Stephen M. Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard University and co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, discusses his article “When did the American empire start to decline;” locating the peak of US global dominance during the first Gulf War rout of Iraqi forces, following the Soviet collapse and “unipolar moment;” the big mistakes and missed opportunities that have degraded US power since then; the Clinton administration’s failed dual-containment policy on Iran and Iraq, intended to get Israel more interested in the Oslo Accords but instead creating blowback and eventually 9/11; Walt’s belief in the wise projection of power and self-inclusion in the foreign policy “realist” camp; and why a delayed Israel/Palestine resolution is bad for Arab states, the US and Israel.
MP3 here. (29:24)
Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he served as academic dean from 2002-2006. He previously taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he served as master of the social science collegiate division and deputy dean of social sciences.
He has been a resident associate of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, and he has also been a consultant for the Institute of Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
Professor Walt is the author of Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy (W. W. Norton, 2005), and, with coauthor J.J. Mearsheimer, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007).
He presently serves as faculty chair of the international security program at the Belfer Center for Science and international affairs and as co-chair of the editorial board of the journal International Security. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies, and co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, published by Cornell University Press. He was elected as a fellow in the American academy of arts and sciences in May 2005.