in the media to sexual libertinism, he saw a decadent society much like late rome. so who was the curmudgeon who thought so poorly of america's future yet who provided its leaders with the crucial guide rope to grasp as they lurched through the cold war question mark born in 1904 to a wisconsin presbyterian family, kennan
attended princeton where he wallowed in his alienation from his fellow students. after joining the foreign service he lived abroad for two decades nd became a russia expert with a keen appreciation of that country's need along the border. for kennan, this meant at the end of world war ii forsaking poland's wartime government and exile and fording polish hopes for self-determination. the first fight of how his cold realism which shape his foreign-policy. erving in moscow after the war, he grafted his long elegram whi -- building on
these ideas in his famous article, the sources of soviet conduct and the next year in foreign affairs. he minted the enduring concept of containment which would guide the american policy for decades. steering a metal course between the folly of war and the futile -- futile wallace site hope. he contained the soviet influence to the strategic application of american power. by this point, kennan was running the policy planning staff. it's a testament to his legacy that the department has since been treated. truth be told, the most notable document to emerge rom that office since kennan's day is anne-marie slager,'s why women cannot have it all." kennedy did not think that much f a planning office. he said
it is clear it has been a failure i collect hamster bring foresight into the designing a public policy by a special institutional arrangement. for this reason -- the reason for this seems to lie largely in the impossibility of having the planning function performed outside the line of command. the marshall plan drew from his argument but the need to bolster postwar europe economically. he was right that his personal influence had peaked and he was soon put out to pasture by eisenhower. containment should be credited with having largely served american policymakers well. the devil was in the details and that mde it -- that made it ess than reliable in its
specific application. i will skip the long quote, but he called for the application of counterforce at key political pressure points. the problem was that he did say where those oints were and different policymakers defined him differently over the years. kennan, contrary to what his theory might suggest, enthusiastically supported the korean war. we had to go through with our purpose in korea come what may. it was a question of our will and not our capability, a question of credibility that we discussed yesterday. similar in 1950 61 burton in france tried to stop egypt from nationalizing the suez canal, he criticized him for capitulating. he never check much about israeli interests. he fear that the russians might dominate the area and use the oil as an
instrument of blackmail against the west. given his shifting advice depending on the geographic and political points at stake it would be hard to surmise that containment applied in egypt in korea but not eastern europe or vietnam. it would not be wrong to wonder if containment applied wherever george kennan thought it applied at a given moment. what is absent from his rationale for intervention, whether in korea or the suez or any were else, is any concern for the people whose land's were invaded or freedom suppressed. he has long been known to be a bigot and a misanthrope, but the publication of several books for the end of his life and after, and especially the recent publication of these diaries revealed the astonishing depth of his prejudice. the ugliness cannot
be written off as the norms of an earlier time. as late as 1998 he was still seeing jewishness as only an anti-semite would. "the scandal of mr. clinton's relationship with his jewish intern --" one diary entry. as early as his years in princeton he entertained a theory advocating the extermination of the lower races saying, i cannot see why it is wrong in principle. as a foreign service officer he remains convinced that the world's problems were biological. neither did he grow more enlightened in his long career. at the age of 80, he was still confiding to his diary his enthusiasm for ending immigration and compulsive
sterilization. policy planning, indeed. who were these inferior races, as he called them, whose proliferation kennan deplored? it is hard to find an ethnic group that escapes his contempt. an italian is a typical dago,. the people of eorgia, he proclaimed, are a lazy, dirty, tricky, fiercely proud, and recklessly brazen people. they never work unless they have to. zambians, he aid, are wrecked by cockiness. in one lunatic rant from 1998, he envisioned all of humanity distance to melt into a vast polyglot mass with only the chinese, jews, and blacks standing apart. could this mean
there destined to subjugate and ominate as an uneasy but unavoidable triumvirate? the chinese, either combination of intelligence ruthlessness and industriousness. the jews by sheer determination to survive. the negroes by their bitter hatred of the whites. he also defended apartheid in south africa. this contempt for various peoples goes deeper than contempt for individual groups. really to a general misanthropy. when it came down to it it is also part of a fundamental hostility which he can never seem to endorse. i believe in dictatorship, he writes. but not the
dictatorship of the proletariat. the proletariat should be seen and not heard and should not be allowed to have anything to do with government. he continued to envision better alternatives including hereditary oligarchy which he believes history had shown to be a far more reliable custodian of the public welfare than self-government ever was. >> this dim view of democracy and humankind is more than a working sidelight to a distinguished intellectual career like flat amanda buck of what what mcdonald -- like vladimir nabakov -- word dwight mcdonald's nudism. in making notes for an article for foreign affairs in 1853, he wrote, what i would like to show is the conduct of the foreign relations of a great country is a practical, not a moral exercise. this makes great sense in handling a rifle superpower, but it has real
limitations for people whose interests are not represented at the bargaining table. foreign policy should not be sentimental but neither should it be inhumane. kennan's realism, we may speculate, seems to have been tied to his distancing of himself from his fellow human beings and often a callous willingness to allow the to suffer. obama, it is fair to say, is clearly not a bigot like kennan. he is clearly not antidemocrat. i think obama shares some of the steely and unfeeling attitudes which justify his own water down foreign policy realism. i think that obama is correct, perhaps in an ironic sense, that he does not need a george kennan, because he may have already absorbed too much of his decline is him, futility, and unconcerned with suffering.
