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tv   American Foreign Policy After the Cold War  CSPAN  October 8, 2016 12:00pm-1:46pm EDT

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>> next, author michael mandelbaum discusses his book mission failure, america and the -- "mission failure: america and the world in the post-cold war era." that american diplomacy failed and ultimately led to the terrorist attacks of september 11, 2001. the new york military affairs symposium hosted this program, it's about an hour and 40 minutes. >> michael mandelbaum is the professor emeritus of the american policy association -- of american foreign policy at the johns hopkins university school of advanced information studies in washington, d.c. sorry, i cannot do that straight up. he has also taught at harvard and columbia universities, and
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at the united states naval academy in annapolis, and served as senior fellow at the council on foreign relations in new york. a contributor to such publications as the new york times, the washington post, wall , newsweek,nal, time the london observer. professor mandelbaum served for 23 years as the associate director of the aspen institute congressional project on american relations with the former communist world. he serves on the board of advisors also the washington institute for near east foreign policy -- near east policy. a washington-based organization sponsoring research and public discussion on american policy towards the middle east. born in 1946, professor mandelbaum is a graduate of yale college. he earned his master's degree at
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king's college cambridge university, and his doctorate at harvard university. professor mandelbaum is the or co-author of numerous articles and essays, and 15 books, the nuclear question, the united states and 1976,r weapons 1946 to and the nuclear revolution international politics before and after hiroshima, the nuclear future, reagan and gorbachev, which he wrote in 1987. the global rivals, the fate of nations come the search for national security in the 19th and 20th century and i will skip down to democracy's good name, the risks and rise of the world's most popular form of government. the frugal superpower, america's global leadership in a cash-strapped era.
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in that used to be us, how america fell behind in the world we invented and how we can come in he wrote the road to global prosperity was written in 2014, and the book we are going to be centering on tonight, "mission failure: america and the world in the post-cold war era." he is also editor of 12 books. i give you, dr. michael mandelbaum. [applause] thank you very much. thank you all for coming, and i want to thank robert rollin for inviting me. i'm going to speak this evening about my recently published book
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, "mission failure: america and the world in the post-cold war era." published by oxford university press, available in fine bookstores everywhere. any book store that carries it is by definition a fine bookstore. it is also available online for those of you who aren't -- who are inclined to make your purchases that way. bookoing to talk about the in three parts. first, i will give you an overview of the book. then, i will go into a bit of detail on some of the episodes and questions that i address. and finally, i will say a little bit about what this all may mean in light of the current presidential campaign, which seems impossible to avoid, no matter how hard one might try.
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let me start with an overview. this is a history of american foreign-policy between the years 1993 and 2014. american foreign-policy as i see it during that time can be summarized in five propositions. the first proposition is that this was an unusual, arguably period in the history of american foreign-policy. you might even say was an unusual and even perhaps unique of allin the history great powers. what made it distinctive was despite the appearance of terrorism, this was an unusually , almost unprecedentedly peaceful period.
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specifically, it was peaceful in the sense that the united states faced no serious security threats from any other powerful country. the normal business of international politics, at least since the ancient greeks, rivalry among the strongest powers was suspended. disappeared.ave withof the need to cope powerful adversaries such as germany and japan in world war ii, and the soviet union and the cold war, the united states had an unusually wide latitude to choose which foreign policies they wanted to carry out in the world. to the second proposition. with this unusual freedom, with
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this unusual choice, the united states chose to engage in what is sometimes misleadingly called nationbuilding. because thedingly, enterprise that the united states embarked on around the twod really consisted of separate but closely related projects. one indeed was nationbuilding. that is to say, trying to create a sense of community among disparate peoples. but the other thing that the united states attempted, related but distinct, was state building , attempting to establish the institutions of modern economics and governance in places where they were lacking. in these really are two different things. nationbuilding, creating a sense
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is psychological, cultural, and emotional. state building is institutional. and the united states undertook both. that is to say, the main business of american foreign-policy during this p was missions of transformation. individual americans went abroad to try to convert individual foreigners to christianity. in the late 20th century and the earliest 21st century, the american government went abroad to try to convert entire nations to modernity, to modern politics and economics. proposition, this effort at transformation is
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common to the post-cold war american policies towards china, , bosnia,omalia, haiti kosovo, afghanistan, iraq, and the wider arab world. none of these places of the american government start out intending to engage in a mission of transformation. but that is where the united states ended up in every single case. in these cases are the subject of mission failure. you can see from this list of this book is at least in one important sense and exercise in what academics call revisionist history. revisionist history takes exception to interpretations
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that are widely accepted. and here, the interpretation to which i take exception is the common and not unreasonable belief that the terrorist attacks on new york and washington, d.c. of september 11, 2001 marked a major important watershed and turning point in the history of american foreign-policy. now, it is true that those attacks were mightily consequential. they did have a powerful impact on the united states. those attacks, the united states engaged in three wars that it would not have otherwise fought. the war on terror, the war in afghanistan, and the war in iraq
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, each of which is the discussion of extended discussion and analysis in mission failure. but even in the interventions undertaken after september 11, united states found itself engaged in trying to transform the internal politics and economics of the countries involved. the fourth proposition is this. all of these missions of transformation have the same outcome -- they all failed. hence the title of the book, mission failure. and they fail for the same general reason. they failed because in spite the immense wealth and power of the united states during this period, the united states did not have the power, nor does any
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outside country have the power to create a sense of national unity and national belonging in a foreign society or by itself, to construct the institutions of modern economic management and governance in another country. now, nations do get built and states do get built all the time. lots of countries have equipped themselves with a sense of national community and with modern institutions. so,the impetus for doing the major effort, the on the parthas been of the societies themselves. you can order out for democracy like a pizza. and outside powers simply cannot outant -- you can't order
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for democracy like a pizza and outside powers cannot simply implant the institution. in all cases, the missions failed because the local side he, the local political culture, the local experience, the local values were not such as to support what the united states was trying to create or install. that is to say, in all of these failed missions, the united states led the horse to water, but could not make it drink. which brings me to the fifth and final proposition -- the od, the era inperi which the united states could and did concentrate on missions of transformation, the period with which mission failure deals is now at an end. it's at an end because defining condition no longer obtains.
