Throughout history, statesmen have plunged countries into war without thinking through the outcome. Leaders focus on the initial rounds—capturing the hill—rather than achieving strategic success. In 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor with little idea how a war against the United States could ultimately be won. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without adequate planning for the post-war stabilization phase. This talk will explain why states adopt a short-term horizon when the stakes are so high. And it will outline a strategy for mastering the endgame of war based on “reverse engineering victory” or working backward from success.
Dominic Tierney is a Senior Fellow with FPRI’s Program on National Security and associate professor of political science at Swarthmore College. He received his Ph.D. in international politics from Oxford University, and has held fellowships at the Mershon Center at Ohio State University, the Olin Institute at Harvard University, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is the author of Failing to Win: Perceptions of Victory and Defeat in International Politics (Harvard University Press, 2006), with Dominic Johnson, which won the International Studies Association award for the best book published in 2006, FDR and the Spanish Civil War: Neutrality and Commitment in the Struggle that Divided America (Duke University Press, 2007), and How We Fight: Crusades, Quagmires, and the American Way of War (Little, Brown and Co., 2010). He blogs regularly at The Atlantic.
This entire series is free for FPRI Members (and spouses) at the $500 level.
For others, it is $100 per session for a single person and a guest.
A table of 10 for one session is $1000.
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