he certainly needs more than ben rhodes. let me and a there and hear your -- let me end there and hear your comments nd questions. >> thank you david. the floor is open for questions. the mic is coming. >> great paper. incredibly interesting and very provocative. i want to ask a question that is out there but maybe an application. once some of the gets into the top leadership roll, obama, or kennan. can we still eat humanely? how is that done -- still lead humanely? how is that done? >> many leaders in our history have shown a capacity for humanity, have kept ideas of
human suffering of regard for other people's -- in the forefront of their considerations, even as they also have to work in a cold and rational way to adjust interest as kennan said. his problem was not that he regrettably had to sacrifice those concerns but that he did not have the concerns in the first place. there is a body of thought that suggests that respecting these values, encouraging aspirations of freedom and democracy are in fact part of american self-interest because this creates peoples and countries that will be less possible and antagonistic to us. there is also an argument from self-interested realism that
can elevate a more humane concern. >> fred. >> a terrific paper and presentation. i wonder if you could talk more about the question of how important you think that kennan is the u.s. foreign-policy. i suggested that even if it was not called containment that the basic thinking and basic policy was well in place by mid-or late 945. certainly in 1946 and that absent kennan, we would have seen it similar approach, broadly speaking. when he becomes disillusioned with direction of the cold war, he is interesting to read and in some ways quite powerful to read on later miss adventures but it doesn't really change the direction of foreign-policy. could you talk a little bit more of having you
go a little bit deeper on his role. >> think the question of to what degree do intellectuals influence foreign-policy. ennan himself was always despairing of his lack of influence. this is another sit -- this is another theme you see that even after he is out of office he is constantly olicited for his opinions by all kinds of presidents and he despairs that he will not have any influence. i think you are probably right but some policy-like containment was taking shape and probably would have without him but he still is the one who articulates it. his words are invoked at many key moments, pointed to his authority rolled out even
sometimes as he is protesting, that is not what i meant. our words live beyond us and take n a life of their own. he is held out as the bearer, the vessel of tradition so even when his realism is not invoke, it is keeping alive a counter tradition and a critique that can be important to american oreign-policy. the instances where he is directly calling the shots may be relatively few. there's the marshall plan which seems to have been something that his thinking influenced and a few other policies that we can point to but even when he is not, he is influential to the extent that individuals are and being the articulate her and bearer of important ideas. >> that was great. in 1989,
ennan testified before the senate foreign relations committee on the end of the cold war. during the q&a, daniel patrick moynihan asked kennan, should we consider reverting the approach to the world? >> kennan said with respect to two areas, one is nuclear proliferation and the second is global climate change. two issues that pose great threat and require an international organization to the magnitude -- and require an international response to the magnitude of these threats. the vileness of his bigotry that you have amply demonstrated here, it kind of
uggests that maybe the destruction of the world is in the form of noah -- he is focused on these two issues, more so than it many. can you alk a little bit about the aspects of kennan that were insightful. and how you view them in distinction with these the poor and fuse he held on race and other issues. >> certainly in trying to bring to the forefront his bigotry and also his views on women and gays . go down the list. i wanted to bring that to greater prominence and consideration in our general thinking about him
because though it is sometimes acknowledged, it is never really put front and center. it's tied to a broader worldview, this henry adams despair. i don't mean to suggest it is the totality or the only important aspect of his thought. kennan was a precise thinker. because he was unencumbered by too many sentimental concerns he was able to be coldly diagnostic which may account for some of the ability to highlight issues like climate change before thers were. his realism --
ontainment showed that realism was not a purely nationalistic doctrine. it was within the understanding of international cooperation. i don't think there is anything deemed international. he was a diplomat. the adjustment of interest is something where he can see many nations sharing common interest over something like climate change. >> we have two more questions. >> i have two questions. how
should we understand the relationship between kennan the man in the dimensions that you brought out and grand strategy itself as an enterprise? is it a quincy and's that the greatest grand strategist of the american century was this erson who is antidemocratic? how much of grand strategy itself is separable from these troubling aspects that you brought out? second question is, can i pin you down? in the paper, you say two things that seem to be intentioned. a simplistic critique of the containment doctrine would argue that led the united states into terrible adventures, especially in vietnam, which you go on to note that kennan early and often opposed the vietnam war.
but you note, however much he supported important actions early in the cold war, and then ay, it would not be wrong to wonder if containment as george kennan intended it applied pretty much whatever he thought it applied at any given moment. that latter part is the missed -- is the case. why is it a simple vocation to blame containment or the cold war for vietnam? >> on the first part, through different concepts we have been talking about including grand strategy and some of the discussion has led me to look favorably on the belief of the analytic philosophers who basically think that to argue bout many of these questions is -- that include so much emantic definitional work is
ointless. we are talking across purposes and we can each use the term grand strategy in slightly different ways and look well or critically on it depending on some other point that we want to make. does it start to lose meaning? i wonder about whether this weekend we are using grand strategy in too many different ways that allow us to talk in some respects across purposes. ith kennan, is the problem grand strategy? is the problem realism? what is interesting about obama, though not the subject of my paper, is that these things are at play. is the problem hyper realism? is the problem grand strategy or lack thereof?
