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Rick Barton | January 27, 2020


More event photos can be found on the AGS Facebook page.

AGS event summary by Kyle Melatti:

In last week’s American Grand Strategy Event with former Ambassador Rick Barton, he and Professor Kyle Beardsley engaged in a conversation on American Power and the Problem of Peace. Ambassador Barton is the Co-Director of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative at Princeton University. The two scholars discussed topics that remain relevant from the US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan to today.

Ambassador Barton stressed the importance of using American resources and capabilities to the greater good in a way that is completely exhaustive. By this, he means the United States should plan all aspects of military and diplomatic involvement with a country, especially what will happen after the fact. Ambassador Barton focused on two aspects of US military involvement to create stability and long-standing peace: the focus on locals and being a catalyst. He says that citizens in countries like Iraq and Syria have to commit to solving problems together. The United States must also catalyze stability by being helpful to countries and not seek ownership. He believes this is an idea politicians and generals in previous administrations did not fully comprehend until after the US had military control but without a plan. Overall, however, he has an optimistic view of the future as the DoD, USAID, and other government agencies only get better in efficiency and efficacy.

Listen to a Policy 360 podcast with Rick Barton and Judith Kelley, Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy, here.