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Libyan War Will Last a Long Time

Stephen Walt interviewed by Scott Horton.

Stephen M. Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard University and co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, discusses the liberal interventionists and neoconservatives uniting in support of war in Libya; how the mission to protect Libyan civilians almost immediately became a mandate for regime change – despite claims to the contrary; fighting a preventative war based on anticipated massacres and imagined regional repercussions; the risk of moral hazard, where any and all “rebel” groups can demand help and protection – a bailout, so to speak; and how the US government somehow got on the right side of history by sort-of backing the Egyptian protesters at the last minute, after decades of stabbing them in the back.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he served as academic dean from 2002-2006. He previously taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he served as master of the social science collegiate division and deputy dean of social sciences.

He has been a resident associate of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, and he has also been a consultant for the Institute of Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Professor Walt is the author of Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy (W. W. Norton, 2005), and, with coauthor J.J. Mearsheimer, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007).

He presently serves as faculty chair of the international security program at the Belfer Center for Science and international affairs and as co-chair of the editorial board of the journal International Security. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies, and co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, published by Cornell University Press. He was elected as a fellow in the American academy of arts and sciences in May 2005.

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