Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H3'ed 5/21/11

Ignorance of the Past Cripples U.S. Foreign Policy

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   3 comments
Author 4140
Message Sherwood Ross
Become a Fan
  (47 fans)
- Advertisement -

Americans are so woefully ignorant of their own history that they cannot apply the lessons of the past to guide their foreign policy, the Dean of America's only college of history says.


"When one considers our profound lack of knowledge of our own past, combined with our unparalleled military might as the world's only superpower, it is easier to understand why countries as different as Mexico and Canada, Pakistan and New Zealand, look at us with wary eyes," says historian Michael Chesson, dean of the American College of History and Legal Studies in Salem, N.H.


- Advertisement -

"We are the thousand pound gorilla," Chesson continues. "Unfortunately, we can lash out as if we were both drunk and blind when provoked, whether by pesky foreign powers, or terrorists."


Chesson cites the best-seller "Imperial Hubris"( Potomac Books) by Michael Scheuer about the early fighting in Afghanistan to support his argument that the U.S. needs a more informed citizenry.

- Advertisement -


" Americans will have to read more books, journals, newspapers, and online commentary from a variety olf sources, written from different points of view," Chesson says. "Then we have to think about what it all means, and make decisions based on that information."


He explains, "It is vital that we do a far better job of informing ourselves about the world than has been the case for much of our history," because "Two branches of our national government are headed entirely by elected leaders. Over time what are the odds that their qualities and strengths will be better than the general level of awareness among the broad electorate?"


Chesson states further, "We must supplement our formidable hard power with the soft power available to us, but only if we husband it, use it wisely, and know how to produce more of it," as as former Assistant Secretary of Defense Joseph Nye wrote in his book, " The Paradox of American Power: Why The World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone" (Oxford University Press).

- Advertisement -


As suggested by that book's subtitle, Chesson writes, "We must supplement our formidable hard power with the soft power available to us, but only if we husband it, use it wisely, and know how to produce more of it." Currently, Nye is dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Sherwood Ross Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

U.S. Overthrow in the Ukraine Risks Nuclear War With Russia

Radioactive Ammunition Fired in Middle East May Claim More Lives Than Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Obama Expands the American Warfare State

NSA MAY BE READING WINDOWS SOFTWARE IN YOUR COMPUTER

Is George W. Bush Sane?

Inside America's Biological Warfare Center