Conversations With History: Zalmay Khalilzad 
Conversations With History: Zalmay Khalilzad
by UC Berkeley
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Date Added: August 17, 2009

Lecture Description

June 17, 2009

"Responding to the Strategic Challenges of the Post 9-11 World"

Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (2003-05), Iraq (2005-07) and the United Nations (2007-08)

Conversations with History host Harry Kreisler welcomes Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for a discussion of the interplay between theory and practice in shaping national security policy. Ambassador Khalilzad reflects on the strategic challenges confronting U.S. policymakers after the end of the Cold War; he describes the difficulties facing the U.S. as it makes the Afghanistan/Pakistan crisis its top strategic priority eight years after the post 9-11 Afghanistan War; and he highlights the need for the U.S. to complement its military power with diplomacy and development aid. Ambassador Khalilzad concludes with a discussion of lessons learned from his career as a strategist and an ambassador.

Zalmay Khalilzad
Ambassador - Iraq
Term of Appointment: 06/22/2005 to present

Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad was confirmed on June 16, 2005 and sworn in on June 22, 2005 as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.

Dr. Khalilzad was U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005 and also served as Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan. Before becoming Ambassador to Afghanistan, he served at the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Islamic Outreach and Southwest Asia Initiatives, and prior to that as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African Affairs. He also has been a Special Presidential Envoy and Ambassador at Large for the Free Iraqis. Dr. Khalilzad headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Department of Defense and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

Between 1993 and 1999, Dr. Khalilzad was Director of the Strategy, Doctrine and Force Structure program for RAND's Project Air Force. While with RAND, he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Between 1991 and 1992, Dr. Khalilzad served as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning. Then-Secretary of Defense Cheney awarded Dr. Khalilzad the Department of Defense medal for outstanding public service. Dr. Khalilzad also served as a senior political scientist at RAND and an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego in 1989 and 1991. From 1985 to 1989 at the Department of State, Dr. Khalilzad served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs working policy issues, advising on the Iran-Iraq war and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. From 1979 to 1986, Dr. Khalilzad was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

Dr. Khalilzad received his bachelor's and master's degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Dr. Khalilzad is the author of more than 200 books, articles, studies, and reports. His work has been translated in many languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, and Turkish.


Course Index

Course Description

In these lively and unedited video interviews, distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work. Guests include diplomats, statesmen, and soldiers; economists and political analysts; scientists and historians; writers and foreign correspondents; activists and artists. The interviews span the globe and include discussion of political, economic, military, legal, cultural, and social issues shaping our world. At the heart of each interview is a focus on individuals and ideas that make a difference.

Harry Kreisler

Harry Kreisler is executive producer and host of the series, which is produced at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California - Berkeley. Conceived in 1982 by Mr. Kreisler as a way to capture and preserve through conversation and technology the intellectual ferment of our times, Conversations with History includes over 450 interviews.

Conversations with History is made possible by support from the Library of Congress and the National Science Foundation, from UCTV, and from UC Berkeley's Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Institute of Governmental Studies, and by the Ford endowment at the Institute of International Studies.


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