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that defining condition, as you will recall, is the absence of serious security challenges to the united states. but that is no longer true. the united states does face serious security challenges now. europe, and the middle east. i will have more to say about those challenges later in my remarks. now to the second part of the talk. the missions of transformation began at the outset of the clinton administration, with its initial policies towards china and russia. the clinton administration came into office announcing that it would not permit american trade with china unless the autocratic
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communist government of china improved its practices on human rights. unless it honored human rights, as it certainly did not. this was the so-called policy of linkage -- access to the american market would be linked to improved chinese government performance on human rights. now, if the policy had succeeded, it would have transformed china, politically. the chinese government that honors and respects human rights , political, economic and religious, would be a vastly different kind of governments than the one that held power in 1993 and holds power now. because the chinese regime flatly rejected the policy of linkage. told the clinton administration that it would not remotely
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comply with what the clinton administration wanted it to do. and after the policy was announced, the administration got messages of unhappiness from the american business community, which was worried about being denied access to a supremely important market. abandonedinistration the policy of linkage and the of transpiration and reversed course 180 degrees, having come into office, asserting denying trade with the united states was the way to make it a more liberal, free, and open political system, the administration turned around and announced that the way to promote western political values in china was to have more trade with the chinese. russia, the american efforts to foster democracy and free markets initially met with
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some success. firstas because the post-communist leader of russia, boris yeltsin, was committed to democracy and free market economics, and welcomed american help in installing them. have a kind ofes rough and ready market economy, although with a great deal of government control, a lot of monopolies, and riddled with corruption. and it started on the path to democracy. they were green shoots of democratic politics peeping through the russian tundra in the 1990's. but they were uprooted, democracy was crushed by gelson's successor, vladimir putin. the failure of democracy in russia was not and is not the responsibility of the united
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states. the failure came about for two major reasons. one is the russian political tradition, which doesn't have a scintilla of democracy. no russian had ever had any experience with free elections or with the protection of liberty. soil for democracy in russia was pretty barren. the second reason that democracy disappeared was the enormous energy reserves the russia has, and the huge revenues that the russian government was able to obtain by selling them. putin andil revenues, only managed to enrich himself and his cronies, that managed also to stay in power with popular consent, or at least, indifference, because after he and his coterie had taken their
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share, with a regarded as their share of the oil revenues, there was enough left to distribute among the russian people. and with the sharp rise in energy prices during putin's first term as russian president, there was a lot to distribute. russian standards of living rose becamedent -- and putin hotter. russia became a kind of political system similar to those that are found in the oil exporting states of the persian gulf. it became a kind of petro state, and a petro state is a country whose politics and economics are dominated by the sale of energy. make oned states did serious mistake with russia. expanding theas american centered atlantic military alliance nato eastward to include first former
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communist countries, and ultimately, former union republics -- that is provinces , over soviet union itself russian objections, including the objections of the most liberal, pro-western, pro-american russians who felt that they would be undercut in russia by this policy. and despite the fact that various western officials had verbally promised various soviet and russian officials that this would not happen, that nato would not be extended eastward. withpolicy and, in concert a number of other policies to which the russians took exception, turned the russian elite and ultimately the russian people against the west and the united states. nato expansion and its sequels
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made russian foreign policy almost reflexively anti-american and anti-western. or led to the circumstances at least contributed to the circumstances in which russia invaded ukraine in 2014. period putting a final in the cold war era. the clinton administration also notably engaged in what came to be called humanitarian intervention in somalia, in haiti, in bosnia, and in kosovo. and humanitarian intervention rates an entire chapter in mission failure. humanitarian intervention counted as an innovation in american foreign-policy.
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in these humanitarian interventions, the united states was using military force not for the familiar purpose of protecting american interests, but rather, to promote american values. in particular, to defend beleaguered people's against oppressive and predatory governments. that ins worth noting all four places, the military aspect of american policy succeeded. the united states did succeed in removing the offending government. it was the political part of the american policy that failed. and this was a pattern that repeated itself after september 11. in all of these instances where the united states use military force, narrowly
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defined, was successful. the military did its job with dispatch and effectiveness. when it came, however, to the political part of the american policy, there was failure everywhere. in the places that were the object of humanitarian intervention, the united states promised not only to oust the incumbent governments, but also, to bring democracy and prosperity. it did none of these things in any of the four places. events ofthe september 11, 2001. on newid, the attacks york and washington did have a substantial impact on the united states and on american foreign-policy. as i noted, it pushed the united states into three conflicts that
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it would not have been part of without these attacks. the war on terror, the war in afghanistan, and the war in iraq. i treat each of them at length in mission failure. in afghanistan, the familiar pattern repeated itself. american military powers kabul,ed in driving from the capital, the taliban regime, which is given shelter and encouragement to the organization that launched the attacks on the united states, namely, al qaeda. the taliban retreated to pakistan, where they received money, safe haven, training, and encouragement from the pakistani government. returned to afghanistan and mounted an insurgency against the american sponsored
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governments that continues to the present day. rock, it represents the largest, the most expensive, and the most controversial mission of transformation in which the united states engage throughout this entire period. the familiar pattern repeated itself. the united states ousted saddam hussein's government, captured saddam hussein, but was not able to foster a cohesive sense of nationhood among the disparate peoples of iraq, nor was the united states able to install modern governments or modern economic institutions. , older patternr repeated itself in iraq read the pattern at first seen in the wars in korea and in vietnam. wars, theee of these
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initial military activities were popular. the american public overwhelmingly supported going to war in korea, vietnam, and iraq. but as american casualties mounted, the popularity of these conflicts in the united states waned. americans turned against them and ultimately, the american government was forced to abandon them. three accounts, including in iraq, the american public did not turn against the aims for which the war was being waged. the american public was of the view that it was a good idea to get rid of saddam hussein and turn iraq into a prosperous pro-american democracy. but the american public decided as casualties mounted that the
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price for achieving these aims had become too high, and these aims were therefore not worth pursuing. and the price is most important the american public is not necessarily money, it's american lives. war is a recent events, we all remember it, we all lived through it, perhaps some of you participated in it. rise to a given number of myths, which i address in mission failure. i would like to discuss several of them here, briefly. themost prominent myths is charge, the belief that the administration of george w. bush deliberately misled the american public about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in iraq in order to gain public support for the war.
