According to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the global perception of the United States has shifted dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Our nation’s image has morphed from that of a dominant international leader to a disorganized entity, seemingly unwilling to accept the mantle of leadership or unable to govern itself effectively.
In conversation with former US General and Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli, Robert Gates argues that this transformation is the result of the failure of political leaders to understand the complexity of American power, its expansiveness, and its limitations. Gates steps forward for a livestreamed conversation drawing from his book Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes, And A New Path Forward In The Post-cold War World. He offers insight which makes clear that the successful exercise of power is not limited to the use of military might or the ability to coerce or demand submission, but must encompass as well diplomacy, economics, strategic communications, development assistance, intelligence, technology, ideology, and cyber. Gates deconstructs the ways in which leaders have used the instruments of power available to them, and argues that U.S. national security in the future will require internalizing the lessons of the past, as well as re-creating those capabilities that the misuse of power has cost our nation. Sit in as Gates and Chiarelli deliver a sweeping examination of power in all its manifestations—and how it has been exercised, for good and bad, by American presidents in the post-Cold War world.
Robert M. Gates served as Secretary of Defense under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was an officer in the United States Air Force and worked for the CIA before being appointed director of the agency. Gates is the author of Duty and A Passion for Leadership.
General Peter William Chiarelli, U.S. Army (Retired) dedicated nearly 40 years of service to the United States. From March 2007 to August 2008, Chiarelli was the Senior Military Assistant to the Sec. of Defense Robert Gates. 2008-2012 General Chiarelli served as the 32nd Vice Chief of Staff leading daily operations of the Army and its 1.1 million soldiers both active and reserve.
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