Participants in Tikvah's advanced institute on "War and Human Nature" were treated to a conversation on the method and meaning of statesmanship with Frederick W. Kagan. Beginning in theory and ending in practice, Kagan, a man of reflection and action, a military historian and strategic advisor, detailed his approach to serious problems in global affairs. Together with Tikvah Fund executive director Eric Cohen, Kagan discussed the great books of history and statesmanship, the culture of West Point, what happened in the Iraq Surge he is so often given credit for, what to do with the rise of ISIS and the collapse of Iraqi politics, Putin's ambitions, Obama's vision (or lack-thereof), and his own strategic advice for the current moment.
The event was recorded on June 20, 2014 when ISIS had taken Mosul and the United States had not yet intervened. Dr. Kagan’s analysis and recommendations remain astute and relevant three months later and provide an alternate path forward for American forces.