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at antiwar demonstrations, you could hear the chance bush lied, people died. in fact, he did not lie. this was a mistake, but an honest mistake. the president and his colleagues , indeed, the american intelligence community genuinely toieved that saddam, counter numerous u.n. resolutions, had obtained weapons of mass destruction. well by was believed as european governments and their intelligence agencies, even governments that themselves opposed the war in iraq. there are three other myths that i think are worth discussing here. thatirst of them is ,eapons of mass destruction their believed presence, and then there discovered absence was crucial in the decision to
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go to war and in the public turning against the war. neither of those i think is true. destructionof mass in question, the weapons that the american government and other governments genuinely believed saddam to possess or chemical weapons. now, chemical weapons are classed with nuclear weapons as weapons of mass destruction. and they are unconventional weapons. but they are really not all that similar. nuclear weapons are far more destructive than chemical weapons are. indeed, there are lots of countries around the world that pursue policies contrary to the interest of the united states that either have chemical weapons or could easily obtain them. and yet, none of them has ever been singled out by the american government as the proper object
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of an american attack for that reason. estate my analysis briefly, the reason the bush administration wants war in iraq was that in the wake of september 11, eight decided that it had been caught napping, that it had underrated particular threat and then it went back to look at the list of things out there in the world that might harm the united states that the administration and american governments might be underrating and settled on saddam. the asked what might come back to bite us if we don't take care of it now and saddam was the answer. absence of weapons of mass destruction turning the american public against the war,
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i do not think that is true either. it was american casualties that drove the public opinion in the united states on the war. if the weapons of mass destruction have not been discovered and if the war itself had gone as the bush administration had hoped and expected, very few american casualties, pro-american government in baghdad and virtually all of the american troops out by the end of 2003, the war, if there had been no weapons of mass destruction, but the war had gone well or if there had been weapons or if there had been no weapons of mass destruction and the war had gone well, nobody would have cared. on the other hand, if there had been weapons of mass destruction but the war had gone swimmingly,
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it would not have become unpopular. it was casualties and not weapons of mass destruction that made the difference. the second myth is that decisions made by ambassador jerry brammer when he took over control of the coalition provisional authority, which governed iraq directly for the better part of a year, made all the difference in iraq. that those decisions were the wrong ones and doomed the american enterprise in the country, and that is he had decided differently, things would have gone in a much better way for the united states. decisions thatal first wasontroversial the decision to disband the iraqi army. second, the decision to for bid
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higher middle ranking members of saddam hussein's back party from serving in the post-saddam government and bureaucracy. and third, the decision not to the iraqind entered government immediately baratta for the united states to govern the country itself. decisions undoubtedly had negative consequences. this spending the army created a rather substantial role of young cannot so young men, who are [indiscernible] surely did not make the american experience in iraq and easier. on the other hand, if they had the consequences just as dire for the united states, as we all learned, iraq is divided between sunni muslims, who are the numerical
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majority of the controlled the country to saddam hussein's regime, and the more numerous shia muslims, who had no power and were repressed and persecuted right saddam, including by the iraqi army. if this army had been reconstituted, the shia might have risen and revoked on a much larger scale than they eventually did. the united states did experience some problems with the shia, but by far the most serious problems with the sunnis. ift might have been reversed the army had been reconstituted. final myth that i want to address is that the surge that president bush ordered in 2007 had actually won the world for the united states, but the victory was too annoyed by president obama due to his
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premature withdrawal of american forces from the country. the surge was successful in getting the sunnis and the sunni part of iraq to abandon the whom were becoming tired because most of them were not fundamentalists islamist as the jihadi's were, and that pacified the most troubled area of iran. but the architect of the surge were always clear that ultimate success depended upon reconciliation between the sunni and shia communities, and that in turn depended upon conciliatory policies being carried out by the now shia dominated government in baghdad and especially by the sheer prime minister.
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malik he decided to carry out the opposite of conciliatory policies. t vocus promises to the sunnis, discriminated against them in some way, began to persecute them. the sunnis turned against him, against his government, against the shia, and this created the political environment in which isis islamic state, which is dedicated to opposing shia, was able to floors. it is possible to imagine that if the united states had kept troops in iraq longer, that might have made the difference in the course of events. the united states might have had some influence over his policies. , in my that to happen judgment, the united states would have had to have kept a large contingents of troops closer to 100,000 and 5000.
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a large contingent of troops, which invariable and inevitably would have suffered casualties was simply not feasible in the united states by 2008 and 2009. no president could've carried out such a promise. even as the united states was conducting a failed mission of transformation in iraq, the bush administration launched an even larger similar mission in the wider arab world. this was the so-called democracy initiative. the effort to make democratic government flourish in an area where it had never appeared. too, failed. partly for the familiar reason that the social bases were not in place and partly for another reason.
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some of the autocratic lee governed countries, the autocratic governments of the united states, was rhetorically committed to replacing and were also long time and very useful allies of the united states. this is particularly true of the government of egypt and the government of saudi arabia. clear thatentirely if these governments would replace -- were replaced, they would be replaced by democracy. there would be a chance they would be replaced by governments that from the american point of view were even worse, dominated by fundamentalist islamists. and when he was ousted from power in egypt, that is more or less what happened, at least in the first instance. the american pursuit of the democracy agenda in the middle east was at best ambivalent and
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halfhearted. even as the democracy initiative was failing to bear fruit, the arab spring occurred. againstre insurrections governments across age, in tunisia, libya, egypt, yemen, brief hopefulr a moment, it seemed that the arab people were going to do it the united states had not been able to do, mainly bring democracy to the arab world. alas, no such thing happened. the arab spring ended in tears, either with civil war or dictatorship or both in virtually all of these countries. i said at the beginning that the post cold war era, the era of
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missions of transformation is now at an end because the united states faces genuine security threats around the world. in east asia from china's aggressive marathon policies, in europe from russia's assault on an occupation of neighboring ukraine, and in the middle east from iran's efforts to dominate the region through the pursuit of nuclear weapons and through sponsoringand clients, in yemen, lebanon, syria and in iraq. we are now living in a different world from the world with which mission failure feels. similar told that is is familiar, which to most, if not all of us in
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this room, in that consulate has supplanted cooperation at the top of the american foreign-policy agenda. so the united states needs a new foreign-policy for this new world. but with such a new policy look like? is toif the united states continue or were to continue the mainline foreign-policy that pursue afterlready 1940, if they were to maintain institutions around the world, the new american foreign-policy would look not entirely unlike cold war foreign policy. this is not the cold war. there are many important differences, but the appropriate , at least in terms of the
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last seven decades to the united states in the post-post-cold war era, is a modified version of the familiar cold war policies of veterans -- of the terrence, specifically the terrence and containment of russia and eurasia, china in the western pacific, and iran and the middle east. will the united states pursue such a policy? it seems to me, and here he come to the current election year, that this election cycle has provided suggested evidence that the united states may do submit -- may do no such thing. in my view, what we have seen in this presidential cycle is the strongest challenge to the main lines of american foreign-policy after world war ii that has ever been mounted.
