October 22, 2008

Vol. 24 , No. 03   

Amateur Hour in Iraq: A Worm's Eye View on the Failure of Nation Building

The problems of the U.S. occupation in Iraq have been documented and debated primarily from a “bird’s eye” view of strategy, focusing on failures in planning, troop levels, and whether a nation-building or democratization was even possible. Yet, this view often neglects the crippling lack of capability on the ground at the tactical and operational levels, a “worm’s eye” view. Coalition military forces and civilian agencies worked at cross-purposes, in most cases without even the most basic conceptual and organizational frameworks for their well-intentioned initiatives. An understanding of the gaps in our implementing capability is critical to the current efforts to restructure U.S. and international responses to the complete range of peace operations - anything from humanitarian intervention to larger scale reconstruction efforts in failing states. The worm's eye view of our capability in Iraq provides a guide to developing the concepts, resources, staff, equipment, and training necessary to conduct such operations, and warns that current approaches to restructuring peace operations may not be adequate.

Heather Coyne will explain the “worm’s eye” view of the American mission in Iraq. She is a senior program officer in the Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Coyne was the chief of party for the Institute’s activities in Iraq in 2003–2005.

Heather Coyne's visit to Claremont McKenna College is jointly sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies and the Athenaeum.

An Evening with the Author

Ed McClanahan describes his new book, O the Clear Moment (Counterpoint, 2008), as a collection of nine “marginally autobiographical” pieces that “incorporate a submerged or buried chronology, and add up to what I like to call an ‘implied autobiography.’” If indeed they ever were “submerged or buried,” the events, encounters, personages, and passions of McClanahan’s life have undergone a most remarkable — and hilarious — disinterment and reanimation in O the Clear Moment. From high school high jinks and adolescent infatuations in small - town Kentucky, to Merry Pranksterdom in the California enclave that included, besides McClanahan’s close friend Ken Kesey, counterculture icons Neal Cassady, Paul Krassner, and Sandy Lehman-Haupt, the peripatetic picaro crisscrosses the country in a medley of madcap peregrinations plotted only by what the author calls the “autobiographical imperative … asserting its self-important self.” Along the way, he moves from “coming of age,” to “coming of old age.” As the author put it in the chorus of the song he likes to call his Greatest Hit (“All the Roads [A Kentucky Derby Lullaby]”; his other song would have to runner-up),

All the roads in the world lead to home, sweet home;
They all lead the other way, too.
Some have to go, and some have to stay;
And some are just passin' through

Born in Brooksville, Kentucky and educated at Miami (Ohio) University and the University of Kentucky, Ed McClanahan has taught English and creative writing at Oregon State University, Stanford University, and the Universities of Kentucky and Northern Kentucky. His books include a novel, The Natural Man (1983); a memoir, Famous People I Have Known (1985); A Congress of Wonders (three novellas; 1996); and My Vita, If You Will (a miscellany of fiction, non-fiction, reviews, and commentary; 1996).

Ed McClanahan’s visit to Claremont McKenna College is sponsored by the Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies and CMC’s Department of Literature.

“Kremlin, Inc.”: How Vladimir Putin Runs Russia

Although the Russian economy has faltered very recently, it has risen in a major way since the 1998 financial crisis in no small part due to massive oil and gas supplies. Although Vladimir Putin left the Presidency last March to become Prime Minister, observers note that he still directs policy in the Kremlin despite being constitutionally second-in-command to Dimitriy Medvedev.

Clifford Gaddy, an economist specializing in Russia, will discuss these changes. He is Senior Fellow in foreign policy, global economy and development at the Brookings Institution. He is the co-author of The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold (2003) and The Price of the Past: Russia's Struggle with the Legacy of a Militarized Economy (1998). In addition to teaching positions at Duke, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, he has been a guest scholar at various research institutes in Russia, including the Kostroma Agricultural Institute, and the Perm Technology Research Center. He is in the process of co-writing two books: Russia’s Addiction: The Political Economy of Resource Dependence and Bear Traps: Pitfalls on Russia’s Road to Sustainable Economic Growth.

Dr. Gaddy’s visit is jointly sponsored by the Lowe Institute for Political Economy and the Athenaeum.

ATTENTION! Day and time change. Lecture Monday lunch, not Tuesday dinner

A Poet Reads from His Work
LUNCH 11:30 a.m. LECTURE 12:00 p.m.

Described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War," Paul Muldoon has distinguished himself as a literary giant. The 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winner for his collection of works Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), this acclaimed poet is known for his ever present innovation and wit. He deftly handles themes that are profoundly personal by giving them a universal relevance and creating; a strong sense of place within the poem. Bridging the Atlantic, Muldoon works "a rich vein that extends from the rivery, apple-heavy County Armagh of the 1950s, in which he was brought up, to suburban New Jersey, on the banks of a canal dug by Irish navies, where he now lives."

Born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1951, Paul Muldoon studied at Queen's University, Belfast, and has worked for BBC Belfast as a radio and television producer. His major works include Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting the British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), and Poems 1968-1998 (2001).

In addition to the Pulitzer, Muldoon was awarded the T. S. Eliot Award for The Annals of Chile in 1994, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature in 1996, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, and the 2004 Shakespeare Prize. Paul Muldoon is currently Howard G.B. Clark '21 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University and Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford.

Please join us for a very special luncheon as poet Paul Muldoon reads his work at the Athenaeum. Paul Muldoon's visit to Claremont McKenna College is sponsored by the Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

National Security and the 2008 Elections

Even though the economy has become arguably the dominant issue for the 2008 Presidential Elections, foreign policy and national security still remain important as the United States fights two wars.
Discussing these issues in the election is Matthew Yglesias, Senior Editor at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a progressive think-tank.
His first book, Heads in the Sand: How the Republicans Screw Up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats, was published in May 2008. Mr. Yglesias has previously worked as an Associate Editor at The Atlantic, a staff writer at The American Prospect, and an Associate Editor at Talking Points Memo. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Guardian, Slate, The Washington Monthly, and other publications. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harvard University. He has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC, and been a guest on many radio shows.

The Financial Crisis of 2008

Over the past few weeks as the domestic stock markets have fallen even more, and Congress passed a $700 billion bailout plan, the economic crisis has spread overseas.
Countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world have had to deal with the same financial issues the United States faces. Professor Alan Taylor will discuss the current economic crisis and the international ramifications of this disaster. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of globalization. He has answered many of these important questions by exploring the relationship between economic outcomes and the economic environment.
Professor Alan M. Taylor is a professor of economics and director of the Center for the Evolution of the Global Economy at the University of California, Davis. In addition, Professor Taylor is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic and Policy Research. He has served as a consultant or visitor with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Professor Taylor is the author of nine books including his 2003 award winning book, Global Capital Markets: Integration, Crisis and Growth. Professor Taylor received the 1997 Sanwa Prize in International Economics and Financial Markets for his work with Maurice Obstfeld. Professor Taylor received his B.A. from King’s College at Cambridge and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

The Lowe Institute of Political Economy is sponsoring Professor Taylor’s visit.

Robert Day School Distinguished Speaker Series

Lunch with a Leader: The Private Equity Industry
LUNCH 12:00 p.m. LECTURE 12:30 p.m.

James A. Quella is a Senior Managing Director and Senior Operating Partner in the Corporate Private Equity practice at The Blackstone Group. During his Athenaeum presentation, Mr. Quella will discuss the private equity industry while explaining the role of Blackstone within the industry. He will also share some of his strategies for success.

Mr. Quella is responsible for monitoring the strategy and operational performance of Blackstone portfolio companies and providing direct assistance in the oversight of large investments. He is also a member of the firm’s Private Equity Investment Committee.

Prior to joining Blackstone in 2004, Mr. Quella was a Managing Director and Senior Operating Partner with DLJ Merchant Banking Partners-CSFB Private Equity. Prior to that, Mr. Quella worked at Mercer Management Consulting and Strategic Planning Associates, its predecessor firm, where he served as a senior consultant to CEOs and senior management teams, and was Co-Vice Chairman with shared responsibility for overall management of the firm.

