I am the Monroe J.
Rathbone professor of international relations. I teach several
courses at Lehigh. The introductory course
in international relations that draws well over 100 people. I teach a course
on globalization that is a seminar for
upper level students. I teach a course on the
rise and decline of empires. And when the Soviet
Union was still around, I taught courses on
Soviet foreign policy. I started my career
has someone who specialize on the
Soviet military. And the Soviet Union
and its military went it’s own way, i.e. disintegrated, and
since then, I’ve been working primarily in
American national security and defense policy. Although, I still am
called upon and still continue to write
essays and articles on Russian foreign policy. Over the course of my career,
I have written and edited about six books,
most of them having to do with Russian and
the post Soviet states. My most recent book is
“The End of Alliances.” It was published
in February of 2007 by Oxford University
Press, and it has to do with changes in
American grand strategy in the post Cold War era. The main thesis of the book
is that during the Cold War, we had a grand strategy
of global alliances, which was completely at variance
with the historic direction of American foreign policy
for about 168 years, since the founding
of the republic. That Cold War strategy, I
argue, has outlived its utility, and we are moving to a world
in which the United States will have a foreign
policy that is not based on formal alliances in
the sense of NATO, Japan, South Korea, and so on. I see it as a
natural development. If you look at the
history of great powers, there are dramatic shifts that
occur in their grand strategy, which when they first occur are
not noticed by people or are objected to by people, because
the people who have been part of that strategy have had
their thinking, their careers, their entire global
outlook fashioned by that. So if you take, for
example, the case of Britain in the
19th century, you see major changes in
its foreign policy. Consider Japan, for example,
that in the 1920s and ’30s was the epitome of
militarism, and now is sort of the
epitome of pacifism. So saying that American
grand strategy will change, in the long sweep of
history, is not exceptional. It’s not good nor bad, it’s
something that simply happens. At the end of the day,
how good or bad a strategy is depends on who is
in charge, who’s, shall we say, driving the locomotive. Books can be right,
books can be wrong, but I think in the
ultimate analysis, their value lies in stimulating
a debate and a discussion on foreign policy,
which in this country we have much too little of. Part of the reason I wrote
the book, as you will, in the good sense of
the word of provocation or an attempt to stir the
pot, and it has largely been received that way. Now, not everybody will like it. If you’re a proponent of
containment plus, that is a foreign policy that
we had during the Cold War dusted up and sort of
refurbished and made relevant for the new world, I don’t think
you’re going to like this book, but I hope you’ll
still read it anyway.