Determining America's Role in the World

Determining America's Role in the World

Condoleezza Rice On Determining America’s Role in the World

Defending freedom at home depends on America strengthening alliances and partnerships with other democracies against threats to their sovereignty posed by forces of authoritarianism. The Hoover Institution has regional experts, as well as scholars in diplomacy, military, technology, economics, immigration, energy, and other policy perspectives that are integral to the nation’s security and prosperity.

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America’s allies on the Eurasian landmass and across the islands of the Indo-Pacific region are invaluable not only to deterring aggression, but also to engaging in critical competitions short of conflict. Strengthening ally defenses and augmenting them with American defense capabilities reduces burdens on the United States while bolstering allies’ security. But our allies provide us with competitive advantages that extend beyond deterring potential aggression. From a geopolitical perspective, allies on the rimland of the Eurasian landmass pose dilemmas for Russia and China and have the greatest potential to prevent what would be devastating wars. Alliances are also tools for accumulating greater moral as well as military capability than the United States has on its own.

H. R. McMaster, Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow

Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World (Harper, 2020)

American leaders frequently err, but they can learn from their mistakes. The country has corrective mechanisms in the form of free and fair elections and a dynamic market economy. The United States and its allies have strong institutions, robust civil societies, and independent and free media. These are the advantages afforded by being unashamedly and unabashedly Western – advantages that Americans should never take for granted.

Stephen Kotkin, Kleinheinz Senior Fellow

Foreign Affairs, April 2022

In planning for a response to an invasion either of Ukraine or of Taiwan, American strategy should not focus exclusively on the core aggression but also complicate the adversary’s situation by planning for second fronts. At the very least, this threat should enter the enemy’s calculations and contribute to an amplification of deterrence. However, in the worst-case scenario of real war, these second fronts will force the aggressor to burn through resources, divide its attention and contribute to its defeat at the hands of the United States and its allies.

Senior Fellow Russell Berman and Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia Michael R. Auslin

The National Interest, February 24, 2022

Fellows in this Conversation

Russell A. Berman

Senior Fellow

Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a co-chair of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

At Stanford, he is a member of both the Department of German Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford, and he specializes on politics and culture in Europe as well as in the Middle East. He has served in numerous administrative positions at Stanford, including as chair of the Senate of the Academic Council.

He is the author of numerous articles and books including Enlightenment or Empire: Colonial Discourse in German Culture (1998) and The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (1986), both of which won the Outstanding Book Award of the German Studies Association (in 2000 and 1987, respectively). Hoover Institution Press published his books In Retreat: America's Withdrawal from the Middle East (2014), Freedom or Terror: Europe Faces Jihad (2010), and Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem (2004). His other books include Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty, and Western Culture (2007), Cultural Studies of Modern Germany: Representation and Nationhood (1993), Modern Culture and Critical Theory: Art, Politics, and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School (1989), and Between Fontane and Tucholsky: Literary Criticism and the Public Sphere in Wilhelmine Germany (1983). He has also published numerous articles in the Hoover Digest, most recently "Marx’s Moldering Manifesto" (fall 2018). His writings have also appeared in Defining Ideas and Advancing a Free Society.

Berman has received many honors and awards including a Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University (1982–83), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1988–89), and the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany (1997).

Berman received his BA in 1972 from Harvard and his doctorate from Washington University in 1979.

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Larry Diamond

William L. Clayton Senior Fellow

Larry Diamond is the William L. Clayton Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He is also professor, by courtesy, of political science and sociology at Stanford. He co-chairs the Hoover Institution’s programs on China’s Global Sharp Power and on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region.  At FSI, he leads the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, based at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, which he directed for more than six years.  He also co-leads (with Eileen Donahoe) the Global Digital Policy Incubator based at FSI’s Cyber Policy Center. He served from 1989-2021 as the founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and continues to serve as senior consultant to the National Endowment for Democracy. His research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. His latest edited book (with Orville Schell), China's Influence and American Interests (Hoover Press, 2019), urges a posture of constructive vigilance toward China’s global projection of “sharp power,” which it sees as a rising threat to democratic norms and institutions He offers a massive open online course (MOOC) on Comparative Democratic Development through the edX platform and is now writing a textbook to accompany it.

Diamond’s book, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, analyzes the challenges confronting liberal democracy in the United States and around the world at this potential “hinge in history” and offers an agenda for strengthening and defending democracy at home and abroad. A paperback edition with a new preface was released by Penguin in April 2020. His other books include: In Search of Democracy (2016)The Spirit of Democracy (2008), Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999), Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995), and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1989). He has also edited or coedited more than fifty books on democratic development around the world, including a forthcoming volume on the challenges confronting India’s democracy.