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american foreign-policy after world war ii is sometimes called internationalism, but it really had to principal goals --two principal goals. for one, the united states served as the mainstay for the relatively open global international economic order. and the united states also served as the mainstay of mobile security. principal two instruments for achieving these goals. in the economic realm, it was the american policy of open for , encouraging tariff reduction and trade deals, and opening the american economy to imports from other countries. round, therity principal american interest was the american system of alliances. were under severe
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and substantial criticism. this is not the first time in the postwar period, the post-1945 period, that they have seen a challenge to one or another of the main features of the american approach to the world. in 1970 two, senator george mcgovern, the democratic nominee for president, had is one of his slogans -- come home, america, in response to the vietnam war, in 20 years earlier, one of the theleading contenders to republican nomination for the presidency was senator robert taft of ohio. perhaps the most influential republican in that body at that time. who had opposed american membership in nato a few years before. was crushedmcgovern in the general election by the resolutely internationalist
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richard nixon and cap was defeated for the republican nomination by dwight eisenhower, who had been the supreme allied commander in europe during world to win the went on election and served two terms in the white house, who continued to internationalist foreign policy that harry truman had begun, thereby giving it a solid bipartisan basis. heardn a phrase sometimes ultimately to people's regret on wall street, this time, it is different. seems toferent, or it be for three reasons. first, the criticism, the bothenge is coming against pictures of the main lines of american foreign-policy and both american economic policy and national policy.
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second, the challenges are coming from both physical parties. in economics, mr. trump is the opponent of all trade deals, as is the democratic runner-up, senator sanders, and mrs. clinton, a longtime free trader, switch to position and now bid transpacific partnership that she would supported. alliances, it is a species of real estate deals that are not worth anything unless the united states come out ahead monetarily, but president obama himself, in a widely noted interview with the atlantic monthly earlier this year, criticized america's european allies as free riders. the third reason that i think this time is different, that challenge to what has become mainstream american foreign
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policies and more serious now than at any time in the past, is exceptions few brief , nobody in a position of thisrity is this sending traditional american foreign-policy. it has been a one-sided debate thus far. which leads me to my concluding observation. the next president of the united states, whoever he or she may be, will have to address to questions. the first question is what should be american foreign-policy for this new era for the post-post-cold war world? the second and equally important question is, what ever policy is decided on, will the president in his or her administration be able to generate sufficient support in the american public for it to go forward? thank you. [applause]
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i can hear you. can you hear them in the back? >> [indiscernible] >> we constantly hear about the when the arabng spring's started and the kept talking about democracy, the , everybodyticians was talking about democracy, democracy. i noticed nobody was talking about freedom of liberty. the whole thing that started with a arab spring was the and mend the committed suicide and i saw documentary on it that was so difficult and he had this problem of licenses and he was
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harassed by the officials and everything. it was very hard to start to do a business. just a simple business in most places, and i wondered if you could say something about this. thank you. >> sure. i can happily refer you to a previous book of mind called "democracy's good name: the rise and risk of the world's most popular form of government." is central point of which that democracy is a hybrid form of government, bringing together two things that for most of history were thought to be incompatible. one is popular sovereignty the election. the other, an older tradition, is liberty. religious liberty, economic liberty that is private property, which is the oldest form of liberty, and political liberty, liberties embodied in
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the first 10 amendments to the constitution of the united states. history, the friends popularty were against sovereignty. they were against democracy because they thought if you gave the masses power, they trampled on liberty. subject, this the concern is the subject of two of the most famous political tracts of the 19th century. jon stewart on liberty. the, the point about problems that the arab world has with democracy is that the two parts have to be installed simultaneously. reelections themselves do not make a democracy. they were reelections in the gaza strip, the fundamentalist thisncidentally genocidal, group came to power and receded
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to oppress everyone knows. it is not a democracy by virtue of having one in election -- won an election. you have to have liberty, as well. free elections are easy to stage . liberty is hard. liberty requires habits, values, experiences. it takes time. in that book, "in democracies that one ofi argue the best incubators of democracy is a free market economy. that free markets foster attitudes and habits that tend to lean toward democracy. if you look at the record in the 20th century, you find that the countries that became --ocracies in the last 20th three decades, had several decades of experience with free market economy. the middle east is not have free
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market economies. it has declined to list the economies. the problem is not overregulation. the problem is corruption in the fact that the government is allowed to operate, and there is certainly no tradition of liberty there. it is because liberty is integral to democracy and liberty cannot be conjured out of nothing that democracy has failed in many cases and more. >> thanks. eu, britain's exit from the the head of the du and other countries are openly talking about their own military source and obvious alternative to nato. sanctions against [indiscernible] their retaliatory sanctions by russia and only the effect european countries and not us.