all that i need to do here is to suggest some of the neat equations that we are used to making about grand strategy with realism with kissinger being the other figure hailed as this great american grand strategist and his holocene is associated with realism. it's one reason why chris's reminder of wilson is a grand strategist and liz's of fdr are useful in breaking the hard link or the tacit link that exists in a lot of conceptualization of grand strategy as having a realist bias. to what degree does this connect to kennan as a person? it's hard to say. he has a worldview that gave rise to his ideas about russian national
haracter that were important in his particular articulation of containment. i don't think it is necessarily present in all canaanite -- kennanite policy. with vietnam, what i am making is the same point in two different ways. containment was used, sometimes sincerely and sometimes opportunistically to justify or pursue a range of different policies in the ostwar era. because of the way that he defined it and at times the imprecision of it, it became easy for people to interpret it in ways that he and many other people would not have intended. it became sort of quoted or cited by dueling
arties and in some ways it was drained of some of its meaning. i don't know that it is possible to formulate a grand strategy that accounts for all ventualities down the road but certainly, we began to see some of the limits of kennan's owner formulation, the later that we got into the postwar era. >> last question. >> thank you very much. i wanted to push back on your depiction as i understand it of kennan as cold and a moral. -- and amoral. hero a passage that me as one of the most human" i have read. -- humane quotes i have ever read. war is the disintegration and weakening of the deeper fabrics of society.
i process, which of itself, can achieve no moral aims. we can have the courage to remind yourselves that major and national balance is -- violence is in the -- it seems to me that there is actually a profound morality in his abhorrence of major interstate violence, of his refusal to engage in what i fight and morally revolting american triumphalism. what he seems to realize here is that major interstate violence is not only a sin for straight, white man, but also hurts gay people, women and people of color. i want to ask how that review which is a tragic perspective on the world, how that would it in your portrait?
>> he certainly has a tragic view. i don't know if i would call him the glory and -- neborian, but he is a romantic. he is a wonderfully lyrical writer. unsentimental business uite the right word because in some sense he is deeply sentimental. what he is in his, he is quite unconcerned with interstate violence in most of the world. at that that's into -- it does not seem to trouble him. perhaps as an abstraction it does. the notion of humanitarian intervention to stop suffering would be
enerally abhorrent to him. there is -- to me it is easy to say that war is terrible. we all agree with that but what is hardest to decide what kind of slaughter -- should occur when. f slaughter is going to occur, how can america or the world conspire to stop or minimize it. that was not the question hat troubled him. >> that was always kissinger's defense. when people would did -- accuse him of being in laurel, he would sit -- of being immoral, he would say there is nothing more moral than trying to event nuclear war. it does not make it legitimate, but is perhaps
something we could discuss further. this brings us to the final two speakers. the texas two-step that we will do. we will hear from william bowden at the university of texas in austin where he heads up the clemency for national security and teaches at the lbj school. he will be teaching a but the grand strategy, the nixon-resolution at the national security -- nixon-kissinger resolution at the national security council. >> everyone has thank you for all sorts of things but not everyone has thank you for everything. i want to be the first of thank you for that wonderful bottle of pinot noir in our goodie bag. my wife will thank you even more. very brief in my background. only insofar as it is relevant for my comments today i was honored to be and do consider myself honored to be part of the
nativity program since they first developed in there. it was a new concept for me at the time but it's the continuation of a great tradition and a look back on my time there with much fondness. after that, i went back to washington, d.c. and i guess you could call me a recovering policymaker. i am still trying to atone for my ears in the bureaucracy. during my time working at the state department and on the staff at the white house, i saw how hard it is for the president to get his government to do what he would like it to do. or a secretary of state. i worked for powell and rice. to get the state department building to do what you want them to do. here directors and orders would be disregarded, policy guidance would be shirked and avoided. it was fascinating to watch and frustrating at the time but it informs some of my scholarship
now. it gave me a new set of questions for interrogating the archives and approaching projects. i came to appreciate that a successful strategy, if one can exist whether grand or otherwise isn't just getting the analysis right are getting the big ideas right, but it really depends on implementation. is not just aligning means and ends, but ways and means and ends. the ways part is what i want to focus on today. this paper here, which is a micro look -- it is part of a larger book. in one sense i will be the first to say since it is obvious to everyone that this paper represents a pervasively raditional take. it focuses on two elite white men and it is about the exercise of political and military power. i hope and trust that my paper fits into
he conference theme of rethinking but because it takes up what i think is a largely unexplored question of how it is implemented. even with that large question, my paper delivery takes a very small scope and focuses on two men in it period of two months. it tries to raise much bigger question it -- questions and points toward a method of inquiry which has been relatively neglected. what is the relationship between ideas nd implementation? i hope that this paper can remind us of history's capacity to surprise, that hindsight can blind us as much as it can reveal. the expectations i had of the time are much different than how they look out to us through the lens of history. i note that nixon and kissinger
seem to have devoted the entirety of their transition time between the genuine -- november 1968 election and the january, 1969 inauguration focusing on how to organize the government. what kind of people will be -- will we be appointing and what authorities will assign different positions. the way that they organized their government was crucial to their success in implementing their ideas. if they had not done it this way, we would not talk about the nixon-kissinger grand strategy today. i deliberately stay away from normative governments on the nixon-kissinger policy. i am critical of them and a lot of ways, my first effort is to understand what they were
trying to do. even their fiercest critics would agree, why do we criticize them? because they got what they wanted done. we can later decide if it was good or bad. secondly, set inside the policies themselves, they set the template for every national security council system that security council system that followed. matt bundy gets a little bit of credit here. elevating the national security visor to a policy position, kissinger takes it one step further. we are now the state where the state department and defense department can't do anything without running it through an xt first. first, what i think at the time did look like and understand is nixon's very unusual choice, we can so easily forget this, nixon
kissinger just rolls off the tongue. it is like lennon mccartney, nixon-kissinger. at the time that would not have made any sense. it was a really unorthodox choice at the time. nixon violated almost every rule in the book. the president should have a strong personal relationship with his security advisor. the national security adviser, the textbook should say should be loyal to the president and party. what was very close to nelson rockefeller, nixon's main rival. third, given the jobs almost impossible responsibilities of managing diplomacy, military power, intelligence, and all this national security policy, the textbook says the advisor should have considerable government experience. yet his entire professional life had been spent in academia.
