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[Zoom Service] The Promise and Folly of War – Why Do Leaders Enter Conflict Assuming Victory Is Assured

February 19, 2023 @ 10:15 AM 12:00 PM

Gregory Daddis, Ph.D., Professor of History and USS Midway Chair in Modern U.S. Military History at San Diego State University, will speak on the topic, The Promise and Folly of War – Why Do Leaders Enter Conflict Assuming Victory Is Assured?  As the vicious, destructive war in Ukraine rages on—and US policymakers debate continuing military support in the region—it is worth considering America’s own relationship with war in the 21st century.  What has driven our connections to war, not just from a policy perspective, but from a cultural one as well?  Why do we assume war will deliver on its promise to solve nearly all our problems overseas?  And why is it that the United States spends an inordinate amount of its resources on preparing for war, yet its citizens continue to fear what they deem a dangerous world?  In a wide-ranging discussion, US Army retired colonel Daddis considers both our faith in war and our fear of war and how these tensions shape our very identity as Americans in the modern world.

Daddis joined SDSU after directing the MA Program in War and Society Studies at Chapman University. Prior, he served as the Chief of the American History Division in the Department of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point. A retired US Army colonel, he deployed to both Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Daddis specializes in the history of the Vietnam Wars and the Cold War era and has authored five books, including Pulp Vietnam: War and Gender in Cold War Men’s Adventure Magazines (2020) and Withdrawal: Reassessing America’s Final Years in Vietnam (2017).  Daddis has also published numerous journal articles and several op-ed pieces commenting on current military affairs.  These commentaries include writings in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and National Interest magazine.  He is the recipient of the 2022-2023 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, Pembroke College, University of Oxford.

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