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what do you think is the future of nato it european countries openly talking about their own military based on the european countries without britain? i do not think there is much prospect of an independent ofitary force on the part the europeans. this has been talked about for decades and never happened. happen initially because the european countries, you are remembering world war ii, they did not trust each other. nobody wanted germany to be out there on its own or the dominant power in the european military source as it would have been because of its population and economies. that is not the problem now. the problem is twofold. ae is that in order to have serious alliance, you have to
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have some leadership. and the united states has provided that leadership. it is not clear that any individuals european country could provide leadership for an is european alliance, and it not clear therefore that it would work very well. second, europeans do not want to spend the money. in fact, a most of the european members of nato are making the contribution to defend that they all agreed to a couple of summits ago, that is 2% of gdp. i think only three other 27 members or however many they are, are doing that. only the united states is doing that. therefore, i predict a somewhat [indiscernible] nato because of the problems with russia, but i think there will be a demand by the next
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president, whoever it is, given all the criticism of european free writing this year, that the european members of nato stump up more and that they pay more, so i think the future of nato is a slightly more robust one and not continuing deterioration, but on the -- on the basis that europeans do more. motivationo focus on bit -- behind american foreign-policy is a think with the end of the cold war, it took us back to older structural reasons behind american foreign-policy, like the desire of the defense and intelligence bureaucracy to maintain their budgets and basically exaggerate threats in order to prevent that from happening. also, american quest to defend and expand our access to natural
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resources, that also ultimately our promotion through military force sometimes of neoliberal economics systems, where he went into haiti and we pushed down their minimum wage and we, and in iraq, we installed the neoliberal regime, where less government and so on, so i wonder why do not agree with that as the underlying interpretation of american foreign-policy. >> you are right i do not agree with it. for two basic reasons. first, the defense budget was cut in half as a percentage of , and the interventions in which the united states engaged, with the exception of iraq, did , andequire major forces
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second, the american interventions were of no economic use in the united states. if what the united states was concerned about in the middle east was access to oil, then it should not have gone to the trouble of any way to saddam. it was the you and that was -- u.n. that was preventing them from doing it. the places with the clinton administration conducted humanitarian interventions where of no interest to the united states at all. there were no american interests at stake in any of them. those were. humanitarian. it is true that these had the u.s. of power to do these things, but the motivation in the case of humanitarian intervention was
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purely more ethical. this is what a great power ought to be doing, according to the members of the clinton administration, and they still believe that. as for afghanistan and iraq, the afghanistan intervention took place for the most traditional reason of all pay using force, the united states was at task. as for iraq, does not appear in retrospect to have been unnecessary or let alone well judged one, but if you read the chapter on iraq in mission failure, in case any of you did not see the cover, you will see that my interpretation is that there is was the result of the bush administration's response to september 11.
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an illwell have been judged response, but i think it was not that explicit this -- it was not a duplicitous one. >> which to think has been more in thetive for the world past 50 years, and building, , humanitarianking intervention by countries that have some knowledge of the history of the region, but also tot to grind -- an axe grind, or issues taken on my countries of the u.s., where there seems to be no understanding of the region before the go in but they are naively pursuing their activities? sure that one could point to military interventions and other great powers that qualify as humanitarian.
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great powers intervene out of some fairly simple motives, powers here that breed. the american humanitarian interventions were not motivated by that at all. largewere, of course, modes of national empires governing most of the world or most of modern history and to world war i, but the governing powers were not particularly interested in either protecting fostering or in democracy. it is true that the british empire left a legacy of democracy in some countries, but that was not wide the british went to india and that is not what they thought they were doing there for most of their when of my so
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arguments in this book is that humanitarian intervention represents a real innovation, a real departure and foreign-policy, possible only at the end of the cold war, only on the part of the united states. good evening. i hope you can hear me. as historians, we have to differentiate between reasons and excuses. we could not care less about democracy. we support all human rights. it is a cover. that is goodybody for business, and i am thinking -- also, anot just lot of what we are doing, i believe that we degraded these countries, like iraq, libya and syria, we get involved and we
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like instability. it is part of divide and conquer. it is also good way to let her enemies now what we could do to them. we supported iraq during the iraq and iran were and supported iraq when it was losing. we supported it. if you look at rings from other people's point of view, china was almost divided by the europeans and americans. hong kong, shanghai, they have a real reason to be very suspicious. so does russia. 40 million casualties of world war ii. so does iraq. we have overthrown the government and it is because of oil. like i said, we support both sides. act like we are bullied. we like to dish it out but we do not like to take it. everything you said was true about one thing. we do not like casualties.
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part of what policies if we're going to go up half of baghdad, we have to expect these things to happen in return, but the truth is written a committed to human rights. we are committed to making money and what is good for business. i would like your response. i can respond briefly. i disagree, and i stated the reasons for my disagreement in my response to the other gentleman. can you hear me? >> yes. a few years ago, they were doing interviews with high school students in iraq. 2008, 2007, and one of the students whose name required courses, science, mathematics, and religion, and i remember saying that is the end of that. in other words, wasn't there a
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high degree of incompetence in the way we were administering this occupation and nationbuilding? i would even say that when you said that it was that the weapons of mass distraction issue us a mistake, and honest mistake, wouldn't it not also because of fight as an incompetent mistake and what is incompetence figure into these issues? there.points incompetence is everywhere. why should government be example? people and organizations make mistakes. when large organizations make the stakes, like the one in iraq, their costly. those mistakes are not wildly different from the kinds of mistakes that smaller organizations are individuals make.
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i forget your first point that i wanted to respond to. >> [indiscernible] yes, the incompetence of nationbuilding. >> and you align religion to become a required course in a country and region in which religion has been one of the main courses and causes of war. problem in the middle east from education in the middle east is not religion. it is that a lot of the education is only religion. they do not learn secular subjects and they are provided with a particular version of islam, which is given rise to fundamentalism and terrorism, thatn general, my view is , notraq mission failed
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ultimately because the united states did not do it confidently , although there is plenty of evidence for that, but rather because it cannot be done. the material was not there. i think it was mission impossible. >> please, hold. wait for the microphone. >> i was wondering if you could address questions about the perseverance of american engagement because i read that he says the british empire had the constitutional structure and the system geared toward educating generations of colonial administrators. the u.s. really never did anything like that to that same extent, so the americans are set of going into iraq, going into places, that is
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not this permanent and substantial commitment. i think the one exception to that was nato and cold war containment. you know, growing up in west germany, i remember the americans were here and there were going to be here to stay. very few other places that i can kind of think of this kind of perseverance and i was wondering if you could comment on that. alliances,e cold war the major cold war alliances, which not only help to keep peace, but have been and still are the most powerful antidotes to the spread of nuclear weapons in the world because of that the american guarantee, japan and germany would face in a less pressure to acquire nuclear war and the american alliance with japan, which is the asian version of nato, have persisted, theyhey persisted because
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are voluntary. united states arrived in germany as a conqueror, but stayed, not as [indiscernible] but as a protector and had the german people not one to american troops there, they would have left. which is to say that the united states was not an imperial power, but the united states did modest empire, mainly in the philippines, but it was that they like the british empire, which is an ongoing concern for a very long time, rather than the british empire having been here, which they lost at the end of the 18th century through the efforts of some of the people who are that ancestors of those depicted on these walls. has neverted states fora training course
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administering foreign countries because that is not what americans expect the government to do. let me add one other thing. -- even if they were a version of indian civil service or the preparatory school for colonial officials, the united states still not be a good imperialist is the age of empire is over. people have been mobilized and politicized and it's not want to be governed anymore. it is no accident that there are no more vast empires of the world. for your sobering analysis. i agreed with most of what you said but i have one reservation and that is one of your myths about the obama administration's negotiation of status of forces agreement in iraq.
