America's conventional military supremacy has failed to deliver decisive results against irregular forces employing unconventional military tactics. The U.S. military learned some useful counterinsurgency lessons in Vietnam but had completely forgotten those lessons by the end of the Cold War. Military leaders and defense experts are attempting to resurrect some of those old ideas, while also developing new approaches to counterinsurgency in the age of transnational terrorism. Are there deeper cultural problems that prevent the U.S. military from waging effective counterinsurgency campaigns? Does the American public have the will to risk American lives on such operations, and is the public prepared to wage limited, indecisive military campaigns for long periods of time? What lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan might be applied to future conflicts?
The panel features: Jeffrey Record, Professor, Air War College, Author of Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win; Thomas E. Ricks, Senior Pentagon Correspondent, Washington Post, Author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq; Conrad Crane, Director, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Army War College Lead, author of the Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual; and Christopher Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
Conrad Crane is currently the Director of the U.S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, PA. He joined the Strategic Studies Institute in September 2000 after 26 years of military service that concluded with 9 years as Professor of History at the U.S. Military Academy.
He has written or edited books on the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Korea, and published articles on military issues in such journals as The Journal of Strategic Studies, The Journal of Military History, The Historian, and Aerospace Historian, as well as in a number of collections and reference books.
Dr. Crane holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.
Christopher A. Preble
Christopher Preble is the director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. Before joining Cato in February 2003, he taught history at St. Cloud State University and Temple University.
Preble was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy and is a veteran of the Gulf War, having served onboard USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) from 1990 to 1993.
He is the author of John F. Kennedy and the Missile Gap, a book discussing the political and economic roots of national security strategy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Preble's work has been published in major publications including USA Today, the Financial Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orange County Register, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Times, the New Republic, Reason, Political Science Quarterly, and the National Interest. He has also appeared on many television and radio news networks including CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News Channel, NPR, Voice of America, and the BBC. Preble holds a Ph.D. in history from Temple University.
Dr. Jeffrey Record
Jeffrey Record is a professor in the Department of Strategy and International Security at the U.S. Air Force's Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. He has served as a pacification advisor in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War, Rockefeller Younger Scholar on the Brookings Institution's Defense Analysis Staff, and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, the Hudson Institute, and the BDM International Corporation.
Dr. Record also has extensive Capitol Hill experience, serving as Legislative Assistant for National Security Affairs to Senators Sam Nunn and Lloyd Bentsen, and later as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is the author of six books and a dozen monographs, including Dark Victory: America's Second War Against Iraq; Making War, Thinking History: Munich, Vietnam, and Presidential Uses of Force from Korea to Kosovo; Hollow Victory, A Contrary View of the Gulf War; The Wrong War, Why We Lost in Vietnam; and Bounding the Global War on Terrorism.
Dr. Record received his Doctorate at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Thomas E. Ricks
Thomas E. Ricks is a Washington Post Pentagon and military correspondent and Pulitzer Prize-winner.
Ricks lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University's Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. Ricks is the author of the bestselling books Making the Corps, A Soldier's Duty, and Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq.