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Welcome back to the -- for this final segment we turn our attentions from the next presidential election to recent diplomatic history.
Professor -- Germond of New York University joins me live from our New York studio to discuss her brand new book the -- papers.
The voices of diplomats in the cold war -- beyond published by Columbia university press professor -- welcome to.
A fox hole.
Thank you James thanks for having me our pleasure so tell us what this book is about exactly.
Well it's a history as you said dissenting diplomats from the beginning of the Cold War the military -- -- of the Cold War.
Two and US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
And it's really an attempt to look back at that history to recover some of these lost arguments to think about the merits.
And then some of the problems and the dilemmas of being an internal -- Now.
We're talking about diplomats which means were talking about people who work for the United States Department of State right.
Which is headed presently by secretary of state Hillary Clinton we're talking about 20000 people who work for the State Department and one capacity or another around the world.
But we're talking specifically about diplomats.
And you know if you take it from the perspective of the president of the United States whoever that is.
Certainly if we hearken back to the -- of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger when the latter was the national security advisor.
It in the White House in the late sixties early 1970s.
I think they would say and I think president since then would say certainly George W.
Bush and Dick Cheney the vice president.
When Condoleezza Rice was secretary of state they would say that.
Diplomats -- always opposed to the foreign policy the president and they've always regarded the State Department as a sort of hotbed of opposition to the foreign policy.
Of the commander in chief what he said -- that.
Well to some extent that is the case I mean it's hard to make -- generalization about an entire organization which has so many thousands of people.
But there has been a long history.
Tension in between that president and the State Department.
Really -- going back at least as far as -- but.
Even -- wasn't so fond of the State Department and but to some extent this is a lot hostility that involves ideological differences as well as a distrust of the bureaucracy.
-- are very jealous of their power particularly in foreign policy.
And and the diplomats and some other organizations have sometimes been seen as a threat to that power.
What are the new materials that you were able to -- to bring to the table here as a historian what did you find in that in terms of these papers that's new.
I'm a little bit if they -- to be honest a lot of it is -- well known but in in some sense not really seen at the history of dissent so we have.
Some older story is that deserve to be remembered the stories of the China hands who recommended cooperation and with.
The Communist during the Second World War are.
And we're fired as a result some of the newer information comes more recently from story is coming out of Iraq for example John Brady keys Lang who resigned after.
And dissenting against the US invasion and then all of that stuff is very recent history it's still being Reagan and I was interested in looking into how that's being -- and and what's being -- about it.
The late Tony Snow who was well known to Fox News viewers as the host of FOX News Sunday -- who became the Press Secretary at the White House under George W.
Once said that if there were such a thing as the archetypal Washington memoir it's title would be if only they had listened to me.
Comments like gather a lot of these dissenting diplomats feel that had their counsel been -- Certain catastrophic situations would have been avoided in these various wars and so forth did you find examples where of the dissent.
-- registered by these diplomats turned out to have been wrong.
I'm asked me to some extends George Tenet is the archetype all of the center.
And in 1940 -- -- he began to argue against Roosevelt's.
And what he -- as complicity towards the Soviet Union and and then he became known as the architect of containment.
At that time he thought he was right.
But within a few years as Washington caught on to his message and then started to discern that he decided that they had taken it too far -- in -- that's an example where Kennedy himself thought to some degree -- words have been twisted.
But that she also may -- didn't really understand.
The full power -- the full effect of his words.
And then he began to disagree with himself so that's an interesting.
George -- -- for the benefited younger viewers was a diplomat during the the World War II period and afterward and is credited with having developed the word and the and the concept of containment.
With respect to the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union he's the subject of -- big new biography that I think got one a lot of awards by John Lewis -- You view you do you discerned a professor -- In the in the situation today under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton any change in the in the -- for the State Department or whether or not dissent is being.
Is being heeded any more if you simply by policy makers when it comes out of the State Department today than in previous administrations.
And to be -- not really eight and you know when -- Obama was elected.
He made a point of saying that he was -- and transparency in government and transparency and foreign policy.
But especially -- post WikiLeaks there's been a real effort to crack down on transparency.
-- the other hand the State Department itself particularly at the level of the rank and file.
If interested in ways of promoting debate and promoting transparency.
Among senior policy makers I don't really see much of -- change.
All right our thanks to professor -- -- mention of New York University she's the author of the descent papers the voices of diplomats in the Cold War and beyond a fascinating -- to anyone -- did.
In the history of the of the presidency since World War II onward warfare and -- our diplomats figure into this high level policy making puzzle.
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