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while it is true there be a , and thisorce certainly nowhere near hundred thousand, but didn't that decision send a signal to malik i that the u.s. would not be a buffer against the sunni awakening movement and is also a signal to those that were fighting on our side that we were no longer going to be there to help them? decision has one, as controversial has been the decision of the him instates to support continuing the prime minister's office, even though they got the most votes. talked tose, and i people who were there, his first -- on allow a business
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his business. although he had the most number of deputies in parliament, the various shia religious partners had the majority and there were not going to allow him to be prime minister. the status of forces agreements, and they go into this in some detail and mission failure, my impression of what i believed to be true is that neither side wanted it. the americans or the obama administration wanted to get out and when it to be done with iraq and obama wanted to run for reelection in 2012 and being able to say, i want all troops and heiraq, and he did, is a shia nationalist and iraqi nationalist, close to the iranians, suspicious of the to play theeeded
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nationalist card in order to maintain his domestic position and this was also at the time the arab spring was beginning, so every little -- middle eastern government felt the need to present itself as the guardian of its country sovereignty. having said all that, i come back to the point of it before, which is the number of troops that was politically feasible for the united states to keep in iraq were not, in my judgment, and this is a matter of judgment, would not have been sufficient to constrain the anti-sunni policies that he followed, which paved the way for isis. withbelieve we all agree your definition of failures, and to base of this, -- andrew,
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others, and they also pointed out. i have some difficulty with your definition of who we are and to the united states is and what our policy is. this goes back to truman taking this toward korea without a declaration of war. nicholas back to my time in vietnam. war is war and murder is murder. you can pick up the dictionary. if the president does not have a declaration of war and there is fabricated definition, then that is a crime, and those who support the crime are complicit in murder, and the junior officers who implemented our accessories to render, and the junior people are then involved in something that they do not understand that they obey and
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later come out with moral injury, so do you think congress has a right to abdicate the iser to declare war? >> that a philosophical, legal and constitutional question that has been debated intensively since the vietnam era. let me make two points. first, one of the most prominent interpreters and students of the war power flaws asserted that the war powers clause in the constitution in effect is what he called an invitation to struggle. congress has the power to declare war, the president, the commander-in-chief, the korean war set a precedent for that was followed in vietnam as well.
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and there were various reasons for that, and it receivedn issue that no attention. what i would say, this is the second point, is that it is perhaps worth noting that for the grandest failure, that iraq war, the president to get a majority in both houses of congress. did not get a formal declaration, but he got the congressional votes. despite what some of the democrats now say about that vote, they knew what they were voting for. >> thank you. pardon me, but i'm not sure if i notice in the consistency in your argumentation. you prescribed that the united states should follow a policy of containment yet, that is the
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second half of your presentation. the first half of your presentation you talk about the expansion of nato as being a failure. if that is a failure, then how would you respond to someone saying that the extension of nato is following a policy of containment and deterrence. if i don't understand it and you prescribed in an expansion of nato, at one point does the expansion of nato is too much and is actually a form of aggression? against theas expansion of nato initially because russia then was -- had a pro-western aspiring the democratic government, and the fact that nato expansion turned russia against the west and the united states.
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the time that the united states would have taken the lead in constructing a pan-european security order, in which russia was a full member and it did not make any sense to me otherwise. i should note that you can read this in the chapter that deals with mission failure. that the clinton administration disclaimed any intent to determine russia and the expanded nato. they said, oh, no, rush is fine. we are friends. this is all about drinking democracy to eastern europe, which is ludicrous because there was no need to bring democracy to eastern europe. wanted to bees democracies. if it were true, as it is in, that membership in the western alliance fosters democracy, the country that should've been admitted was russia, the one in which democracy was the shakiest.
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saying, my argument to oversimplify a bit, is that native expand -- nato expansion helped create the conditions in which nato is needed for deterrence, and if not for nato expansion, things might have followed a different path, and i say what i think what an not have happened in mission failure. thank you, professor, for your comments tonight and writing an informative and entertaining book, which i'm enjoying right now. you left to passages in the book out that i enjoyed in comparing american foreign-policy to opening a can with a sponge and you made reference to woody allen's [indiscernible] back and talk go about those passages. my question is, years ago when i was being taught american aboutn-policy, i read people like nixon, kissinger,
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who went future historians look back inside as leading practitioners of american foreign-policy. you might have disagreed with what they did, but it is hard to argue with the proposition that they were the leading scholars and practitioners of american foreign-policy. we look back 30 years or 40 years to this. this period, of does anyone stand out? first, i am gratified you're reading the book, which suggest you bought it, which i want to encourage everyone to do. if you have it with you, i would be happy to sign it. your answer to the question or my answer to your question is 50 years from nowp, will anybody from theeriod -- the period that i cover, and the policymaker standout? appraisalse capital
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of the main foreign policymakers, the presidents, vice presidents, secretaries of state answer the question to if any will stand out in the way that acheson, kissinger undoubtedly do and well, my answer is no. why is that? well variety of reasons. deeds to bet great done, not her a gauge, possibly the caliber of individual was not quite what it was, although that is a judgment that people can disagree about. of all of the senior national 1993ity officials between id 2014, which is the period cover, in my judgment, there was one who really was outstanding and that was william perry, the theetary of defense and
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first clinton administration, but unfortunately, he was basically fired by clinton. i think not because he did not he wasod job, as i said, the ablest national security manager at time, but because of clinton for political reasons wanted to put a republican in that job and he put former senator william in the job. >> [indiscernible] >> [laughter] i am a fan of woody allen, but my favorite comedian is [indiscernible] books, igan writing decided that every book i wrote, and i have written up to now, would have at least one reference to the marx brothers and one reference to baseball because i'm a baseball fan. the marx brothers did not make it, but andy halted, and i quote ingi think it is the beginn
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of anyhow, you will also is specified as the two women in the restaurant and one of them says, the food here is terrible and the second says, yes and the portions are so small. [laughter] and he says, that is my philosophy of life. life is one series of horrors and mysteries after another and it is in regard to food. my version of that, the message of mission failure, is that in effect, there is good news and bad news about american foreign-policy and this time. the bad news is the united states failed. the good news is that failures did not matter much because nothing the united states tried to do was particularly important. failures -- a pair of -- obviously, the failures were