those are almost the exceptions that prove the rule. this is a weird choice that nixon made. even more so, does anyone member the name bill rogers? no one knows who bill rogers was. at the time when nixon text -- nixon picked rogers as secretary of state he would seem like a inspired choice, that rogers was destined to take his place. after all rogers would have everything you are looking for. he had been a long time and a friend of nixon. he went back to their collaboration on his case in the late 40's. the checkered speech in 1952 was this very serious experience. rogers was with him on that. rogers was attorney general so
they had a close executive branch partnership. of course rogers had gained tremendous experience running a large agency as attorney general. then he had a successful legal career. so it would have seemed at the time this would be the next in rogers administration and team. this was not to be. this is where next in, who is one of the most complicated personalities, he was certainly beset by personal insecurities in many areas, but when it came to foreign policy he was quite confident. kissinger deliberately sots someone who although not a political supporter could function as a alter ego.
he also found someone who shared nixon's geopolitical outlook. also how to re-shape the national security machinery of the united states government. they found common cause in reasserting the power of the presidency. the second theme is remind ourselves of just what kind of bureaucratic opposition they did face in taking office. the fact they succeeded in imposing their grant strategic design shouldn't obscure that this was a hard task. it is not just individual foreign officers or cia analysts would have a different take on how the world should work, within the american government they have developed an entire bureaucratic structures that are dedicated to a particular orientation and use of american power in the world. for example the arms control and disarmament agency, its entire
existence was predicated on ongoing negotiations with the soviets. any deviation from that would all must pose and existential threat to an arms control agency instance. a cultural and is -- there is going to be massive institutional resistance to a concept like a linkage. what is good to bring in u.s. china relationships, the vietnam conflict, bring those new factors into the bilateral relationship. so basing these entrenched bureaucratic interests, nixon needed to centralize control to hold the reins of his own government and steer large swaths of it. i will mention this briefly but this is something to reflect upon as part of the larger
themes of our conference. nixon and kissinger had a particular use of history. this was not kissinger drawing on the doctoral work. rather they did this in a more pedestrian way but still is a particular type of history by policymakers. general good pastor had done this for eisenhower and having him redesign the nfc. it was a dying eisenhower in the hospital bed where he said screw the state department, you can't trust those guys. it also meant reading extensive reports on what worked. that was a historical sensibility.
i'm pivoting on your comments of an ambivalent relationship. i think it is interesting to reflect on their approach to hconsolidate and control the executive branch. was that antidemocratic or restoring some sense of democratic accountability to foreign policy? yes to both. on the one hand, they very much believe in the history. they did not want us getting our grubby fingers in the making of high stake craft. they wanted to insulate that from the vicissitudes of public opinion and what they thought were unimportant predilections. they saw the institution of bureaucracy as very out of touch with popular opinion. nixon saw himself as much more a man of the people, much more in line with the values of ordinary americans.
he saw himself as speaking much more for those values than the elite eurocrats at the state department or the cia. nixon intended to give the people the foreign policy they want through a system that return power from the bureaucracy to its rightful home in the white house where the occupant had been elected and was elected again. i think this democratic ambivalence will pervade his presidency including eventually disregarding and disdaining the law as well. >> fantastic, thank you. the floor is open.
>> i'm going to abuse my power to ask the first question. what is driving nixon and kissinger's desire to concentrate power, executive authority? it began with bundy, but they didn't take it to that extent. they couldn't have taken it to that extent. these processes happen gradually over time. perhaps they would have concentrated power like that. it's not ideology, it's not party affiliation that's leading to the centralization or concentration of executive authority. anyone who holds power wants to do it. what are the structural factors or what is driving this overall process?
>> we can think of this as a few. they had a capacious understanding of executive authority. this is where the national security act, there is some ambiguity to operate there. just the way in -- just the way they consolidated power, i don't think they broke laws. they took existing constitutional and statutory authorities as far as they could go. they realize the vulnerabilities of the bureaucracy. information and knowledge was power and if they were able to control the information flows, even the paper flows back-and-forth, that that would also give them control over policy. they had a very deliberate strategy about the political appointees.
they had a few there. because they had a capacious understanding of all the elements of national power, the new only those could reside in the white house, so each bureaucracy was going to be limited the pentagon could only say so much on the dramatic initiatives. i think those were a number of their keys. >> let me ask you about this tendency toward paranoia that you could save may be both men shared, i suppose i'm interested in nixon as it pertains to the broader thesis of your paper. whether his distrust of the foreign policy bureaucracy and his desire toward centralization lends to a feeling on his part
that the ivy league liberals in the state department were out to get him? >> that is exactly what he said. and even to some extent the democratic congress was composed of people who are going to be out to get them. i guess i wonder if that kind of paranoia is fueling this to a larger extent for nixon and healthspring about this focus this concentration? >> i think you are exactly right. i want to develop it more. he did have that paranoia for all the labels. part of this was his paranoia, part of it was his time as vice president, he felt disrespected by them. he loved to rail against the georgetown dinner party set. as i have a little throwaway line.