During 2002–03, Diamond served as a consultant to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report, Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to universities and think tanks around the world and to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. His 2005 book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, was one of the first books to critically analyze America's postwar engagement in Iraq.

Among Diamond’s other edited books are Democracy in Decline?; Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab WorldWill China Democratize?; and Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy, all edited with Marc F. Plattner; and Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran, with Abbas Milani. With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset, he edited the series Democracy in Developing Countries, which helped to shape a new generation of comparative study of democratic development.

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Niall Ferguson

Milbank Family Senior Fellow

Niall Ferguson, MA, DPhil, FRSE, is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His 2018 book, The Square and the Tower, was a New York Times bestseller and also adapted for television by PBS as Niall Ferguson’s Networld. In 2020 he joined Bloomberg Opinion as a columnist. In addition, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a New York-based advisory firm, a co-founder of Ualá, a Latin American financial technology company, and a trustee of the New York Historical Society, the London-based Centre for Policy Studies, and the newly founded University of Austin. His latest book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, was published last year by Penguin and was shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize.

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Victor Davis Hanson

Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; his focus is classics and military history.

Hanson was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), the annual Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Visiting Fellow in History at Hillsdale College (2004–), the Visiting Shifron Professor of Military History at the US Naval Academy (2002–3),and the William Simon Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University (2010).

In 1991 he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award. He received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism (2002), presented the Manhattan's Institute's Wriston Lecture (2004), and was awarded the National Humanities Medal (2007) and the Bradley Prize (2008).

Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history and essays on contemporary culture. He has written or edited twenty-four books, the latest of which is The Case for Trump (Basic Books, 2019). His other books include The Second World Wars (Basic Books, 2017); The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - from Ancient Greece to Iraq (Bloomsbury 2013); The End of Sparta (Bloomsbury, 2011); The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern (Bloomsbury, 2010); Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome (ed.) (Princeton, 2010); The Other Greeks (California, 1998); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001); Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003); A War Like No Other (Random House, 2005); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback ed., 2001); and Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003), as well as two books on family farming, Fields without Dreams (Free Press, 1995) and The Land Was Everything (Free Press, 1998). Currently, he is a syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services and a weekly columnist for the National Review Online.

Hanson received a BA in classics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1975), was a fellow at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (1977–78), and received his PhD in classics from Stanford University (1980).

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Stephen Kotkin

Kleinheinz Senior Fellow

In addition to his Hoover fellowship, Stephen Kotkin is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also the Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School), where he taught for 33 years. He earned his PhD at the University of California–Berkeley and has been conducting research in the Hoover Library & Archives for more than three decades.

Kotkin’s research encompasses geopolitics and authoritarian regimes in history and in the present. His publications include Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 (Penguin, 2017) and Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 (Penguin, 2014), two parts of a planned three-volume history of Russian power in the world and of Stalin’s power in Russia. He has also written a history of the Stalin system’s rise from a street-level perspective, Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization (University of California 1995); and a trilogy analyzing Communism’s demise, of which two volumes have appeared thus far: Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970–2000 (Oxford, 2001; rev. ed. 2008) and Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment, with a contribution by Jan T. Gross (Modern Library, 2009). The third volume will be on the Soviet Union in the third world and Afghanistan. Kotkin’s publications and public lectures also often focus on Communist China.

Kotkin has participated in numerous events of the National Intelligence Council, among other government bodies, and is a consultant in geopolitical risk to Conexus Financial and Mizuho Americas. He served as the lead book reviewer for the New York Times Sunday Business Section for a number of years and continues to write reviews and essays for Foreign Affairsthe Times Literary Supplement, and the Wall Street Journal, among other venues. He has been an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow.

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General Jim Mattis

Davies Family Distinguished Fellow

General Jim Mattis, US Marine Corps (Ret.), is the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow, after having served as the nation’s 26th Secretary of Defense in the administration.

In December of 2016, President Donald J. Trump nominated Mattis for Secretary of Defense and he was confirmed a month later. Mattis left Hoover to apply his knowledge and experience to help the President shape his national defense policy.

General Mattis commanded at multiple levels in his forty-three year career as an infantry Marine. As a lieutenant in the western Pacific, he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander in the Third Marine Division. As a captain in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, he commanded a rifle company and a weapons company in the First Marine Brigade. As a major he was the battalion officer at the Naval Academy Prep School and commanded Marine recruiters in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. As a lieutenant colonel he commanded an assault battalion breaching the Iraqi minefields in Operation Desert Storm. As a colonel he commanded 7th Marine Regiment and, on Pentagon duty, he served as the Department of Defense Executive Secretary. As a brigadier general he was the Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Following 9-11 he commanded the First Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Naval Task Force 58 in operations against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. As a major general, he commanded the First Marine Division during the initial attack and subsequent stability operations in Iraq. In his first tour as a lieutenant general, he was in charge of Marine Corps Combat Development at Quantico and subsequently served as Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force/Commander, U.S. Marine Forces in the Middle East. As a general he served concurrently as the Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation.