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deeply costly for the people who end their lives, but in the , it did not make much difference except an opportunity cost. resources, even the use of military force that the united states might have directed in ways that did more for american interest in what actually happened, so that is the "annie hall" story. when we invited russia into nato, we simply do not have a problem allowing [indiscernible] south korea and russia is not that much different. >> i think it would have been a good idea to invite russia into and various1990's
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russian officials made overtures and that and were robust. robust i think not in really almost absentmindedly. the russians are convinced that american policy was carried out in the 1990's and thereafter to weaken them, to advise them, to destroy them. this is what putin says overtime and perhaps believes it. i do not think it is true. i think the problem was a different one. it was indifferent. american policymakers did not take russia into account and it's not the question was more important. they thought it was more important to intervene in bosnia then to keep russia friendly to the west and to nato. in my point of view, that was strategic idiocy, but that was
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what the people making policy changes believed because they believe russia did not matter anymore. opposed natoo expansion it did tell them that would not be true forever, and that alienating russia was a serious strategic error. i thinkg rationale would be problematical for three reasons. first of all, while it is true that nato had a democratic members during the cold war, that was the cold war. it does not really have fun democratic members now, and it would be a bit of a political stretch to welcome in the putin regime. second, when greece and turkey were under military role, they were not [indiscernible] putin is and had not invaded other countries like putin did. .inally, i doubt
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be interested in joining nato because he has reached the point in his political career when a great deal of his political , the source of his political appeal and such popularity and legitimacy as he has, rest on his opposition to the west. he is the man that is protecting of the seized and beleaguered russia against the predatory west, at least that is what he tells the russian people. i think nader would undercut that, so what i say when i am should joinr russia nato is that it is both too late and too early. address theike to issue of the bush administration and lying. when colonel powell went before he was told information he had was correct and it turned out not to be. he left demonstration shortly
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after and he had believed he had been lied to. i would say, yes, you're correct, when they presented the information to congress, they presented positive information, but they did not give them anything that might have been negative. i do not agree that the bush of ministrations did not lie. >> let me make two responses to that. first, there have been at least two commissions, the silverman commission and one other blue-ribbon panel looking into them, i think of more, all of them found there was not deliberate lying. there is as conclusive or definitive record, you do not have to accept it, but people who have looked at it come to that conclusion. second, in connection with mrs. clinton, there was classified intelligence briefing available to all members of congress, which is much more nuanced than
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the public presentations, which was far less certain and contained all the caveats that the intelligence community included, and senator robert graham, then senator robert graham of florida, read that briefing. i think he was chair of the intelligence committee at that point, well, he was on the intelligence committee, and voted against the resolution. the evidence was just not there, and he urged his colleagues to read that report, which is available to all of them and very few of them do, including, apparently, then senator clinton. that the believe nuclear deal with iran is working and will it work for its term and accomplish? joan is supposed us at
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about the french revolution when asked what he thought about the french revolution, too soon to tell. [laughter] my view of the iran deal is this of americanailure nonproliferation policy in that it abandons what has been what was central or a central feature of american nonproliferation policy for four decades in the mid-1970's, and that is the stipulation that countries such as iran will not be permitted to have full scope reprocessing facilities. you can reprocess uranium enrichment facilities because of you can enrich uranium, you can build a bomb. period. obama took that position through
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the 2012 election, and then in 2013, he abandoned it. there is not much fuss about it to the but that was the basic reach of american nonproliferation policy. of american nonproliferation policy. in negotiating with iran, the united states got a less good deal then he would've expected, given the disparity in power. in negotiations of this kind, the results usually represents the balance of power, and i was not true in this case. -- that was not true in this case. i've written a couple of pieces on the american interest in this, but the point here is that the united states had limited leverage because it was clear to everybody, despite what president obama said, the united states was not going to use force to stop iran from getting
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nuclear weapons. it is that threat that would have been the most telling. why was there no credible threat? that's a longer story, which certainly has a lot to do with what happened in iran. finally, i would say that although i think it abandoned an important principle and is a weaker deal that might've been, that does not mean that it's not worth having. 10 years, those 10 years might well be worth having. while i think it is too soon to say, i'm not among those who considers this a definitive failure. >> two interrelated questions. interest in. his did you mean to say that the main reason for the attack on iraq was because somehow bush
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administration felt the need to show strength and strike back at summary else besides afghanistan? and the other is to what extent did george bush and a few other people really did believe that they could restore democracy to iraq or give democracy to iraq? well, reminding the first part -- remind me the first part? >> to what extent was our invasion of iraq because at some level -- ok, i think that was part of it. i think a number of officials felt that afghanistan was not enough, the united states was under siege and they also come in the immediate wake of 9/11, vastly overestimated the terrorist threat. they genuinely believe there would be a lot more attacks of that kind. and bush was getting basically
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raw intelligence. anything that happened anywhere in the world was feeding into the white house. seriously, you could become very alarmed. i do think that there was a feeling that this was a major threat, this was something like world war iii, and there had to be a proportionate response in afghanistan was not enough. that was certainly one of the ideas that was circulating in the bush and administration. i do think, as i said, that the main reason -- bush and cheney, almostr public remarks say it in so many words on a couple of occasions. i do note those passages in mission failure. they said to themselves all my my god, we screwed up.
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we knew terrorism was a problem and we knew al qaeda was out there, and we didn't take it seriously. the result was a disaster. need to go back and look over our security agenda and see if there is something else that we are missing, that's more serious than we are giving credit for. that could come back to bite us and honduras unless we do something. and that, i think, was the main reason, although far from the only reason, that the bush and administration decided to go to war in iraq. what bush genuinely believed, i don't know. did devote his second inaugural address to spreading democracy around the world. he said democracy is every heart's desire, something like that it was a universal aspiration, which unfortunately, is not the case.