just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they don't really hate you. and it wasn't just they didn't -- it wasn't just they had contempt for nixon. they had an outlook on how they wanted diplomacy to be conducted. so disentangling the paranoia from all the substances differences, they are all there. i have not been able to parcel out how much was one, how much was another. >> i really enjoyed this talk. i'm hoping maybe you and jeff
can both comment on this, because i'm curious about your evaluation of the utility of executing policy, which is where you derive this from. one could very easily lumped in the third at some point, who becomes kissinger's deputy. as you are discussing last night, generally given high remarks as national security adviser because he is seen as an honest broker who can adjudicate all the different agency positions but will give his personal advice above and beyond. on h w's time in china, he talks a lot about his worldview and his operationalizing of it for when he becomes president is based in opposition to the model you just described. as am bassett or he is cut out
of everything. is it simply driving on the one hand nixon is so much more self confident in his understanding and view of the world? how would you define the utility of these two different models? >> start room and -- i need a lot more. them he give you a couple of reflections in this conversation. it worked for the time they were in offense -- in office. for good or for ill. that is why they continue to be talked about so much. ultimately over the long-term, their approach failed or at least did not reach maximal
success for a number of reasons. by cutting out the constitutional bureaucracy so much, they were cutting out the vehicles for institution he -- for their own policies. all those career bureaucrats at state and cia are relieved of that pressure to maintain that whole framework. also conversely going back to my democracy reflections, eventually they lose the american people on the right and the left. i think we can understand the election of carter in 76 and reagan in 1980 as twin reactions against the amoral polity of the nixon kissinger approach. when reagan challenges ford, he's challenging nixon and kissinger. he's wanting to read more allies the american policy.
i think the broader sense of american values and democracy diminished its staying power and sense of build. >> three things on the relationship, which i think is remarkably complicated, he was the deputy at the nfc. bush cannot stand kissinger, and therefore you have this interesting dynamic where you have the mentor to bush's chief strategist as a person bush cannot generally stand. the way we see this in the way charlie was kind enough to remark upon. there is basically no single insult in the entire document.
there is no profanity in the entire document, which is amazing considering it was not written but dictated. and usually after a few drinks at night. bush refers to kissinger as not a gentleman. which is the worst thing he could possibly be in his worldview. and i think it is indicative of a broader problem that bush and those like him see kissinger as operating not only in the diplomatic and bureaucratic system, but not properly representing where america should be on the world stage. there was a very detailed brouhaha. i will alleviate you from
hearing all the details, when the united states to chose to support nationalist china's continued representation on the united nations general assembly, where as most of the rest of the world wanted to move over to communist china. bush defended it to the hilt. kissinger decided to undermine policy by essentially showing up in china the day before the vote in order to demonstrate what they cared about. when bush was down to washington, basically got down to a fistfight. what he wrote in his diary was that i explained to him that he did not explain that he did not understand america, and i did. i think that is a late term there, the kissinger is a man as
an immigrant, as a jew, as a new yorker. in a way that a blue blooded wasp could possibly do and should be in the white house. just one quick more thing. >> we have time for one more question, you are giving the next paper. >> i yield my time to the gentleman from my home state. >> what is really crucial in terms of the nfc is he is noted as the best example as a nationalist security advisor because he wasn't an honest broker. skill croft wrote the model for how they should operate following the iran-contra affair , but of course it is important to remember he did not subsequently want the job. he designed his job and said some of the else should do it. bush explained to him i actually need you. but it is important to know he described the job which is in his mind impossible to operate. >> we have one more question in the back.
your name? with the glasses. >> i have a question about who really controls the appointments within dod. in his book about layered, he said layered accepted the job of secretary of defense on the condition that he would control all appointments in dod. do you have contrary examples? >> they let layered have some appointments but they have a number of their own keep an eye on him. david packard was close to kissinger. of course as you know he also had his mold, the navy guy who was recording conversations. talk about a dysfunctional environment.
>> join me in thanking will. this brings us to our final speaker of the morning. jeffrey, who teaches at southern methodist university and is head of the center for presidential history. his paper is titled george h.w. bush, strategy and the stream of history. >> i used up so much of my time -- i used up my times i will be brief. my center has the wonderful opportunity to put on 35 events per year. as a testament to how much we have enjoyed this one, i have sent them everything you guys have sent us and said this is how we should be doing it.
i want to think not only the co-panelists but everyone from the conference. it is really wonderful to come to a conference where you can learn so much from each of the -- each of the panelists. i want to point out one in particular, noting that the three worst people in the world are "the jews, the chinese, and the blacks." i want to say i stand out. as a jew i always eat chinese and christmas and then go out and watch lebron play basketball. we talk about nixon, we talk about kissinger, we talk about john quincy adams. i want to invoke a name we have not yet invoked, and that of course is donald trump.
one of the interesting things about grand strategy is the way in which it strikes me our discussions are often time becomes catchphrases. we like to narrow down grand strategies as a way to instruct others. and we come away with lines that are useful and not particularly deep and not often subject to analysis. the way we should evaluate a grand strategist is not by what they say, but also by what they value and subsequently accomplished. this is why i bring up trump. if one listens to what trump says, much of it, not all of it, but much of it sounds remarkably prudent and obvious, and therefore probably right upon first glance. it is only after you subsequently feel that the surface and think about it do you see the problems.