Before retiring in 2013 he was the Commander of U.S. Central Command, directing military operations of over 250,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and allied forces across the Middle East. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, and the co-editor of the book, Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military.

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H.R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow

H.R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. 

Upon graduation from the US Military Academy in 1984, McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the US Army for thirty-four years.  He retired as a lieutenant general in June 2018 after serving as the twenty-fifth assistant to the US president for the Department of National Security Affairs. From 2014 to 2017, McMaster designed the future army as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the deputy commanding general, futures, of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). As commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. He has commanded organizations in wartime including the Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force—Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2010 to 2012; the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006; and Eagle Troop, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

McMaster holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was an assistant professor of history at the US Military Academy. He is author of the bestselling books Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World and Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam. His many essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare have appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

McMaster is the host of Battlegrounds: International Perspectives on Crucial Challenges and Opportunities and is a regular on GoodFellows, both produced by the Hoover Institution. He is a Distinguished University Fellow at Arizona State University.

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Condoleezza Rice

Tad and Dianne Taube Director | Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy

Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and a Senior Fellow on Public Policy. She is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm.

From January 2005 to January 2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first black woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001 to January 2005, the first woman to hold the position.

Rice served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999, during which time she was the institution’s chief budget and academic officer. As Professor of Political Science, she has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the university’s highest teaching honors.

From February 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as Director, then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs, as well as Special Assistant to the President for National Security. In 1986, while an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

She has authored and co-authored numerous books, most recently To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth (2019), co-authored with Philip Zelikow. Among her other volumes are three bestsellers, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (2017); No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011); and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010). She also wrote Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (2018) with Amy B. Zegart; Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995) with Philip Zelikow; edited The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin; and penned The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army; 1948-1983: Uncertain Allegiance (1984). 

In 1991, Rice co-founded the Center for a New Generation (CNG), an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California. In 1996, CNG merged with the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, an affiliate club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BCGA). CNG has since expanded to local BGCA chapters in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Dallas. Rice remains an active proponent of an extended learning day through after-school programs. 

Since 2009, Rice has served as a founding partner at Rice, Hadley, Gates, & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to implement strategic plans and expand in emerging markets. Other partners include former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, and former diplomat, author, and advisor on emerging markets, Anja Manuel.

In 2022, Rice became a part-owner of the Denver Broncos as a part of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group. In 2013, Rice was appointed to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, formerly the Bowl Championship Series. She served on the committee until 2017. 

Rice currently serves on the boards of C3.ai, an AI software company; and Makena Capital Management, a private endowment firm. In addition, she is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a trustee of the Aspen Institute. Previously, Rice served on various boards, including Dropbox; the George W. Bush Institute; the Commonwealth Club; KiOR, Inc.; the Chevron Corporation; the Charles Schwab Corporation; the Transamerica Corporation; the Hewlett-Packard Company; the University of Notre Dame; the Foundation of Excellence in Education; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the San Francisco Symphony.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master’s in the same subject from the University of Notre Dame; and her Ph.D., likewise in political science, from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Rice is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded over fifteen honorary doctorates.

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Amy Zegart

Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow

Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford's Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Institute and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The author of five books, she specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management.

Zegart's award-winning research includes the leading academic study of intelligence failures before 9/11: Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 (Princeton, 2007). Her most recent book is the bestseller Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence (Princeton, 2022), which was nominated by Princeton University Press for the Pulitzer Prize. She also coauthored Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity, with Condoleezza Rice (Twelve, 2018) and coedited Bytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations with Herbert Lin (Brookings, 2019). Her op-eds and essays have appeared in Foreign AffairsPolitico, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Zegart has advised senior officials about intelligence and foreign policy for more than two decades. She served on the National Security Council staff and as a presidential campaign foreign policy advisor and has testified before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

In addition to conducting research and teaching, she led Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, founded the Stanford Cyber Policy Program, and served as chief academic officer of the Hoover Institution. Before coming to Stanford, she was professor of public policy at UCLA and a McKinsey & Company consultant.

She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, the American Political Science Association’s Leonard D. White Dissertation Prize, and research grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Hewlett Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Zegart received an AB in East Asian studies, magna cum laude, from Harvard and an MA and a PhD in political science from Stanford. She serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, and the American Funds/Capital Group.

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