2008 Dr. Berj. H. Haidostian Annual Distinguished Lecture
U.S. Policy at the Periphery of Russia: The Geopolitics of the World Today
In his lecture Dr. Chaliand assessed U.S. foreign policy during the eight years of the Bush administration. On the one hand, the U.S. achieved its expressed goal of using soft power to “roll back” Russia. At the same time, however, serious foreign policy problems also developed. Chief among them is the fact that the stated “war on terror” is not a war at all considering who the enemy is and the measures that the United States has taken in response. More importantly, while the new U.S. administration appears to be well poised to deal with specific international problems and foreign policy issues, we are now witnessing the end of western hegemony in world affairs. Dr. Chaliand expressed the opinion that countries like China and India will steadily increase their presence on the world stage, reducing the ability of the United States and Europe to determine global standards and policies unilaterally.
Dr. Gérard Chaliand is an internationally recognized researcher in strategic thinking and for 40 years has observed guerilla movements in many countries around the world. As a result, he had close battlefield contact with African, South American, Afghan, and Vietnamese guerillas, among others. He has spent nine months in Iraq since 2003, and recently was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) in Kabul. Dr. Chaliand is the author of 40 books, including History of Terrorism from Antiquity to al Qaïda (University of California Press, 2007) with A. Blin, and The Art of War in World History (University of California Press, 2004). He has taught at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration and the National War College in Paris, and was a visiting professor at Harvard University, UCLA, and the University of California at Berkeley. He was also previously the Director of the European Center for the Study of Conflicts and an advisor to the Center of Analysis and Planning of the French Foreign Ministry.