from his foreign-policy address in washington, he suggested in the same speech we need to be steadfast and always upfront and reliable for our allies. he then turned around the and suggested we need to be unpredictable. because productive ability is the thing that will most take us apart on the world stage. but then he said we must remind our allies that not only will we stand by them if they pay their bills and more specifically pay us to defend them. each of these the average american will listen to. it is reasonable to be unpredictable, anyone who watches a sporting event knows unpredictability. we should be steadfast. and of course who doesn't want some videos to pay the bills? it is only when you put them together do you realize the
complexity comes from the way they not only interact but contradict. this brings me to george bush. he is a person who had a grand strategy. i would go far to say he was quite the grand strategist. he's also a person we don't put in the canon of grand strategists. he rarely appears in the same sentence as a kissinger, as a wilson. one of the reasons for that as he managed to accomplish everything he essentially wanted, but without telling anybody about it. and more importantly without doing a heck of a lot, except when the things he cared about most were at stake. to understand george bush, i would like to come back to a phrase that was mentioned by our keynote speaker, and that is a phrase used by the great depression prussian strategist of the 19th century. he noted in one of his writings that the role of the policy maker the role of the statesman is to not change the course of the stream of history, but to note the stream of history and
merely plunge their hand in. not to change the course, but to merely play a part within the stream of history. this is the best way to understand george h w bush. because bush was a man who came to office fully believing that the stream of history that is the way the world was moving, and the ideals the world was beginning to accept, were ones that were not only inherently good to his way of thinking, but more importantly inherently good to america's best interest. bush believed the world was turning towards democracy, that the world was turning towards freedom. that it was turning towards free markets. none of these terms did bush feel a need to detail in a way that a scholar may find satisfactory.
they were rather self evident to him, that democracy was a good thing, that free markets were a good thing. for a person born with a silver spoon in his mouth, born on third base thinking he hit a triple, dish should not surprise us. one important thing to know about players that are rounding third and heading for home is that they rarely choose that moment to stop and question the rules of the game. rather they score and bush took office at a moment when he thought the united states was about to score. more importantly was about to win. the soviet union was turning to a democracy. turning away from an agate -- from an antagonistic polarity to a more cooperative model.
a notion we must cross the east-west divide rather than make a deep break across europe as we had in previous generations. bush looked out on the world and saw that we were in effect about to win. what do you do? you do not change the rules of the game. we notice from his inauguration speech, when bush proudly said we know what works, freedom works, democracy works. then in the he suggested something that i think was even more interesting, because it the stage is a famous article and argument that came out several months later, the notion that we were at an end of history, not because things would not subsequently happened but because democracies had won the final battle that all of human
history had been in a contest to see if we could govern ourselves and the key to understanding the changing world was that democracy has won. we were no longer going to be governed by kings when tyrants but rather through some democratic form of government. this is something bush says several months before fukuyama. noting we do not have to talk deep into the night about how we should govern ourselves, rather we already know, we already know what works. he develops a style of diplomacy that i like to call hippocratic diplomacy. what a makes sure that crises do not turn bad, the dangerous situations do not descend into chaos. a prime example of this can be seen in china and eastern europe .
that is how bush reacted through 1989 when crowds formed, chanting for democratic reform. bush's reaction to each of these situations was to say, let me say nothing. anything i say is only potentially going to make it worse. if i praise to my craddick protesters, that might lead them to assail barricades. this great fear was not to repeat the mistake of eisenhower 1956 in hungary, not to inspire people to revolt expecting american help that was never going to come. the united states was not going to send troops into the middle of beijing in 1989 to defend our testers. i'm not going to say anything. despite bush's best effort to say nothing, the chinese government still used a few
things he did say. he still use that as a rationale for ultimately cracking down on protesters and trying to dismantle and destroy sino-american relations in the aftermath. bush adopted the same approach when the same protesters took to the streets behind the iron curtain, led us through nothing that will row things up. we think things are going our way, governments will essentially turn around and except greater reform.
by this point in the fall we have a dramatic example of what happens when things go wrong, tiananmen's where. bush's reaction to the fall of the berlin wall and the entire fall of the soviet bloc and turns -- turn towards democracy has to be within the context of the understanding that only months before, people had been met with tanks when they protest. he -- his reaction was, if we can keep people from turning violent, these will eventually turn out in our direction. this is a direct the economy with donald trump, to incorporate the movements he moves away from platitudes into action. there were moments when bush act
did. the first you are probably thinking of is not the one i will talk about trade the second is the one bush will tell you is the most important thing he did in office. singular history that divided east and west throughout the cold war. why did bush think it was important to unify germany? clearly also the leader within the western alliance. the other three countries that had occupying legal authority over the germans at the end of world war ii that the french, british, and soviet union were deeply opposed to unification. only bush and the germans thought this was a good idea. he essentially managed to push it through by telling each of his allies and the soviets that
they required a relationship with the united states more than they required germany to remain divided. he went to margaret thatcher and explain to her that special relationship is the vital plank of any britain foreign policy and i care about this more than the special relationship. with mikael gorbachev he promised the basis of any post cold war environment could only be based on how the soviets acted and in their acceptance of a unified germany. bush understood, bush had a particular reading of the 20th century which was in some ways not the same as one moat understand as taught in the schools. as leaders like the secretary of treasury for franklin roosevelt looked at the problem of germany in the 20th century, they recognize the problem of the entire 20th century was the
problem of germany, that germans cause all of europe's strategic and military problems. bush's response was that the problem with europe was not the germans but that it was filled with europeans. europeans by their nature across centuries did nothing but fight against each other. for national, religious, ethnic reasons straight the only time in his view that europe had known sustained peace was when the united states had been keeping watch, after 1945, and after nato came into existence,
nato which allowed the americans to not only have an invitation into europe, but to maintain a large military presence as the most powerful european country. to bush's mind, if you did not have a continued nato after the cold war, the stream of history might diverge. everything we see moving towards democracy only works if we keep violence and chaos from developing. how do we do that? you keep an american presence there because that's the one thing that managed to do it over time great how do we ensure the americans stay? how do we make sure nato
survives? we have to make sure germany not only unifies, but unifies within nato. one of the key debate points over whether germany would develop and how it would after the vision was ended at the end of the cold war was perhaps it might become a neutral country, a demilitarized country. perhaps it might join the warsaw pact -- here's someone most likely to occur, perhaps all of germany might enter nato but western and nato troops would never enter eastern germany. bush's reaction was that anything that does any ink to diminish germany's role in nato weakens nato. for what purpose do we have to maintain the stream of history going under american leadership in europe? this conclusion is why bush can be understood as a grand strategist who moves not only within the stream of history, but beyond platitudes.