Mr. Quella received a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Chicago/University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA with dean’s honors from the University of Chicago. He is also the co-author of Profit Patterns: 30 Ways to Anticipate and Profit from the Strategic Forces Reshaping Your Business (1999). Mr. Quella has been a member of various private equity company boards and currently serves as a director of Allied Waste, Intelenet Global Services, Graham Packaging, Michaels Stores, Inc., The Nielsen Group, and Vanguard Health Systems.

Microfinance, NGO's, and the Emergency in Haiti

Claude Alexandre is a member of the board of Fonkoze, one of Haiti's largest and most influential micro-finance NGOs and a consultant and business adviser to non-profit organizations and NGOs. He will discuss the world of micro-finanace through the prism of Haiti and its attempts to recover from severe damage suffered in a hurricane this summer. More than 18,000 of Fonkoze's clients lost their businesses entirely.

CMC's Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights has begun a Haiti Initiative to aid Fonkoze and its clients in recovery and reconstruction.

Election Night at the Athenaeum

After months of waiting, tonight is the night that matters. Election night is upon us!

As is the tradition, the Athenaeum will serve a special election night dinner while the returns come in on the big screen. During and after dinner, Professor Andrew Busch and Professor Ken Miller will answer questions and provide real time commentary.

Andrew E. Busch is professor of government and Associate Dean of the Faculty at Claremont McKenna College. He has authored or co-authored ten books on American government and politics, including most recently The Constitution on the Campaign Trail: The Surprising Political Career of America's Founding Document (2007), Reagan's Victory: The 1980 Elections and the Rise of the Right (2005), and Red Over Blue: The 2004 Elections and American Politics (with James W. Ceaser) (2005). He is currently at work with James W. Ceaser and John J. Pitney on a book on the 2008 elections. Professor Busch received his B.A. from the University of Colorado and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Ken Miller is an assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. Professor Miller received his B.A.from Pomona College and his JD from Harvard Law School. He practiced law at Morrison & Forester, LLP before receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He most recently co-authored The New Political Geography of California (2008). He is currently completing a book entitled Direct Democracy and the Courts (2009). His other publications include “Constraining Populism: The Real Agenda of Initiative Reform” (2001) and “The Davis Recall and the Courts” (2004). Miller has served recently as a regular commentator on the presidential election for BBC World Service Radio. He has also provided political commentary for NPR, CBC, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

An Evening with Madame F

An Evening with Madame F (1990) is the internationally acclaimed musical drama created by Claudia Stevens for her performance as pianist, singer, and actor. Adopting the persona of an elderly concentration camp musician who had performed at Auschwitz, Stevens uses music actually played and sung by women inmates there. She draws on first-hand accounts to depict the struggle and moral dilemma of women who survived through performance. And, as a daughter of Holocaust survivors, she also meditates on the ethical problem of treating the Holocaust as the subject for artistic expression. One of the most honored Holocaust-related performances before the public, An Evening with Madame F was produced for television by PBS affiliate WCVE.

Claudia Stevens holds degrees in music from Vassar College, in musicology from the University of California at Berkeley, and the Doctor of Music in piano from Boston University. She has held academic and conducting positions at Williams College and the College of William and Mary, where she will return as Visiting Scholar in Music in 2008-9. As pianist and composer, she has been presented at Carnegie Recital Hall by the New York Composers’ Forum and was the featured artist on several “Performance Today” on NPR broadcasts.

Claudia Stevens visit is jointly sponsored by the Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights and the Athenaeum.

