World Affairs

When should the United States go to war? It is arguably the most important foreign policy question facing any president. The Council is pleased to welcome Richard Haass for an examination of the US policy decisions that led to the two Iraq wars. Haass, who served as senior Middle East advisor on the National Security Council staff for the first President Bush and director of policy planning in the State Department for the second, is in a unique position to discuss the 1991 and 2003 conflicts. At first glance, these conflicts appear similar. Both involved a President George Bush and the United States in conflicts with Saddam Hussein and Kuwait. But there, Haass argues, the resemblance ends. The first Iraq war, following Saddam’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait, was a war of necessity. By contrast, the second Iraq war, launched in 2003, was a war of choice, one that Haass asserts was unwarranted. Join Richard Haass for an inside account of both wars and a discussion of lessons for today’s foreign policy challenges.

Direct download: 05-20-09_Richard_Haass.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:57am PDT

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad’s record in one of the most turbulent periods in US foreign policy has earned him broad respect throughout the world. Serving as the 26th United States Ambassador to the United Nations, he dealt with global issues during one of the most challenging periods in our history, including the recent Russia-Georgia conflict and the Mumbai terror attacks. The highest-ranking Muslim to serve in the US government, he has been the US Ambassador to both Afghanistan and Iraq, where he played a significant role in facilitating both countries’ constitutions, elections and formation of government. With first-hand knowledge and experience from these diplomatic positions, Ambassador Khalilzad provides an insider perspective on Afghanistan and Pakistan as the United States becomes more engaged in this region, as well as what must be done to reach peace in the entire Middle East.

Direct download: 5-12-2009-Ambassador_Zalmay_Khalilzad.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:53am PDT

Reza Aslan joins the Council for an in-depth discussion on the ideology that fuels al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and like-minded militants throughout the Muslim world. With a look at the United States’ approach to the War on Terror, he examines the polarizing rhetoric that has further entangled politics with religion. From Israel to Iraq and from the Netherlands to New York, Aslan argues that religion is a stronger force today than it has been in a century. He asserts that the only way to win an ideological war is to refuse to fight one: we must strip away the current ideological conflict of its religious connotations and address the actual grievances that fuel the Jihadist movement. Reza Aslan is the award-winning author of lt;igt;No god but Godlt;/igt; and lt;igt;How to Win a Cosmic Warlt;/igt;, and a Middle East Analyst for CBS News.

Direct download: 05-11-09_Reza_Aslan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:49am PDT

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