a person who was able to do nothing to be hippocratic when he thought the stream was moving in the right direction, but a person the was willing to act when he had his core beliefs and values questions. in this case, the core value for bush that mattered more than anything else was that only the united states was capable of maintaining order in a post-cold war world. we can argue and dissect that assumption but to understand bush, this was the most important idea of all. thank you. [applause] in the back. >> i was interested in what you said towards the end about bush being adamant about the
continued existing viability of nato as the anchor of the u.s. presence in europe. it seems like there were alternatives or at least one alternative for continued u.s. presence in europe but not necessarily through nato, and that's what gorbachev was talking about with the common european home. also nato, and either create or alter some kind of pan-european security institutions. when was it decided that it was not open for compromise or debate that nato must endear and be the bedrock of the western order, even after the cold war, and who was it? bush himself who personally had this belief?
have you seen any of the internal deliberations over that? >> this is an area where we can put a lot of credit on bush himself. if we look at his policies towards china, he can be critiqued dramatically for underestimating his own influence and understanding of china. when we look to the gulf war, that's a place he really followed the ice of his advisors and they helped him think about the importance of an american response to the gulf war. nato and germany are something bush came to as the leader of his administration and had to fight within his administration to get by him, which is an unusual circumstance, and demonstrates he was not a totalitarian leader. he was willing to ultimately put his name to be piece of paper. a nato he was quite adamant and i would argue that you can find proof of this as early as november of 1989.
soon after the wall falls but before from the coal makes german unification the purpose of his singular time in office. bush is arguing that we must keep our role in nato. they were not confident that any other system would ultimately prove workable. it gives you a sense of not only bush's understanding of strategy in history, but also his lack of novelty. this is not a person you would normally associate with originality and foreign policy. he wanted to preserve everything that got us up to this point. when you think about pushes new world order, announced ironically on september 11 of 1990, it's a very clear articulation of raglan
roosevelts worldview. at the end of the cold war we get a chance to do what we should have always been able to do in 1945, 1946. most people at the time heard the new order and said, there's nothing new here, to which bush's response was, exactly. it made for terrible media relations. while there were ideas circulating that perhaps the soviets and americans could both leave europe, while there were other ideas about different security organizations -- to bush's mind, those were all possibilities nato already existed trade better to keep with what we know works. >> i haven't even been looking down at the end of this table. we have 10 minutes. i don't know how we will get
through those questions. keep your questions as brief as possible. >> thanks. i wonder to what extent can your description of virtue be applied to barack obama. obama in an interview a few years ago -- this democratic diplomacy you've identified, i imagine that is a label obama would embrace as well. >> that's exactly right. i think obama has talked about bush 41 as a real touchstone for how foreign policy should be run , and also has this appreciation for the long term structural advantages the united states has in the world that small terrorist acts are perhaps less important to the overall trajectory of the market than the bond markets, and we should keep our focus on the bigger issues that matter rather than
the surface difficult issues, that we should keep our focus on the currents. i think the best way to understand obama is that he really is the next bush. >> wondering if you can speculate on how bush's grand strategy would have guided him if he had run a second term in the various foreign-policy crises that clinton faced in his first term. >> it's a great question and i'm glad it's what i don't have to
write about. when you ask bush's people what the new world order was, once they are uncomfortable with the understanding that it was just franklin roosevelt's, they will tell you, we were going to figure that all out in the second term. i think the kinds of issues that quentin had to face were the kinds of issues that bush was ill-prepared to deal with. he did not know what to do with ethnic terrorism and violence. it's hard to know if you would have done a better job with those issues. one area i think you could make a good claim that things would have gone better in the long term would have been that i'm not at all convinced the bush administration would have endorsed enlargement of nato. whether or not you think nato enlargement was a good thing or not, you have to judge or whether or not the statement i made was a positive or negative
about bush. if you believe the essential antagonism within russian-american relations today is the issue perceived to be a broken promise over meadows enlargement, i think bush would not have enlarged nato, at least not as quickly as clinton did, and we would have been able to remove that spur. >> if you think about the theories of power of these three individuals we just listen to, i'm scratching my own head about whether or not this is a story about continuity and change, how you would ring bush in dialogue with nixon, kissinger, and kennedy. kennedy this romantic figure whose kind of out of place in the bureaucracy he's working in.
you have a story in the and and kissinger very much rooted in diagnosis, bureaucracies working across purposes. is it too early to get the next layer down beyond how the administration response to these various crises? >> great question. let me focus on next and. bush was a devoted a of richard and and considered next and -- nixon and considered nixon to be a mentor. someone who became friends immediately after nixon lost his bid for presidency in 1960. it tells you a lot about bush as a person, he's such a gentleman that it does not occur to him that he should write a letter of congratulations as much as he should write two letters of condolence.