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what i believe is remarkable, and remarkably unfortunate about the decision-making process in the american government, vis-à-vis iraq, is not so much that the bush and administration thought that it was an urgent matter to get rid of saddam. that at least was defensible. if saddam had not been removed, it's entirely possible -- this was a bush and cheney concern, that the sanctions that the united nations had imposed for 13 years would be lifted, the russians and the french wanted to lift them. at that point, saddam would be back in the good graces of the international committee, and could restart his nuclear weapons program which was discovered in the first gulf war.
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it was far more advanced than american intelligence had believed. believed that it might've been true, and we will never know, that without removal of saddam, he would have gone to acquire nuclear weapons. we could've had a nuclear war in the middle east, at which point we might have been saying to ourselves why didn't we get rid of saddam when we really could? you can replay history, but this is a long detour to say that and do find remarkable remarkably unfortunate is not that the bush administration chose to invade iraq, leaving that they thought they could produce a full-fledged democracy, but they thought the invasion would be easy. and that no occupation would be required. out iran would sort itself in the united states wouldn't have to save it, wouldn't have to stay there. they certainly didn't expect to stay there. they certainly did not believe that there would be a prolonged
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occupation. and that belief is remarkable, because everybody who knew anything about either the region, the country, or post-conflict situations was telling them the opposite. they were saying this is going to take a lot of troops a long time, because it always does. that generalber shinseki, who was chief of the army -- i don't think he was chair of the joint chiefs -- chief of staff of the army, testified i was asked about how many troops would be needed in iraq after the war was over and he sits up in like 150,000. and then my friend who was undersecretary -- deputy secretary of defense came on and said that was wildly out of line and he couldn't conceive that it would take more troops to garrison iraq after the war that it would take to fight the war.
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shinseki was just relying on a pretty standard metric within the american government. he got a relatively hostile population, he's keeping requires a certain ratio of troops to population. -- peacekeeping requires a certain ratio of troops to population. this was on the record, and yet they went ahead. i don't know why. >> two days a year, you can balance an egg a bright and will stay there. , and it will stay there. you say after the soviet union fell that the united states could have invited russia to join nato and i agree with you completely. todayesponse to food and to putin isn --
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it's too late. no go. many you are missing the three of 65 days of the year that you are looking at. what was the reason to have nato continue after the soviet union fell? you already have the blueprint for nato. the threat of the soviet union re-develops and reconstitutes itself or threatens in that area or somewhere else to recast itself, you already have the blueprint. especially since with bureaucracies, you can reconstitute and reconstituted even better because you learn from the mistakes of what was done before. so why keep nato after the fall the 70 union -- of the soviet union? dr. mandelbaum: inertia was certainly part of it. everybody wanted the united states to continue to play some role in europe as a kind of stabilizer and to provide reassurance. after all, even during the cold war, the soviet government completely opposed to
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nato, the world they would have been happy to see it disappear. but at least appreciative of the way in which nato actually served one of their purposes, which was to control germany and make sure the germany did not get nuclear weapons. the american presence was necessary for that. and the russians didn't object to an american role in europe. they just objected to what was in effect an anti-russian security policy. and an anti-russian security order. and that was and is a serious mistake. i think that the necessary conditions for having russia join nato is the removal of the putin regime. contrary to his hopes and perhaps expectations, mr. putin is not immoral. he will not be there forever. we don't know how long he will
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be there and when he goes, we can't be sure his successor will be any better from our point of view. i don't think that that is in the cards at the moment. i think we missed the bus. another one is not coming along for a while. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, this evening just after 7:00, the history of hate speech and censorship in america. examining images of irish and african-americans used in popular culture and the backlash to the book "the klansmen," the birth of ahe movie " nation." a group of african americans gathered when the klansmen was scheduled to appear.
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one report estimated that 2000 african-americans came to protest and another 1000 whites came to observe the protest. of the play, one african-american man through in an egg at the stage and one person said we want no atlantic here. >> sunday morning at 10:00, the second 1988 vice presidential debate between george h.w. bush and michael dukakis. michael dukakis: i want to bring to the white house the strength and fiscal responsibility it will build a good strong foundation under which this country were about which this country can move, grow, invest, and build the best america for its people and our kids and grandkids. bush: i wish you would join me in dealing with the american people for the balanced budget amendment for the federal government and the line-item veto. i would like to have that line-item veto for the president
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because i think that would be extraordinarily helpful. >> at 6:00, we take a tour of the uss wisconsin, one of the largest battleships built by the u.s. navy, and saw service through the gulf war. >> i want to talk about the citadel with a 17 inch armor. in front of us, we have a door which is close during combat. that door weighs approximately five tons. former secretary of state madeleine albright receives the great american's award from the national museum of american history. >> i come back to washington after the convention at a cocktail party, very popular. the national journal says a woman walks into a cocktail party, she is immediately surrounded by men. is it brooke shields? no, it's madeleine albright. who these days is much more popular. >> for the complete schedule, go to
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>> as the nation elect a new president in november, when america have its first foreign-born first lady since louise adams? or will we have a former president as first gentleman? learn more about the influence of president will spouse is from c-span's first ladies, now available in paperback. it gives readers a look into the personal lives and impact of every first lady in american history. first ladies as a companion to c-span's well-regarded biography series and features interviews with the nation's leading first ladies historians. each chapter also offers brief biographies of 45 presidential spouses and archival photos from their lives. first ladies in paperback, published by public affairs is now available at your favorite bookseller and also as an e-book. each week until the 26 election, road to the white house rewind it brings you archival coverage of presidential races.
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next, the vice presidential debate from 1992 campaign between incumbent vice president dan quayle, tennessee senator al gore, and retired admiral james stockdale. the candidates discuss the role of vice president and answer question on abortion, taxes, and the defense budget. defeatedratic ticket george h.w. bush and dan quayle in the general election. winning 43% of the popular vote to bush and quails are to 7%. independent candidate ross perot and his running mate admiral stockdale finish third with 19%. this debate at georgia tech in atlanta is about an hour and a half. mr. bruno: good evening from atlanta and welcome to the vice presidential debate sponsored by the nonpartisan commission on presidential debates. it's being held here in the theater for the arts on the campus of georgia tech. i'm hal bruno from abc news and i'm going to be moderating tonight's debate. the participants are republican vice presi


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