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Department of History

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Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Military historian to speak on U.S. foreign policy after Iraq

March 19, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Prominent military historian Andrew J. Bacevich will present the 2008 Paul V. McNutt Lecture at Indiana University Bloomington, speaking on "U.S. Foreign Policy After Iraq."

The lecture, which is open to the public, will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in the Georgian Room of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. in Bloomington.

Andrew Bacevich

Andrew Bacevich

Print-Quality Photo

"Andrew Bacevich, a professor of international relations and history at Boston University, is a former U.S. Army colonel who has played a key role in debates over the war in Iraq," said Michael McGerr, the Paul V. McNutt professor of history at IU Bloomington and co-director of the lecture series.

A self-described Catholic conservative, Bacevich has been an outspoken critic of U.S. policy in Iraq. In an op-ed this month in the International Herald Tribune, he wrote: "Within 18 months of the terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush initiated two major wars. Years later, despite the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars and the loss of thousands of lives, those wars continue, with no end in sight. The president will bequeath both of them to his successor. Bluntly, the Bush doctrine hasn't worked as advertised."

Bacevich focuses in much of his writing on the nation's overreliance on military power as an instrument of diplomacy, McGerr noted. "In his lecture at Indiana University, he will look to the future of U.S. diplomacy in the aftermath of the Iraq War," he said.

A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, Bacevich received his Ph.D. in American diplomatic history from Princeton and taught at West Point and at Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998.

He is the author of several books, including The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005) and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. S. Diplomacy (2002). His essays and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Wilson Quarterly, The London Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation and The New Republic. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In Bloomington, in addition to giving the McNutt Lecture, Bacevich will meet with faculty, have discussions with students and speak to a class.

The annual McNutt Lecture honors Paul V. McNutt, who was dean of the Indiana University School of Law from 1925 to 1933, then became Indiana's governor and later served as U.S. high commissioner to the Philippines, director of the Federal Security Agency and chairman of the War Manpower Commission during World War II.