Meet our Next Speaker

Dominic Tierney

Monday, March 5, 2018

Topic: America in an Era of Unwinnable Wars

Why has America stopped winning wars? For nearly a century, up until the end of World War II in 1945, the United States enjoyed a Golden Age of decisive military triumphs. But the decades since have been a Dark Age of failures and stalemates-in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Dominic Tierney reveals how Washington struggled to adapt to the new era of intractable civil conflicts. Weaving together compelling stories of military catastrophe and heroism, Tierney illuminates not only how America can handle the toughest crisis of all–battlefield failure–but also how the United States can return to the path of victory.

Dominic Tierney is associate professor of political science at Swarthmore, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic.

He completed his PhD in international politics at Oxford University in 2003, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Mershon Center at Ohio State University and the Olin Institute at Harvard University before coming to Swarthmore in 2005. In 2008-2009, he was a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

He has published four books:

Failing to Win: Perceptions of Victory and Defeat in International Politics  (Harvard University Press, 2006), with Dominic Johnson, which won the International Studies Association award for the best book published in 2006, and was nominated for the best book of the decade.

FDR and the Spanish Civil War: Neutrality and Commitment in the Struggle that Divided America (Duke University Press, 2007), which was described by Diplomatic HistoryJanuary 2009) as “a model of superb diplomatic history.”

How We Fight: Crusades, Quagmires, and the American Way of War (Little, Brown, & Co., 2010), which Ambassador James Dobbins, former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, described as “A great theme, beautifully written and compellingly organized, it’s a fitting update to Russell Weigley’s classic [The American Way of War] and an important contribution to a national debate over the war in Afghanistan which is only gathering steam.”

His latest book is The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts (Little, Brown, & Co., 2015).

His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, and various academic journals.

Meetings open to members and members’ guests only.  Unless otherwise noted, all meetings take place at Hedges Hall at Point Lookout.  Please plan on arriving by 11:30AM for noon meetings.  The speaker begins promptly at noon and lunch is served from 1PM.

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Upcoming Speakers

  • Monday, March 5, 2018
    Dominic Tierney
    Topic: America in an Era of Unwinnable Wars
  • Monday, April 2, 2017
    Dimitri Simes
    Topic: The Cost of Ignoring Russia
  • Monday, May 14, 2018
    Chris Miller
    Topic: Putonomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia
  • Monday, June 18, 2018
    Sarah Mendelson
    Topic: Combating Human Trafficking 2.0

View all speakers past and present »

Announcements

Pence’s visit to Jerusalem aimed more at evangelicals at home — by Trudy Rubin

Posted on Saturday February 3

Some years ago, at a bookshop in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, I noticed a shelf of paperbacks aimed at the many Christian evangelicals from the United States who visit the Holy Land. I bought one paperback, by end-times theologians Thomas Ice and J. Randall Price, titled Ready to Rebuild: The Imminent Plan to Rebuild […]

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Why it’s time to stop calling these hurricane disasters ‘natural’ by Kerry Emanuel

Posted on Sunday December 31

As the United States struggles to recover from two back-to-back hurricanes, it would be wise to reflect on why we keep having such calamities and whether they are likely to get worse. We must first recognize the phrase “natural disaster” for what it is: a sham we hide behind to avoid our own culpability. Hurricanes, […]

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John Harvey’s “Notes on the Trump Nuclear Posture Review”

Posted on Friday December 22

I hope to entertain you today by guessing at some decisions that may arise from the ongoing Nuclear Posture Review being carried out by the Trump team and their associated implications. Can the fragile political consensus that has supported comprehensive modernization –  [Click to continue reading.]

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Attention Scott Pruitt: Red teams and blue teams are no way to conduct climate science

Posted on Monday December 18

By Kerry Emanuel, Benjamin Santer, and Naomi Oreskes   In a recent op-ed, Steven Koonin, a professor at New York University, called for the establishment of a “Red Team/Blue Team” process for climate science. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt made a similar request in an interview with Breitbart News, and demanded “a true, legitimate, peer-reviewed, […]

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How Putin Checkmated The US In Syria by Anna Borshchevskaya

Posted on Saturday October 28

September 30 will mark the two year anniversary of Moscow’s intervention in Syria that saved Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from an eminent collapse. Assad is largely responsible for one of the worst humanitarian tragedies since World War II. Today, in no small part thanks to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he has emerged in the strongest […]

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Saudi Arabia wants to improve Image; Here’s How (by Juan Cole

Posted on Saturday September 16

Saudi Arabia is alleged to be hiring a PR firm to improve its tattered image in the West . As usual, such a campaign confuses substance with fluff and the money will be wasted. I am sympathetic to Saudi feelings that they get an unfair rap. In my Engaging the Muslim World I argued that […]

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“Fire & Fury” or “Shock and Awe”: it is always the start of a Quagmire (by Juan Cole)

Posted on Wednesday August 9

If we weren’t talking about two nuclear-armed states with unhinged leaders, the war of words between the US and North Korea would be hilarious. Trump’s threat Tuesday that “”North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” was […]

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America’s Misadventures in the Middle East (by Chas Freeman, our May speaker)

Posted on Tuesday April 25

“From now on,” President Donald Trump declared in his inaugural address, “it’s going to be only America first, America first!” If so, no region stands to be more affected than West Asia and North Africa—what Americans call “the Middle East.” America’s interests there are now entirely derivative rather than direct. They are a function of […]

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ISIL Terror-Trolls French Election by Juan Cole (our September speaker)

Posted on Sunday April 23

Thursday’s shooting at the Champs Elysee, left one policeman dead, another gravely injured, a third lightly wounded along with a German tourist shot in the heel. It was carried out by Karim Cheurfi, a French national aged 39, born at Livry-Gargan in Seine-Saint-Denis. He had opened fire with a Kalashnikov machine gun and was killed […]

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Recent New York Times Article by Julia Preston

Posted on Sunday February 5

IMMIGRANTS WHO CAME TO U.S. AS CHILDREN FEAR DEPORTATION UNDER TRUMP                             Brought to the United States from Venezuela as a toddler, Carlos Roa was among the first young undocumented immigrants to be protected from deportation under a program President Obama set up in […]

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Colin Woodard on the Trump Election

Posted on Thursday January 19

Since Election Day, many readers of “American Nations” have been asking for an analysis of the election via the underlying regional cultures identified in the book. Finally, with help from my colleague, Christian MilNeil, at the Portland Press Herald and Will Mitchell of Portland, Maine’s NBT Solutions, I’m able to comply.   Continue reading  

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