Israel at 60: Nation, Identity, and Literature
Thursday, November 6, 2008

“I am totally secular,” remarked David Grossman, one of Israel’s preeminent novelists, in a speech delivered at the Yitzhak Rabin memorial in 2006, “and yet in my eyes the establishment and the very existence of the State of Israel is a miracle of sorts … a political, national, human miracle.” Grossman then gave over the balance of his discourse to addressing the complexity of his homeland’s existential crises, and the hard choices Israel must make for its very survival. Voicing his personal grief, though without naming its cause — the death, a few months earlier, of his 20-year-old son Uri, who fell to a Hezbollah missile during a ground offensive in the village of Hirbat Kasif, Lebanon — Grossman continued: “The death of young people is a horrible, ghastly waste. But no less dreadful is the sense that for man years, the State of Israel has been squandering not only the lives of its sons, but also its miracle — that grand and rare opportunity that history bestowed upon it, the opportunity to establish here a state that is efficient, democratic, which abides by Jewish and universal values; a state that would be a national home and haven, but not only a haven, but a place that would offer a new meaning to Jewish existence; a state that holds as an integral and essential part of its Jewish ethos the observance of full equality and respect for its non-Jewish citizens.”

The author of numerous novels, short stories, essays, plays, and non-fiction and children’s books, David Grossman has, since the publication of his first story, Donkeys, in 1979, garnered many awards and honors for his masterfully wrought and singularly compelling prose. These include the Prime Minister’s Prize for Creative Work (1984); the Chavalier de l’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres (France); the Valumbrosa Prize, Premio Mondelo, and Vittorio de Sica Prize (Italy); the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation (United Kingdom), and the Har Zion Prize, Sapir Prize, and Emet Prize for Arts, Science and Culture (Israel; at the presentation of the latter in the Jerusalem Theatre in 2007, Grossman refused to shake hands with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch).

From his early works, Grossman has acknowledged a love for Yiddish literature and the works of Franz Kafka and Heinrich Böll. His novels and non-fiction have dealt with all manner of themes: the Holocaust, Arab/Jewish relations, life on the West Bank (e.g., The Smile of the Lamb, 1983 — later made into a film directed by Shimon Dotan; and his non-fiction The Yellow Wind, 1987) — even, as in his 2000 novel, Someone to Run With, Jerusalem’s vagrants, drug addicts, and runaways.

David Grossman's visit to Claremont McKenna College is sponsored by the Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

Robert Day School Distinguished Speaker Series

Lunch with a Leader: The Media Industry
LUNCH 12:00 p.m. LECTURE 12:30 p.m.

Jeffrey Klein is a seasoned and highly regarded media CEO, a successful writer, and a popular lecturer. Trained as both a lawyer and a journalist, he has more than 20 years of experience operating newspaper, television, magazine, and internet businesses.

From 2001 to 2006, he was president and CEO of 101communications, a B2B publisher serving the Information Technology market, a company Klein co-founded with the backing of a Chicago-based private equity firm, The Frontenac Company. In April 2006, Klein and Frontenac sold 101 to 1105 Media, a holding company where Klein remained as Chairman of the Board.

Klein spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times and Times Mirror in senior management positions, including Senior Vice President and General Manager, News and Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing. He also served as president of two large regional editions of the newspaper. For several years, Klein was CEO of California Community Newspapers, Inc, a Times Mirror company.

Klein is one of the few traditional media executives who has successfully transitioned to the internet publishing model. In 2006, he was named to the “Folio Forty,” the list in Folio: of the 40 most influential people in the magazine industry. In 2004, he was selected as one of the three most innovative CEOs in trade publishing by B2B's Media Business magazine.

Klein began his career as a lawyer, first in the entertainment industry and later on behalf of the Los Angeles Times as a specialist in First Amendment issues. He has taught media law and media business classes at the University of Southern California for many years. For ten years, he also wrote a weekly consumer law column for the Los Angeles Times. He writes a regular column called Executive Perspective for Folio:, the magazine of magazine management.

Klein is active in the community, having served on various non-profit boards, including the United Way, Foundation for American Communications, and the Alliance for the Arts. He recently finished his two year term as president of the board of directors of MEND, Meet Each Need with Dignity, the largest privately funded antipoverty agency in the San Fernando Valley, where he led its recent $8.5 million capital campaign.

Klein received his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, his law degree from Stanford University, and his bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Claremont McKenna College. He is married and has three daughters. During his presentation, Mr. Klein will discuss his previous experience and will also share some of his strategies for success.