A commander of the army and a diplomat seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum of foreign relations, but the two titles have been filled by one man: Karl Eikenberry.
In this episode of Conversations with History, Harry Kreisler is joined by Karl Eikenberry, who commanded coalition troops in Afghanistan and served as US Ambassador there.
Eikenberry is now the William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at Stanford University, where he continues to teach that the two roles have more in common than one might think.
He encourages people in the armed forces, particularly army and marines (those deployed on the ground) to have a strong liberal arts background in order to better understand and empathize the foreign cultures that they work within.
Watch “Force and Diplomacy with Karl Eikenberry” to hear Eikenberry give his expert opinion on the current situation in Afghanistan as the U.S. formulates an exit strategy, turning its attention towards China.
Dexter Filkins is one of the most respected combat journalists of his generation. His 2008 book, The Forever War, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book and was named a best book of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time and the Boston Globe. As part of a team of New York Times reporters, Filkins won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for dispatches from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In this lecture from the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB, Filkins retraces the seven years he spent covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, using vivid images by some of the best photojournalists working today. Filkins’ intimate knowledge of many of the main actors – American, Iraqi and Afghan – in two of the most polarizing wars in American history, gives him a unique perspective on these contemporary conflicts.