Events

Live Webcast: The Cold War and Contemporary Conflict - Lessons From The Past

October 21, 2005 // 2:00pm4:00pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
History and Public Policy Program
Africa Program
Webcast
Available
Watch

To watch the video of this event, follow the links in the See Also box to the right of this screen.

Saki Ruth Dockrill - Professor of Contemporary History and International Security,
Department of War Studies, King's College London
James Carafano - The Heritage Foundation
Tom Nichols - Chairman of the Department of Strategy and Policy at the US Naval War College

Saki Ruth Dockrill, James Carafano, and Tom Nichols will hold a roundtable discussion on connections between the end of the Cold War and present conflicts. Special reference will be paid to three books:

Saki Ruth Dockrill - The End Of The Cold War Era:

Between 1989 and 1991 the world witnessed a number of dramatic and traumatic changes: the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, the reunification of Germany, the end of the superpower nuclear arms race, the demise of East-West rivalries in the Third World and, finally, the break-up of the Soviet Union. The final stages of the Cold War were impossible to accurately predict, and many of the questions posed by those events remain unanswered today. This book investigates the evolutionary and sudden end of the Cold War in three major areas: Europe, superpower relations, and the Third World. Extracting essential lessons from recent past, The End of the Cold War Era provides the reader with a clearer understanding of today's and tomorrow's world.

James Carafano - Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom:

The war on terrorism, like the Cold War, will be a protracted conflict. As such, also like the Cold War, it requires a long-term strategy for victory. This strategy matters not just for presidents and generals, but also for Congress, business leaders, the ACLU, the local PTA, auto mechanics, Internet geeks, and soccer moms. The strategy settled upon in the next few years will determine how we fight the global war on terrorism, and how we decide to fight the terrorists will determine how we live our lives. National strategies involve more than just the use of the armed forces. They must also take into account the economic, political, diplomatic, military, and informational instruments that might be used to promote a nation's interest or secure a state from its enemies.

In Winning the Long War, experts on homeland security, civil liberties, and economics examine current U.S. policy and map out a long-term national strategy for the war on terrorism. Like the brilliant policy of containment articulated by the late George F. Kennan during the Cold War, this strategy balances prudent military and security measures with the need to protect civil liberties and maintain continued economic growth.

Tom Nichols - Winning the World: Lessons for America's Future from the Cold War:

At the dawn of the 21st century, it should be evident that the Cold War of 1945-1991 was but the first of its kind: a fundamental clash of ideologies tempered by the threat of nuclear weapons. Fortunately, victory for the West came quietly, without the final and utterly destructive war often envisioned, but Winning the World urges the reader to consider this outcome and how it was achieved before another such conflict arises. While the end of the Cold War was a signal victory for the West, Winning the World reminds readers that enemies of the ideals of democracy, capitalism, and liberty abound and will lash out against societies that value them. When this occurs, it will be imperative to remember key lessons taken from the Cold War, particularly the crucial realization that conflicts driven by dissonant ideologies differ from wars fought over resources and territory, and must therefore be fought differently, engaging a broader array of often indirect cultural, diplomatic, and military strategies than in traditional interstate warfare.

Upcoming Events

Wilson Center Photo Gallery

Browse or share photos from the Wilson Center’s events.

To Attend an Event

Unless otherwise noted:

Meetings listed on this page are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required unless otherwise noted. All meetings take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Please see map and directions. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project