he became a frequent correspondent of nixon and began to appreciate the same centrality of american power in the world and fosing on hard power that drove much of nixon and kissinger. i'm struck that kissinger and nixon by their nature are pessimists, or at least skeptics . and bush is by nature an optimist to surrounded himself with pessimists and skeptics. kissinger and nixon wrote the same exact memo about the centrality of american power in the world and particularly in europe trade i have the same memo that kissinger wrote about the need to keep nato going. it was written in 1974.
only the united states can essentially keep europe together. kissinger's subversion ends with, but man, are we in trouble. bus'h's ends with, isn't it great when we get this to work. >> thank you. want to launch off that point about the sunny temperament and optimism he has and take you on a wild goose chase. h w in many ways for the circumstances he inherits that he's talked about. you started the talk by plunging your hand into the stream of history and understanding where you think it's going. pushes read is it's going in the right direction. i'm curious to hear you think through and if bush actually provides a model here about what happens if you have not a benign international consensus, at least an increasingly darkening
one. do no harm where things are going well but if you need to intervene, you do. we have interventions. bush laid out one. the gulf is another one. increasingly in a darkening international environment with sunny temperament, is this a model for more introduction? >> let me answer the two questions i would prefer to answer.
it's hard for me to imagine how to answer that question for bush. the things he saw going right in the world were not short-term. one of the papers noted the famous phrase that what drives things? events, my dear boy, events. bush was not concerned with that great he saw the things going right in the world as inherently good, if you did not recognize democracy was a good thing, you will eventually and if you did not see the importance of capitalism, you will eventually. the things that could be going bad in the world are the things you will come to understand how wrong you are in time which is a dramatic difference between his
administration and the other bush administration. one way to understand the utility of the stream of history as a concept is to look at a comparison between bush 41 and bush 43. bush 41's approach was to take the world and say, we're going in the right direction. largely his administration's approach granted in a different era of crisis and with a different sense of urgency was, the world is going in the right direction so let's paddle really hard and we will stream -- go even faster down the stream of
history. bush 41's approach to middle east democracy was, let's be a good example, let's keep chaos from occurring, and we will get there eventually. one of his key advisers suggested that democracy is a good thing, let's make them democratic and good things will happen. how quickly do you paddle is the difference. >> both david and will with some brief comments or questions for jeff and then we will get jeff the final word. >> i'll go first. jeff, you are at the vanguard of bush 41 revisionism. this is an uphill battle here. we usually don't think of one term president's as successes, especially those who have one term. did the american people make a mistake in 1992 by not giving this guy a second term? >> on the way here i had a driver who was born in a saudi refugee camp in the early 90's because his parents fled their under threat of execution, having participated in the shia uprising. during bush's strategies don't
do anything to encourage, have you look at the shia uprising and to what degree the bush administration did encourage and do a hungry there following the first gulf war? or is that my understanding, the popular misunderstanding? >> the bush administration would tell you that they made two mistakes in the aftermath of the invasion of iraq -- liberation of kuwait is a better way to put it, which encouraged the shia uprising. the first is obvious, the second is not and the second is more important. yes, here's a moment where they overstep their rhetorical
balance. by saying words which inadvertently encouraged people to rise up against saddam hussein. the second reason that was more important, all available evidence from all intelligence agencies throughout the entire world suggested that if we're going to ask how long saddam hussein will last in the spring of 1991 after his thorough routing of his forces and embarrassment over kuwait, should not be measured in terms of days but rather hours, that the full expectation is that saddam's people within his government are going to take him out because that's what happens when you are a dictator who loses your army and embarrasses yourself on the world. there is a real sense in which the bush administration was wrong and overstating rhetorically and recognizing here's a moment where we are not hippocratic in their words, but
they hoped it was not going to matter at all because who's going to think that putting down the shia when there's about to be a coup within iraq in the first place. the second question as to whether the united states made a mistake in electing clinton, two points. the first is, i think in the long term it's remarkably difficult for one party to sustain the white house four elections in a row. it's remarkably difficult to imagine almost any circumstance in 1992 where bush wins reelection just because it's hard to win 4 times in a row. this is why i'm fond of saying, this year put your money on the democrats. [inaudible] i know. let me end with this joke. i had the honor and privilege of
working closely with president bush. i mentioned earlier, i'm jewish. i felt the need to say to him, i have to admit for you, i did not vote for you in 1992. he said, most people didn't. [laughter] i'll leave it at that. [applause] >> thanks, everyone. we are going to break for lunch now and we will try to restart at 1:30. we will restart at 1:30. that's our grand strategy for the lunch hour. that is where we are resuming this afternoon.
>> you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. like us on facebook at c-span history. c-span, where history unfolds daily. c-span was created as a public and is brought to you today by her cable or satellite provider. >> up next, i preferred and jack -- diane jacobs recalls the between abigail ,dams, elizabeth shaw peabody and mary cranch. she talked about how the sisters
stay in constant correspondence throughout their lives, sharing their personal setbacks and achievements. this is about 45 minutes. this was recorded in massachusetts in this is about 2014. 45 minutes. [applause] can you hear me now? good. i am so flattered i have this overflowing audience. i am sorry for anyone who is uncomfortable soon you will be , getting chairs. that is what i hear. well, as carolyn said, this is ." book, "dear abigail it is a book about 18th-century women. i know everybody in this room will no doubt know who abigail adams says.